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."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Teaching and Inviting

We continue to be very busy in our missionary work. There doesn’t seem to be an end to the problems that need solving in the administration of the mission and taking care of the missionaries. With the seemingly constant travel needs to get missionaries and necessary supplies around the mission, we are often traveling around the state of Oregon.

The amazing thing is that as we are going about our duties, there is a constant stream of miracles taking place. We are awed to be a witness to the many miracles the Lord has brought to pass. When we first started attending the Springfield 2nd ward, I met with the husband of an inactive member. He was dealing with problems with his foot and so I gave him a cane to help him as he went through surgeries and recoveries. We have taught him, and he finally healed enough to be baptized. That took place last Saturday. His name is Curtis.

Sunday, we were teaching another of our investigators (Frank), with the Elders in our ward. Frank was at the baptism. As Elder Chapman was teaching, he inadvertently called him Curtis. Elder Chapman was embarrassed, and apologized. A few minutes later he did it again, and again apologized. When it happened a third time, Elder Chapman was beside himself. It was then that Frank spoke up. He said, “I was waiting to see if you would say Curtis a third time. Then I would know.”

It seems that Frank had a cousin named Curtis who was killed a couple of years ago. Frank indicated that Curtis has been on his mind since learning about Temple work, and he felt Curtis wants his work done and so Frank took it as a sign when Elder Chapman said his name three times. After that exchange, Elder Chapman didn’t call him Curtis again.

It is exciting to witness the changes that come into people’s lives. I first met Frank about 4 months ago when the Sisters asked me to sit in on a lesson. Frank is coming from 25 years of drugs and alcohol and rough living. He is untangling himself from a lifetime of bad associations. Lessons were difficult and often got off track when he talked about issues and people trying to oppose him. 4 months ago, while he wanted to talk, he stated he wasn’t interested in baptism. At that point I took over with him. Not long after that, even though we had appointments, he would always cancel. He did however, continue to text and call me. Then two weeks ago, he called and said he was finally ready to learn about the church, so we scheduled a lesson. I had the Elders with me to teach him. He was still quick to get off topic, but we listened to him, and kept moving him back to the gospel discussion. During that lesson, we invited him to be baptized and he accepted. We set the date for January 9th, and told him that at our next meeting we would go over the requirements for baptism so that any problems could be dealt with. That lesson was the one related above and went very well. It was the first lesson we have taught that Frank stayed focused on the topic at hand and didn’t wander all over the map. Frank is on track for his date of January 9th and we are all working to get him there.

Being a missionary is one of the greatest things you can do. Being a senior missionary is even better. Besides the time in the office, we work with members and investigators as well as helping missionaries. Sister Christensen spends time sewing and mending clothes for missionaries and cooking for lots of people. I make and share my canes around the state. I am up to 135 canes placed and at least one baptism that I know of. We love the work and the Lord, and plan to repeat the mission experience again in the future.

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