Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Canberra Zone Week 23

Dear everyone!
This week has been pretty spectacular! We need to go to a funeral right now though, so this letter will be pretty short. Last night we had a great broadcast from the Area Presidency about missionary work, this week we will have Zone conference with our Mission President, and next week Elder Nelson will be coming with Elder Hamula to our mission for a special conference, so these upcoming weeks are going to be PACKED with some awesome trainings and I am excited for them :)
Have to go, love you all!
Elder Shafer
Letter to President Lew:
This week has been one of significant miracles. Our investigator from Iran has committed to be baptized on March 15. His desire is definitely there, he just needs to make sure he is fully able to live the commandments and attend church on a regular basis. He and his partner own a Hotel here in Canberra, and finding staff who are able to work on Sundays in order for them to go to church has been tough. They had been praying and fasting for someone who would be able to work reception on Sundays to allow them the opportunity to attend church regularly. Earlier this week, that happened. After weeks of no response to ads and invites for employment, a lady just walked into the hotel and mentioned she was looking for casual work on the weekends since she will be studying during the week. After passing the interview, she will be starting this upcoming Sunday and thus Reza, his partner will have the opportunity to attend church regularly! :) This is such a big step for them. Also, another miracle we saw this week was with Luna, a less active member. She was baptized, and unfortunately fell away from the church rather quickly because of animosity from her relatives. We have been meeting with her and inviting her at every lesson to come back. One by one, her concerns fell away and were resolved, and finally this Sunday, she came to church and had an AWESOME experience. There was hardly a moment where someone wasn't talking to her and asking how life has been for her recently and expressing their friendship. I could see that she was so grateful that the members did not judge her or ignore her since she has not come for several years, but that they just looked towards the future and helped her to feel welcome. I have often looked at our sign outside of the Church which says "Visitors welcome." I almost wish someone would change it to say "everyone is welcome!" It has been great to come to church every Sunday and see new families moving in, others returning back to activity after periods of inactivity and many new faces coming to join in worshipping on the Sabbath. There has not been a single week since the new year that there hasn't been somebody new that is moving in. In talking with them as well, I find that many of them were not active in where they used to live, but with the change of their physical position, they wanted to also improve their spiritual position and come back to church. I love when people are commited to positive change. It truly does bring happiness when we admit our mistakes, and express our desires to improve. Repentance, I have learned is an enlightening and positive process. It always makes one better and happier than they were beforehand.

This past week my companion and I studied a lot on how we can improve teaching skills and the ability to resolve people's concerns on the spot. This is what the majority of our focus was on in our last Zone Training Meeting. It was so great to learn and refresh on how we must prepare ourselves and qualify to have the Spirit, to follow the spirit in the lesson, and to follow up and encourage those we teach after our lessons. Though many of our missionaries are new, we should not rely on our own experience, but trust in the Lord and be humble with faith in His promise that when we do all we can, we shall be given the words to speak and what to do through inspiration. I am grateful that it is not up to me to do the converting, instead, that is the role of the Holy Ghost. I feel that too often we rely upon ourselves to teach. We must always strive to prepare ourselves, and then rely upon the Holy Ghost to guide our preparation. I feel that once missionaries truly master that principle, they will see great success. I know it is still something I need to work on as well.

To go along with this, I was reading the story of Sherem confronting Jacob about the Coming of Christ. In Jacob 7:8 we learn that in response to Sherem's attacks, Jacob did not rely upon himself, but rather "But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words." Thankfully, most people do not come at us attacking our beliefs as Sherem did, but in the same manner, I know that when I follow the Spirit, I can be a tool to resolve people's concerns and help them truly obtain their own testimony.

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