Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Canberra Zone Week 29

AWESOME WEEK THIS WEEK :) Absolutely loved it! Had heaps of miracles happen on trade offs and thoroughly enjoyed pretty much every minute of this week, except Saturday... that was a bit of a let down, but the rest of the week made up for it for sure :)
Unfortunately this week, I don't have as long as last week to email because we have several other things we need to do today as well. It is crazy to think how quickly this transfer has gone, our next upcoming transfer is April 7 and that is just around the corner! Things in the ward keep looking up and I am excited for the success the zone is having as a whole. We are setting new records for this area in regards to teaching. I am so proud of all the missionaries here in the zone, they are awesome! :)
Here is my letter to President,
loves yas!
Elder Shafer
This week has been AMAZING. We have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of people who are actually desirious to meet with us. During our weekly planning, we decided to use a white board to help us visualize the amount of people that we can see on a fairly regular basis and it was quite pleasing to me to see how many new names we have been able to add this week and a bit of last week. Even with the disappointing day of Saturday (we had 5 set member present lessons and were planning to add 6 new investigators- all of which except one fell through) we were still able to achieve many of our goals for the week and were just shy of reaching the standard of excellence. One of the greatest miracles was with Simon. He was an investigator we saw for the first time last Sunday and because he was so busy with school, he only granted us about 15 minutes to teach him how to pray before he had to study again. Well, in meeting with him yesterday again for another 20 minute power lesson, he expressed how he believed God was answering his prayers, and committed to be baptized, and committed to meet with us during the week and committed to come to church this Sunday. It was an amazing miracle to witness how his personal experiences with prayer changed his life for the better and rapidly! In his closing prayer for the lesson he mentioned "Thank you for sending me Elder White and Elder Shafer, I feel less stressed now, and am grateful they taught me how to find more happiness in my life." I love hearing investigators pray! It is so sincere :) Also, I have come to gain a testimony that God does care about those things which we care about and He will answer our prayers and help us with temporal things as well as spiritual matters. Though many people may not see it this way, I have come to find out that our Heavenly Father truly does hear and answer every sincere prayer we offer, even ones in needing help with schooling, work etc...
Another progressing and great miracle was Yang Baai. She came to church for all 3 hours for the second time in a row and keeps loving it more and more. She even wanted to join the ward choir as soon as she finishes her mid term exams! :) In our lesson right after church she asked for more books because she wasn't sure if the Book of Mormon, Pamphelets, Gospel Principles manual, and teachings of our times manual were enough for her to study in order to get an understanding of Jesus Christ and His church. With some laughs we talked with her about how we would create a study plan custom tailored to her so that she knows and can gain a testimony of everything she needs to before her baptism next month. Her desire to learn is inspiring, as well as her desire to serve. She asked us who we knew in the church that was old or needed help with their kids because she would love to go visit them during the week. She truly is an inspiration of someone who hears the word of God, understands how it will bring happiness, and applies it into their life.

I loved from the Book of Mormon reading this week the stark difference between Amalickiah and Moroni. Both of them were persuasive leaders, and both of them grew up with the same customs, religion, etc.... but they used completely different motives for their leadership Alma 48:7 teaches us: "Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God." This example reminded me of how I can try to be a more effective and Christ-like leader and teacher. The key to true leadership and devotion is as the Savior has done- love and teaching the truth. When we feel our leaders' love, we are more willing to follow them. When we also know they will lead us in the right way, and give us the truth, we once again want to follow them. I know I need to ever more improve in my ability to love those I am supposed to lead. I need to make sure I am teaching the truth, and helping them to realize that it is truth, so that they will recognize the deceit and fraud that is ever so present around us. Even the people who opposed Amalickiah in the beginning and refused to go to war, ended up very quickly joining his side and following his wicked plans because he was a man who was cunning, and knew how to deceive people. We learn in chapter 49 however that Amalickiah "did care not for the blood of his people." He, like the adversary, have no love or concern for us whatsoever. His only desire was power and gratifying his pride. I much prefer to follow the Savior who loves us unconditionally, is the supreme example, and will always lead us to truth and light, not darkness and fright.

In studying more about the Holy Ghost this week I came to understand better that the power of the Holy Ghost is ever present and effective in today's world, but His ability to influence us becomes much stronger as we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Having that right and promise to have Him constantly guide us as we are worthy is an amazing gift. It truly is the greatest gift we can receive in this mortal life, He guides us, purifies us, teaches us, and enlightens us. Through Him we can feel the Love of God. I am grateful for this wonderful gift and the reality that it is in our lives.

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