Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pictures! Sent: November 18, 2013

We baked a cake and then we ate it!

Elder Kharazi was cheered on as he ate, and ate, and ate!

9 degrees and tracting!

(Elder Kharazi and I) Bundled up against the cold, snow, and wind. Tracting in 9 degrees was amazing!

A Great Lesson and MY WITNESS!

November 18, 2013

Hello Everyone!
     This week has been an amazing week! It was bitterly cold most of the week, it got down to 9 degrees one night but we bundled up and went and knocked some doors, oh the adventures! 
This week we taught 18 lessons, just 2 short of our goal but the lessons we did teach were all pretty amazing. We found 3 new investigators this week and are excited to begin working with them. We invited to people to be baptized and put one on date. 
And I want to tell you about the lesson we had last night, it was with Jamey. We met her several weeks ago, her mom is in our ward but inactive. We had an amazing member-present lesson with her last night.  
We asked her what she knew about God, she said, "I don't know much about him, I know he is there, I know Jesus Christ is someone important and I would do anything to follow them." Perfect. So we taught the Restoration, invited her to be baptized, put her on date for December 14th and left when the Spirit was high. It was an amazing experience in which we all felt the Holy Ghost bear witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Book of Mormon is true and because it is, Joseph Smith is a prophet, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom here on earth. 
I left her home so filled with the Spirit and so happy, it brought tears of joy to my eyes. 
Doctrine and Covenants 18:13-16:
13 "And how great is his ajoy in the bsoul that crepenteth
14 Wherefore, you are called to acry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the akingdom of my Father, how great will be your bjoy if you should bring many csouls unto me!"
   This scripture is so true! How great has been my joy this week as I have been blessed to testify to many of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this work and know it to be true with all that I am. 
I testify to each of you that God lives, he knows you personally and he loves you. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, that he atoned for you personally and you can know true peace and love as you come to know your Savior. I know the Book of Mormon is true, it is the word of God. Joseph Smith, a man with the equivalent of a 3rd grade education could not write such a book and even if he could, WHY would he? Why would any man write such a book, then go through so much persecution, and eventually give his life for a book that he made up? Why? 
HE WOULD SIMPLY NOT DO IT. So it comes down to... The Book of Mormon is of the power of the devil or of the power of God. Which one is it? Why would Satan have a man write or even translate a book that testifies of Jesus Christ?  Research it, ponder it out in your mind, open your heart, come to the source and read the Book of Mormon and ask God with real intent if it is true. This is exactly what I have done and I can now stand and say, I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, it is another witness of Jesus Christ. This is the one and only true church of Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost has born witness to my spirit that these things are true, God has answered my questions, I know it and will not deny it. 
The Savior has his arms open to each and everyone of you, enter into his embrace and you will know true peace, love and happiness, I so testify in his name, 
Jesus Christ, 

Missionary Work

November 12, 2013

Hello Everyone! (A day late due to the holiday and the library being closed)

    This week Elder Rodriguez has been away on his assignment of traveling from companionship to companionship in multiple zones and training them on becoming Master Teachers. So Elder Kharazi and I have been living it up in the Two Rivers Ward and Cascade Branch. 

This past week I did have to take a missionary to Helena and pick one up there for a mid transfer adjustment but other then that we worked hard this week! We have been doing a lot of tracting and service tracting to find new investigators. We now have many quality potentials because of that and look forward to following up and hopefully getting some new investigators. We taught a lot of lessons this week which was really good and hope to teach many more this week.
David, the guy we met 2 weeks ago and taught and he seemed so golden... Well he dropped us this week which was a total bummer. 

We taught Earl twice this week who is a recent convert's husband and he came to church for all three hours. We invited him to be baptized and he said "Not going to commit to anything right now, want to simply learn" so we have been praying and thinking a lot about how we can help Earl progress to the waters of baptism. 

We have not had a baptism in this area for 2 months now and so we are really striving and putting our faith into finding the prepared and meeting our goal of 2 baptisms this month. We have many we feel can be baptized this month, just have to teach them in the Lord's way and trust in Him.
I mentioned service tracting... Well some may not realize what that is. We go out with rakes and offer to rake peoples leaves. It is awesome, it takes down barriers when people and the community see the Mormon missionaries out serving people. 

So I have some pictures attached of when we were having some fun in the leaves we had raked and also some pics of the first snow that happened a couple weeks ago. Oh and a picture of me and Elder Kharazi.
I have been pretty sick with the a flu bug since Saturday, hopefully I will get over that soon, its no fun having to sit out on the Lord's work. I love being a missionary. Thank you for all your love and support, it means the world to me! 

Love all of you!

First snow!

First snow!

First snow!

First snow!

First snow!
Service Tracting!

Service Tracting!

Elder Kharazi and I!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What a BUSY Week!!

