Monday, September 8, 2014

More Anxiously Engaged 9/8/14

This week has been interesting. As people are starting to get ready for school/leaving to go to school there are some changes around here. We have done a lot of teaching, in fact we have been doing exactly
what Elder Cornish has taught us. Something I am trying to figure out though is that even when we have people fellow shipped really well with 3 or 4 different people, they have had spiritual confirmations, they understand the doctrine, their families are okay with them coming to church, and they are familiar with the church yet, they still don't come. This week has been the same. I gave it my all. I can honestly say that I did everything I could to get them there. We arranged rides. We confirmed 3 or 4 times the night before and even that morning. Then 30 minutes after sacrament meeting starts we get a text saying "I just can't make it....." It's frustrating but, there is something that I need to learn from all of this. I have become so much more grateful for the people who follow through with what they say, it inspires me to do better at being honest and do what I say I will do.

I still love the people here with all of my heart though. The branch is struggling, we have been doing our best to get as many people involved as we can even if it is just an assignment to say hello to everyone who walks through the door. Unfortunately people don't really want to do that, but slowly with persistence their hearts are changing. When I leave here I want to see this branch more unified, to become friends and supports to each other. It's a work in progress so I'll keep you posted. Please pray that the branch will become more anxiously engaged. We need to get people excited out here!!!

Elder Peters and I just said goodbye to Elder Grant who we have been training 2 weeks before he entered the MTC. HAHA funny guy but, he will do well. Transfers happened, nothing really changed besides my boy Elder Daniels is going home. Gosh I never thought that this would happen. All the Elders that I have come super close too over my mission are all going to be home is less than 72 hours. Man what is happening!!?!?!?!?! Elder Chris, Lacey, Egan, Daniels........depressing thought too bad I can't give them all hugs and tell them goodbye. I will just have to do that when I get home. Oh well. They were and are some of the great missionaries of this mission, I will miss them.

Everything else out here is fine and dandy. We are in a tri companionship for a while until Elder Beck can get his work permit. Yep this whole island is mine......wahahhahawhah. So much fun, seems kind of lonely sometimes but I have no time to think about that. Tell you what though this island has kind of a small town feel. It is quiet and calm all the time. If you want a relaxing vacation come here. Nothing more I can say than that this week.

Joshua I haven't heard from you in a while! How is school treating you? How is soccer treating you? I haven't heard much about that cool special team you made it on. I love you little man!

Mom thanks for the email I really appreciate it. I love hearing from everyone every week. I can't explain it, it brings a peace of mind that the family is still out there and caring.

Nikayle what are you up too? I haven't heard from you in a while. I hope that you are enjoying school! Love you

Siri thanks for talking with me last week. That was fun. I wish that I could growl with you once more but soon come. Are you enjoying school still?

Brixen guess what? NOTHIN!! Ha gotcha. I love you. how is kindergarten?

Carter have you gone on any more dates? I hear you have quite the amount of home work. Your a stud keep up the good work kiddo.

Dad thanks for talking with me. It's nice knowing that there is someone who understands what I am going through and has some what of an insight. Thanks for the time you take to shoot an email to me. Love you.

Love you all, have a good week.

Elder Henderson

Opposition in All Things 9-1-14

Well this was a very interesting week for us in our area. Everything that we spoke about in zone conference we applied into our area (debriefing the members in private so they can succeed in public) and in result we had some of the best lessons that I have had out here in Bahamas. But, just like everything that is good it is opposed by the devil. So towards the end of the week, that is exactly what happened. The last two weeks Elder Peters and I have done our absolute best to try and keep a balanced escalator effect going on. Then on Friday, everything seemed to come crashing down. All the people who we have been teaching who are very excited about the gospel just seemed to have one thing or another happen. Sickness, death in the family, something, anything to prevent us from teaching them or from them helping us to teach someone else, including less actives. So, we street contacted for 3 days but the funny thing was, everyone we ran into just didn't want anything to do with the church. We were kind and respectful and loving but we had attack after attack on our personal beliefs. As we were faced with this opposition we stood firm and bore powerful testimony of our Lord and Savior, how he cares and how he established his church one more on the earth. I certainly learned a lot on what the devil is seeing in our area how it continues to progress and he doesn't like it. My conviction about this gospel deepened and is deeper than ever before. Even my love for the people grew, strange service is defiantly the key. But, I am expecting this week to be a lot better, we are diligent, obedient and we have our Lord and Savior on our side, the Devil can't stand against that he can only delay our work. The work will continue.

