...and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. (Doctrine and Covenants 122: 7-9)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 7, 2012

Sorry about not emailing yesterday. It was a transfer day, so P-day was on Tuesday this week. Don't worry, I'll never forget to email every week.

Speakingof transfers, I'm staying in South Shields! But as for Elder Bensberg...he's staying too! We work really well together, so we were relieved and excited to hear we would be spending another 6 weeks together. Because of coming in halfway through two transfers agin, this will make him my longest companion so far. I think President was considering splitting us up because of some challenges we were facing at the beginning of our companionship, but things shaped up big time and we worked our butts off last week and got Standards!

Last week, we taught 9 member presents, 4 other lessons, 6 less-active/recent convert lessons, scheduled one, found 5 new investigators, did 24 hours of finding, and amazingly got 3 at church. I say amaingly because Saturday night, we only had one investigator confirmed for church, and even that was flaky because he doesn't have a phone, so it was a sigh of relief to at least see he had showed up when we arrived Sunday morning. We had no idea how we could possibly have gotten 2 more at church since no one else was confirmed, although we had invited pretty much everyone to come throughout the week, especially Saturday. Then, out of nowhere, just before sacrament meeting (whic is the last hour in our ward), a man neither of us recognized walked in the door and asked where the service was. We directed him into the chapel and I got to speak to him before sacrament meeting began. Turns out he was contacted by missionaries five months ago and was given a passalong card with the church's address and time, and he just randomly decided to show up today! Well, we know it wasn't random, because we fasted to have 3 investigators at church, so it had to have been a spiritual prompting. We taught him after church to count him as a new investigator. We still needed one more at church to get three and achieve Standards, but just as the meeting began, a less-active Zimbabwean woman came in with her family. Well, she's not an investigator... but her husband is! So we knew the Lord had His hand in the work late in our week. President Lindley saw it as well and must feel (as well as the Lord) that Elder Bensberg and I still have much we can learn from each other. I think this will be the best transfer of my mission, because the last transfer was a major growing transfer, espcially with all the personal trials I faced.

Even last week, I felt absolutely hopeless at one point. That day while moping to myslef on the bus, I was prompted to open the Book of Mormon, at which point I did and flipped it open to a random page. The Lord guided my fingers to Jacob chapter 3, verses 1 and 2, which read, "But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure inheart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you inyour afflictions, and he will plead your cuase, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. O all ye that are pure inheart, lift up your heads andreceive the pleasing word of God, and fesat upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever." This passage quickly became one of my favorite scriptures andI knew immediately it was an answer to my prayers to comfort me inmy time of great depression. I know that the commandment to "comfort those that stand in need of comfort" is divinely inspired because Heavenly Father will never forsake those of His children who stand in need of His comfort. Though He allowsw us to pass through trials, He does love us at all times, and to those who "are pure in heart", that "look unto God with a firmness of mind", and will "pray unto him with exceeding faith...he will console [them] in [their] afflictions." I absolutely love that scripture now, and I will use it to help myself and others for the rest of my mission. I also frequently remember what President Monson said to Elder Carl B. Cook, that "it's better to look up".

Love you!

Elder Winder

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