Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recently we had several days of rain, all day and night. Elders Brown and Self were driving home from their last appointment, when they saw a car with it's hazard lights on at the side of the road. They pulled over, asking what they could do. They drove the driver to Walmart, giving him a pass along card. They had explained they were on a mission and wrote their telephone number on the back saying, "If you need anything, just call us!" 20 minutes later he texted them; his car needed a jump. It was cold, rainy and they would have liked been in bed. However, they jumped his car, drove him to a gas station and again talked to him about the church. He said, "God knows that if religion was for me --- it would end up finding me, not me finding it!" Elder Self said, "That's precisely what has happened!" He gave them his name and phone number! Service brings forth the blessings of heaven!

Elder Brown is found in the lower picture, second row up on the end, left side. Elder Self is in the top picture, first row, right side, second from the end!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Picture in Duluth January 15, 2010
From left to right:
Elder Long, Elder Wiscomb, Elder Simpson, Elder Marshall, Elder Keller, Elder Fonua, Elder Jepsen, Elder Howard

Elder Wardle and Wiscomb gave outstanding talks on diligence! Elder Wardle said we can sit and look at a fireplace and say: "if you give me fire, then I will give you wood!" It doesn't work that way.

Elder Wiscomb quoted PMG on diligence and Moroni 9:6: And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

DULUTH is doing a marvelous work and wonder! All were edified together at zone conference because of their preparations and their dedication to the Lord's work!

The mission was averaging 9 lessons per companionship weekly in October, that grew to 13 lessons weekly in December to 16.5 lessons a week so far in January --- reflecting the fact that each missionary is growing in their ability to be an instrument in the Lord's hands; they are increasing in strength, knowledge, teaching skills and love of the people and work! How we love the missionaries! They understand D & C 123:12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties and denominations who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it . . . Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed . . .

The Lord is revealing his arm through these dearly beloved missionaries in MMM! May you continue to pray for them as they work, pray and love our Heavenly Father's children with all their might!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

December 14, 2009
Elder Mangham called December 12th. He enthusiastically exclaimed into the receiver, as I answered HURRAH for ISRAEL! He proceeded to tell me multiple miracles that had a occurred that evening, and it was truly miraculous. He concluded with, "And the Lord did it; He did it all!" That is the truth; the Lord is doing it all for each missionary, every where in this mission. There is great unity and love, and it is from Him. How marvelous is His hand in the lives of His missionaries and in the lives of His children here in MMM!

I am going to make many more entries, probably brief --- comments from your missionaries! How amazing they are each one! How we love them! Thank you for your sons and daughters! We are finishing a Zone Conference tour and I will be pleased to enter more of their comments and miracles!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 6, 2010 Zone Conference
Sister Ross, Sister Naatjes, Sister Ostler
Sister Naatjes addressed us, talking about her conversion. She had been Lutheran and confused about the character of God. “God appeared to be some selfish being, creating us for His own Glory, yet knowing full well very few of us would return to Him, the vast majority of us going to hell. I had unanswered questions that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ had answers for! . . . What would I have taught my family without these truths?”

Sister Ross
When it gets hard, I think of my mother. Two young missionaries taught her the gospel, when she was my age. Because of that I am here! I am grateful to give someone else that gift!

Sister Ostler
I am grateful to share the gospel with others here and now, to learn from so many other people.

Elder Wilding, Elder Ventura, Elder Wadsworth, Elder Nebeker, Elder Nickel, Elder Olsen, comments:

Elder Wilding
I am grateful for all the covenant people in our areas. The Lord has our back and loves each of us individually.

Elder Ventura
I am grateful to be a missionary and for zone conference, to draw nearer to Heavenly Father and our Savior. Through them, we can achieve great things.

Elder Wadsworth
I know the power of the atonement is real. . .

Elder Nebeker
As we become better people, we'll do the work better . . .

Elder Nickel
I just received a nice piece of humble pie email from my mom about how to finish a mission. I testify of the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Elder Olsen
I am grateful to be a witness of Jesus Christ, to bring the spirit into investigators homes. The gospel changes lives!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 4, 2010 was Zone Leadership Counsel; Goals were made for the year through the counsel. The following are some of the comments, highlights of testimonies that were given:

Elder Hoskins advice to an investigator, trying to quit smoking:
Every time you feel like smoking go do a good deed for someone --- Satan will learn not to tempt you!

Elder Doyle:
The times I am most successful are when I forget about anything that I need.

Elder Madsen
If we are unified in a goal, we can do it! The Lord has called us and will provide a way; I know it!

A missionary was mentioned (not by name) who hadn’t been talking to everyone, after he was taught how to do it, he remarked:
This feels so good; I don’t know why we weren’t doing this!

Along with acknowledging the Lord's approval by recognizing the spirit in our lives, we must also repent ---
Elder Kinikini prays every day, “Will you forgive me again!” And He does.

Elder Reece:
TEACHING A MEMBER BEFORE A LESSON is the best role play!

Elder Kinikini, asked this question, while we were recording them on DVD during role play:
What is your understanding of what the sacrament is --- from what we have taught you --- how would you explain it to someone?

IF the Savior was going to attend your lesson, how would you prepare? If you prepare as though HE was going to attend, HE will!

Elder Madsen:
We won’t count a role play unless we feel the spirit!

Elder Hawkins:
“I love to bear my testimony!”

Elder Doyle:
Quoted Pres. Uchtdorf as saying:
“God doesn’t need us to love Him, but oh how we need to love God!”
He changed it to:
“The Lord doesn’t need us to do HIS work, but oh how we need to do this work for God!”

