Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 14, 2013

Hello everyone! I hope you have all had an awesome week!  This week for me was pretty amazing.  We had the chance to meet with the Mission President this past Friday, President Cutler.  He is such an inspired man! Every time we have a meeting and he gives a lesson he blows my mind and the Holy Ghost is so powerful!    The interview was great, we talked about the work we are doing the people we are seeing and then he offered very specific counsel for a few individuals.  My question for him was how we can better feel the Holy Ghost in our lives his answer was through humility.  He talked about how God gives us hardships to break down our pride so we can rely on him, when we do this we rely constantly on the Holy Ghost. I learned that we must constantly pray to our Father in Heaven and when we do He will bless us with everything we need to succeed.

The past few weeks we have been very busy running around trying to talk to all of the people that have been on our lists, at times it is frustrating and hard when we spend so much time trying to talk to these people but no one is home/ they aren't interested/ try back again. At times it felt like it was time wasted, but we have seen so many blessings from diligently working.  A member's mother who is not a member of the church whos name is M has been coming to church and has set up a time to have dinner with us at her daughters house so she can learn more.  Another man is excited about reading the Book of Mormon and is at home all day long.  Two other members have a friend who feels that she isn't satisfied with her church and wants to be more committed.  I am so excited to see them grow in faith. 
I was reading in Alma 2 and how the people were in a horrible battle with the lamanites and amlicites.  But despite their hardships and fear, they remembered the Lord and prayed to be strengthened. The Lord heard their prayers and answered them and granted them strength to defend themselves and their families and their homes.  The faith of these people is such and example to me. They prayed for strength to change their conditions, they didn't pray for their  condition to change.  When we pray for strength, we put our trust in the Lord and continue to do our part and God strengthens us.   I take great comfort in knowing that I don't need to be a perfect teacher or be able to do everything perfectly on my own. I know that I have an all powerful God who will strengthen me to do His will.
Have and amazing week everyone! And may we all be blessed with the strength to do whatever it is we need to accomplish in our lives this week.
Love, Elder Ward

Weekly Update October 7, 2013

Another great week in Sheboygan Wisconsin.  The leaves are beginning to change!  For three days this week it was extreemly foggy.  The air was full of rain but it stormed on and off.  But if you walked outside the water you touched in the air would just collect on you.  There were some great lightning storms and we got to break out our rain coats and umbrellas.  We have continued to attempt to stop by a long list of people that the other missionaries have given us and as usual about half of the people aren't home, the other half are but half of them aren't interested.  The final quarter of them are split up into people that we have lessons with and people who aren't home when we have lessons set up.  So that is hard to see so little of the people we plan on teaching actually being taught but those we do manage to teach actually want to learn.  This week we get to go to early morning semminary and talk about the Book of Mormon.  Their semminary starts at 5:45 in the morning which means we have to get up at 4:45, but I'm pumped! I miss seminary! 

We do have quite a few people we are meeting with who have a sincere desire to learn, one is the Bishop's neighbor who we have seen before but he and his wife have been on a two week trip visiting family so we have a lesson set up with them.  The Bishop is coming along with us so that is already going to be an amazing experience! Another woman has always believed in God but doesn't understand why good people die before their time.  It will be an amazing lesson to share with her the Plan of Salvation and the peace, comfort, and knowledge that it brings.  With the other people who we have been teaching, they are still as busy as ever, which is so sad to see because we can tell that they want and need the gospel in their lives but can't find time for it. 
Conference was amazing, this has been the first time that I have watched all five sessions without missing one, falling asleep, ect.  It was so powerful. The variety of things taught along with the simple doctrine threaded throughout each speakers comments was backed by a powerful spirit testifying of the truthfulness of their words.  I can't even begin to decide which one was my favorite. But a quote that I loved was by Elder Dube' "Never look back! Look forward to what we still have to do."  Looking back can lead to complacency and then we can slip into a state of false confidence. But if we are focusing our attention on our weaknesses and what we can improve then we can be strengthened by Christ's Atonement.  President Monson Quoted Christ " I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."  and how strong trees are the ones who endure strong winds.  It reminded me of the lyrics of a song by a band I listened to before my mission, It goes, " I always knew I'd never reach perfection, and if I did then I wasn't trying hard enough, because there is always something more to reach for."  In this life we can't be perfect.  There is always something we will fail at.  But Jesus Christ will not fail us, and when we turn to him and humble ourselves by living the doctrine that we know to be true, then we are built and strengthened.  

Have an amazing week everyone.  I know that Jesus Christ is always there waiting, we simply need to turn to Him.
      ~Love Elder Ward