Five Elders, One Message, Miracles Left & Right

Wow, where to even start? This week has just been jam packed with miracles, business, and administration. More than I can explain or even begin to comprehend.

Elder Evan’s Final Temple Trip

Let’s start from the beginning, the saddest part of my week, seeing Elder Evans go. I drove him and a bunch of other elders that were going home to the temple. We had to take a Van cause there were so many elders and luggage. It was a hybrid and that was pretty sweet. Elder Evans always wanted the opportunity to ride in this vehicle, so hey, it worked out pretty well for him. Anyways, we arrived at the temple, dropped everyone off after our McDonald’s run. My new temporary companion was Elder Judd, cause his comp, Elder Shipley was going home too. So we basically just chilled in the car as they went into the temple and wrote emails and stuff. After finishing all of my emails and writing my testimony to Elder Evans, I began reading a bit of the Book of Mormon. A couple of minutes afterwards, President and Sister Gill, (which were apparently right next to us, didn’t see that haha, they must have pulled in while we were outside of the car dropping missionaries off at the temple). Anyways Sister Gill walked right next to the driver side and said “that’s a nice book you got there.” President Gill is just so polite, he opened Sister Gill’s door to get into the car. I didn’t know he did that everytime, it’s really sweet of him. Once everyone was out of the temple and got their pictures, we journeyed back to the land of Richmond. We dropped everyone back at the mission home and went our separate ways. Elder Judd and I continued to do our preparation day activities back at the apartment.

A Great Day of Finding with Elder Roth

The next morning we got up at 6:30am and headed straight to the mission home to pickup Elder Evans and Elder Roth. Everyone else was pretty much gone on their flight home at this point. Elder Evans' flight doesn’t travel back home till 8pm tonight, so he has the rest of the day with us. And Elder Roth goes home midway through the next transfer. So we were trioed together for a few hours. We were sorting some stuff out in the office and before we knew it, Elder Evans was getting into Elder Ash’s car and going home. It’s absolutely crazy to think that people are home within hours. Even though we were both serving together in the mission hours ago. After that Elder Judd went with his temporary companion to Surrey 1st and it was just me and Elder Roth. Elder Roth and I had some cool miracles while finding, we met this really sweet lady by our apartment complex. We had a good conversation with her and she seemed interested in coming to church. She said she needed to talk to her husband about it, he’s a pasture, so we’re not sure if we’ll see her at church. But hey, we got her number so we’ll keep in contact and maybe we can share more. We also visited one of our referrals, it sounded like she just recently moved from Utah, and she was inspired by her friends that were going on missions and wanted to hear a bit more about it. You know when you meet someone that’s been to Utah and is contacting missionaries, they’re pretty close to baptism haha. She seems super cool though, we’re probably going to meet with her again sometime next week. We also knocked a few doors and gave out quite a few copies of the Book of Mormon. This is the most success I’ve probably seen going street contacting in Richmond; people just seemed a lot more willing to listen to our message, so that was pretty cool. Elder Roth is very bold in his teaching, I love it, but at the same time it gets on the verge of getting contentious, and based on who’s he’s talking to, I could see it turning into an argument. So I’ve tried to find that middle ground. But I definitely learned a lot from my short time teaching with him.

The Church’s Name

He’s a quick tip for everyone, never-ever associate the nickname “Mormon” with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We had numerous times that people approach us and they are like “oh you’re the Mormon’s right?” To which Elder Roth would reply, “yes, but that’s just a nick-name” and proceed to say the church’s actual name. This is okay, but this kinda drove me crazy haha. There’s a higher-holier way. It’s gonna take eons to get people to actually use the name of the church when associating with it if we continue to tell people it’s a nickname. I feel like “Mormon” gives people a bad impression because that was a name given by those against the church. So the term “Mormon” is going to be associated more with anti material rather than the actual doctrine and principles taught in the church. So even though we aren’t necessarily calling ourselves that, that association is gonna do more harm than good. So when people ask that we are “Mormon’s” the response should be “no, we are representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” What drives me even crazier is when people bring up the term “mormonism” & “christianity.” But you know, people are looking for the truth and “they know not where to find it.” And the internet isn’t making that any easier… But ultimately, you just gotta love one another as Jesus loved you. Not everyone has found the fullness of the truth, and that’s okay. Heck, it’s a continual restoration, everyone in the church is still coming to a knowledge of the truth. We are just here to guide people and help them along the journey. But yeah that’s my little rant about the name of the church haha.

