Monday, June 23, 2014

Going to a differentchurch!!

So recently I was informed by my mother/blogger that the blog post that got the most hits was the one titled "I got a boyfriend!" Thus, I have been trying to come up with more "shocking" titles to increase my readership.
We actually did go to a different church this week. Someone that the elders are teaching invited them to a "revival" for their church (the Choctaw Church of God) so we tagged along. It was a good experience, and gave me a new perspective on everyone that we're teaching. It's always important to know where people are coming from so that you can better teach to their needs!
But anyways, this week was FANTASTIC as usual. We had to move Odessa and Tana's baptismal date again, but they are FOR SURE getting baptized on July 19th!!!! It'll be a great late birthday present :). And Odessa went to Young Women during church for the first time and LOVED it. Now we just need the rest of the family to get on board and stay for all of church.
We also did my favorite thing this week:

Drive through farmland as the sun goes down! I'm so grateful for being in an area that covers quite a bit of the middle of nowhere but is still a short drive from the city. Only in Oklahoma!
The Easteps also committed hardcore to come to church this week! They're an old couple that hasn't gone in a long time, and they told us that the only reason why they haven't gone is because their laze. Lame excuse. We have a good enough relationship now that we were able to tell them that we would not leave their house until they agreed to come to church. And it worked! They had already promised their daughter that they'd go to the Baptist church with her yesterday, but this Sunday they'll be there!
Another highlight: we got a media referral! That almost never happens! But a guy went on and requested a Book of Mormon so we brought it to him and we're going to go back and teach him this week. So share those links to church websites! They work!
Finally, we were going to go with a member to go visit a recent convert who lives in the boonies, but they cancelled so we decided to go visit some other less active people that live way out in the boonies (basically in Norman). After that we went to visit an old member couple for a little bit, and they were so nice and gave us a bag of potatoes from their garden and wild sand plum jelly that they'd made themselves. It was awesome! Missionaries get so spoiled it's not even funny.
But anyways. I've been thinking and studying a lot about member missionary work lately, and especially this talk by Elder Ballard from last conference. Here are some parts that I like:
I’m a great believer in the principle of follow-up. As it says in the missionary guide Preach My Gospel, “extending an invitation without following up is like beginning a journey without finishing it or buying a ticket to a concert without going into the theater. Without the completed action, the commitment is hollow.”2  
Preach My Gospel teaches everyone not only how to invite but also how to follow up on our invitations. The purpose of missionary work is defined as inviting “others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”3
Inviting is certainly part of the process. But notice that there is much more to missionary work for members than simply extending invitations to people to listen to the missionaries. It also includes follow-up with the missionaries in the cultivation of faith, the motivation to repentance, the preparation for making covenants, and enduring to the end...
In the spirit of Peter’s example, may I suggest that we can all be more consistently involved in missionary work by replacing our fear with real faith,inviting someone at least once a quarter—or four times every year—to be taught by the full-time missionaries. They are prepared to teach by the Spirit, with sincere and heartfelt inspiration from the Lord. Together we can follow up on our invitations, take others by the hand, lift them up, and walk with them on their spiritual journey.
To help you in this process, I invite all members, regardless of your current calling or level of activity in the Church, to obtain a copy of Preach My Gospel. It is available through our distribution centers and also online. The online version can be read or downloaded at no cost. It is a guidebook for missionary work—which means it is a guidebook for all of us. Read it, study it, and then apply what you learn to help you understand how to bring souls to Christ through invitation and follow-up. As President Thomas S. Monson has said, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him.”5
I don't want to bore you with excessive citations, but the moral of the story is that prophets and apostles have said it over and over and over again: the best way to grow the kingdom of God is through the members and missionaries working together. The members will take the lead in finding and fellowshipping, and the missionaries will take the lead on teaching and preparing for baptism. There is no better feeling than watching someone you love and have prepared enter the waters of baptism, and Heavenly Father wants us all to feel that way. So keep up the good work and serve and love and find those that the Lord has prepared for you!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week and keep smiling because LIFE IS SO GOOD!!!
Con much carino,
Hermana Holloway

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