Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 28, 2014 (Elder Swanson)

We had a baptism on Saturday, which was great! The investigator, Manuel, was so prepared. He had investigated about a year ago, and had loved everything he heard. He wanted so badly to be able to move forward and be baptized, but he wasn't able to keep commitments at all. He was married to an Indian Woman who was physically and mentally ill. She was actually raised in the church, but had been less active for most of her life. He was her primary caregiver, and it was such a time consuming job for him, he wasn't able to make time for God. Unfortunately, about 3 weeks ago, she passed away from a heart attack. As sad as it was, he realized that he could now accomplish his goals in the church. A week after her death, my companion and I decided to pass by and check on them, (not knowing that she had died). He quickly progressed and was able to be baptized. His testimony of the baptismal covenant is the strongest I have ever heard of from recent converts or strong members of the church.

Our area continues to progress! We have seen so many miracles with various aspects of the work. Members are starting to understand the importance of helping in this amazing work, and have given us so much support. Several great studies that I've had in the last few weeks relate to this idea exactly!
The first study I did, was about plans. Just plans in general. As I continued through the study, I thought about plans that are in action today. The biggest plan we have, is God's plan. I studied how God has such a successful plan, and what we should be doing as a ward, to copy Heavenly Father's plan for us and create a successful mission plan. I hope we are able to implement that with our ward soon! I know that as we mimic the way the Lord has done things, we will be successful as He has been.

The other study I did, was with Fellow shipping/ Home & Visiting Teaching. I had never really thought of it as being something super important. Growing up in Utah, there weren't a ton around me  that weren't members of the church, and those members were almost all active! At least the ones my Dad and I were assigned to. As I have experienced new things on my mission, I have come to understand the great need for these small visits. I quickly realized how many opportunities I missed to share the gospel. Even my neighbor across the street wasn't a member, and I rarely talked to him. The times I did were about the weather.
How often do we miss opportunities to share the gospel with others? How many times have we neglected our duties as home and visiting teachers? How much do we truly think about our baptismal covenant of helping others in every circumstance?
Why not invite someone to the next church activity or family home evening? Why not suggest their name to the missionaries?

Let's work together to help everyone have the happiness that we do!
Elder Pilkington

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