Monday, July 26, 2010

Hello everybody! This week has been a little bit difficult but we're all learning and growing from it. We've been having a really tough time getting people to keep their committments, especially coming to church (nobody came yesterday). We've been trying to brainstorm some good ideas and I think I finally came up with one that we're excited to try. We give people for things that they need to do in order to gain a testimony and progress towards baptism. They are: read from the Book of Mormon, pray to know that it's true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, attend church, and meet with us regularly (on a daily basis if possible). It's interesting to watch because if anybody does all four of these things together and consistently, they gain a testimony really quickly. If they miss one then their progress is delayed.
In Alma 32 there is an analogy about growing our testimonies. It all starts with a seed. I figure if they've decided to investigate the church, they've already planted that seed in their hearts. If the seed doesn't grow, it's not because the seed isn't good like Alma said. We have to nourish it or else it won't grow. For example, give it water every day, give it sunlight, give it good soil, and fertilize it once in awhile. It's the same concept with our testimonies of the gospel. The idea I got is to buy a seed of some kind and plant it with the people we are teaching. Then they have to do certain things throughout the day to nourish their testimonies before they can nourish the real seed. For example:
watering the seed=reading from the Book of Mormon
putting it in the sunlight=saying their prayers
good soil=meeting with us
fertilizer (once a week)=coming to church (once a week)
This way they'll be able to see that if their testimony didn't grow it's because they didn't nourish it enough (the real plant will likely die too). We haven't put this to the test yet but I think it will yield some good results and help people see the importance of doing these things daily! I think we'll probably try it out this week.
Jessica, or Yessica, finally got confirmed yesterday which was good news! The other people that we are teaching seem to be making slow progress but they're not giving it enough effort quite yet. Hopefully we can get that to change with this new idea that we got. We saw a really cool miracle with Carlos this week. On Friday night after he said the closing prayer, he stayed thinking for a minute. Then he looked up and told us that he hadn't smoked or had a drink since he met us! We haven't even talked to him about the word of wisdom yet, and the guy that referred him to us told us that he has been a super heavy drinker for years! It was really awesome. Unfortunately he couldn't come to church yesterday because his Jehovah's Witness friend heard that we had been seeing him and made sure to come by and pick him up to go to their church. He's got his doubts still but he can't deny the miracle that happened.
Well, we had a zone conference on Friday and we found out some more details about all of the changes that the mission is undergoing. We have four full-day leadership meetings within these next two weeks, which means my greeny will be on an exchange with the other greeny in our district for four days trying to speak Spanish! That should be an adventure for them. I remember how that was for me. I'm sure they'll do a good job though.
Well, that's all I've got for this week. I hope you're all doing well! Pray that this law here gets overturned.
Elder Olsen

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