Tuesday, March 2, 2010

From Alec: January 5, 2010

Hello from Heber (still)

Miracles are happening all over the world.
Last week was an alright week. New Year's Eve was exactly what Elder Moore and I desired... a good 8 hours sleep, hehe. New Year's Day was our prep day and we had A. (a relatively less-active convert) take us down to Payson so that Elder Moore could get some new dress shoes (old ones dying, closest place in the mission to buy shoes). We also went bowling, which was pretty fun. It was a nice thing to be able to relax totally. You need to unstring your bow sometimes, to paraphrase the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Saturday I had my first baptismal interview as a District Leader in Snowflake. I didn't know until a little into the first one that I was doing two interviews for this couple. It went well though - they were very prepared people just so ready to accept this gospel. We are taking an investigator and less-active to their baptism on Saturday; I am very much looking forward to it. Later that day we met with that investigator and M. and S. (respectively). The lesson went pretty well, the Spirit was there and they have been keeping and desiring to keep commitments. It is such a simple process to know if what we teach and testify about is true, and so it is so thrilling to see people soften their hearts enough to do it.

Sunday was a rough day for me - no investigators at church, low numbers for the first week that I report them into the zone leaders. But two things helped a great deal: Aaron came to church and went up and bore his testimony for the first time. It was simple and sincere - a thanks for all the kind saints in the ward who were the main reasons he was up there then (and in the church at all), and a simple testimony that these things are true and bring happiness. That really helped me as I could feel the Spirit while he was up at the podium. The other thing was the help I received from God as to what our district meeting on Wednesday would consist of.

Yesterday was a great great day - the missionary handbook is inspired. I put it to the test yesterday and also tried to exercise faith in the Lord making up for our shortcomings. We were able to talk to quite a few people, and then we taught this new family the first lesson. D., T., and their kids (the two older were there for most of the lesson). We tracted into them last week and they seemed to receive it well. T. read Moroni 10:4-5 and paraphrased it back to us almost perfectly. He was very excited to read the rest of that chapter before we come back to see just him on Wednesday. I just hope we can bring the Spirit into their home and for their family. If they get baptized they will be the first full family that both Elder Moore or I would have had the privileged of baptizing. (I hope you understood that sentence...) That night we also taught A. again - it went pretty well. He's actually right in front of me here in the library at the desk right now (just a funny fact).

Just something that has been revealed to me recently (part of it was from the help of Elder Moore) is the fact that the reason people join the church is not because the doctrine coincides with their beliefs. That is not necessarily why anybody attends any church. Many times people will be open to us because some key doctrines go with their key beliefs. But in the end, the reason anybody grasps onto this restored gospel is because they feel something that fulfills their spiritual needs (even if they didn't know they had them). They feel the Spirit and are intrigued and want more of it, they see the blessings poured out in their lives because of meeting with us or keeping the commitments we leave with them. That is something that is so so so key to missionary work. Rather than just teach someone who asks us a question, we should briefly teach and then especially testify of the blessings and happiness associated. We should try to teach about the Book of Mormon less and testify of it and the peace and safety it brings. Doctrine is vital and important, but it is useless without the Spirit. Love you all!!

Elder Hoopes

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