Monday, April 28, 2014
The work in Culver is continuing to move forward. We are increasing the teaching pool and are continuing to work with our investigators. Bonnie Samuelson and Sandra Furlong accepted a baptismal date this last week! They are scheduled to be baptised on. They are so wonderful and we are excited for them. In our last lesson with them, they expressed that they have noticed a big difference in their lives since they have started meeting with us. They claim they are losing their desire to swear (they didn't like that they had picked up that habit).
The area is going great but the one thing we are trying to work with is getting investigators to church. Everyone here works ALL THE TIME! So we have to get them to take off work or some other way so they can come.... Also stake conference which is in Mishawaka (an hour drive) is. So that is our challenge to overcome this week :)
Funny story this week: We recieved a text from a 15 year old girl up in Plymouth and she invited us over to come share a message with her family... so we went over and it turns out that it was some former investigators who were dropped a few months prior. It was really interesting cause there was a ton of people who lived there and they were all pretty interesting people (not really all there) and the 15 year old girl was definately not all there and after we left she texted us and told us we were hot.... we didn't respond and she continues to sends us texts asking if we are there about 4 times a day... Gotta love Northern Indiana! :D I love it here and we are meeting with her older brother who is 23 so that is a bonus.
Elder Van Shaar has been sick this week and so we have had to take it easy this week but the miracle is that the work was still moving forward non the less! He has been a real trooper in working as hard as he can without pushing himself too hard. What a stud!
We are very excited for stake conference this, we get the privilege of hearing from a General Authority (forgot who it is..). That is always a great blessing. We are excited to see the members be strengthened in their missionary efforts during this conference.
So in the branch I am in, our branch president runs our missionary correlation after church and because he is such a boss and loves missionary work.... we have correlation for THREE HOURS.. sometimes four..! Yesterday after chuch (which ended at 1) he had some buisness to take care of and so we didnt start coorilation till two... so we didnt get out of there till about. Our poor mission leader still has little kids a wife who really wants him home as soon as he can get there so he is pretty much a superstar for being such a good sport. Also President's wife stays at the church the whole time doing family history work while waiting for her husband. This branch is full of dedicated people, and I love it!
I love you all and hope all of you are doing well!
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hey Guys :)
What a week of miracles! This week has given me so much perspective into how the Lord works with each of us and how much he really influences our lives. I have had so many spiritual experiences this week I could fill 5 pages! It is truly a week I won't forget.
Our area has been growing tremendously and we are having some amazing potential investigators come out of the wood works. Our key indicators are increasing and we have been getting more involved with the ward. Last week we taught Bonnie Samuelson and Sandra Furlong with our ward mission leader. It was a wonderful lesson and both Bonnie and Sandra committed to baptism. After the lesson, our ward mission leader (who is a convert of about 5 years) had a really powerful spiritual experience at the lesson. He said that he kept feeling really strongly that he knew them from somewhere and yet had never seen them before in his life. He asked us if we thought it could have been a spiritual experience where he knew them before this life. We told him it very well could have been. It was such a blessing to see him open up during the lesson and testify with great power.
Something else that was awesome to witness this week and a lesson I learned, is that there are often times certain people that the Lord wants in lessons with investigators. We had the privilege of experiencing this lesson TWICE. First was with the Canacci family. We were teaching Ron and Donna Canacci and Brother Richhart came with us. Ron Canacci was in the back room when we got there and he actually wasn't even going to be home that day and had informed us that he wasn't interested in hearing out message. Well Brother Richhart kept asking if Ron Canacci could come out and join us, well to our surprise he came in and because Brother Richhart was there, they connected amazingly well and it quite honestly saved the lesson. Later after the lesson Brother Richhart had told us that he kept feeling promptings that he needed to meet Ron Canacci. How cool is that!? The other experience was along the same lines and it was just so spiritual and awesome.
I am loving my mission; the good experiences and the bad. It is changing me in ways I didn't know were possible. Thank you all for your love and support. Hopefully we can get some baptisms here soon!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Wow! May I just say that the #BecauseofHim project they are doing for Easter on Mormon.org is SO COOL! We are definitely going to get the word out and get the members of the Plymouth branch spreading the word as well. Make sure all of you check it out and share share share it on the web. I am making a prediction that the prophesy that the gospel will fill the whole earth is going to be fulfilled through the internet. I have been thinking about that lately and it just keeps proving itself true as time goes on. I am excited to see what happens with it in the future.
