Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 17

Hello Friends and Family!!

First and foremost I would like all of you at home to share this message on social media: ! This is the church's new Easter Initiative and it has a beautiful message about Christ. Often times, we really wonder if sharing something on social media will really help, but I can promise you it does. In Newport News, we had a now-investigator (who I believe is still investigating the church) hit a low point in her life. During her distress, she started to sincerely pray for help in finding Christ. Christianity did not make sense to her, yet she still believed in Christ.  After her prayer, she opened up Facebook and the first thing she saw was a post from her friend quoting the Book of Mormon. She took that as her answer from God of the direction she needed to go. She requested a Book of Mormon, and later that night we delivered it to her. Will every post bring someone to the missionaries? Probably not. However, I am thankful that her friend chose to post a scripture, and I hope each of you will share Christ and His Easter Message. I know that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

As for my week, it was pretty great -like always. There is never a dull moment. There is always something to do and someone to help. North Carolina is such a beautiful state.

Lessons I learned: 
  • Book of Mormon brings the spirit: There is a family the missionaries have been teaching for quite a long time and all I will say is they need a little peace in that chaotic home. The biggest struggle we face has been quieting the children long enough to teach a lesson. Everything we tried just wouldn't work. Every lesson we ended up talking over screaming to the older kids and parents and nothing productive would come out of the lesson. We decided to take a different approach this last lesson. We decided that we were going to liken the scriptures to the family, because it worked well with a different investigator. I bet, for the first time in years, that house was quiet. The spirit was so strong it either captured the attention of the children, or put them to sleep so we could teach. For a moment we paused and sat in crystal clear silence and let the spirit fill the room. After a couple minutes, one of the younger children reverently remarked on the quietness opening the perfect segue into identifying the fruits of the spirit. For the first time in a long time, that family enjoyed peace and really took our message into their hearts. We invited that family to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon every single day as a family and they eagerly accepted. 
  • We stopped by two days later to see if they actually read, and they hadn't. To say the least, we were disappointed. We asked why, and the family just looked at us like we were idiots, and then pointed out the rambunctious kids.  I heard a quiet voice, sounding like mine own thoughts, prompting me to read the first 5 verses. Thinking I must be insane I dismissed it. I then heard it again reminding me that I had promised, as a representative of Christ, that family peace if they would read their scriptures. I decided to try it. By verse 5 the room was still and the family was asking us to read more with them. In 5 verses, in less than 5 minutes, with almost no effort, there was once again peace in the house. At the end of the chapter we smiled, looked up at the family, and reverently said, "I told you it would work." 
  • Pondering: Often, people neglect the significant step of pondering the scriptures. At zone conference I realized that is one of the most important ways we can measure conversion, and real intent. Weather or not the investigator is pondering the scriptures is just as important as weather or not they are reading the scriptures.  It is the easiest way to see how much of our message has entered their heart. Its through pondering and deep study that we gain the desire to apply it into our life.
Stay frosty my friends,
-Elder Shill

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