Monday, January 11, 2016

Holding Fast

Dear Family & Friends,

This week was a lot better compared to previous weeks. Our goal as a District was to find more Investigators and find more opportunities to teach. We were met with success.

 Earlier this week, we visited with Jacky, one of our few investigators. He has struggled to quit smoking and he wants to join the Church. That day we visited, I felt an impression to read 3 Nephi 11 with him. That prompting seemed to have come from nowhere, so I obeyed. I opened my Book of Mormon and the page for 3 Nephi 11 was the first to open. A second confirmation. We read and explained the importance of the Savior coming to the Nephites and Him fulfilling the promise he gave in Jerusalem when he said "  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." The power and fulfillment of that verse from John 10:16! We read through and the Spirit was there and the room was burning with it. We left with a prayer and a hug with hope that this may be the turning point in Jacky's conversion.

As I have mentioned from previous weeks, we have struggled to find new investigators. We knew something had to give and that we needed to keep trying to find those elect souls that the Lord has prepared. On Thursday, we were having dinner with Bishop Smith. Before we left, he told us of a recent move-in across the street and over one. Bishop Smith had introduced himself and the Gospel came up. The man with whom he spoke to is C.K. He and his wife are from Nepal. As we left the Bishop's house, we immediately went over and introduced ourselves to C.K. He opened the door and immediately invited us in. We sat down and he asked me "What do I need to do to join your church?" We don't get that question often. Maybe once in a blue moon. We replied that he needs to have Faith in Jesus Christ and to repent. We got about that far when we turned to the Restoration. We talked for about 20 minutes or so and we left with a prayer. I was quick to realize a few things. He is a Christian by faith but a Hindu by culture. That must have been expressively hard for him. He told us that his father is ill and that they may have to leave for Nepal without a moment's notice. We tried again Saturday in the afternoon and in the evening. No one was home. They must have left already. 

Another experience caught my attention. We were tracting a neighborhood near our apartment and got to about the 8th door and a man named Garret, answered. He was very friendly and he told us that he is a Christian Apologetic and has learned a good amount of what we believe. He brought up Joseph Smith, the Gold Plates, and even the angel Moroni. We were near flabbergasted! He asked us sincere and soul stirring questions. We essentially taught the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation to him. People like Garret are hard to come by in the South. We left him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it and he accepted. We were the first missionaries, let alone members he has seen. An absolutely incredible experience. I was grateful that I had studied the Restoration and Plan of Salvation extensively in order to try to answer the hard questions that people ask. I have grown to have a deep love for the scriptures and the knowledge that God has given to us by reading them. 

These experiences this week have definitely energized my vigor for missionary work. The small things really do overshadow the hard times that accompany being a missionary. These are important lessons I am learning and I have a hunger and thirst for more. Have a good week y'all!

Elder Alexander Kestner