Monday, April 28, 2014

Bumper Cars 4-26-14

I guess today I will start with the bumper car ride I went on on Wednesday. Elder Newcomb, Elder Hayes, Elder Dawkins, and I were headed to district meeting when we missed our turn. Elder Newcomb (the driver) got a little upset and tried to pull a U-turn without looking in his mirror. Well unfortunately a 2012 Lancer smoked our right front bumper and went spinning out and stopped once smashing into a sign. No one was injured. Our car really didn't get damaged too badly but the got smashed. The selfie I took at the bottom was at the accident. But hey no one got hurt and we are all fine!
   This week was the start of getting ready for the Transfer, which means that everything is starting to get a little hectic. But, I enjoy being here in the office because I am around the biggest spiritual giants all the time! It is simply a blast. Also this week it looks like it will be the last week with Elder Newcomb, if President doesn't change his mind. Makes me a little excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because of the opportunity to grow, to take over the area and the office work. And nervous because well I still don't really know what is going on here. I don't think anyone does, everyone just works together until the objective gets done. If you remember the talk given "Pattern of light" by David A. Bednar. It is like the scenario of the fog, just enough to see to take another step. It is interesting to me that I really like to know what is going on and God puts me in the one place where we just have to rely on him and not really understand what is going on. (I don't even know if you are understanding what I am saying. It is hard to describe because you all don't know what the office is like.)  I know that God puts us where we will grow, and so I have immensely. 
    We didn't have anyone come to church this last Easter, which was very disappointing because Easter is bigger here than Christmas. Everyone goes to church on Easter! But not our investigators apparently. I don't care though because they will come this week and if not then the next week and if not then, then they will come in the future. What ever it takes to save a soul, whether it be now or 10 years from now. You can see, the progress these people are making! The devil just seems to fight so strong against these precious souls. It is a good thing that there is one who is greater than all, and he is on our side. I know that my Saviour lives. I really do. If I could just share these feelings inside of me about that simple yet perplexing phrase......I just hope the Spirit is with you right now where ever you are and you will know how I feel. Continue to press on! I love you all

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Towards my God 4-19-14

This week I think I will start with one of my journal entries from this week.....


     "The devil was very strong tonight. We had a great lesson planned with the Langston gang (Stacy and Lance and the group). We showed up (to the lesson) just to turn around because Brother Wright (our branch mission leader) wanted to come. I stepped outside to back Elder Newcomb up; as I did so some Rasta man chewed me out. ( I am still not sure what for) I didn't think much of it at the time. So, we got Brother Wright and came back. We waited for 30 minutes before the gang came outside, which hasn't happened before they usually are outside and waiting anxiously for us. In this period of time I had an impression that we should come back another time but, I thought I was just being tired and hungry so I shrugged it off. We started the lesson like normal, with a prayer and greetings but, as we started into the lesson a crazy lady appeared out of no where and started banging and screaming (demonically) for food. Very sly. Thus causing a ere feeling to come over everyone and a huge distraction. The gang gave her some money but she wouldn't leave and she kept crying out demonically. We tried to push through it, nothing. Elder Newcomb asked if we could say a prayer and offered one. During his prayer the demonic lady got louder and louder. Screaming and banging on the fence. Then Elder Newcomb prayed for '....the adversary to leave our midst...' When he said that, instantly, she stopped and disappeared. But, the ere feeling seemed to linger. So, we closed and pointed out that Satan was present and asked for another time to come back.
       It was a very strange lesson. I need to listen to the Spirit better or at least recognize it more. The devil knows that a stake is coming and he is trying to stop it, but I will not let him. Onward. Upward. Towards my God."
    This truly was a strange lesson. I feel disappointed in myself that I didn't recognize the Spirit of the Lord better, but, what happened happened! I have committed myself to move on and do better for that is why we fail sometimes. The Lord is simply, sometimes, pointing out our weaknesses and what we need to work on. 
   I can't help but think of Joseph Smith in this case. Right before God appeared Satan did everything possible to stop him. Right before the world got greater light. "....immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me..........I saw a pillar of light......" Satan always tries to stop light! Even when he knows that we can crush his head. He simply relies on the fact that we don't remember that simple fact. REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CRUSH SATAN. God gave you a spirit of power (2 Tim. 1: 7). He really did. You are far more powerful than you realize. There is also another scripture that comes to mind. Flip to Moses 1: 12-22
   In this instance Moses just speaks with God himself and immediately after Satan comes trying to undo and spread seeds of doubt into Moses' mind and heart. If you will read carefully Satan does a full out attack. Everything he has! He does things subtle and things flat out. For example, ....(verse 12) "Moses, son of man, worship me...." First Satan calls him the son of Man, which can be considered as partly true because we are all born into this life because of man. But in the context it was used it is completely false. Then worship me. Pretty blunt, if you ask me. As the story goes Moses compares him to God and sees exactly what he should do. We all should compare our decisions and then make the decision. But in the end the result is the same. Satan loses and light triumphs. Just as is shall always be. The reason why I bring this up though is because these two stories are exactly what happened to us with the Langston gang. The first 2 lessons were very powerful and I would be willing to venture that that lesson would have been the same if there was not any interruption. And looking from the aspect of the JS story. God is about to create a stake (a great moment of light) and the devil is doing everything he can to stop it.
    All in all remember that you are great in the eyes of God. You are a child of God. This Easter season helps us to remember that Jesus has risen. And because he has risen we have the power to move forward to become better! Come to know this Jesus of Nazareth. Learn of him but more importantly obtain a relationship with him. For that is the pearl of great price in this life is that relationship that we can have with our Savior and Redeemer. He really does live. I know he does and the relationship I have with my God I consider priceless. I love you all. Thanks again for all the emails and prayers. Grandpa I love you!!!! I am in particular grateful for you thoughtfulness towards me. Thank you! Grandma I am also grateful for the support you give me as well as the love. Thank you. Well until next week.

