Monday, March 24, 2014

It rained, I played the piano & why aren't they flooding to the church?

I have learned a very valuable lesson this week on the power of the Atonement that I would like to share, but before I do I'll share the other things of this week.

A less active we have been working with is having some problems with her testimony. She was baptized a few years ago, but there is one question that I have when I hear her talk about the gospel, "How in the world did she get baptized?" We have often met with her and have shared the message of the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, but she believes that God does not have a body, therefore, Joseph Smith didn't see Him, and she doesn't have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. It testifies to me the importance of starting the process of conversion versus just getting baptized.  So, we showed her evidences in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon that God has a body and she is currently looking within herself and praying about, whether or not God has a body. 

In other things, we have been in a drought a little bit, but we had a couple days of rain fall that have been very enjoyable. I'm just confused about peoples' attitude towards rain. Everyday they say, "It's really hot! Why can't it rain?!" Then when rain comes they are all really happy, but they will not do anything because, "It's raining." I don't get it. They want rain to come, but when it does they run away from it and into their houses! Haha, so funny!

We have been teaching an Ibon girl and we have her on date to be baptized on April 5th! She is on her way and there seems to be no problem. Because she is Ibon, she only speaks Malay, which I don't speak, so even though she is getting baptized next week, I don't really know if it counts for a baptism for me or   for me to even say that I taught her, because I couldn't teach her anything!  Just a thought for pondering :) But we are so excited for her baptism- so cross your fingers (and pray) it stays on track!

FHE was a blast to have with the branch. We played the animal game, if any of you have played that, and they absolutely loved it! Everyone was having a great time and enjoyed one another's company. 

Our branch pianist is in Japan this week and next week, so that means that I get to play the piano. I just want to express my greatest appreciation and love to those who encouraged me or taught me to play the piano!  Without you, the wonderful Sitiawan branch would have conducted Sacrament meeting without music to sing to this week! Haha- I didn't make too many mistakes, I have been practicing when I can! Of course, now is when you wish you would have taken piano lesson for more years that you actually did...

So, the power of the Atonement is real and I want to bear testimony of it. We had been trying our best all day to find people to teach and meet, but unfortunately only met with one or two people. Later, at dinner that night, a lady approached us and asked who we were and what we are doing. We explained who we were and our purpose. She seemed to take interest and asked about the church here. She asked, "How long have you been here? How big is your congregation?" I didn't know, so Elder Lee informed me that the church has been here for about 7 years and that we have about 40 active members. This woman looked shocked at the numbers we just shared with her. She then said, "you've been here for 7 years and only have 40 members?" I could see her interest wane and she thanked us and left.

On the bike ride home, I said to my companion, "Elder Lee, why don't people just flood to the gospel? Why don't they want to listen?" He then said, "I have a video to show you." We got home and he pulled out his phone. He then showed me a video called "Missionary Work and the Atonement." If you have not seen this video before, I highly recommend it. In fact, I insist you see it. In it, Elder Eyring and Elder Holland speak of the Atonement and it's connection with missionary work. I don't want to quote the entire video, but I then felt the power of the Atonement in my heart and I lost all feeling of pride, doubt, despair, etc. I just felt the love of the Savior and I felt ashamed to have lost a little faith. I am grateful that Elder Lee showed me that video and we are constantly praying for the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help us become successful missionaries He wants us to become. 

I have learned that a successful missionary isn't one of many baptisms or investigators, but an obedient missionary. 

Love you

Elder Hanks

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