...that the church is true. He knows that the Book of Mormon ,Plan of Salvation is true, and all of the principles and doctrines of the Church are true, but that is not going to save him. Knowing is not enough, what makes a difference is that we become and do what we know to be true." Levi Roberts, recently returned missionary from Fruitland, Idaho.
That was taken from a talk given in the New Plymouth 1st ward this past Sunday. Bro. Roberts also talked a lot about how we (the full time missionaries) should not have to knock doors to find people to teach. He shared a story about his mission in Brazil about how in a little branch made up of a lot of new converts who would share the gospel so willingly with everyone that they met. They didn't know a whole lot about the gospel, but they acted and wanted to share the joy of that the gospel has brought them with everyone. He said that they would bring him a list of names every Sunday to church of sometimes up to 20 names and they had many baptisms from that experience. He also said if they would meet someone new at church they would teach them throughout the week and by the next Sunday after church they would be baptized. That happened a lot in this particular area. Then he went to explain how that is possible everywhere.
He also shared a personal story of when he was younger, and his mom would ask him to do things (i.e. clean their room, take out the trash...) he would often say "I know," to which his mother would respond, "I know that you know, I want you to do." I think that is how our Father in Heaven would respond when we say, "I know that I need to pray," or "I know that I need to go to church," but I am sure that he just smiles and says, "I know that you know, I want you to do."
Needless to say Elder Phelps and I wanted to give him a standing ovation, but that isn't very appropriate during sacrament meeting, but we did thank him after the meeting. We also began to ask if ward members had any names ready for us, no one did, but things are still going great.
This week we had a lot of good experiences. As you can see by the pictures we had a real Red-Neck wedding. A couple of our investigators got married this past Saturday. They had the bishop marry them on mules, while he was standing on a flat bed pickup truck, they originally requested that he be on horseback, but he didn't feel like it would be very appropriate to preform a sacred ordinance on horseback, so they settled for the flat bed.
Yesterday we had Zone Conference which is always a treat. Something interesting is that we talked a lot about becoming, so sacrament meeting the day before was kind of a warm up, or maybe the Lord is trying to tell me to be better... Who knows. It is always great to hear from President Cannon and we also had the opportunity to hear from Elder Nattress, who is the area seventy for this area, he actually used to be the Ontario Stake President. He told us how he had some training meetings to go to and he was assigned to sit at lunch with President Thomas S. Monson. Elder Nattress told us President Monson talked about how much he loves the missionaries and that he even talked about a missionary by name, whom he had met years earlier. It is amazing to think that the President of the Church has the ability to love each and everyone of us, even though he hasn't met most of us. And that he remembers names, after who knows how many years.
Last night, after Zone Conference, we had two really spiritual appointments. The first being with the Castillo family, from Nayarit, Mexico. We first met them one day when we went to the post office, and on the way out we both had the impression to go across the street and say hello to our branch president, who has a store there. When we got inside we quickly noticed that the woman behind the counter wasn't Pres. Machuca. We started to talk with her and she was really nice and then after talking for a little while she said that we could visit her and her family some day and gave us directions to her home and told us that Monday and Tuesday work best for them. So last night we stopped by and met the rest of the family, Porfirio, husband, Luis, 6 yrs. and Kayla, 1 month. We had a great lesson and when we brought out the Book of Mormon, Porfirio said that he has seen an ad on TV about it and was interested in getting one.
They are great family and we are looking forward to teaching and baptizing them. Then we went to our second appointment of the evening and really saw the hand of the Lord. We were at Imelda Arroyo's house and the Sanchez family (members) came to fellowship her. We didn't have a lot time so we watched the Restoration movie with her. Since she works nights she was having a hard time staying awake, and so her little 3 year old daughter took it into her hands to keep her awake the whole time. The Lord was really working to keep her awake. It was great. Imelda has a baptismal date for May 28th and last night we set a date with her 8 year old daughter as well for the same day.
We are seeing great things going on here and are really enjoying serving in this great area