Tuesday, May 6, 2014

There's power in them there Book of Mormons!

We have had great things happen this past week such as finding new investigators but we are realizing that a lot of members are needing help with just coming to church and feeding their spiritual beings. 
We were able to meet with a lot of investigators and had a few come to church so that's awesome! One of our investigators we put on date for May 10th, this upcoming Saturday, and we visited her to confirm and clarify any last details and such. When all was ready to go, our investigator, sweet Sister A_____ chose me to baptize her this Saturday. What a treat that will be to have my first Chinese baptism this week. I don't know why she chose me, because she has been investigating the church for almost 3 years and has finally quit coffee and came to the realization to be baptized this past month or so. The fact that she chose me, the one elder who has known her the least, means a lot to me.  She is a great, choice, special woman. She is like my Chinese mom here! She is always feeding us and is so happy and smiling all the time! 

We also had a great new investigator come to church but we had set up an appointment to meet last  Saturday at our church. He had told us that he would bring his Bible to our appointment and we could read together. Once he arrived he pulled out this brand new Bible that he just bought that was a special English/Chinese combination that he was really proud of. He just wanted to read with us, so thinking quickly, I suggested we read John 10. :) We read that and explained about the other sheep and the Good Shepherd. We told him of the Book of Mormon and he got really interested in it. When we offered to give him a Chinese copy he was so shocked we wanted to give him one without him paying, he didn't want it. He wanted a Chinese/English combination like his Bible he just bought. I had never seen the Church produce such a book, then I remembered my own copy of the missionary "learning" Book of Mormon which is a Chinese/Pinyin/English combination. I couldn't give away my own because I can't read chinese yet! haha -  But that's when we remembered that  for some reason we had an extra one back home. In church the next day, when he showed up, we gave him that copy of the Book of Mormon and he really liked it. Awesome! The Lord truly has His hand in this work! 

So, as many of you know, we have been working with a Jehovah's Witness and trying to teach him a little bit. He invited us to his home again this past week and before hand, Elder Lee and I decided that we are just going to focus on the Book of Mormon and nothing else.  Whenever he would ask a question we would direct back to the Book of Mormon and its truthfulness. During our appointment, he tried to share some things from his church's website about our church but as we continued to talk and Elder Lee and I focused on the Book of Mormon- things were actually going pretty good. We offered to share a scripture and read together from 3 Nephi 11. We read that all together and he actually really seemed to like it; except for the part about Jesus Christ being the God of Israel because the Bible neither supports or argues that point. But reading that chapter with him really helped him to know that the Book of Mormon is a really good book and more importantly a testimony of Jesus Christ. He invited us back over this week so whoo! we'll see how that goes. We are again going to keep our focus on the Book of Mormon.

eating a Jack fruit
The Book of Mormon has so much power inside it and is able to change the hearts of anyone. We have been working with for a while with a  member's mother, who is an investigator.  She has been struggling to take the church seriously because she feels like she cannot repent of her sins and be baptized. We talked about repentance for a while when we decided to read one quick little scripture in Moroni 6:8. Something remarkable happened as we shared this with her. She is usually joking around with some of the things we say and isn't really focused, always laughing. But as soon as she read this for us,  she went quiet and the spirit entered the room. I just bore testimony of the power of the atonement and her ability to repent. It was a really good lesson. That is what is so cool about the Book of Mormon and it's truthfulness.

Our Church attendance is an interesting one with many regular members not coming and some less actives and investigators coming. It's really frustrating because if we could just get everyone to continue to come every week we would have a great branch full of members and investigators loving and supporting one another and it would be wonderful! So we have both member and investigator work cut out for us this week but things are looking good! Mother's Day is coming up so I'm so excited to talk to my family next week!!!! This work is so amazing!
my mom sent me a link to a newspaper article about my brother playing high school soccer.
Love technology! Way to go Hunter! (he's the one in the brown jersey) 

Elder Hanks

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