Monday, October 17, 2011

Uniting with Members

As I think I have mention before, there has been a big movement in the mission to focus on "uniting with members" (as opposed to "working with members" as it has previously been phrased.) This is so exciting and exactly what is to be expected considering President Preston is a local. Sister Jack and I have really enjoyed making it a new focus to both involve more members in our work and to encourage them to do work of their own. On Saturday night we were in Bishop Gifford's area, so we decided to pop by and take his wife and him some homemade fudge. Just a side note: this is a massive labour of love because we have so little time! Usually while one of us updates records, the other bakes something for members the next day. I'm fairly confident they have no idea how much we love them! So, back to Bishop. They invited us in and we were able to teach them a short lesson about service in missionary work. We read Alma 17 (about Ammon) and told them our success with serving Amanda and the spirit we feel as we serve members of the ward. Overall, the visit was very encouraging and we came away with a referral and a few leads for service we can do! It’s so good to feel that the organisation of the ward is stable and that we are filling our role in it. We are truly seeing the blessings of focusing on “member unity.”

This week in my study I was really struck by Ezekiel 33:8-9. It actually reminded me of the words of the Lord to Nephi in Heleman 5:3-5. The people ignored him, but because of his efforts the Lord could bless him beyond measure. I came on my mission to help others, but I learn more and more every day how this work is ultimately between the Lord and me; no one else. He called and I responded. No matter the decisions of others, if I am “all in,” as Sister Lovell used to say, He is pleased and I can be satisfied knowing I have done my best! On the other hand, if I do not do my best, I will be held accountable for the sins of those in my area whom I failed to warn! Frightening!

The work is moving forward in Wigan. Brother Hallister continues to blanch at the prospect of tithing. He's budgeted it out and figures he can be baptised after Christmas : S We pray constantly that the Lord will grant him the faith he needs! He is wonderful and I know that the challenges he faces now will make him a truly strong member after his baptism, whether it takes place this month or in ten years. ]

The weather is turning! Sister Jack and I are increasing in unity as we laugh through the weather! We were tracting in a hail storm the other night, just laughing and singing "there is sunshine in my soul." This youngish couple answered one door and the husband, laughing, asked, "Are you mad doing this in this weather??" Through the horizontal hail I said, "Funny, I was just asking myself that! But, no, we just know our message is true!" They said we could come back in the day time : ) Whether or not they were touched by our talk of eternal families, they were definitely touched by our dedication. I love the opportunities we have to prove to the Lord, to the world and to ourselves that we have a conviction of this work!

Right, the time is far spent.

This is definitely the Kingdom of God on earth once more. Joseph Smith was undoubtedly the Prophet of the restoration. We are indebted to the Lord in ways we cannot comprehend or even imagine, let alone repay. Yet we can take satisfaction in knowing we carry out his work with our whole hearts!

Your commitment if you choose to accept it: Do something to strengthen the Kingdom this week (think 3 fold mission of the church) and report back to me in e-mail. Will you do that? I promise you that as you actively participate in this work (whether that is to perfect the saints, preach the gospel or redeem the dead) you will feel the Saviour's love for you.

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