Happy Birthday Elder Florence!

I had an awesome Birthday yesterday!
[Insert by Mom- his Birthday package was delayed and he got nada, zip, zilch from home]

After church we went and taught a lesson to our friend Pat Hartling.  Our goal for the  lesson was to have him committed to being baptized on August 6th, -so committed that we could set the service up with him that night.  We prepared by planning the lesson to his needs.  We selected doctrines and principles from the Plan of Salvation lesson that we felt would be meaningful and help him see why baptism was so important and why he needs to choose for himself to follow through with it.  Next we role played the lesson and came up with questions we wanted to ask that would help Pat teach himself and open his heart to the influence of the spirit.  Last we grouped together a few scriptures from the Book of Mormon that we could read with him that would drive the points we were making home, add validity to our teaching and again, invite the spirit.  Because we were prepared we had no fear.  The lesson, according to our plans, went perfectly.  TWICE during the lesson while we talking about baptism, and when we were reading from the Book of Mormon, the spirit came and testified to Pat in a unique specific way that he instantly recognized as God talking to him.  We were able to feel the spirit as well, along with the rest of the Hartling family, like a ripple on water pulsating through the room.  Pat understood all the principles and doctrines we were teaching, and at the end of the lesson when we invited him to be baptized on the 6th of August, he was eager to say “Yes!”  Pat’s member nephew Mike, who is preparing to serve a mission of his own soon and will be performing the baptism on Saturday, exclaimed during the lesson and once at the end in response to the influence of the Holy Ghost; “That is so COOL!” We feel the same way.  Again, -best birthday EVER!!!

We were short on miles so we got out the bikes and road around this week.  It was amazing how much we were able to get done in so little time.  We contacted several LAs, (less actives) a potentials investigator, and ITLed (Invited to Learn) more people than we usualy do in a week.  It is great!

We had a strange encounter with an individual who for privacy’s sake I will just refer to as “Bob”.  Bob actually approached us while we were tracting a few weeks ago.  He was friendly and had met with missionaries before.  He had a few conerns about the church and some of our teachings, but he was willing to walk with us and give the church another shot.  We were suprised when he showed up at church the next Sunday (street  contacts don’t usually do that.)  We were busy at the moment preparing for a baptism so we set up an appointment for later in the week.  We met at the church a few nights later and launched into the first discussion.  At first things were going well;  Bob seemed nice enough and open to the message, and Elder Silva and I both could feel the spirit.  Flags started waving in my head when I noticed Bob use “lingo” that was specific to certain anti-mormon materials I had previously encountered.  I am proud to say that I kept my cool, resisted the temptations to dive off into deeper scripural waters, and stuck with the basics of testifying and inviting.  By the end it was very clear that Bob had no intentions of joining the church and that his real motive was to shake our testimonies.  We ended the lesson and made it clear to Bob that we would not be swayed.  In a last ditch effort to take us down he invited us to come “play around” with him instead of preoselyte.  Scary!

Love,

Elder Emmett Florence

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