Sunday, November 10, 2013

The blessings this past weekend were incredible

Hello Friends and Family!

What a week it was! It definitely tried my patience at times, but the blessings this past weekend were incredible. 

 My first baptism has been super busy the last few weeks and hadn’t come to church for three weeks. I was seriously worried about him. He wasn’t answering any of our texts, and when we tried to find him, nobody in his neighborhood knew where he was. I’ve been praying a lot for him. BUT, this past Sunday, he showed up for Stake Conference! I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier to see someone! It was awesome! Hopefully we can get back into the swing of teaching him regularly again. I’ve really missed him. So that was the biggest thing that happened this week.  Well, maybe second biggest. 

On Tuesday during Zone Training Meeting, the Zone leaders gave a workshop about repentance and the sanctification process. It hit me hard. I realized all (well, most) the things I’m doing wrong and a ton of things that I didn’t think were big deals that I need to repent of. I spent the rest of the week preparing for interviews with president, as there were some things I felt like I needed to talk to a priesthood leader about. The interview itself was actually centered on repentance, and when I talked to him, he either said that I was all good or had adequately repented of my sins. He said I had already started the sanctification process and that as I go, it will be hard, as the Spirit will remind me of little things I need to repent of.  I know that as I repent, my will will be more aligned with God’s and I will become a better missionary. So that was cool!

Other things that happened this week…we have so many investigators that know the truth, but just don’t have enough money to go to church because the chapel is so far. I believe that they do have money, but they just don’t have enough faith to spend it this way as most of them are incredibly poor. I know that if they did come to church, the Lord would provide for them, but it’s just hard when they don’t understand or have a testimony of that. We do, however, have two baptisms coming up! So next Saturday, two more souls will have been brought into the fold! I’m so excited!

In closing, I just want to share one last story from this week. We have this investigator, Michael. I’ve talked about him before.  He’s the one who just randomly came to church once and started clapping during testimony meeting! Anyways, so we usually visit him on Tuesday and Saturday, but Tuesday was just a crazy day and we weren’t able to visit him. When we visited him on Saturday, he said that he missed us on Tuesday, and when we didn’t come on Tuesday, he went outside and read the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith Pamphlet we gave him last time (which is just a condensed version of Joseph Smith History). He said as he read, he was overcome with an indescribable feeling and he knew it was true. And to top it off, when he finished reading, a single ray of sunlight broke through the clouds and shone on his house, just his house. He came to church on Sunday, and we agreed to pray about a baptismal date for him. It is just a testament to me that answers come to different people in different ways. I know for me, when I finished reading the Book of Mormon on my own for the first time an answer didn’t come when I got on my knees and prayed about it. The answer for me came when I read Moroni 10 before school my sophomore year, and as I read the spirit bore a powerful witness that it was true. God is waiting to give us answers, if we are willing to accept them. I know this is true. I KNOW I am a representative of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I love you all, and I love this work. Count your blessings, and love the Lord. Till next week!

--Elder Christensen

*In answer to my question about how he liked his new companion of 2 weeks, he replied:  "Oh yeah! I love this guy, he's just so solid! I've been blessed with outstanding companions. He is super diligent and obedient, which is such a blessing for me, and it helps me work harder!"

*Below is a map showing the path of Super Typhoon Haiyan.  It went right through the central Philippines.  If you look at where Manila is on the map, Brandon's area is 100 miles north of Manila, in central Luzon (the large, northernmost island in the Philippines), so he was out of harm's way.

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