Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 22 - Aloha from Hawaii

This week was really good for us as missionaries. We had our area 70 and our mission president come do a fireside for the stake on hastening the work. There was the broadcast back in July, but not much has happened since then and members haven't really been doing much as far as helping missionary work progress in their area goes. So this fireside was sort of a wake-up call for the members to help the missionaries. They told the stake the full-time missionaries are there to help them in missionary work, not to do all of it by themselves. They shared some really good almost motivational videos then talked about how if you really love and care about someone, you'd want to share the gospel with them even more because you desire for them to receive the blessings and happiness having the gospel in your life has brought you. President Warner also talked about how when you receive a prompting from the spirit, you usually have about a five second window to share that prompting before it's gone, or the conversation has moved on. You have to be in tune with the spirit and willing to share it in the moment it's given you. 
He shared a story about a senior missionary in our mission who met a person on the street who agreed to meet with the senior couple and accept a Book of Mormon. The senior couple went to the library where they had decided to meet, and waited for an hour, but the guy never showed up. They got up to walk out the door, Book of Mormon in hand, and walked past the librarian. As they passed him, he called out to the missionary "What've you got there?" The missionary instantly replied "a history book" The librarian said he loved history and asked if he could read that book. The missionary gave him the book, shared with him a little about the history of it, then invited him to read and pray about it. The missionary said he has never introduced, or even thought of the Book of Mormon as a history book, but in that moment, that's what the spirit gave him and that's what that man needed to hear.
In addition to this fireside, we had one of two missionaries from our little ward return home. He was a super solid missionary, and gave a great homecoming talk, urging the members to more actively participate in missionary work. 
With the fireside and a still on-fire returned missionary, things are starting to pick up for our Honoka'a ward. We have members calling us to go out with us whenever they have free time. We'll get a phone call saying: "Elders I've got some people we need to go see, come pick me up in 15 minutes" I think members really are the key to missionary work. They're the ones who can make the relationship and connections with the local people here, and they also know those who might be ready to hear the gospel.
My old companion was from an island, and he told a story I like to relate to missionary work. He said the first time his dad took him out fishing, he drove their boat out a ways into the water, then stopped, and looked around with his hand over his eye. My companion asked "Dad, why are you looking up? The fish are under the water" His dad payed him no mind. My companion dropped his line, but caught no fish. Then suddenly, his dad started up the engine and jetted off. He was driving right toward a flock of birds flying around on top of the water. He cut the engine, dropped his line, and immediately started catching fish. The birds knew where the fish were.
I think this is the same with members and missionary work. The full-time missionaries are the fishermen looking for fish. But the ocean is so big, it's almost impossible to catch a fish without the birds(members) to direct you to where the fish are.
I'm so grateful for loving members who care enough about their friends to share the gospel with them! I hope you all have a great week, and remember to share what matters most to you, with who matters most to you. Jeramman!
-Elder Merrill

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