Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 and Rescuing in Unity

ALOOOOOOHA friends and family :)
So this week... was a lovely week... full of sunshine and wonderfulness.
And some of you got the privilege as well of speaking to my sunshiny face. Congratulations.
Really, though, with Christmas and everything else this week was just fabulous. It was pretty INSANE, though. For all you current and future missionaries out there, I do NOT recommend having 2 exchanges, a major religious holiday with its accompanying preparation day (AKA Christmas and Christmas Eve), and a baptism planned for the same 7 day period. At the end of said 7 day period you might only be able to barely function. 
BUT we still had some substantial miracles. 
for example... 
MIMI GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was a very very happy day. I've been working with this chica for 6 months and I have seen such a massive change in her. At the beginning she just wanted to be a spectator. Now she realizes WHY she needs the gospel as well as what it will do for her life. It was just amazing. I'm SO proud of her!
The only downside is that her baptism means that we only have 1 investigator (Andy) so we've been finding a lot and working with our members, etc. Well the other day we finally had our FIRST NEW INVESTIGATOR IN LIKE 6 WEEKS! It was amazing. So there's this lady named Stephanie who randomly showed up at church and decided to get active after being away from church for about 10 years. She is married to a man named Ramon who is NOT a member (yet!) and we wanted to get to know her and her husband better so we set up an appointment to go visit them. When we first got there he wasn't there (boo!) and we asked Stephanie if he'd be interested she said NO WAY which was a little discouraging but when he got home he sat right down on the couch and listened to our spiritual though from Mosiah 24. We had no idea what we were going to say, but the Spirit guided us to ask him if we could teach him. He said we could and that he wants to get right with God again. After he said this Stephanie couldn't stop beaming. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon in between our visit and set a return appointment. It was amazing, one of those lessons where you walk away not knowing anything that you just said. What makes it even better is right across the way from them a cute typical Mormon family that is strong in the church just moved in. Coincidence? I think not. Heavenly Father ALWAYS has a plan.
I've also been pondering lately about the idea of councils, because the church has a lot of them. I was especially thinking about the ward council, because it is perhaps one of the most important councils in the church. This morning I reread Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong's talk on the subject, and I love the analogy he uses of the man afflicted with palsy. I also love that the full-time missionaries are part of this rescue effort. I have spent a lot of effort trying to be integrated into the Village Ward because I believe that all of the phases of the work of salvation can be hastened if the missionaries are an integral part of the ward council and are used and given assignments in all rescue efforts. This is my favorite quote from the talk:
Do we know anyone in our life who is afflicted with spiritual palsy, someone who just cannot come back to the Church by himself or herself? He or she could be one of our children, one of our parents, spouse, or friend.
With so many more full-time missionaries now available in each Church unit, it will be wise for bishops and branch presidents to make better use of their ward and branch councils. The bishop can invite each member of the ward council to come with list of names of those who may need assistance. Members of the ward council will counsel together carefully on how they might best help. Bishops will listen attentively to the ideas and make assignments.
Full-time missionaries are great resources to the wards in these rescue efforts. They are young and full of energy. They love to have list of specific names of people to work with. They enjoy working together with ward members. They know these are great finding opportunities for them. They are devoted to establishing the Lord’s kingdom. They have strong testimony that they will become more Christlike as they participate in these rescuing efforts.
I know this doesn't apply to everyone, but it's certainly made me ponder about how Heavenly Father has given us these ward councils to bless His children.
Well anyways, I love all y'all and I hope you have wonderful weeks! Keep calm and preach the Gospel!!
~Sis. Holloway

1. Mimi's baptism :)
2. Christmas Eve nativity at the Wilkinson's

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