Monday, June 23, 2014

June 16, 2014 (Elder Clements)

What a week!
Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the amount of lessons that we had been getting in the past, but we had a lot of service, and great lesson with less actives. We have now helped 2 families get back to church, and are working hard with others.
We have been meeting a lot as missionaries of the branch, and had a meeting to review the 3 areas in the branch. After fasting and praying and meeting with our Mission President, we have decided to shut an area down. That means two of the missionaries here right now will leave. The boundaries of the branch will be re-adjusted into just 2 areas. What we have been told so far, is that most likely, I will stay and train somebody, and they will bring in two different missionaries to white wash the Sisters area and the area that's being shut down. We'll see what happens with that.
Bigger news! We had been told all week that there were big things going on at church, but we all kind of thought the Branch Presidency was getting switched. To our surprise, President and Sister Sweeney were there, the Stake Presidency was there, and Elder Wright, Area Seventy was there as well. They announced that after having talked to the First Presidency of the Church and reviewing everything, the Mesa Grande Branch is now qualified to be a ward!!! We now have 2 Spanish wards in the Mission!! It was great to hear the story of how the Branch was started not too long ago. What progress!! Along with that, the Sisters had a baptism on Saturday and the new member was confirmed yesterday. We just continue to build up the Lord's Kindgdom wherever we go! The life of being a missionary is stressful at times, but what blessings and miracles come from it!
Short email this week, but great changes are being made. I'm excited to see how we continue progressing!!
DC 26:1
Elder Pilkington

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 2, 2014 (Elder Clements)

This week has been awesome! So many lessons and so much progression!
Before this area, I wasn't used to getting high numbers. My past companions and I would have a mentality where we wouldn't be agents. In other words, we wouldn't act or make things happen. We would wait for others to come to us, wait for people to prepare themselves, etc. We would average maybe 8 lessons a week total, where we should be getting 20+. We definitely were not doing the best we could now that I think about it. Once I got switched to this new area, with a new companion, I decided to change it up. My companion had a similar experience in the past. He has only been out for 3 transfers, (4 months), and always just followed along without being part of anything. We both decided to take a leadership role in the companionship and work together more. It has definitely proved to be the right decision. We are now accountable for our goals! It has really changed the way we work.
Now, we are hitting almost all of our daily and weekly goals. We have been teaching more than 20 lessons a week and have 2 baptismal dates later this month.
My point with all of this, is that we need to be agents. We have to wake up knowing that our goals will be met, and we will have success.
This mentality has helped me so much as a missionary, and I have seen so much success between me and my companion. 
One of the 'fruits of our labors' was uncovered yesterday at church. We have been teaching a less active woman and her daughter for a couple of weeks now. They went through a rough time when the dad took off one day, and never came back. They were confused and upset and turned to the church, which was great of them to do. The only thing, is that they saw 'complete' families at church. They felt left out and unwelcome. We decided to really focus on teaching them about families, the Plan of Salvation, and Temples. I know the Spirit has helped them the last few weeks, because I have seen them change. Right before church started yesterday, they both walked in, still seeming a little uneasy, but they were there. Immediately, almost every single member gave them both huge hugs and told them how much they had missed them. With the guidance of the Lord, we had helped this family come back. It was incredible.
The Lord lives and this work is real.
Elder Pilkington 

Memorial Day 2014

This transfer has been great so far!

The work has increased tremendously with 5 new investigators over a two week period. We cover the Pima Indian Reservation for Spanish people, and have a good amount of work out there. In fact, most of our work is on the res. We were able to find a Spanish family early this week, who have talked to missionaries in the past, but didn't make much progress with them. I admit, it is hard to find them home, but that's true with any Spanish family here. They are always working. The lessons we have had with them have been great! With more and more contact and lessons, they will really notices good changes in their lives, especially if they're reading and praying consistently.
Another family we found has been incredible. We were walking to contact a referral one night and this guy was walking down the street with his son. Of course we stopped and talked for a few minutes outside, and he quickly invited us to his house on the spot. We spent the last few minutes of that night talking to him, answering questions, and teaching about the Restoration of the gospel. You to see the Spirit working hard on him. He seemed to obtain a glow as we taught him, which was amazing to see. Over the last week, we have taught him various times about the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With every single lesson, he has changed. After some of his life long questions were answered with the Plan of Salvation, he expressed to us a feeling that he had. He went on to describe what we know as the Holy Ghost. We testified to him of the Spirit and invited him to be baptized. He accepted June 21 as his date.
We have gone all over the area trying to get in contact with every single one of our less actives and former investigators and seen great blessings from it. We have seen people change in a matter of days, and I know through help of the Lord, they will find their way to His Gospel and He will give them blessings along the way.

I know that nothing in life is easy, but everything we do in the church is done for a reason. It will all be worth it in the end. The Lord gives us His promise, that as we conquer evil and do our best to stay clean, we will be given eternal life.
Keep this in mind as you get through this week. Have a good one!

Elder Pilkington