Elder Henderson

PS- the pictures are of our trip to Linstead. Someone at the gas station there filled the sisters' truck with gasoline instead of diesel. Yeah messed up the motor and we were going up there to get a written acceptance of liability. We spent over an hour trying to get the information we needed to no avail. But long story short with our persuasion skills, as well as our listening skills, we got the number for the owner and the address for the business. We are just going to let the insurance company duel it out. We have evidence that completely proves them in the wrong namely a receipt, 2 witnesses, the gas cap, etc. So everything is resolved. Got to love being the office elder. 

Conference and Miracles - 4-12-14

What a week. Conference to miracles. Wow. I just had to smile when I saw Bishop Stevenson talk because of two things 1. I saw Kyle. It has been quite a while since I have seen that kid. and 2. I saw snow. DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT HAS BEEN SINCE I HAVE SEEN THAT GORGEOUS WHITE CRYSTAL?!?!? But I really enjoyed his take on our "4 minutes to shine". We all have eternity to prepare for this quick mortal life and we have eternity to think about how we did in this life. So what will we make our "4 minutes" mean? To put that even into a better perspective we only have 2 years to live our missions what will we make of them? Always live the life to the fullest. Or to put it into words that Nathan, Gregg and I still use to this day. "Live life to the extreme". We should live everyday to be best of our abilities (to the extreme). We should invite others to come unto Christ to the extreme. We should honor our mother and father to the extreme. Or anything else we should always do to our best ability. 
   This week was no short of a miracle . Everything is looking up in our area, especially since the last three days. On Wednesday we went over to see a boy of 14 by the name of Reshawn, we wanted to get to talk to his family because he really doesn't have any ties to the church what so ever. When we showed up we noticed that there were a couple of people just sitting around. I had been studying PMG that morning on Chp. 9- finding. It was a good refresher and helped me to remember to invite all to join the lesson so that is what we did. We went on and had a pretty good conversation. We set up a return appointment for Friday. When we showed up Friday there were 3 new people who wanted to join us, all 6 were investigators. We had a powerful lesson/discussion on the Restoration. The Spirit talked to each persons heart. You could see in on their face. Unfortunately we only had one Book of Mormon to which we gave it to the one who seemed to be the most ready with the promise that we would return today to give them all one. One person asked us to bring 6 or 7 extra copies explaining that when someone would ask if they could barrow her book that she would always have one to read. It was a very powerful experience. In the course of three days we went from 2 solid investigators to 8. The Lord is God he can do all. He will guide us in every way if we do our part and prepare. I really do love that part preparing because that is when I can truly feel the Lord's hand at work and see the salvation of man coming to be. I expect that will not be the end of the story so I will update you next week.  
   What is even cooler than that is right after this powerful lesson we did not think the day could go any better! (Friday) At the conclusion of the lesson mentioned above it was about 8:30. (Which usually means our day is over because it takes a while to get back home due to the distance.) But we decided to go and try and find a man by the name of Damion. We we did! He is a less active who is is a band, he plays the electric guitar (my comps favorite instrument) and the man is super smart! Well we found his house about at 8:45. We came in and Damion was practicing with his band. Damion invited us into his garage looking like place. Elder Newcomb asked if he could see his electric guitar and started just jamming on it. (He is really good okay.) He only played one song but you could tell