Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

Dearest All
It was a fantastic week, I really love my companion we have just been best of friends since last week and teaching with greater unity than ever before, and I think the results of the week really show the incredible difference, it was a humbling experience in which the lord really then made so much more out of us. 
 This week has taken elder Davis to being just "one of my companions" to a dear friend, we were good partners before but this week we really became friends, and good friends at that...I feel like we really care about each other now, which is how it should be right from the start...but easier said than done...I guess what I am trying to say is that I am converted to "companionship"...similar to my joy and discovery to my conversion of Obedience in the little things and the power that it brings...I also feel and we both saw the results of that increased power and trust the lord has in our companionship. I can't really describe it adequately, but the blessing that it was, we are happier, our studies are better, our teaching is better...it was just another "I get it moment"...I am so grateful to have him as my companion, our companionship has taught and made me better...I wouldn't trade my companionship with Elder Davis. I really love it and I love him so much more.

We are seeing miracles both on and off campus, with 11 member present lessons which coordinated right into 5 friends at church..it was so joyful...each who has a baptismal date and is seriously progressing, I will struggle to relate how incredible the week was,

J.M., she didn't even wait a full 24 hours to contact us again and asked to meet with us then had 2 other member present lessons with her later in the week, she has just been so excited to learn more, and she really is noticing the difference in her life, she was really worried about this past week because one of her friends past away 6 months ago on Friday, who she was really close to and was anticipating to be really "out of it" but instead had a great week and instead "felt how heavenly father and my friend are watching over me and so happy with how far I have come" - J.M.
We had probably the greatest Law of chastity lesson this week to...I love teaching the commandments because the blessings are so clear their is no debate in doctrine it is just true and has universal blessings.
She was so sure to come to church again, but sustained a concussion during her rugby game on Saturday.

P.N. - Is another Marshall Friend who has been learning for sometime now, found by the H's originally and had member neighbors back home. We had an amazing lesson with him this week, "I know everything I have been taught is true...but my family..." and we had an amazing lesson with our YSA's and him talking about how much the lord will bless him and how his family will be converted to the Gospel as they see the light in him. Elder Davis read him Matt 10: 37-41...the spirit was present and by the end of it all we all left the library at Marshall with hope and excitement P.N. set a date for November 28th...he came to church this past Sunday...the Joy on Sister H's face when she saw him sitting with the other YSA members in the chapel...it is these moments that make this work the best work anyone can be engaged in.

S.G. - Simplify is the word that comes to mind...it was a ride with him this week, Satan just trying to cloud the clear simplicity of the gospel. Our new bishop had him over for dinner again and we read alma 34 with him and talked about grace and the atonement...keep moving forward...pure simplicity is powerful. He came to church as well.

The N's continue to be the sweetest family. They also came to dinner with members and the ward is just taking hold of them. They and their primary children niece and nephew all came to church. They keep saying how grateful they are and how much happier they have been, progressing right along to December 23rd, getting ready to take on quitting smoking! They will do it easy, as they keep acting in faith. 

Nearly two transfers later...Elder Davis and I look back at how we feel like the work particularly at Marshall has grown. we feel like we are not laying the foundation but building on level 1 & 2 on the foundation which already existed.

M.W. (a freshman member student we met at our first event on campus) two months ago we were meeting with her and teaching her, now two months later she spoke in sacrament as a spiritually confident woman, I felt so joyful to hear her say "when I first arrived I wasn't sure how much I wanted to part of the church" to "I have chosen this as my truth" and to go from being unsure about the plan of salvation to teaching it to her friends and seeing her friends come to church. The strength of the growth of Marshall was found in strengthening our two members and that provided the means to the rest of the work which lead to two less-actives coming back to activity...instantly & excitedly...and so far 2 friend students seriously progressing to baptism...I love them all so much. 

NOTE: We are changing the lingo of how we refer to "investigators" the Term "investigator" is going to fade away, as we now will refer to them as "friends" which is actually what they really are, after all, our friends. So in my letters here on out I will be adopting this practice.
 

I will start off with a cool photo from the Henderson Center at Marshall...Go Herd!
An exciting little bit of the week, Elder Davis and I decided to take one of our ideas and bring it into reality. Let me introduce you to our new tool a 6.5'x3' A-frame chalk board sign. (nicknamed "Elder Marshall" by the YSA students)
We have a few different ideas about how we want to use it already, to teach about the restoration by writing a phrase on one side of the board and asking students to quickly look at the quote then attempt to re-write the quote on the other side and watch how it changes, and teach about the apostasy and then invite their friends to come and stand between and read the quote to them and have the quote come out clear and correct and teach about prophets.
​A few of these faces you may know (left to right) P.N. (another friend we have been teaching), M.W., PJ, J.M....we have a few ideas about how we are going to use this new tool, which we are very excited about, but when we are not using it, it stays on campus with an inspiring quote on the board which we will change a few times a week. 
​this was our missionary style Sunday dinner, with chili to-go provided by the H. family, this was in PJ's office at Marshall with Hh, J., P., PJ & M....leftover food from packages (thank you Aunti liz and mom) and mis-match bowls and all.

​J. quickly came around much to our joy, by Monday she had asked to meet with us again (so much for taking a week) J. is doing just grand, as you can see she is reading right along in her Book of Mormon and is perhaps the most spot on progressing friend I have taught, immediately applying the principles she is taught like the word of wisdom & the Law of chastity...she did get a concussion this week following getting kicked in the head during her rugby game at Eastern Kentucky University, so keep her quick recovery in your prayers, she is one tough girl...Hh is the girl in the background.
​This is C. (in the middle between Hh and M. another new YSA...we were sitting following dinner on Sunday and as we began teaching a lesson we paused and talked about. How happy we are and grateful for each of them members and friends and how much we have seen each of them grow and progress, ourselves included, so far this semester. The YSA group at Marshall has grown and come so far at Marshall coming from noting last year to several and half of them being non-members



I am just so happy I just don't want it to end...I wish I could just take all these happy moments and put them to music and live them over and over again and share them with my family and friends...

- Elder Wheeler
ART

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