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

Sunday, May 26, 2013

3/18/13 "Good luck storming the castle!"

"Good luck storming the castle!"
"Do you think it'll work?"
"It'll take a miracle."

Things are starting to warm up here in Charlotte. Things are starting to blossom, as well. It looks very pretty. I can't wait until the trees regrow their leaves. Elder Heathcote and I are doing well together. He is definitely willing to get on the bike and go.

A few fun stories from this week:

1) Elder Heathcote and I went to go teach Renee, one of our investigators, with a recent convert couple, the Parkers. We had scheduled to come over at 2 PM, but Renee had apparently thought we were coming at 3 PM. When we showed up, the house was in disarray, there was a smell the air, and there were two young men of a shady character present. We were pretty certain they were drug dealers. So, we introduced ourselves, invited them to have a seat with Renee, and proceeded to teach them the Plan of Salvation.

One of them, a young man named Teba, was extremely interested in what we had to say and asked a lot of really good questions, like "How can I know what path to follow? How can I know which church is Christ's Church?" I thought this experience was hilarious. I learned, though, that all people are children of God, no matter what they look like or what they are doing at the time. If you had seen Teba on the street, you never would have thought that he was a person who was wondering about God and where he should go in life. Heavenly Father definitely arranged that little meeting for us.

2) I'd had a nagging feeling for weeks that we needed to go find at a particular apartment complex, so last Tuesday I heeded the prompting and we went over there. When we arrived, though, I had the distinct impression that this was not the right place to go. I was slightly confused by this, but I'd noticed that the street we'd just barely passed looked fairly promising. We locked up our bikes and started finding. The second door we knocked, a man named Adam let us right in. We didn't even have time to say our names or who we were before we were in his house, sitting around a table.

Adam asked us if he could have a copy of the Book of Mormon. Slightly surprised, I gave him one, and he told us that he'd read it before and had a few questions for us. Such as:
"In the Book of Ether, the Brother of Jared comes across the sea. He forms the Jaredites, right? Where do they fit in with the Nephites and Lamanites?"
Needless to say, I was very surprised. Apparently about five years ago Adam had noticed that there were quite a lot of Mormons in the world, so he went to the nearest bookstore, bought himself a Book of Mormon copy and read it so that he could see where we were coming from. He asked us where the Word of Wisdom came from, since he didn't read anything about it in the Book of Mormon. All of his questions were extremely sincere. We had a good talk with him, and despite the can of Anti-Word of Wisdom-Fluid on the counter, I was very impressed with his character; he was a young husband and father who seemed like he was honestly seeking the truth. We challenged him to re-read the Book of Mormon and told him we'd come back to check on his progress.

I don't know how things will end up with him, but I do know that Heavenly Father guided us that night. It frightened me, in fact, how we had been directed to Adam. We said a prayer of gratitude after we left his house, thanking Heavenly Father for sending us His Spirit to tell us where to go.

3) Elder Heathcote got hit by a car this week.

4) On Saturday, an appointment fell through on us, so we felt prompted to go visit an elderly sister in the ward who happened to live nearby. It turned out that Sister Perkins was having some health problems and had really needed a blessing. On cue, we appear to provide one. The other small miracle here was that I paused to share a scripture from the Last Supper (John 14:18-19), and before I could begin, Sister Perkins quoted the exact one I had picked to share. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father was aware of how Sister Perkins was feeling and inspired us to go and visit her, exactly in her time of need. I don't know how he can keep track of all His children, but He definitely does.

That's one thing about a mission. There are tons of little miracles all over the place. Possibly picking the same scripture someone just quoted is not that big of a miracle; possibly finding the exact house at the exact time is not that big of a miracle; perhaps hearing a drug dealer ask how he can find the truth is not that big of a miracle. Who knows.

I read one of my favorite passages from the Book of Mormon this week which talked a little bit about miracles. This is the prophet Mormon in Moroni 7:

"Has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has [God] withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
"Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain."

The Atonement was made for billions of people, but it is of great comfort to me that Heavenly Father probably would have sacrificed His Son if He had only had one other child. He wants us all to come home, and His work will not be finished as long as there is one man upon the face of the earth to be saved. He will do all He can to make sure you get your miracles, large or small.  The Lord told us that "signs will follow them that believe in my name." (Ether 4:18) Looking back, you will see that all those little miracles add up.

Well, I love you all, and I love my mission. Good luck reaching the Celestial Kingdom!
("Do you think it'll work?")
("It'll take a miracle!")

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

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