Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy 感恩節 (Thanksgiving)!

Hello again from my side of the pond! Happy Thanksgiving to y'all. My Thanksgiving dinner was a tasty bian-dang, which is kind of like Panda Express. You get rice, three kinds of vegetables, and some kind of meat, like a fried chicken steak or beef or whatever. Mine was beef steak with black pepper sauce. Yum. I've gotta learn to make some of my favorite Chinese foods so I can still enjoy them in America. Have any of you ever tried curry? It's delicious.

I love reading stories of Book of Mormon missionaries. It really does humble me to remember that nothing I go through can compare to what Alma, Abinadi, Amulek, Ammon, Aaron, Nephi and Lehi suffered just so they could save the souls of some of their brethren. I just realized how many great missionaries' names started with A. Hm.

I am indeed excited for Christmas. Christmas will hopefully be the day that one or more people receive the best gift of all--the gift of the Holy Ghost. We're working with a guy right now who has more faith in Christ and more desire to be baptized than I think I've ever seen in anyone before. His obstacle is he's working through an addiction to drugs, but he really feels he can be ready for baptism on Christmas Eve. We hope so as well.

This week was power week, and we really saw some amazing miracles. Yeah, I said it again, but who can deny that they're miracles? Thursday was power "flood the Earth with the Book of Mormon" day, where we tried to place as many copies of the Book of Mormon as possible. Technically, we don't track that number anymore, but we did it for this one day. We placed over 1000 copies with about 80 companionships. We were giving them to people as we tracted, we gave them to people at the restaurants where we always was a lot of fun. And on Friday we did "power member splits day."

Elder Braby met with some progressing investigators with one member as his companion, and another member went with me to go visit a couple of new investigators we were scheduled to meet at their homes. One of these was the (name) family (pronounced like Jung--that last part sounds like the end of the word 'stung'). I found them a week ago as I was calling former investigator records. The record said it was a family of five and when I called them they were willing to meet. When we got there on Friday night, it turned out that the dad and the oldest son were already baptized. The mom and the two younger sons haven't yet. The mom wasn't there, but we taught a simple lesson to the dad and the three boys, who are in 5th, 8th, and 9th grade. They are such a cool family. The boys were all really respectful and they read the scriptures with us and answered our questions. Brother (name) said he's been teaching his boys to pray every night even though they haven't been coming to church. I have really high hopes that as we work hard and have members involved in the teaching process, we can help this family return to activity and get everybody baptized so that they can prepare for a sealing in the temple.

Brother (name) is good to go for his baptism this Saturday. He's doing so well--the members love him and he showed up early to set up the chairs. If that isn't a miracle story, then I don't know what is. I'm so happy that he's going to enter into this covenant with our Heavenly Father. We've also got a couple of other great investigators who are looking solid to be baptized in December. The Lord's been blessing us richly these past couple of weeks.

I don't really know what else to say. Today Elder Braby and I are probably going to take it a little easy, write some letters, clean the apartment, and maybe watch the Thomas S. Monson documentary, "On the Lord's Errand." I'm kind of amassing a sizable library of church media. It's great. Have you ever seen "Special Witnesses of Christ"? It's the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve bearing testimony of various gospel topics (for instance, President Hinckley standing in the Sacred Grove bears testimony of the First Vision, Elder Holland standing in the Garden of Gethsemane testifies of the Atonement). Great stuff. Great for family home evenings.

Well, that's about it I suppose. I sure love you all very much. I know that the Lord's watching over each and every one of us. Remember that even the strongest testimony will die very quickly if not nourished daily by personal prayer and scripture study.


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