There isn't much more that I can say than that. That described my week to the fullest. I do think it is funny that people try and try to put up and argument against us but there is none because the is the only true church. And nothing can stand or defeat the truth. Well I have gotten some questions about investigators so here you all go.

Bernard-26 husband with a wife and 2 kids and 1 on the way. When we met him he didn't have a job and they didn't know where the next meal was going to come from. 5 days latter after we promised him if he would live the commandments he would find work (we told him to be careful because when he got it he would be tested on the Sabbaths....) Which happened. He is so excited about the gospel and is fellow shipped by the members very very well. Pray that his family will want to have what he has and is receiving.

Won Yea-17 years old. I beat him in a one v one game. Great kid and very well fellow shipped with the branch. He will be baptized a week before Bernard and we told him he can baptize his friend that he gave to us as a referral. Pray that he will be able to forgive Bernard for wronging him.

Shay-very spiritually in tune person. Super actually. I shard a couple of experiences with her that I don't usually tell anyone. Goes to show that the Spirit prompts us to do different things some times. Nervous about baptism but progressing. Pray that she will get her answer about Joseph Smith.

Kirk- Doesn't believe that God exists. Kind of more like, he doesn't think he needs to pray more than once about anything. He doesn't understand that God is his father and that pray is a way for our wills to come in line with the Father's will. He says he doesn't feel a thing but I can tell that he is lying. He just isn't recognizing the
Spirit. He really loves it when we come by though. That is one of the reasons I know he is feeling it besides us being there and watching the spirit prompt him to pray, or helping him to understand. I know so much more about the Spirit than I used too. Pray that he will really come to terms with his feelings and recognize the Holy Ghost.

Stan- 40 year old with a daughter. Similar story to Bernard, except he is failing at putting the Lord first. The Lord giveth and taketh away. I hope we can talk to him at least soon, his job takes all of his time. Pray that we will have a chance to meet with him.

Pepe-Soon be baptized a Haitian. Loves the gospel. Similar to Bernards experience except he understand the Sabbath. He got Sundays off this last week so that was a bonus. Pray that he will make his baptism date.

Well that is it this week. I love you all. I know that the Devil will sometimes stand against you but he will not nor he cannot prevail when you are doing what's right. He can only delay the inevitable. Keep pressing onward. Keep going on and he will crumble before you, he always does.

Elder Henderson

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Hastening the Work in Freeport... 8-25-14

Hmmmmmm......What do I write this week. How can I tell all of you about the amazing work that is going on out here without taking two days to write it??.........Let's just start out by saying that the Lord's work is seriously hastening, especially out here in Freeport.

