I absolutely love our ward! I think we are truly building a strong relationship with the ward leaders as well as the ward. Our Ward Missionary Leader is absolutely awesome! He is very pro-active and is just super willing to help in any way that he can! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of this new ward! Our ward is definitely a mission-centered ward! I see a lot of faith in all of our ward leaders. This past week we went and visited several members with the Relief Society President, who is a prime example of missionary-member work. As Relief Society President she wants to get to know the sisters in the ward, especially the recent converts and some of the sisters that haven't been at church for a while. She made up a list and gave it to us and asked if we could go with her to go visit. So pro-active!! This past week she came with us to visit several RCLAs and she helped a ton! We had an awesome experience as we went to visit a recent convert named Chan JM. Chan Jm has been having some really bad health problems this past little bit and Lai JM (Relief Society President) was there to show her support! As Chan Jm started talking about how hard the last little bit has been we decided we needed to (as Elder Bednar says) "drop the lesson at the door." We shared about the Savior's sacrifice and love for us. Then we talked about Priesthood Blessings, and gave her one. It was a powerful experience! Following that lesson we had scheduled another recent convert named Anna, however Lai Jm and some other things she had to do. Chan Jm was happy and willing to go with us! While teaching Anna, several questions were brought up. Chan Jm said that she recently had those same questions and had prayed and figured out how to overcome! I especially liked her answer to the question of "how do I help myself read the scriptures every day?" Chan Jm answered: think of the Book of Mormon as your friend!! She explained that she used to think it was very hard to "find" time to read the Book of Mormon, so she started regarding it as a friend! That way, when she was out and about and had some spare time she would think, wait, at home I have a "friend" waiting for me! Then she would go home and read. After using this method, she explained she sometimes read for several hours a day! It makes me think back to Gordon B. Hinckley when he talked about how we really do need to have that relationship with the Book of Mormon.
The faith in our ward is already bringing miracles. These past couple weeks we have been trying to get a hold of a less active whose mother wasn't very supportive of her going to church or meeting the missionaries. To our surprise they both showed up at church!! It was a great opportunity to actually meet her mom and get to know her. Due to that miracle we now have a time we can meet with them later this month!!
We have been working with more recent converts than I've ever worked with before on my mission and so at first I was a little bit nervous about the time that would take out of finding. However, I knew that the Lord needs us to help continue strengthen his converts and so I pushed the doubts out of my mind. To no surprise, as the Lord always does when he gives us counsel, he magnified the finding time we did have by leading us to very prepared people. I know this is God's work. I'm thankful to be a part of it!
Til next week,
Love, Elder Cederlof