North Carolina Charlotte Mission

Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are your brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee. -Alma 31:35

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dec. 31st "Who made YOU the Pope?"

Hello again, everyone!

Seems like it hasn't been very long since the last time I've written. But a few important things have come to pass since last Friday.

Those of you who read my last email will remember that Elder Shumway and I have been doing a ton of finding over the last few weeks. Since it's Christmas/holidays, a lot of investigators are out of town, member support decreases since they're gone too, etc. so we've been talking to a lot of people and knocking on a lot of doors. I mentioned that I firmly believe that if we show the Lord we can be trusted with talking to everyone we meet, He will put prepared individuals in our path.

This last Saturday we had nothing on the schedule. We didn't know who was home from Christmas vacation, who was ignoring us, or what. We had a semi-referral from a member which we were reluctant to go try (it's a long story), but we decided to be diligent and to go anyway. They weren't home. We went to go visit another investigator, who didn't answer, and another investigator, who didn't answer. After trying about six investigators in a row with no luck, I felt prompted to go visit Rosita, a former.

Rosita, as you may recall, was a bit of a miracle story, but she had been facing a ton of family opposition and we hadn't gone to go see her in a few weeks. Often, while planning out the schedule for the day or when we were in the general area, I would think about going to see Rosita, but I would feel like not going. I remember that Zach Fisher said in his email something along the lines of: "It's hard to tell sometimes if this is your mind telling you 'I don't want to go,' or if it's Satan saying 'Don't go,' or if it's the Spirit saying 'Don't go.' " That was my general problem here.

Well, after about six investigators with no luck, I suddenly felt that it was time to go and see Rosita. So we went up and knocked on her door.


But as we walked down the stairs, I saw a lady and went to go talk to her. She asked, "You're Mormons, right?" When we said yes, she replied, "My brother's a Mormon. My nephew's on a mission in Oakland, California!"

We started talking to her, but then I saw two ladies carrying a load of water bottles, so I left to go help them. When I returned, I saw this lady walking in her house, talking on the phone. Elder Shumway had given her a pamphlet and wanted to know what to do. I felt constrained to go knock on her door. She opened up and invited us in.

Her name was Wendy, and she was talking on her phone to her brother, who asked if he could speak with us. He told us that he had joined the Church 28 years ago at a time of great trial, and he told us that he had been praying for a very long time for missionaries to find his sister. He told us that we had answered his prayer. We ended up teaching her the first lesson, and it was an incredible experience.

Wendy told us that she had not been attending a church for a long time and was looking for the one that felt right. We invited her to come on a tour with us later that evening, and she came! We introduced her to the Relief Society President -- who invited her to dinner in a few days -- and showed her around. She told us that her brother would fly out from Arizona to baptize her.

This whole experience was a little bit frightening to me, as strange as it sounds. If we had not been diligent that day -- that is, if we had slacked off or had not kept trying or, in short, done anything different from what we did; if we had arrived at that same spot thirty seconds earlier or thirty seconds later -- we would have missed her.

Miracle? Oh yes.

We said many prayers of thanks that day. I have no doubt in my mind that the Lord is directing us. That is what all of us are entitled to receive with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Most of the time we have no idea we're being directed. Most of the time we don't know that the Spirit was guiding us, until we look back and realize that we were following its promptings all along. We were just trying to be good people.

The Spirit truly is an incredible thing. This last Sunday the Zone Leaders had a baptism, and I got to attend. The Holy Ghost was just so powerful there, filling the entire room. I just wanted to go and hug everybody, I was filled with so much joy and love. I've heard that the Holy Ghost is just a small taste of what eternal life is like. If that is the case, I am willing to do everything to be able to feel that love all the time.

Just one more final thing. When we were talking to Wendy, she told us about all the things she's learned in life, since she is a single mom, now an empty nester. She shared with us her testimony of God, and about how He does some things because we need to learn. She compared it to a child learning to walk, which immediately reminded me of "The Lesson" by Carol Lynn Pearson. I told her this, and Wendy said that she knew that poem. I shared it with her the best I could from my memory, and I want to close by sharing this poem with you, just like I did at my farewell:

The Lesson

"Yes, my frowning, fretting child,
I could cross the room to you more easily.
But I've already learned how to walk, so I make you come to me.
Let go now -- there!
You see?

Oh, remember, child, this lesson.
And in later years, when you cry out in tears,
'Oh God, help me! Please, help me!"
Just listen, and you'll hear a silent voice say:

'I would, child. I would.
But it is you, not I, who needs to try

I testify that this is God's work. His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. The Savior has made it possible, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Way by which we return home and pass the test of godhood. This same gospel has been restored by Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon is a witness of that truth. President Monson is a prophet of God, and this church is true.

I love the Lord, I love you all, and I love my mission! Happy New Year!

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

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