England London Mission

England London Mission

Monday, May 26, 2014

Two weeks worth. . .

{not a delay in getting information from Elder Stevenson- a crazy busy week for mom in not getting the blog updated.}

Pretty normal weeks.   P-days we did some service and went on a hike in the area for one.  We had interviews last week with President Jordan.  Some teaching in the neighboring towns and working with less actives. District meetings and splits in the neighboring town and so a lot of travel on those days.  We aren’t having a lot of success with our investigators or finding new people to teach, but we are continuing to work at it.  We participated in a market day to try to share the gospel with folks who were in the town center for that activity.  The market day is like sidewalk sales in the United States.  Except here the sellers travel all over the place all week.   They normally sell clothes, accessories, gardening stuff, produce, meat, cards, whatever they have.  So we set up a table in it with Book of Mormons, pamphlets, and pass along cards.  The mission has gotten some banners.  And a pop up rectangular prism billboards, about 6- 6 ½ feet tall, which is really fun to use.  We were in the middle of doing it and a lady from the local council (which is like a city officer) came up and asked to see our permit.  We had no idea we needed a permit to do what we do 6 days a week.  We talked to her and explained that it was all for free.  Nothing was being sold.  She said it was okay for us to be there, as long as we didn’t approach or hassle anyone about stuff.  This made it a little more difficult than if we could have approached the people.  But we handed out 2 Book of Mormons and some pass along cards.  We thought that was pretty successful for the 2 hours we were there.

We also started a new way of introducing the gospel to people in the area. We have started carrying sidewalk chalk with us.  We will write questions on the sidewalks.  How can God help me and my family?  Can I live with my loved ones after I die?  What is the purpose of life?  Questions that really get people thinking, and as “Preach My Gospel “ calls them- questions of the soul.  We write them on the pavement and write mormon.org.uk by them so people can go to the website and find the questions.   

One day we were 10 minutes early for an appointment, so we pulled out the chalk and just write anything on the sidewalk we are near.  As we were doing it people kept looking at it.  Over the whole week we have see a lot of people look at them.  One elderly gentleman came up to us and wanted to know what we were doing.  Worried about kids just causing havoc and spray painting everything.   I explained we were missionaries from our church and this was sidewalk chalk and it would wash away.   He realized we were trying to do go and went on his way.

On Saturday last week we decided to find a place to do the whole Plan of Salvation in chalk.  We selected a local skate park.   We headed out that morning and spent two hours drawing and writing. It looked pretty good when we finished.  We had writing all over the place with questions, statements, quotes, mormon.org.uk, and the whole plan of salvation.  To begin with a kid came up to us and wanted to know who had done it.  We said we had and he thought it was cool, we talked with him for awhile. 

President Jordan gave a training about how missionary work is like farming.  There are phases in a mission.  When you will have a bag and you are sowing seeds.  When you are carrying a watering pot to help nourish the seed. When the time is right, you are with a sickle ready to harvest.  No matter what you are doing it is all important to the final product. 

I thought the farming/ missionary work was really neat.  It was like farming totally.   You can’t just be out there with the harvester when you haven’t planted and waited for the crops to mature. You need to do all the steps in the right order.  Sometimes you continue to replant and move pipe and spray and fix pivots and pick rock and disk the ground and put on fertilizer.  But we do all that for the final product.  Which we cannot do in a swift single movement.  

There has to be patience involved with it all.  A great comfort to me. Even if I am never personally there when someone that I taught got baptized, I did the portion I was supposed to do.  I haven’t failed if I have done what I was asked to do.   Serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength.

As I have been studying I came up with some things that I think would help wards with missionary work. 

1. Prepare: President Eyring stated, "God will put prepared people in the way of His prepared servants." We as members need to be feasting on the words of Christ each day so we are prepared to share the gospel. Also carrying pass-along cards with you or a Book of Mormon to hand out. Simply be prepared to share the gospel.

2. Pray: Elder Ballard said, "We should exercise our faith and pray individually and as families, asking for help in finding ways to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ." President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “It will be a great day when our people not only pray for the missionaries throughout the world, but ask the Lord to help them to assist the missionaries who are laboring in their own ward.” Prayer is an act of faith, in which when we faithfully pray for an opportunity to share the gospel, the opportunities will come.

3. Perform: President Hinckley stated, "Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work."  Once we are prepared and have prayed for those opportunities, look for them in your everyday life and take advantage of the opportunities that come to share the gospel.

Finally in closing Elder Ballard said, "Brothers and sisters, fear will be replaced with faith and confidence when members and the full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask the Lord to bless them with missionary opportunities. Then, we must demonstrate our faith and watch for opportunities to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father’s children, and surely those opportunities will come. These opportunities will never require a forced or a contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those whom you speak with will feel your love. They will never forget that feeling, though the timing may not be right for them to embrace the gospel. That too may change in the future when their circumstances change."

Elder Tad R Callister gave a great talk on Consecrated Missionaries in 2008.  We got a copy of that talk. 

(He sent the whole talk, but I found it on the web and so have included a link to that blog instead of posting the whole talk again.)

President Uchtdorf also has a great talk to read.

Thanks for all of the emails, letters and prayers. I love hearing from everyone!  Love, Elder Stevenson 

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