November 4, 2013

Hello Everyone,
    I had a pretty crazy, busy, adventurous week! 
It started last Monday morning with lots of snow and the call from some of my missionaries saying they were in the hospital in Choteau due to one of the Elder's being in a lot of abdominal pain. They had gone in at midnight the night before, after talking about some things, calling Sister Mecham and discussing it with her. 
We made the decision to drive to Choteau to give the sick Elder's companion a break and to get some things done. Well, what is normally about a 45 minute drive took us 1.5 hours because it was snowing pretty hard and the roads hadn't been plowed yet. On our way we saw 2 wrecked cars, one was a van upside down on the side of the road, it was intense. 
Adventure #1: Got to Choteau and I stayed in the hospital while Elder Rodriguez went with the other missionary to their apartment for him to get a nap and to pack because both of the Choteau Elders were supposed to be transferred on Wednesday. We didn't have much of a Preparation Day because of that situation but we were happy to be there in support. We ended up driving home to Great Falls that night because after the tests they said Elder Kilmon had gall stones and would need his gall bladder out but it could wait and he would just be released in the morning.
Well then Tuesday late morning we get a call letting us know after more tests, they would be releasing Elder Kilmon but admitting him to the Great Falls hospital at 5 PM to have emergency gall bladder surgery. So we load up and did about 6 hours of driving to get missionaries to their proper places for transfers taking place the next day We got back to Great Falls just in time for our dinner appointment and then went to the hospital about 8:30 PM, expecting Elder Kilmon to be out of surgery and back in his room. Well we get there to find out he had not gone into surgery yet. I stayed with Elder Kilmon in the hospital while Elder Rodriguez had to move some missionaries and luggage for transfers the next morning. Long story short, Elder Kilmon went into surgery about 11 PM out at 12:30 AM and he and I got settled into his room about 1 AM. I got 3 hours of broken sleep and then was replaced by some other missionaries to go with Elder Rodriguez to take 11 missionaries to Helena for transfers.
Wednesday was the craziness of transfers and a long day of travels. Then Elder Rodriguez was dropped off at the hospital to spend the night with Elder Kilmon and I went with our 3rd companion, Elder Kharazi back to the house. We have a 3rd missionary in our companionship again, we were a little confused why at first but found out why later in the week. So we unpacked his stuff, organized and got some good sleep, it had been a long 2 days.
Thursday morning I get a call from one of my missionaries who is sobbing to me on the phone and tells me he wants to go home. Loooooong story short the decision was made to bring him and his companion to Great Falls on exchanges for a couple of days. Well its 3 hours of driving round trip for that and so again a lot of our day was taken up with travel. We got home and attended our Ward Halloween Party which had a ton of Less Actives and non members we were able to talk to. It was awesome!
Friday and Saturday we worked through some things with the struggling missionary and kept him busy with A LOT of service. We cut up 35 long trees and split it, ALL of it and stacked it all. It was an intense project for a part member family, felt good to do that kind of work and help the elderly couple in need as Winter is here now. 
Saturday night I was dropped off back in Shelby with the 2 missionaries and have been working through some things here within their own area and am still on the exchange today. I will go back to Great Falls late tonight because we have a meeting in Helena tomorrow.
A piece of big news... We now know why the Lord placed Elder Kharazi into our companionship to have 3 missionaries. On Friday Elder Rodriguez received a call from the Assistants and was given a new assignment to leave Great Falls and for the next 30 days, travel doing exchanges to do training on the iPads and how to teach effectively with them. So I will be left here as a solo Zone Leader with Elder Kharazi as my moral support while Elder Rodriguez fulfills his assignment. 
Should be awesome!  
So this week... We taught no lessons to any investigators and very few less actives or even active members. There have been a couple weeks like this... The craziness and business of helping the missionaries within our Zone and managing a Zone so geographically wide spread, it sometimes heavily restricts us doing missionary work within our 2 areas that we cover. At times this has really gotten me down. 
Why do I point this out? Because this week has been amazing! 
I humbly bear testimony that as we work hard as if everything depends on us and then pray as if everything depends on the Lord then everything will work out. Although Elder Rodriguez and I have been busier then ever with things and have not been able to do all the teaching we would hope... We both recognize that so many people have come out of no where and want to be taught. 
There were 2 separate people that called this week, introduced themselves and asked to be taught to increase their faith. As we do our best, the Lord will always provide. Faith precedes the miracle, that is the focus of our companionship and Zone this transfer... FAITH. 
Miracles do not produce faith but faith produces miracles. The work of salvation presses on. I testify to each and every one of you that this is the Lord's work, I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. How blessed I am to be a representative of Him. Have faith, not fear. Believe in Him because nothing is impossible through Jesus Christ, our Lord. He loves you and I love you.


Elder Organ