that it got Damion's attention. They band was all in awe and Damion asked if we could give them a lesson. It was like 8:50 but we felt prompted too so we started discussing about prayer. It was going really well, and right in the middle of it Damion asked if he could ask a question. We told him yes and then he seemed to second guess himself say "It might not be the appropriate setting." Well finally he asked. It was about the King Fillet sermon. With in the space of about 10 second the conversation went way over the rest of the bands heads. After 5 minutes of this we looked at our watches and being 9 we needed to go. So we tied it back into prayer and music, which the rest of the band understood. As we left to go some of the rest of the band, in particular the rapper, asked when church was and if they could come. So cool!!!!!!!!! They all wanted us to come back. Man the Lord works in mysterious ways but he works. There is the key word: work. We must do the same to see miracles we must work! And as we do God shows forth his power because: God a God.
   Okay last story, haha this one is pretty funny. We were teaching two 15 year old twin boys about the Plan of Salvation. I ask the one called Mario where he thought we came from. He responded from my Mom. With the look on his face like I was stupid. I probed a little deeper trying to get him to think a little more than that. I said "well where did you come from before that" He stopped for a minute and thought, hard and then spoke "Well I guess I was in some guys sperm before that." Okay has anyone ran into that problem before? How do you respond to that? Well I took the counsel of Gordon B. Hinkley and laughed. :) It is funny how people think, but they really don't know. It is our job to help them understand their true potential and as we do we take steps in reaching our potential. 
    Well that is all for this week. I love you all! I hope that my MOM didn't get you for April Fools like she always seems to get day mom I will win one day...........But I did get a couple of people this week. I sent this to my mom about my April Fools day experience here in Jamaica.
   So the first one we pulled into a gas station and we had just gotten a Chester drawers, it was in the back of the truck. Well the guy who was filling us up said "Hey where did that brown box go?" To which Elder Newcomb started to trip. I didn't catch what he was saying so I didn't do anything. The man busted a gut yelling "April fools". Well when we finished filling up the man had to go get someone else started and asked if we would wait so we could pay. Which we replied sure. Well my mind started turning and I rolled up the windows and turned on the car and drove off the parking lot. The man started running after us screaming "NO No NO NO NO!!!". I kept going and went around the building and pulled back in on the other side. The man was red and sweating bullets. Everyone in the station laughed so hard. I got out and shook the man's hand he was so embarrassed. We paid and pulled out, which as we did we heard him say "ME DONE WITH DIS! NO MORE NO MORE!!" hahaha
   The second one we did with the assistants. Elder Daniels called us up telling us that they had convinced the Kingston Zone Leaders that we had to take their truck and give it to the sisters in Mandiville because they have too much area to cover. They also told them that we would  be coming by to inspect it to see if it was clean enough for the sisters. Well our minds got turning again. We called them and told them we would inspect the truck after basketball in the morning, as well as pick it up. The assistants played really well and counseled with the Zone Leaders that night on how to split the area so they could cover it better. In the morning we picked up the truck and brought it home. Then we went to district meeting where we wrote April Fools in sticky notes on their truck. They pulled in on bicycles sweaty. We pulled the truck up (we recorded it) The one elder dropped kicked his helmate screaming "yes!!!!!!!" The other looked dumb founded. Come to find out they prayed about it and everything. haha whoops......It was hilarious. 

