I’m going to attempt to pick a day of the week and post these on a set schedule, but I haven’t done that yet.
This week I did much more work beyond simply teaching with our full time Elders. On Saturday, I assisted them with mapping the other geographic portion of our congregation (Ward) boundaries, giving them greater ability to schedule work activities when I am not available. Monday night I was able to help teach a lesson to a young man who is interested in learning more about our church and this lesson went well; given what is going on in my other classes and what we discussed during the lesson, I feel that it was something I really needed to hear. Wednesday I was able to go to a school and move forward with the initial steps in getting our Ward involved in the school and community. Thursday, our Ward Mission Leader spoke with our Bishop and we have a firm number set for what will be required to form a new congregation in the northern part of our area. Finally, today I was able to go out with the Elders for about four hours and while the day did not go as we had originally planned, we were able to do some productive work. Overall, this was a very productive week and the first time where I really felt my testimony of the Gospel strengthened.
On Saturday I worked with the Elders after our morning meeting with the Ward Mission Leader and helped them map out the other parts of our Ward. This will help them in working and let them know where active and inactive members live. We have such a large area to cover that they need to be better organized. Hopefully, the work I did with them will help them take the Gospel to more people.
Monday I was asked to go out with one sets of Elders and help them teach a lesson to an interested young man. His mother and father are both members of the church, though his father has passed away and his mother has not attended church in many years. As we began talking to him, we asked him about his faith background and how he currently felt spiritually. He said that he currently considers himself to be agnostic because he is unable to get past the Biblical account of creation compared to the scientific account of creation. This was significant to me because our discussion in my Old Testament class this week was on that exact subject, how to deal with a member who is having difficulty with the different accounts. I had not yet formed my response within the context of the class, but when he said that in his home, I knew that this was the subject that I was supposed to be studying this week. I was able to testify to him that God’s word is true and revealed to us over time as we are capable of understanding that truth. This was certainly a strengthening experience for me. Not only was I able to talk to him about something that concerned him, but it was something that I was studying at the time. I do not think that this was some kind strange coincidence. I feel this was certainly God speaking to me, showing me his will and this certainly strengthened my testimony of the gospel.
Wednesday I was able to go to a local elementary school and talk to them about our Ward coming in and working in the school. I was unable to speak with the principal because she was out of the office at a meeting, but I was given contact information to speak with her at another time. This work has been given initial approve from our Bishop and we are all hopeful that this reaching out into the local community will help our ward be more relevant in the community. We all generally feel that if we can get our Ward more active in the community, we will be better able to grow. It is great for me to see the work we are doing move forward, even if slowly. Seeing it move forward gives me additional spiritual strength to keep working to move it even more.
Thursday, our Mission Leader spoke with our Bishop about the possibility of forming a new congregation in the northern part of our area. While he said he would speak with his superior, the initial goal is to have [number removed] active priesthood holders (in our church that would be males over the age of twelve) in the area prior to establishing a new congregation. This is good for us to know because it gives the Elders in that area a firm goal to reach for. Keeping this goal in mind, I worked with them today to establish a routine for us to work together in these areas and take the Gospel to more people. Again, this progress in the work has strengthened me knowing that I am helping move the Lord’s work forward.
Today turned out differently than expected. We were originally scheduled to have five appointments with interested persons. However, all but one of these did not happen. The one that we were able to see had requested that missionaries bring by a copy of the Bible by her house. I went with them to do so and we also left her with a copy of the Book of Mormon. She told us that her father’s family were all LDS and that she was familiar with the church. We asked if we could share a lesson with her, but she said she had family coming into town that afternoon. The Elders made an appointment to come back next week. After that, the rest of the afternoon was spent going door to door, attempting to find new people interested in the church. We spoke with four people and scheduled lessons with each of them for next week. Hopefully, these folks are more than slightly interested in the Gospel and will come to church.
Overall, this week was a very good week spiritually. I felt consistently strengthened spiritually throughout the week. I felt my testimony grow as well as my desire to continue working in these communities. I will work with everyone next week to the extent that I can while away for Gathering Week, but I intend to come back in two weeks and really work hard in areas, trying to bring to fruition the new congregation. The only negative for this week is that not all weeks will work out this good. I will have to learn how to work on those weeks where things are not great. But either way, I am enthusiastic about working in the ministry field going forward.