Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Week 74

Elder Strong, Beraki, Elder Bolinder


Hola todos!

This week started off pretty slow, but towards the end it was incredible! I feel like weeks that aren't as good in the beginning always turn out to be amazing in some aspect, because the Lord blesses us for our patience and diligence! The Lord can work no miracle until after the trial of your faith. Verdad!?

We had all our appointments fall through on Monday and Tuesday, including one with our chiquito amigo Luis who we set a baptismal date with. Disappointing. And Tuesday my comp Elder Strong had to go to urgent care. Nothing serious, but we ended up waiting there for like 4 hours! And we had a stake report meeting that night which took up our entire evening.

Things started picking up on Thursday.

We had zone conference on Thursday, and it was the bomb! Smartphones were rolled out to the rest of the mission, and the technology we have is such a blessing! But as we learned, it is just another tool in our arsenal to share the gospel. We had powerful trainings on desire as well. Always an uplifting spiritual experience.

Our investigator Alana is on fire! We had a lesson with her in a member's home on Thursday night - such a huge difference it makes when you have an environment that invites the Holy Spirit! Because she kind of dropped off the radar for a bit, but then rebounded and is now still wanting to be baptized we told her we would either have to push her baptism back until after stake conference, 2 weeks later, or have two jammed packed lessons to get through everything to prepare her in time. She said, "You guys told me I would be baptized the 10th, I'm not moving it. I AM GETTING BAPTIZED!" Haha. It was a powerful lesson and she was emotional as she explained to us how excited she was for this change in her life. She has gained such a testimony of the happiness that comes from keeping the commandments and she told us her new favorite scripture is Alma 41:10 - "Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness." So true.

So, we had another lesson on Saturday with her to teach her the remainder of the commandments, and she had her interview on Sunday and so all things are a go for her baptism this Saturday! Vamoooss!!

That same Thursday night, we had a super sweet miracle with this Ethiopian guy named Beraki. Just a little background, about a month back we took a member out teaching with us, but our two appointments both fell through. The member suggested we visit this older lady in a nursing home who he Home-Teaches. We sat and visited with her in the lobby, and I turned to a man sitting near us and introduced myself as a missionary. He remembered being contacted by missionaries while studying at U of M over 40 years ago! He started asking all sorts of questions about missionaries, the church, our doctrine, etc. We exchanged contact info, and we went on our way. Unfortunately, through the number he gave us, we weren't able to contact him directly.

Fast forward two weeks.

So, the first day of the transfer we finally got a hold of this guy and got to have a lesson with him. We had a great discussion of the restoration of the gospel of Christ and gave him a Book of Mormon. We went back the next week, and the first thing he says is "So, Nephi is a descendant of Joseph, and so is King Laban the man who had the brass plates which contained the four Books of Moses which are..." and he went on… haha. We were baffled! He retained so much information! We said, "Beraki, how much did you read!?" He had read over 150 pages in one week! What a miracle!! His historical knowledge of scriptures is mind blowing, and he is just brimming with joy as he discovers connections between the Bible and the Book of Mormon and feels of the Spirit as he reads. We met with him again with our bishop at the church building and answered more of his questions on the history of the Book and the events in it. He is already through the Book of Mosiah! The spirit was strong, and we were able to invite him to baptism and he accepted! He believes the Book is true, but now he just needs a witness from the Holy Ghost. On the drive home he told us, "I feel so spiritually enriched, God bless you guys!" Super pumped for him! Ahhh!

Friday we had a zone blitz, where we had a huge group of missionaries together going out and contacting peeps on the UofM campus. It was super fun! However, I still need to work on my contacting skills haha.  We went to lunch afterwards. The missionaries in our zone are a blast! We are super thrilled for what March will bring us.

I am so happy I get to be serving the Lord and the people here in Minnesota. I love this gospel and I know it's true. I love all of you guys, have a good one!

-Elder Bolinder

Footbridge to Minneapolis

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