The Guy for the Job

Fast forward to Thursday, today was the big day of transfer news. We were going to find out where the tech area was going to be and my new companion. Now I did know that my companion was coming from the Island, because the Assistants told me on Tuesday that I’d be picking them up from the ferry terminal. After schimming over the transfer board we received a call from the Assistants. They told me that they totally forgot to ask me the day before, but would I be willing to be a District Leader? I was a bit surprised, the District Leader assignment was totally off my radar. But sure I’m down to be a District Leader I guess. Which was interesting, because I was thinking about it, and this would be the only transfer I could be a District Leader with the tech assignment in its current form. Last transfer we probably were able to make it to like one or two district councils because of all the traveling. But because of the mission tour, that means that we won’t be having Zone Conferences. Which means that we are not traveling everywhere, which means I guess I can be a District Leader haha. I’m looking forward to the mission tour though, Elder Bragg is gonna be there so that’ll be pretty sweet! My new companion is Elder Watkins. He’s super awesome, and I have full confidence that he’s the Elder for the job. I didn’t really know him too well before, so he wasn’t really on my radar as someone that could potentially do the tech assignment. But I know President Gill received a strong spiritual impression that he was the one, and I knew it too. It was so funny I was chatting with him in the car, I asked him if President Gill gave him a call or anything beforehand. And he was like “yeah I knew like 4 weeks ago.” He said that in one of his emails he told President that he really appreciates the work that we do teaching people at Zone Conferences and with the tech assignment, and President responded with “good report.” He told his companion, “mark my words, next transfer I’m gonna be the next tech Elder.” And now look where we are today, haha. You know, the exact same thing happened when I was made companions with Elder Evans. After an exchange with him I wrote in my email to President, something along the lines of “Elder Evans is an amazing leader. I’m really grateful for him and all the great things that he taught me.” To which President responded “Good report. Elder Evans is a great Elder.” Fast forward a couple weeks, he asks if I could stop by in the office, Elder Evans happens to be there too and that’s when we find out we were gonna be companions in the tech assignment haha. I’m looking forward to working with Elder Watkins. We chat the rest of the night about the tech assignment.

Five Elders, One Message, Miracles Left & Right

Today we picked up Elder Bolingbroke, and Elder Rowley from the ferry. So it was me, Elder Watkins, and Elder Roth with the rest of these Elders. (Yes we are still technically in a trio, things get wack around transfers.) Now fun fact, Elder Rowley is my MTC comp, Elder Watkins (my new companion), trained Elder Rowley when he came into the mission. It was like a family reunion haha. We snagged some good pictures all together. Now I gotta say the Lord has a perfect vision of His work. He really makes use of transfers when missionaries are traveling around in areas for a bit. You can tell that He places people in our path that these missionaries would do best at connecting with. And this all happens over the course of one or two days, with unplanned finding opportunities, and decisions that may not seem logical at first. For instance, on Saturday, we were with Elder Cockx, Elder Roth, & Elder Jolley who all were going to Nanaimo later that day. Elder Roth and I already had lunch, but by the time we grabbed those Elders it was 3pm and they hadn’t eaten. The logical side of me was saying to just eat the food we had at the apartment. But they were discussing it and wanted to go to Burger King. The traffic was bad at the time and I’ve been driving all over recently so I was thinking it would probably be better to save on gas. After thinking about it, and counseling with my companion, I felt prompted that we needed to go. I was like well I can send messages to our friends while they eat, so at least it’ll still be productive. At the time I didn’t recognize it as a prompting, I thought of it as an opportunity to serve these missionaries. After some traffic we reached our destination at Burger King. Once we arrived, they ordered their food, and there’s a guy that approached us. He said he really loved the work that we do, helping people find Jesus Christ and everything. We talked with him a little bit and after he sat down and continued to eat his food. Once we all got our food, we sat by the table next to him and began talking to us. We had a really good conversation. Elder Cockx is from Belgium and knows how to speak French, this guy was from a part of Africia that also spoke French and he had been to Belgium before. He was such a nice guy, he was telling us about the miracles that he saw in Africa and the changes he made in his life because of God. We showed him the Book of Mormon and he was super grateful for it. He definitely seems super interested in reading it. It sounded like he actually lived in Surrey, but he was in town and for some reason he decided to go to Burger King with his two daughters at like 3:30pm. He said that God definitely put us in his path and that’s why he was at Burger King. Anyways, super-duper cool experience, glad I didn’t follow my logic of just making food in the apartment and messaging all of our referrals. We would have never had met him. And those Elders that we are with were just the people he needed to see.

The Two Scriptures

On Sunday we met this really awesome guy at church. His name is Jason, the sisters were teaching him before. But after Elders Quorum we had a really good chat with him. He’s searching for the truth right now. He’s been visiting churches all over and trying to see what’s right. He said he doesn’t really want to do research on the internet, but he wants to see how it actually is by visiting. He’s a pretty smart guy and he’s definitely going to find the truth. He had some really good questions. He was asking us about baptism and what that entails. He was telling us about how he can receive direction from God through meditation. It seems like he hasn’t found the need to read scriptures because he does that through meditation. But he does have the Gospel Library app so that’s pretty cool. He also was asking us, how do we know we are feeling the Spirit, and if there are certain emotions closely associated with feeling the Spirit. I shared two scriptures with him, the first of the two was Luke 24:27-32. I have recently fallen in-love with this scripture and this was a perfect opportunity to share it. It talks about the resurrected Savior’s visit and the scriptures he taught the people on the road to Emmaus. It shares what these people felt after the sacrament and after hearing these scriptures. “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (verses 31-32). The second of the two scriptures I shared was Galatians 5:22-23 the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” It looked like he really liked the scriptures we shared with him. So hopefully that inspires him to continue his reading.

End of Week Reflection

As for the rest of the week, we have just been really busy with the tech assignment. Figuring out sim cards, setting up PMG mentoring sessions, and a bunch of other things. This week was filled with miracles and I’m really grateful for the amazing opportunities that I have to meet all of these great people and missionaries. Looking forward to the future!

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)