Elder Johansson:
This is the most important work; the Lord is pleased and happy with what is happening!

Elder Vaughn:
Heavenly Father will help us out with what we need to do!

Elder Richards:
I know this church is true; I am grateful to be here

Elder Mangham
Grateful for the gospel with it’s universal message; we need to be BOLD enough. The Lord will back us up.

Elder Livingston
Stressed the importance of evaluation --- to return and report.

Elder Smith
I know what we have received today is of God. Everyone we talk to is a member of a family. The Lord will sustain us to work around work schedules.

Elder Bott
Growing up in the church, I took things by faith. You don’t know how good it is until you look at other things out there. I am grateful that my parents were brave enough to raise me in the gospel.

Elder Howell mentioned the great faith of the hispanic people. One of his investigators had received a blessing from an elder and told him: “I got a blessing from the elders some years ago and I haven’t been sick since.” He said, "The priesthood is real and restored through Joseph Smith. I am grateful the prophet hold the keys to that priesthood."

Elder Kinikini:
I am here because I love my family. Jesus Christ is our Savior. Book of Mormon was written by prophets. I felt love today; Christ lives; revelation is real.

Elder Reece:
Things have really come together today; let's go and do the things we have talked about. The mission will continue to raise; grateful for the Savior’s love.

Elder Emrich:
I am grateful that the cold weather is here! Going out is our testimony of Him! Joseph Smith translated Book of Mormon.

Elder Madsen:
Grateful for you elders, for who you are. Testimony has made you the people that you are. Grateful for your patience with me. This church is true. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.

Elder Richmond:
The Lord is always watching us, just as we were filmed today, while we taught. I have an accountability to Him. I want to know that I gave my best effort.

Elder Hernandez:
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. President Monson speaks for the Lord; I love the calling of a missionary; I love to talk to someone that I don’t know and tell them that I KNOW the Savior is real.

Elder Wasden:
Grateful for the change the gospel brings.

Elder Birkel:
Confident in my testimony of the Savior. Even though I have my weaknesses, I can be strong in Him; I can have confidence that there will always be a prophet on the earth.

Elder Simpson:
With Jesus Christ nothing is impossible --- 40 baptisms a month is possible; 60 baptisms are possible. We bring something unique to each person.

Elder Keller:
This is the greatest work! A recent convert bore testimony yesterday. Her family came and antied her and it was really hard. This made her pray and fast for her family; her family came to church yesterday.

She helping another man get baptized! As we exercise faith, the work will go forth. The Savior lives and loves us. I have the desire to do anything I can for the missionaries in our zone.

Elder Spencer:
Sometimes I wonder “Why are we asked to do so much?” It’s because this church is ALIVE! You can feel the spirit here. The church is true and centered on bringing us HOME! There is power in the mix of each of you; church is true; Jesus Christ is the Savior!

Sister Ross:
Our Savior carries our burdens and the things that I have to change. If we can give the burden to the Savior, it helps us find joy in His work!

Sister McKinlay:
I am thankful for revelation! I know that it is real! Heavenly Father is mindful of me. Jesus Christ is always there; the Holy Ghost is a gift.

Sister Ostler:
I am grateful to be a part of the Lord’s work. It has blessed my life. The Holy Ghost helps us know what is true and right.

Elder Lemonds:
Heavenly Father answers my prayers. Everyone has that same power; I have such a strong faith, testimony; people who have not yet received it D & C 106:84. Everyone can have these blessings in their lives.

I sensed a real unity in this room today. We need to keep praying, work incessantly and pray for the Lord to do HIS work.

I have come to learn that the Lord is willing to give us things, if we are ready. BE ready when Elder Perry comes in February; he will give us more, if we are receptive and ready. We are all part of the body of Christ. Those parts of the body that seem to be feeble we invest more in; they are more necessary.

Our Heavenly Father wants every missionary to feel successful. We need to help make them feel part of the body. Upon these we bestow more “abundant honor, having given more abundant honor to that part” 1 Cor. 12. He referred to the washing of the feet and concluded by saying, " your testimonies have power; people feel it when you bear testimony. You know how to listen and be taught by the spirit."

Elder Varner went home inbetween transfers by himself on Monday, January 4th. He started school the next day! In his last letter to the mission president he says: While training a new missionary, we were asked to teah 20 lessons and we really wanted to reahc it. One day on a Saturday we were running short of our goal, so we skipped lunch and kept on working, exercising our faith that the Lord would provide. Near the end of the evening, we needed another lesson to hep us reach the goal. We were out tracting and I remember praying hard, pleading for someone to find and help. We came to a gate and I looked upt to the sky and said, "this is the last one on the street . . . please hep us." I felt the spirit comfort me. We walked up to the door and a guy came and yelled at us and told us to get off his property. As we walked back down his pathway, he yelled bakc at us, "I was just joing, please come on in." We were able to teach him the gospel and the Lord answered our prayer of faith. As we left the appointment, I was overcome by a powerful sens of love and I knew it was all because of our Heavenly Father and not ourselves. We reached our goal of 20 lessons.

Sidenote: As they did, they reached their purpose bringing many unto Jesus Christ in Duluth! HURRAH for ISRAEL!

Elder Varner talked to 6 people while checking in at the airport, 2 more while standing in line --- 8 total simply because he loves to share the gospel, as do so the missionaries in MMM!

The group picture shows the new missionaries with their trainers. They received training December 30, 2009.