This week has been awesome! So last week we kind of struggled with numbers. We didn't quite do what we wanted so this week we were focused and because we were obedient, faithful, and diligent we qualified for grace! So in a normal week we want to find 3-4 new just as a mission standard. Last week we had 2. Bad. But this week we focused on opening our mouth and allowing the Lord to fill it as he promises to do and what do you know? 10 New!!!! We found 10 people in our area and taught them principles of the gospel and set a return appointment to go teach more!
Let me tell you, people have problems in their life and are looking for help, and the thing that brings the most peace, love, joy, and relief in this life is the gospel of Jesus Christ!
On a random note, one thing that really helps to bring the spirit when teaching is companionship unity. That is also one thing we worked on. So we were walking down the sidewalk at like 7 and it was already completely dark, when suddenly like 6 inches directly to our right this little dog starts barking/yipping super loud and attacking Elder Bunderson! Well Elder Bunderson got a nice little kick off on the dog but not before the dog sunk some teeth into his suit! Luckily he didn't bite Elder Bunderson but he did rip his suit a little, which brings back the companionship unity because now both of us have a rip in our right pant leg! His by the ankle and mine under my knee haha
We have some very solid people we are teaching in this area with 3 people on date to be baptized before the end of the year. But other than that... our teaching pool is bone dry. So that was what we focused on and it is hard to explain over an email but long story short- our teaching pool and some serious prospects that we have taught either once or twice that we are hoping to help progress this coming week!
We had a general authority named Randall K. Bennett come tour the mission and do a training this week and it was POWERFUL! Wow he said he didn't prepare anything and was just being directed by the spirit. For 7 hours! I can't even give a gospel principles lesson for half an hour without notes haha But it was great and there is too much to hope to include here but I figure I'll throw in a couple miracles that came from it.
So the day after the training when we were first able to put to use some of his focuses, one being getting referrals, we saw miracles. So referrals are really low here. Elder Bunderson has been in this exact area for 5 months and in all that time they have recieved 2 referrals. Well we recieved 2 more referrals on this first day!!! Missionary work is so much more effective when we aren't finding random people on the road but instead finding those who have the light of Christ in their life already in the form of a member who is a righteous example in everything they are living!
One specific referral was from our most recent convert Wade (otherwise known around here as the Joker haha) He was telling us about his Ex-wife Angie. He gave us her address and phone number and was telling us that she needed the gospel right now because her father just passed away, her aunt had just passed away and on Wednesday (2days before) her son attempted to commit suicide. Well as he was telling us this he breaks off and points to a car that was pulling up and says speak of the devil. She showed up right then and there!!! And not only that but she said that she was just wondering what our number was so she could call us because she needed help. God works quickly for the people he loves! She came up and shared some of what was bothering her and we taught her and tried to show that we were the answer to her prayer. (She was the answer to ours also) And we are looking forward to showing her how God offers peace and safety when we follow Him.
Ok this is wayyy too long, I'm just on fire about this work!
I love you all, It is so great to hear from each of you in email and letters so thank you so much for sending them!
My testimony is strengthened each day by sharing it. I do know that by living the principles this gospel teaches is the way that we can be happier and more peaceful in this life. I know that God knows and loves each of us specifically. That we are all far more powerful than we know and that through Christ we can do all things!
Have such a great week!
(These are pictures of Elder Howland with his companion, Elder Bunderson and with his zone)