District Leading

Aloha!

Today is transfer P-day! (which was the cause of the delay) Elder Erickson and I, as expected will be staying together to finish his training program here in Monument.

We are still struggling to find new investigators to teach.  It is very discouraging going over the area’s records and seeing that 95% of previous baptisms come from member referrals and then with that in mind, having to tract for several hours just to stay busy.  We know it is not effective but we have nothing better to do!  Argh!

Last Saturday we decided to fast to find the elect.  We selected several different streets in our area and spent the better part of the day knocking doors by inspiration.  I will say that I felt much more spiritually fed then usual, and we were able to spend much more time actually talking to and inviting people.  Many times I got the feeling that we had found those who were “elect” but they had been deceived and so for the time being, while we had fulfilled our purpose by inviting them, they were unable to except the invitation.  We were blessed to find one new potential investigator.  She is a young single mom living with her parents.  She said she would be willing to come to church with us this week, so now all we need to do is get back in there and teach her about the Restoration!

Later in the week we were also blessed to talk to more people on the street. We’ve been practising teaching and testifying immediately on doorsteps instead of the traditional “could we come back another time to teach you about…” and I thinking it is helping. We talked to one guy about the Church and revelation for almost an hour yesterday.  He could not get over the fact that we based our whole church on the Book of Mormon and the witness of the Spirit, or “burning in the bosom”.  He kept saying that he knew the Bible was true because it was proven (by man’s reasoning) to be a historically true.  He could not accept the concept of learning by the spirit.  (fulfilment of prophecy?  See 2 Nephi 28:4) Very sad.  He said we could come back and teach him more, although I am not sure how productive it would be.  We will give it a shot teaching him from the Bible that the Holy Ghost is not only a good way to learn but the ONLY way (2 Corinthians 2, Matthew 16:15-17) but if he won’t even listen to his own book which he purports to accept as scripture, we’ll move on.

People here can be very misinformed about the church.  For instance, twice this week people have tried to cite the change in church doctrine towards blacks and the priesthood as evidence that the church and its prophets are false.  Both people were under the false impression that blacks were denied membership in the church, and that Joseph Smith had “prophesied” that they would never be admitted into the covenant, when the reality is that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and several other prophets and apostles in this dispensation prophesied specifically that one day the time would come when all worthy males would be able to hold the priesthood.  These facts being shared, the concern was quickly resolved.  People are so quick to believe lies!  Especially about us!  It’s like they don’t want it to be true! (Go figure.)

In response to some of your questions Dad;  Training is going very well.  Elder Erickson is a great missionary to work with.  The PMG training curriculum is also superb.  It has never been easier to learn how to be a good missionary.  I strongly recommend that you go online to the LDS store on LDS.org and order the “The District 2” PMG DVDS (not District 1, 2)  and watch the three episodes on disc 1. they are spiritually uplifting, entertaining, and extremely educational on exactly what missionary life is like for me.  Being District Leader: we have district meetings once a week on Friday.  I am responsible to plan and lead about two hours of training, role playing teaching skills from PMG, and spiritual discussion that I feel will be most beneficial in helping the members of the district fulfill their purpose.  All together there are two other missionary companionships I am responsible for.  I have been blessed to see the spirit guide me in serving my District.  Just the other day while taking the nightly call-in report from the sisters in my district while discussing the needs of one of their investigators who was struggling, the thought came to me to suggest they teach him about forgiveness at their next appointment.  At the time it didn’t seem like a very big deal, but the next day when they called in, they told me that they had followed my advice and as a result they had had an awesome lesson with their investigator and made a lot of progress with him.

I would love to email more, but I am over on my time and I have to go.

Love,

Elder Emmett Florence

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