Monday, July 22, 2013

Paintin' wood and workin' hard

Date: July 23, 2013
Area: Simi Valley
Companion: Elder Hall

Dear Family and Friends!
Thank you for all your letters and emails!  It's so great to hear from all of you and to get the support that keeps us rolling.  This week was pretty good.  We've been continuing to work with Michael, and the most amazing experience happened.  When we went over there on Saturday, he came outside and his beard was completely shaved off!  He said that he wanted to get a haircut soon too!  I discovered that when people hear about good things, it makes them want to look better too.  He even jokingly suggested that!  We talked about it before when he was in the house, and he came outside and brought that up!  I know that the Holy Ghost is working inside of him, even though he wants to start his own church.  You know what his slogan is?  "Love everybody, Judge nobody, Sandals, and Rock On!"    Michael's not a real "suit and tie" kind of person, and he thinks that the Church is "corporate Americanized".  We have been explaining to him that our church has everything that he wants already there.  He explained to us that "sandals" meant to dress your best.  And so, naturally, we explained to him that we show the Lord respect each week by dressing our nicest, whatever that may be.  Michael's cleaning up.  He said that he wants to start looking for a decent job, because right now his wife is bringing in the bacon.  I think that us helping him is really working miracles in his life, and it's incredible.

I don't know if I have told you about Doug and Dawn Smith yet...the very first week I was here, on June 20th we ran into them by tracting.  A funny story that goes with that...That day we were going from potential investigator, to former investigator, to potential and so on...and we weren't getting inside ANYONE's house.  As we were riding our bikes up the street, I said to Elder Hall, "I thought missionary work would come with a 'yes' every now and then" or something to that effect.  Lone behold, their house was the very next house we knocked on, and they let us in!  We taught them the Restoration, and the Spirit was so strong!  Dawn had a stroke in 2010 and has a very hard time communicating.  Doug lost his job a couple of months ago because he went into work a little intoxicated, and his son is in jail.  Basically, they are having a rough time.  After the lesson, we invited them to come to church.  She seemed a little bit hesitant, but they agreed.  They still have not come to church in all these weeks, but they are progressing so much.  We went over there on Thursday afternoon and we shared with them portions of Alma 32, the chapter about faith.  I remember that after we read verse 13, the spirit really started to manifest.  He said right there that he has so much hope and that he can change his life around.  We invited them to read the Book of Mormon together, and Doug said that he would.  He then looked to his wife and said, "Or she could just sing it..."  Then, suddenly, Dawn started singing "When the Saints Go Marching In" out of nowhere.  Her voice was so beautiful, you would never have guessed she had a stroke.  We sat there and we didn't say a word, and we let the Spirit work on him.  Doug BURST into tears.  He said that we had no idea how much that meant to him hearing his wife sing.  God works miracles.

I have felt the Spirit so strong this week.  I know that this Church is the only true church on the Earth today.  My testimony has grown so much in the Gospel as I've been out here, and I truly know that this work is the most important work on the planet.  Having the opportunity to share something that has brought me so much joy in my life and seeing the miracles that it brings into others lives is truly a blessing.  Missionary work is miraculous.  And that is why my favorite scripture of all time is Alma 29:9-10:

"9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it.  I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yeah, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
"10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."
This Gospel is true and everlasting.  Thank you for your examples and love.


Elder Harper

Michael and his wife Laurel

Michael BEFORE he shaved his Beard

1 comment:

  1. Tracy Monney:

    Michael is great! I pictured someone Polynesian though. I want to cross stitch his slogan and put it on my wall - classic. Elder Harper is a trooper that's for sure. They have done a good job though. He will be quite the handyman.

    LOVE the pictures. Area is great. Sunset is beautiful. Elder Harper looks great and so happy. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful day.

    Lets see... Charity never faileth..... Or..... Love everyone, judge no one, sandals and rock on! It's a toss up ;)