(February 22, 2016)
Meeting and old investigator up in Andong – brother Kwon
My companion, Elder Suttner, and I
Well another productive week has gone by here in 수성!
Elder Suttner and I put in a good week of work, and although we were not able to meet with as many investigators as we would have liked, are looking at a long list of potential investigators and a full schedule of appointments to come!
Our week strarted out well with a trip down to Busan for our Zone Leader Training Meeting. We did a really good teaching practice session about Teaching Repentance and had a long discussion with all the zone leaders, the assistants, and President and Sister Barrow. We talked about our zone conferences, exchanges, SPM, and the importance of being a good example and loving those we serve.
On Thursday and Friday we went on exchanges with one of our district leader teams, the 안동 (andong) Elders, and I was able to serve there with Elder Dickman for the day. It was really cool because I was able to go back to one of my old areas. It was a flashback to one year ago when I served there and all of the members we visited, investigators we taught, and fields we farmed (that was the super country area where we went farming and road intercity buses everywhere). We had a really effective exchange where we met with 2 members, taught 2 investigators, and did some really good door to door proselyting (something that I actually havent done much of on my mission – we usually just talk to people on the streets) where we were able to teach a few people and give out a few book of mormons. It was especially cool becuase I was able to make contact with a really great former investigator that we lost contact with when I served there. I met him with Elder Dickman that night and we taught a lesson and set up an appointment for him to meet with the Elders there more in the future. I really think he has a lot of potential and it was cool to find another person for the elders there to meet.
On Friday we had our zone conference, where we worked together with the Assistants and President and sister Barrow to teach our zone. The meeting centered on this transfers focus – teaching repentance. Elder Suttner and I lead a teaching practice where we worked on teaching the reasons and steps of repentance to investigators simply, we heard talks from all of our various leaders, and I spoke to the zone about the rolr of the Holy Ghost in conversion. We also coordinated a zone lunch for all 40 of us which involved ordering a lot of food and arranging all the little details for it. The meeting went a little long but was super spiritual and I was able to learn a lot.
On Wednesday Elder Suttner and I had a cool experience I’d like to share. Earlier in the week one of the members of our ward, a really strong family whose father is serving as one of President Barrow’s counselors in the mission presidency, invited us over to their house for lunch with the wife and their two kids who are still at home. We gratefully accepted and planned a message for them where we would teach the principle of repentance using the pamphlet and ask them to take the role of one of their friends who they thought they could introduce to the gospel. We got to the appointment and were sitting down to eat when Sister Lee expressed to us that she had actually wanted to invite one of their neighbors over to eat with us, but that they were out of town. We said okay and proceeded to start eating when a man walked by the window in the kitchen. Sister Lee stuck her head out the window and said, hey come in for lunch, I made something good. As the man worked his way inside she quickly came over to us and said that he was another neighbor of hers who is a long time member of another local church, and actually an Elder (high rank) of that church. She said that he always invites them to come to his church and that she had been waiting for an opporunity to share about our beliefs. He came in and sat down to eat with us and we had a great discussion all about the his beliefs and conversion, the message of the restoration and the book of mormon, and the members and our own testimonies. The member helped us teach so much and it turned into one of the most productive meal appointments of my mission. He didnt seem particularly interested in learning more, but it was a great opportunity to explain our beliefs, give him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and involve our members in missionarywork. Yesterday at church on Sunday the husband of the member family (who was at work when we went to visit) came up to us and thanked us for teaching so well and helping him to share the gospel with his neighbors. It was really a small miracle within our week.
I would like to end with a quote that I shared from my talk about the role of the spirit in our teaching as missionaries from Elder Bednar in the recent worldwide missionary broadcast: “We need to change our mindset and not look at the Holy Ghost as a tool that we can use in conversion. We need to sincerely pray to our Heavenly Father and say, “we are the tools right now and you are the teacher,” and change that so if we are blank in a lesson or something, let’s let him be the guide. That’s how we can bring the Spirit and we can be truly the vessels that just carry the message.” We are not the teachers using the spirit, but rather the spirit is the teacher that is using us. This is something I have learned so much on my mission and something that I am still working at getting better at in my teaching.
Have a great week!