   I think that is a long enough email. Thanks again for all of your emails and letter. I love and cherish everyone of them. Yvonne I really enjoyed that talk you sent me. Thank you! Keep up the good work and go reread Elder Ballard's talk and go to work! The Lord has put us here for a reason now is your turn to live your "4 minutes" to the extreme!

Elder Henderson

Small Numbers 3-29-14

This was one crazy week! It was transfer week, and Elder Newcomb and I had a whole heap of stuff to do: get bikes, bed, supplies, helmets, collect money, fix cars, keep people from braking into the cars, etc. There was a whole lot. So it put a little tension/stress on us but, we were able to get it all finished thanks to God who helped us remember and gave us the energy to see it all through. And after all was said and done the transfer went very smoothly. 
   We had the chance this week to drive to Junction/Santa Cruz. Can I say that it is an absolutely beautiful drive! There is one part on which you come over a mountain and you look down into a valley with rolling green hills with the village below. Everything is just green and luscious and to top it off against the turquoise sky. Wow, spectacular! We had to move the Elders there to another apartment. It took us all day. I did the math out I believe I drove something like 15+ hours. Let us just say I slept like a stone when we came home. Oh, also I have been sleeping in a hammock the last few days. There was a sister who needed a bed to sleep in so we gave her my bed and I decided to sleep in the hammock. It is kind of fun actually. 
   We had one less active come to church last week. I am so grateful for that one. It might be a small number but, small numbers make big numbers. We need to be grateful for everything the Lord gives us. We also got some people to finally teach thins week. Elder Newcomb and I were street contacting in a scheme about 5:00pm. When we stopped and talked to a man by the name of Brother Clark. He is a grandpa and well he seemed, as we talked to him, not to be very interested in our message. But, we did get a return appointment. (in Jamaica when that happens it usually means that they wont be home or they gave us the wrong number. They only say we can come back to be plight I guess.) Anyway, we came back the next day and sure enough he came out and gave us every excuse in the book for us not to come in. While Elder Newcomb was doing that I started up a conversation with his grandchild. What a playful little kid. But after talking with the child, Elder Newcomb prevailed and convinced the man to ask if we could come in. Well the little girl followed the man inside and came skipping out a couple of minutes later with her Mom in tow. Her Mom came up to us and invited us in. Long story short we ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation (it started with us mentioning how she could be sealed as a family). When we were done with the discussion she had just one question. "How do I get sealed to me children?" Can you imagine the huge smiles that came across our faces as the simple words exited her mouth? They were enormous to say the least. After speaking with her about that we had a prayer. At the end of the prayer she had one more question "Where is my pamphlet?" so we gave her a Plan of Salvation track. I can't wait to see her on Sunday!!
   We had one other really cool lesson with Poppsy and Leona. We were talking with them about them praying about the Book of Mormon. And Poppsy said that he wasn't answered yet. So we talked to him on how the Spirit works and asked him to recall the feelings that he felt. We came to discover that he asked that if the Book of Mormon was true that his father would call from America. As we talked about what he was asking for he said ".......I know but, I felt that peaceful feeling that is present with you two when you come to teach. I really thought it was going to happen." As we spoke further I was prompted to say that if he did feel that peaceful feeling that his father would call. Well sure enough later that night his Dad really did call. As we spoke with him at our next appointment you could see in his face that light that all investigators get before they are baptized. God certainly does work in mysterious ways.
   Well I love you all. Yvonne thank you for that book. It was a good one! It helped me to think of missionary work in a different way. Grandma, Happy Birthday. Tavia Congrats on the new likle pickney. I hope you got all the sleep you want for the next couple of months. Thanks for all of your support. I love you all.

Elder Henderson