Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 17, 2016 Birfdays and Blessings

First off, I wanted to clarify a little about my email last week.  In no way did I mean to say that my ward here in Rapid stinks.  This ward is awesome!  I love serving here, and I love the people in this ward.  But the issue is universal.  Most of the people that I mentioned that we tracted into that had friends that were LDS were out of town.  I just wanted to make that clear!

This week has just been amazing and full of blessings and miracles!  First off, right when we finished emailing last week we went shopping, and while we were in line, a man came up to us and told us he was going to buy our groceries.  He was a member of the church visiting Rapid from Mesa, Arizona I believe.  That was a great blessing!  I hope he and his family had fun here and were able to travel home safely.  Second was how we found the C family.  E. Bone and I prayed about where we should tract and we felt like we should go to 2 specific streets right next to each other. When we knocked these streets we found 1 potential on each streets. One was this family that was very nice to us and said to try back another day cause they were just sitting down for dinner.  The other was a guy who we set up a return appointment with us for about a week later.  We tried them a few times, but had no luck. Then, when we went for the follow up visit with that guy, he told us he just didn't really care to hear our message. We felt like we should go try the family now, since we were in the neighborhood, so we walked over, knocked, they opened and seemed very excited and let us right in. It went awesome!  It's a mom, dad, and a 15 year old daughter.  They drilled us with questions.  What is a missionary, what do we do, why are we doing it, how long do we do it, where are we from, etc. etc. etc.  We were there for about 45 minutes just answering question after question, then when we felt we should let them get back to their night, we invited them to take the missionary lessons.  They seemed pretty interested in it, so we set up a return appointment, and they offered to feed us dinner. 
When we came back, we were able to teach them the Restoration.  We would teach part of it, ask a question to gauge their understanding, they understood it perfectly and would always finish it with "That actually makes a lot of sense."  As we continued teaching the Spirit filled the room.  It was so exciting, cause they were just soaking it up!  When we invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, they were all for it, especially the mom.  She loves to read, so she was all for reading a new book.  We're going back tomorrow, and I can't wait to teach them the Plan of Salvation.  They are just so ready and prepared!  They are probably some of the most Christlike people I've met in a long time.

My birthday was great!  Thanks you all for your loving Birthday wishes!  They made my day!  We had dinner at the Wilbur's home and the Worsley's came and they through me a little party.  They smoked some brisket and ribs, and man, was it good.  Couldn't have asked for more.  And, go figure, they didn't make a cake!  They made brownies!  I don't think they knew I don't like cake, but it worked out perfectly.  I had a blast! 
That's about all the time I've got for this week, but It was an awesome week!  I'm loving it in Rapid!  Love you all and miss you tons.  Hope all is well back home!
Elder Carter V

Ah!  How did I forget this!  I got to go to Nebraska on exchanges, and we got to go visit the Blassingills in Hay Springs!  That was such a blast from the past!  I taught them when I was serving in Gordon.  They're the ones that would not only feed us when we came over, but would stock us up with food to last us a good couple days.  I love them so much!  Pretty much all of them asked me "When did you get back?!" and sadly, I had to say "I'm not back, just here for the day."  But, the other Elders are gonna start teaching them again.

October 10, 2016 The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work

Here's the updates.  No word from J, and almost nothing from C this week, but we did get to see H for a few minutes.  I can't remember if I talked about L yet, but she is this cute little old Native lady that missionaries had taught in the past, so we decided to contact her.  Two weeks ago, we taught her the Plan of Salvation, and she just loved it.  When we came back yesterday, she had a bunch of questions for us, and we were able to answer them as we taught the Restoration, and once again, she just loved it.  The Spirit was so strong in that lesson!  Elder Bone and I taught totally unified for the first time since we've been together!  She just grasped on to what we taught, and it all made sense to her.  She asked all the right questions, and seemed to truly find peace in the things we taught her.  It was an absolutely grand experience.
As for the rest of the week, lets just say my legs were soar some nights.  We did a lot of walking and knocking doors, and found almost no success doing so.  Having said this, I want to impress on your minds the essential role that member missionary work plays in the Church, but also that this should apply to all people, whether they be a member of this church or a member of any other Christian denomination or faith.  The Lord called His Apostles to spread the Gospel to all the world.  That commandment (for so it is) is a commandment for us today.  If anything, we should feel a greater need to keep this commandment now by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ because we know that His Second Coming is just around the corner!  The time is almost upon us, and we have no time to waste!  We should desire to bless the lives of all we see right now, not postpone it till a stranger has to knock on their door and try to help them understand the importance of their message in a few brief seconds before the door is closed in their face.
As members of the LDS church, we have been reminded time and time again of this commandment, and yet many of us still don't get it.  This is not a new mandate.  It is ancient, and it's importance has been revealed to us again today in such clear terms as "It becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor".  This is what the Lord has told us at the start of this dispensation, nearly 180 years ago, and every prophet since has reminded us of it.  Just last week we were once again taught the importance of it in General Conference.  Now is the time that we need to repent of this!  Seek the will of the Lord as you strive to share your testimony with your friends!  Pray for the gift of discernment that you may know what to say and when to say it, to not miss your opportunity, but also being patient and not jumping the gun.  Pray for the faith to act on the promptings the Spirit will give you. 
I'm sure you can figure out what inspired this rant.  It is because we have spent so much time knocking doors only to find no success thus far.  The saddest thing is that half of the doors answer and tell us that they have friends in the church.  Many say they know almost nothing about the church but don't care to know more.  Why?  Because they have never been told just how important our message is.  Why?  Because their friends have never had the courage to share it with them.  Being an example is important, but it is not enough.  We must do more.  And when we do, we have been promised by prophets and apostles for the last who knows how many years, that we will feel a joy that cannot be compared, and we will rejoice with hundreds of thousands more of our dearest friends and family as "we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" and we will only be able to do it by "speaking the truth in love" (ephesians 4:13, 15).  Notice the action word there.  Let us all have the courage to open our mouths and speak.
Once this happens, we will no longer need to have missionaries use their precious time knocking the doors of strangers, most of which are not home or not interrested, but they will be spending all their time and efforts teaching the Word of God to our friends.  What a blessed day this will be, when the vision of the Prophets will be fulfilled!!  If you want a list of talks from the modern prophets and apostles concerning this subject, I can give you a very large one. 
Well, I once again will step off my soap box.  Hope you enjoyed the show!
And that about concludes my adventures this week.  Sorry it was all just my thoughts and feelings and not so much about the work we did.  I love you all dearly and I hope all is well!
Elder Carter V

October 3, 2016 General Conference

General Conference was SO AMAZING!!  Loved every second!  Good to see my old buddy Dale (that's Elder Renlund, in case you are wondering.  We're on a first name basis.  That is, I'm sure we would be if he remembered me hehe... he...).  Shout out to the beautiful Peg Carter and the amazing Mr. Kenny Wiser, who did great with the music!  It was way too much fun to see familiar faces this weekend.
Here's some updates.  Sadly, we didn't get to meet with Cynthia this week, although she almost came to conference, then something came up so she couldn't.  We also had no luck contacting Joe again this week. 
We did a bunch of walking this week.  Lots of knocking on doors, lots of "nah, we're good"s, but all in all it was still a great week.  I cooked my first ever pork chops, talapia, and I'm still alive which either means my prayers were answered or I cooked it properly (please hold your applause).
Well, that's all I have to report this week.  I love you all dearly, and hope that you have a splendid week indeed.
Elder Carter V

Here's the picture of all us missionaries at GC.  Love these goofs!