Thursday, September 18, 2014

Miracles and Meetings

September 1, 2014 We'll start with meetings: 1) We had a new district leader and zone leader training meeting, which was cool but took up too much of our time. It's cool though because the chapel we go to is where the mission office is located, where transfer meeting occurs, sort of the center of meetings for our mission. So we get to see missionaries from all over when we're here, which is cool. When I went to the new leader meeting, Elder Bruner and a few others went to go try to meet people in the area, and apparently they got shut down consistently the whole time we were in the meeting...nevertheless, hope was not lost, as you'll find out later. 2) I went to my first Mission Leadership Council, which is a massive meeting where the leaders among the elders and the leaders among the sister missionaries come and council about different subjects, and then people like Kylie give trainings to us, etc. It was extra special because we had a representative from a choir that the famous Gladys Knight directs come to our mission and discuss the details of a devotional/concert that Gladys Knight is directing here in Rochester in September! She's coming to share her experiences of why she became a member of the church, and how she gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon, etc so it should be an amazing opportunity to get people in the chapel exposed to a meetinghouse and some of the members. Can't wait! That meeting took all day though... Miracles: 1) We extended the zone challenge like I mentioned last week, with the prize being a large chocolate bar. Well, the challenge ended and it was a huge hit! People in the zone really made an effort to get out there and meet new people, introducing them to the church and what we're all about, no why we stop strangers and talk to them!! We personally found that as we went out to try to meet new people, we would often find people that we're looking for a church, or who were curious about what we do, or really interested in the Gladys Knight event, etc. It really seemed like God had placed us in the right spots at the right times. 2) K was one of these people. We walked up to her on her front porch, and what was anticipated to be a quick 2 minute invitation to the Gladys Knight event turned out to be a 15-20 minute conversation about why we're here on Earth, and how the restoration of hue gospel helps answer deep important question like that. She was awesome. We walked past her on one of her fee days off when she happened to be outside. Not by chance. 3) We ran into L as well, who just happened to be visiting churches lately, and found herself in Pittsford, not too close to where she actually lives. She happened to run into us, and hear about our church. We gave her our information and invited her to show up to the church closest to her. Not by chance. 4) More inspired bowels- I had to go to the bathroom and we had the choice of going back to the apartment or going to McD's really quick. We chose to go to McD's and a kid named T just happened to be working, really interested in learning about the faith of those who are willing to act on their own faith, such as missionaries. Not by chance we just ran into him. 5) Lesson with J. She assured us multiple times that she was Roman Catholic, like a lot of people around here. That was totally fine! Our job as missionaries is to share our beliefs with others and invite them to pray to know the truthfulness of our message, without tearing anybody else down. The lesson we taught her went very well, and we all felt the spirit really strong. She had tears in her eyes, and we could tell that God had been merciful to us by helping us teach with the Spirit. If the spirit is not there, the. It won't be a very effective lesson! So that was good. 6) Our lesson yesterday with W was like J's. He's very old, and he doesn't see why he would need to change his life at this ripe age of his, so we testified strongly of the blessings associated with the restoration of the gospel, and if what we're teaching is true, then there is so much that he can benefit from, including a Temple of The Lord, a modern day Prophet, the Book of Mormon, etc, in addition to everything he has now. He's really being sincere about his prayers, and we can see small changes in Him, for good. That's the best part about serving a mission- seeing the change in others' lives because of what the Spirit teaches them. 7) We had the opportunity to teach the young men in the ward that we're in. It was a powerful lesson on preparing for a mission now, and really figuring out if it's something God wants them to do. We stressed the importance of having spiritual experiences, especially with the Book of Mormon, before you come out on your mission, because of how many times you will invite others to have spiritual experiences on their own. If you've had some experiences you can share with others, you will be a more effective missionary. Being a missionary is crazy, and seems weird sometimes. We do weird things. People look at us funny. Very often. But I know that I am exactly where Heavenly Father wants me to be. Love Elder Jake Hirschi

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