Monday, October 12, 2015

Investigators- teaching at a Castle, sharing an Irish breakfast...and one comes to church!

Investigator, Stephanie, at Menlo Castle

October 12, 2015
Wow this was such a fantastic week! There were so many great experiences and we did some incredible work- the Spirit was definitely residing with us all week long! 

But I guess I will start out with some interesting food we had this week. So Tuesday morning we went over to one of our investigator's house to try and teach him (he doesn't like making appointments so we just pop in when we are in that area) and he let us in- however he was just starting to make breakfast. We told him that we already ate breakfast, but he insisted that he cook food for us to eat with him as well. So our second breakfast (at his house) consisted of: toast, Irish ham (pretty normal so far), along with fried garlic cloves, black pudding (cooked pork blood/meat +oats), and a duck egg. So yeah it was pretty interesting and our breath didn't smell too great afterward, but it was all actually pretty good. Black pudding really isn't bad at all! Our investigator talks quite a bit so it was tough to teach, but we were able talk about the Book of Mormon a bit with him.

So we had an incredible lesson on Wednesday! There is a Brazilian man named Clayton that we had just met a few days prior so we were teaching him for the first time. Being from Brazil, he obviously knew quite a bit about Mormons and missionaries and everything, but really wanted to learn more. So we taught him the Restoration and the Spirit was so strong. He was able to recognize the Spirit right there, so we invited him to be baptized and he accepted right a way! We also invited him to church... so I guess I will skip right now to one of the highlights of the week. Clayton came!! We walked with him to church on Sunday and he seemed to really enjoy it! A couple visiting from California sat next to him and they were really nice and talked with and I think he really enjoyed the testimonies! It was such a great testimony meeting too, so we were thrilled! I am not sure yet if the zone achieved our goal of 25 investigators at church, but regardless I am just happy we finally overcame our barrier of getting those who we are teaching to come to church! 

Another highlight was that we taught our investigator Stephanie... in a CASTLE!!! So Stephanie is a tour guide and knows all about Galway and the Aran Islands and history of Ireland and everything, so she wanted to show us a cool place just a bit out of Galway. So we biked with her Saturday morning to a little area called Menlo to see Menlo Castle! It looked so cool (I will send pictures)! And so we had a lesson with Stephanie and read from the Book of Mormon and prayed with her in the castle!! It was such a great, spiritual lesson too! 

And then we also went to zone interview training in Limerick this week! It was great being able to go to Limerick one last time and see all the missionaries in the zone. It is cool now that I have been in this zone for 3 moves now because I get to see how the zone is changing with new missionaries coming in and others leaving. But there was great training at the meeting and I had an interview with President Donaldson so it was amazing! Oh and we found out some BIG news!!! Elder M. Russell Ballard is coming to Ireland November 19th for our All-Ireland conference! That is next transfer so I am praying that I stay in Ireland at least one more move so I can attend that meeting and hear from Elder Ballard. That would be so incredible!! 

So at the zone interview training, Elder Christensen and I gave a 10 minute training on obedience, so I just want to add in a bit of what we talked about because I really enjoyed studying obedience and presenting it at the conference:

So in Mormon 5:18 it talks of being led by Satan and being "as a chaff driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without a sail or anchor..." So I really like that analogy of how we need to be equipped with our sail and anchor. Our sail being the Spirit guiding us and our anchor of Christ who is our Rock and solid foundation (Ether 12:4). We need to be obedient in order to have the Spirit striving with us. We must have the self-discipline and self-mastery that comes from being obedient. Without obedience, we naturally fall to every enticing from the natural man (Mosiah 3:19) and Satan then has control over us and can toss us about as a vessel with no sail or anchor. We literally have more agency as we keep the commandments because then we are in complete control of our thoughts and actions. Satan wants us to fall to addictions or sin that forces us to lose our agency. So therefore it is our choice to remain obedient and choose liberty and eternal life or fall to temptation that leads to captivity and death (2 Nephi 2:27). When we are obedient, instead of being tossed by Satan, we are the ones literally causing Satan to tremble (D&C 35:24). 

Archway to Menlo (Mionloch) Castle

                     Built in 1569, the castle was destroyed by a tragic fire in 1910

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