Stepping into the Darkness

"You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness, then the light will appear and show you the way before you."

Friday, July 10, 2015

The work is Hastening

I must apologize for the length of time between posts. We have been busy with the work and time gets away from us. We asked President Russell to find us a ward where we were needed, and he has done a tremendous job. We told him we would go anywhere he wanted us to go, so he spoke with the Springfield Stake President who thought we should be in his ward. In a lot of ways, they remind us of the Settlers Bay ward. You have all kinds of people including some great ones.

We have a pair of Sister Missionaries who are very hard workers. The ward mission leader is the past Bishop, and he loves missionary work. We go on splits with him and the sisters on Thursdays. They have been very productive, especially in light of the process that was begun the second week we were in the ward.

It was the fifth Sunday in May. The combine meeting was conducted by the Sister Missionaries and the ward mission leader. They showed a video clip that was used in a meeting held by a member of the 70. He taught the Bishops and Stake Presidents the concept of how the spirit works for us in this work. He asked them to blank their minds, and then asked the question, who do you know who is prepared to hear the gospel? He instructed them to write down the first name that came to mind. That name was placed there by the spirit. That is the name to start with. We did the same thing with the members and had them then write down that name on the form they passed out. They wrote down as many as came to mind. At the end of the hour, we had 187 referrals. Sister Christensen and myself, the sister missionaries and the ward mission leader are contacting each of the members who participated that day and ask them for a commitment to take an action with that person and have them write a date down.

We follow up and encourage them. The actions have gone from “pray daily for their hearts to soften” in the case of a friend who was having some struggles in life and had backed away from all contact, to making brownies tonight and delivering them to the neighbor downstairs, to setting up a lesson for the missionaries to teach this week. The members are busy participating in missionary work, the sisters are keeping busy teaching. They have a member at almost every lesson they teach. (President Russell has stated that every lesson has a member present. Senior missionaries can be used in a pinch, but the members are to provide the bulk of the assistance.) There are a few that have hard baptismal dates and are progressing toward them.

In our meeting with members, we were led one night to the wrong door. The member had moved to a different apartment, but the man who answered said he was just thinking about religion and his faith when we knocked on the door. We arranged for the sisters to return with some literature and begin teaching him. We then remembered that the member had moved and we went to visit with them.

On another note, I am up to 50 canes placed. I left one with a man, whose wife, when we knocked on the door, told us to go away, they didn’t want to talk any religion. Our response was that we had dropped by to leave a cane, and we would like to do that if they wouldn’t mind, so another person who needed cane now has one despite that animosity, and I think they soften slightly for the effort.

It would be an understatement to say that we are constantly amazed at the intensity and frequency of that help from the Holy Ghost in doing this work. You can feel the hastening that is going on, and it is on both sides of the veil. It is such a blessing to be here at this time of the world’s history to witness this awesome work close up. This work and the Gospel are true.

We love and pray for you all. The gospel is true, God lives and His Son Jesus Christ is the head of this church. We have a Prophet leading us, and we have but to follow. As we heard this morning in President Packer’s funeral, we should each of us, make the decision to surrender our agency to the Lord and follow what He wants us to do. When you do, you will find happiness and blessings beyond measure.

Elder and Sister Christensen