Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year


It's already been a great start to this week. We had a lesson this morning with G., a student here from India, and it went great. We also had a woman come up to us while we were walking here. She recognized the name of the Savior on our nametags and decided to come introduce herself. She talked about receiving the "gift of faith," the meaning of which we're still not entirely sure about, but we began talking to her about who we are and, most importantly, that we teach about the Book of Mormon. She says that she has friends who are LDS, and that she's pretty certain the Bible is all she needs, but she's willing to meet and hopefully the Spirit will change her mind. Stay tuned!

We had a fantastic week this past week. President has been telling all the missionaries for a few months now to teach 15 discussions per week, first to investigators, then to less-actives, and then to active members if we need to. It takes a ton of work when we only have one solid, progressing investigator. We've been stuck at 10 for a few weeks, but we worked super hard this week and got 13! It took a couple of miracles to get those 13, too.


We took a lot of time to do everything we normally have to do on P-Day on Tuesday, since everything was closed on P-Day, so Tuesday was a bit of a slow day. We did have a super good teach with S., though.

Awesome district meeting in the morning, then splits in the afternoon. We had two teaches set up, both at 7, so that each companionship would have someone to teach, but most of the day was pretty bare. I picked a couple of areas where we had a few potentials so we could go stop by and try to find those 15 appointments for the week. As I was getting ready to go, I had a thought to call a member couple that lived in one of the areas. I asked him if we could come by for just a few minutes and share a spiritual thought. He agreed. We stopped by a few people, but no one was home, then we went to go share our quick message. We talked about the Atonement. I shared my favorite scripture from the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 9:13-14, and we talked about what it means to us that Christ will heal every one that will come to him. After that message, we followed up on a few people they had asked us to pray for. The member admitted that he had actually meant to speak with one of them, a woman who lived downstairs, and give her a Book of Mormon with his testimony in it, but he just hadn't found the time or the courage. Right there, in his home, we prayed and asked for Heavenly Father's help. We felt very strongly that we should go right then, together, to try to give this woman the Book of Mormon. She wasn't interested, and politely declined, but we know because of the spirit that was in that prayer we said together that it was the right thing to do. I felt like it really blessed our member to make that effort with us.

There's a second part to this story, though. While we were sharing our message, and when the Spirit was very strong, another member came by (he and the first member were apparently going to visit someone who was sick). He sat in on the end of our thought. After we prayed, he found out that my spits companion is serving in Rauma and immediately asked, "Well, you want some work to do?" He gave them the name of his non-member mother who lives in Rauma. I know it was because of the Spirit that was in the room that he felt comfortable giving that referral. It all started with that idea to call a member. Major boost for me.

Wednesday was also my first day on a bike. It was great!! Other than being sore in more than a few places the next day, it was a blast. My splits companion's chain fell off a few times, but we still made it everywhere on time. I love bikes.

Had a great discussion with Maria (Erja) and the girls about the Plan of Salvation. I never quite know how much of what we say sticks, because of how crazy and unfocused some of our lessons are, but apparently it's working.


Our first teach with G., our new investigator, went super well. We actually had planned to meet him Monday, but that fell through, so while we were in his area on Thursday we decided to drop by. He had just returned from a spur of the moment weekend trip to Copenhagen, so we kept it pretty short, but he's super excited to learn about the Book of Mormon.


We had a DA with an awesome family in our ward. She's divorced with three boys, 20, 18, and 16. So it's always fun to visit with them. She actually shared a really nice thought with us. We've taught her neighbor twice now, and every time after we leave this neighbor comes over to her house to try to figure out exactly what we meant. (Fellowshipping first - the investigator makes friends with the members. Love it). Anyway, last time we taught we extended a baptismal commitment, and she was very hesitiant. She didn't want to commit, but she did tell this neighbor that she felt something special in our lessons. She said she could feel the power of our words when we spoke. I don't go out seeking for validation, but it still felt really good to hear that, even though I know I don't speak this language very well, and I'm only twenty, and frankly I don't have a clue how to be a missionary, I can still speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. Really inspired me to work harder.


Red day, so we planned during the day and taught S. in the evening. She's now been taught everything, all that's left is to help her prepare to be baptized. Would you all please pray for her? She's been so overwhelmed lately with trying to get everything organized.


Another red day, and no appointments. Had a great meeting with our interim Ward Mission Leader (our old one just moved), and let him know what we needed from him for the baptism. He got everything done that day. We talked to all the people we needed to, and he went above and beyond, so now, all we need to do is the paperwork and the interview. We even had others from the ward step in and sit with her in Sacrament Meeting and take her down to the font to try to find some baptismal clothes, all without us asking them to. Our ward here is so wonderful and they all work so well together. Callings: magnify them.

Shout out to the Newsom, Fisher, and Hirst families, thanks for the Christmas cards!! Whitney's little sister Kaitlyn sent me a letter with a bunch of movie quotes in it and I had to guess which movies they were from. We had a great time with that after splits. Reminded me of every single dinner conversation at home.

Say hi to everyone for me. Love and miss you all.

Elder McKay

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