Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 73 - January 9, 2017


Wow, what a busy, fun and quick week it was!
Everything is going swimmingly here in Philly.  The work is going well despite the small amount of proselyting time we had due to our schedule.  Our investigator, Thomas, made some great strides this week.  His mom told him she wanted him to stop dating his LDS girlfriend because she and her faith were a "bad influence" on him and said she wasn't allowed back to their home anymore.  He said that God had led him to this point of his life and that his life has changed since he has began reading the Book of Mormon and he was going to stick to it.  He told his boss he wasn't working on Sunday anymore and he showed up to church and had a great time.  We are super excited for how things are going for him. 

From Tuesday to Thursday, we had golden re-trainings and on Friday we had our Mission Leadership Council.  It is such a great experience being around new missionaries and being able to train them but at the same time be learning from them as well.  We had some remarkable discussions.  One of the things that I talked about was how we need to be looking for the good in others - there is a good quote by President Uchtdorf about looking for the good in others.  It was originally about marriage, but I made some edits to apply it to missionaries... 

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  It fits nicely with its scriptural companion:  “Seek, and ye shall find.”
If we look for imperfections in our COMPANION or irritations in our COMPANIONSHIP, we will certainly find them, because everyone has some.  On the other hand, if we look for the good, we will surely find it, because everyone has many good qualities too.
Those who save COMPANIONSHIPS, pull out the weeds and water the flowers.  They celebrate the small acts of grace that spark tender feelings of charity.  Those who save COMPANIONSHIPS save MISSIONS.
Brethren, remember YOUR CALLING.
Work each day to make your COMPANIONSHIP stronger and happier.
My dear friends, let us do our very best to be numbered among those hallowed and happy souls who save their COMPANIONSHIPS.
I told of an experience (which I am not proud of at all) that I had where I was in a Sacrament meeting and the first speaker gave an incredible talk; the second speaker got up and the first few moments he must have said the word "um" 5 times - I caught onto it and decided the rest of his talk I would tally the amount of "ums" and by the end he had said the word "um" 141 times.  I told them how because I was so focused on his imperfections, I had not noticed the rest of his talk, anything good about it whatsoever and I just ended up feeling horrible about myself after I did that.  Again, not a story I'm proud of but a learning experience. 

This week I was able to spend some time in Wilmington with the Zone Leaders over there. We had a great lesson with one of their brand new Chinese investigators, taught her how to pray, and invited her to be baptized which she so kindly accepted - beyond prepared. Chinese people are the bomb. 

I also had an exchange with some of the Zone Leaders up north from Lehigh Valley.  They came down to our neck of the woods.  Philly was snowing pretty badly, so I had a really fun first experience driving in the snow - some tips:  Don't slam on the brakes, brake earlier than expected.  No - I did not hit anyone's car, just a tip :) 
We taught a new guy named Richard, from Ghana.  He's awesome, pretty sincere guy, looking to change his life, excited to see where things go with him. 

This week our mission's focus chapter from the Book of Mormon was Helaman Chapter 5.  It is fascinating as I read it the amount of times it said the word "remember" (I counted in a good way).  Spencer W. Kimbell taught that remember is such an important word because we need to remember our covenants because they will keep us safe - "Remember is the word, remember is the program."  The word remember is found 88 times in the Book of Mormon, lots of things to remember!
I also love the popular Helaman 5:12 scripture about building our foundation on Jesus Christ because when the adversary comes your way, if you're not prepared, your foundation will fall.  As I was reading more about this there was an analogy made about how you cannot usually tell the difference between a strand of cobweb and a strand of powerful cable until stress is put on the strand.  Our stress is most likely to come in the form of temptation.   A shallow acceptance of the gospel does not have power to cope w/ the full powers of darkness.

We had two missionaries go home this week.  In his dying testimony, one missionary said 
"The church is true, the Book is blue, Jesus was Mormon, too" (pretty sure he --- he was not Mormon, but it was pretty funny)

Love this gospel, love you all. 

Elder Wilde

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