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

Jan. 7th "There's a double meaning in that!"

" 'Against my will, I am sent to bid you come to sacrament meeting?'
...There's a double meaning in that!"  
(you Shakespeare aficianados will recognize that Danny is taking liberties with the dialogue between Benedick and Beatrice in "Much Ado about Nothing." )
Oh man.

Learning is such an awesome process, isn't it? I've asked Heavenly Father a lot over the last few weeks to help me become a good trainer, and boy oh boy, has He done that. This has mostly been by showing me, in His infinitely loving way, all the things I've been doing wrong.

There are a few things that I already knew about. For example, I figured that "Did you know Jesus and Satan were brothers?" is not a door approach. But there are other, more subtle things that I've had to learn. Such as planning effectively, or time management, or teaching people, not lessons, or letting people know right from the get-go what exactly your purpose is (to invite them to come unto Christ, of course!), or looking for the people that are elect and not just polite, or trying to network with every single person you see, asking them who on earth they know that you could teach. And, most important of all, learning how to follow the Spirit.

These are all practical things, of course. I've been learning a ton of doctrinal things and spiritual truths, and writing them all down in my little notebook so that I don't lose them.Elder Shumway is enthusiastic and teachable, and a good deal faster than I am on the bike. Other than his dangerous tendency to tailgate me, I have no complaints. Truly I am blessed to have such a wonderful companion.

This week we have been beset by meetings, which have limited our finding time, but they have greatly helped me learn how to be a better trainer. Brother Green, our Community of Christ friend, is still awaiting an answer about who is the prophet. President Craven himself has gotten on board to help us out with this one, much to our astonishment. It seems like all the missionaries in our zone have heard about Brother Green and are fascinated with him, and they surround him at mission home firesides, asking him embarrassing questions like "Don't you guys believe that Joseph Smith is the embodiment of the Holy Ghost?" (Brother Green did not appreciate that one, he later told us.)

I eagerly await this next week. There is so much to do! So many people to talk to! There are people at bus stops to sit next to, members to call, less-actives to visit, part-member families to teach, referrals to contact. Rain or shine, day or night, the Work goes on, and time flies. Oh, goodness, the time flies. My journal has reached a whopping 271 pages, so thankfully I'll be able to hold onto some of all these memories.

Missions are so awesome. I wouldn't give this away for anything.

I wish to quickly bear my testimony of the scriptures. I testify that reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it is the only way that people will be able to accept our message. They cannot get a testimony without it. If you take a look at your own testimony, you'll probably see that it started with the Book of Mormon. You've probably gotten a few powerful spiritual experiences along the way, but it started with reading and praying. If your testimony is not as strong as you would like it, read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true or not.

There are very few things that we are counseled to say exactly, as missionaries. Among these are the First Vision. There is such incredible power in recounting it in Joseph Smith's own words. It is guaranteed to invite the Spirit every time you say it, in any setting where the Spirit could possibly reside. That is one of the few things you have to have when teaching the First Lesson. Moroni's challenge has similar power to invite the Spirit, as does, in my opinion, John 3:16 and D&C 19:16-19. I encourage you to read these out loud sometime. (Question: are there any other such scriptures that come to mind, for you, that have that same kind of Spirit-bringing power?)

All of these things are just a wonderful testimony to us that God really is there, that He really is our Father, and that He really did send His Son, Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith did, in fact, see Them, and did, in fact, translate the Book of Mormon. No fraud could have done what he did. No fraud could have written the things I referenced above. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today, and this is Christ's Church. I testify that this work is true, for I have felt it through the power of the Holy Ghost.

I love you all, and pray for you each day. I love my mission. Happy birthday, Laura!

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

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