This week in Culver we have had some great miracles happen. We were led to three investigators IN CULVER! That is so great cause we can walk to all their houses instead of driving a half an hour to get to them. We are also meeting with a referral who lives in Culver today. Their names are Bonnie, Sandy, Jay Bletzinger, and Donna Canacci. They are all great individuals who need the gospel and would be wonderful disciples of Christ. Elder Van Shaar and I feel very honored that the Lord would trust us with these individuals.
We also spent almost the whole day with Branch President Kelley (man, what a guy) last Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, going to a ton of less actives and members sharing messages and inviting them to church and giving blessings as needed. Our area is HUGE so we drove a ton. It was such a blessing to go and offer our services and express the Lord's love and our love to those individuals.
We have also been practicing the church tour daily and working on memorizing the script.(explanation below) It has been a great opportunity and we can feel how powerful they are going to be when we can master the tour script. We are also planning on taking a potential investigator named Larry through in a week or two, so wish us luck!
I have loved learning more and more, a little bit each day, how Heavenly Father works with His children. I learn so many little life lessons each day and come to understand little by little the nature of God. I have recently learned that Heavenly Father allows us to have hard times to test us and that includes allowing our skills and talents to become weak so we have to pay extra attention to them. I have always felt very comfortable and effective as a teacher. I have internalized the doctrine, understood my purpose as a missionary, and had a desire to bring people to baptism. This transfer and a little bit from last transfer I feel like my teaching skills have weakened significantly. That might simply be an effect of not teaching as much as I did in my first two areas. So I am working on really focusing my energies on sharpening my teaching skills and planning skills.
The Lord breaks us down so He can build us back up even higher.
That is about all this week folks! Love you all and I will talk to you next week!
Explanation of a church tour: The church tour is something they have done in a few other missions. The church tour is essentially a non threatening way to teach the restoration lesson to potential investigators. We have certain paintings in the church buildings and we have a script we memorize and it teaches them about our Sworship and the church's basic beliefs. It is a wonderful idea and is going to working miracles.
Monday, April 7, 2014
I have one word for you all.... CONFERENCE! Man what a great general conference we had! There were so many amazing talks given and the spirit was felt in abundance. I do have a testimony that the Lord will answer your questions you have through conference if you make the proper preparations for it. I had my questions answered by things said and unsaid.
Also, was it just me or did you guys feel like it was Elder Packer's last conference address? I felt that that was his last time speaking, it was weird cause he was also essentially bearing his testimony and when he quoted a Oliver Cowdry about it being his last testimony, HE WINKED!!!! go to the video and scroll toand he blatently winks to the audience. He must have received revelation that he is finally getting to leave this world and enter into the presence of our God. How lucky is he!?
Anyways that was just awesome, I thought I would share that with you. Also I had the wonderful privilege of eating lunch with my beloved sister M'lynn and aunt Leah and cousins Rylan, Maddie, and Ian. What a blessing that was! I felt truly blessed to see them and I love them all so much :)
So the progress on our area is this: I have been praying and studying this transfer with the intent of finding some revelation from the Lord on what he would have Elder Van Shaar and myself focus on this transfer. That was also one of my questions to be answered in conference. I still need to pray to confirm the impressions I have been receiving but I have been strongly feeling that our job this transfer is to "[help] new converts remain active and [help] less-active members return to activity", and to "strengthen the unit in which we serve." (PMG p.214) Our secondary task we feel is to then fill in all the cracks with finding new people to teach and bring into the church. Your input on the matter would be greatly appreciated.
We are striving to increase our effectiveness and raise our numbers. This is a different area because of the vast expanse of country to cover and driving time and mileage to work with, but we have faith that as we are obedient and we are trying to improve in every aspect of the work, we will fulfill the Lord's will.
I just want all of you to know that I know that this work is the work of God Himself. He is in the process of rescuing all of His children and we as disciples of the church get to aid Him in that process. How great is our calling! I would urge each and everyone of you to go, pray to the Lord for courage and a desire to share the gospel with others, then go out and DO IT! You will be so happy as you can reach out in love to another person and offer them the gift that everyone wants (they may just not know it yet;)
I love you all and will be praying for you. Thank you for all your love and support, you truly make differences with the love you show one towards another.
Hi it's Leah, Elder Young's Auntie! I am posting about our fun lunch date we had with Elder Young on Saturday! It all started when Elder Young got transferred to Culver, IN which is in the northern part of Indiana only 2 hours away from us in Chicago! M'Lynn came to Chicago to visit us and some of her friends for her birthday, in the meantime Elder Young's parents called his mission president and arranged and got his permission for us to meet up with him! It happened to be General Conference weekend so we met in between sessions on Saturday. We started the drive, and about an hour and 15 minutes into it we were off the freeway and on a road like this:
We had to take some pictures: