Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"(Not) Lip Service"

This last week was really a great week for Elder Lunt and I. Even with zone conference taking up a good amount of work this week we feel we had a very productive week. We were able to find quite a few new investigators and some great contacts. We are applying what we learned in conference, and already we are seeing much better lessons thanks to good planning. I'm currently working on trying to master "search, analyze and apply" questions to be a better teacher. I feel that is so key to unlocking our investigators natural tendency to tune out the scriptures and to really read and apply them. This last week we were teaching a Sister Bienvenue and as we taught her and used those questions the spirit testified to her and she was touched. We then asked her for a referral and she was more than willing to give us one!

The branch is actually going pretty well despite the absence of President Parades. Although there are no real capable men worthy to lead the branch at the time, there are some who are working on worthiness. Brother Narine who has recently been reactivated is a stud. He had had law of chastity problems when I was here last time with another member. Yesterday he shared with us his burning desire to be sealed in the temple. He has been on a mission, and would have the experience necessary to be branch president in the future. We are going to start him on 40 days.

We are teaching a ton of new investigators, in all sorts of fun languages: Creole and Spanish, but most of our good progressing investigators are Portuguese surprisingly ... who are progressing little by little. They are working towards baptism but it's slow because we teach them in Portuguese. These are important investigators however because they are referrals from members. Sister Cledi and Sister Darci are both working with us so much, we have received many referrals from them, and they are really becoming great member missionaries! Its great to see Sister Cledi especially who was just recently reactivated. It's hard for these two women who see the progression of their friends in the gospel and they love it, but their biggest desire is to see their husbands baptized! This week a miracle took place while teaching at Sister Cledi's. We were teaching one of her friends about the restoration and when we got to the Book of Mormon she started having some question that were a little defensive of the Bible. Well, Max who usually never listens too intently because he would much rather be watching his weird Portuguese TV heard that, and started explaining to her the Book of Mormon. I don't know if it was because I'm still about level zero in Portuguese or what but he sounded like a member of 10 years. As Max actually testified to this friend of the importance of the BOM as another testimony of Jesus Christ you could almost see a testimony cultivating in him at the same time. The spirit was so strong! I know this is Max's first step towards baptism.

Jose Ca did not come to church yesterday and that was sad. It's harder for him because he has not support at church other than the missionaries. He is not a referral but it was us that found him...so we have to teach him more regularly with members. Its great though I'm enjoying it because the Portuguese is such a cool language! It's really difficult to pronunciate!

My companion is doing really well. He's staying encouraged, and he told me about the President's proposition to send him to the English side, and I'm so glad he said no. He is going to come a long. We work hard together. He is working with all his force, and I just want to help him get his whole mind and heart there as well. He is working hard but he doesn't prioritize his studies very well.

I actually heard about Sophie Barton passing away a day after it happened. I was in zone conference and President Gamiette took me aside to tell me. He knew that we were good friends. I can't lie and say it wasn't a huge shock. My heart has been very heavy the last few days for Chas and his family. It's almost overwhelming to think of the pain that he and his family must be going through. I imagine Chas is handling it the best coming fresh off the mission, the veil of unbelief is thin for him, and I imagine his burning testimony of the Plan of Salvation he left here in the West Indies provides a warm comfort for him in his sorrow and pain. I wish so badly to be there and to comfort him. This week I read President Monson's words from this last conference when he pronounced that man once dead will live again. The message of last conference was that of a Living Christ. I have read and pondered the testimonies of prophets, dead and living, and I am convinced that it's true. We will live again. I pray that they may continue in faith know that they will see Sophie again.

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