I will just start with Friday. On Friday, we flew to Nassau for zone conference with Elder Cornish. WOW! I watched this general authority get up and speak for over 5 hours without notes or anything! He spoke
about how we can excite branches and investigators. He was defiantly lead by the spirit because it answered every single question I wasbringing to the table and more. He spoke how we should not just teach
for people to learn, but for those you teach to turn around and teach their family and friends. For example, we met this man by the name of Bernard. Bernard is 26 years old, has 2 small kids with one on the way. He is out of work and his children do not know where their next meal is coming from. We found him, by the way, through a referral from an investigator (ask for referrals from everyone it helps.). Our first lesson we sat down and taught him about the plan of Salvation. Talk about spiritually powerful! He couldn't get enough of it. When we left we left him with the track Plan of Salvation to read along with praying to know if it was true, reading Matt. chapter 7. 2 hours later we received a text from him. (Which is amazing that he even sent us a text because he has literately zero money.) "I just read the booklet twice and the chapter in the bible. I then sat and prayed for some time about it. I know it's true. I just know it is." Now normally we would be pumped and go on to the restoration but what Elder Cornish taught us to do was this: we went back yesterday for our second lesson. We sat and talked to him again about the Plan of Salvation! Except we picked out 3 points in it, before hand of course, and explained to him that his wife and children didn't know about these things. We told him that we would like to have a family home evening with all of them and we wanted him to help us teach the Plan of Salvation. He was very nervous about it so we role played it with him. After we finished the role play he could hardly sit still. We asked him how he was feeling about it now and his response was as follows "I am going to share it with my wife right now!!!!!! Wow! I just want to be in the Celestial kingdom with my family. That is all I want." It was another Spiritual lesson but more importantly he felt the fire of the gospel! He wants to share it as we all must share the gospel! I can't wait for Friday. That is what Elder Cornish taught us. 1. It helps the person who will be teaching feel that this is the truth. 2. It blesses the lives of those they share it with. 3. People pay more attention to a friend that us. 4. When people pay attention more the Spirit is stronger. 5. It starts a culture of home teaching. 6. People feel like they are needed by God with in turn helps the to 'endure to the end'!!!!!!!! When I finally understood what Elder Cornish was talking about I could hardly sit still in my seat. It was exactly what this branch needs. As Elder Peters and I have applied this over 2 days, that is it 2 days. We have seen investigators testimony deepen, and a fire all of the sudden burst into their eyes that wasn't there before. I can't believe it took me so long to understand this! Man, I
feel really dumb! One year gone and it took me this long to get it........Garbage. I feel like I understand exactly what a missionary is supposed to do. (There is certainly a difference between knowing and understanding). Now with my all that I give every single day plus the understanding of what exactly I need to do, what the person needs to understand that I am teaching, what that same person needs to feel. Oh boy I don't have enough time left to see all of the consequences. Put your shoulder to the wheel.

Other than that, Elder Peters and I are working our tails off while have more fun than anyone else on this planet. Don't believe me? Come spend a week with us and you will see. You will sleep like a log at night, wake up exhausted, and have the most fun that you have ever had in your entire life. :) Life of an obedient missionary. We have found some seriously prepared people. From last week we went from 2 people with a date to 5 with a date 2 progressing and 3 others who should receive a date here in the next 3 days. This once thought of 'dead area' is now alive and thriving. We will baptise weekly, no questions asked. It will happen for this is the work of the Lord and no unhallowed hand can stay the work, especially not when you have 4 solid missionaries like the ones out here in Freeport who give the Lord all they have every single second. I don't know if you can tell but I am super pumped for this next week.

Okay, now Saturday. President Brown was with us Saturday and actually came teaching with us. Haha, I have the best mission President in the world. Which other President do you know that will come to your house,
sleep on the couch, steal your food, work out with you in the mornings, and then teach the most spiritual lesson you have ever been in in your entire life? Yeah mine. But we got to teach two lessons which were really cool. We got some things that will help improve our teaching and took him back to Momma Brown at the hotel (last time he stayed with us). Sunday President basically single handedly, put a fire under every single member. Oh boy that was exactly what this branch needed as well. Then we did the tithing audit followed by interviews for the 3 elders who haven't gotten them yet. Afterward President was out side on the Elders bikes trying to pop a wheelie........As he came walking to the car (so we could take him to set a missionary apart) he had a little kid look on his face. I have a very unique mission President I will just say it that way. This morning we got up to drop him off at the air port all the while President telling us "this is my favorite island in the mission. I could live here...." Yep, I have now served in Presidents 2 favorite areas in the mission. There is your fun fact for the day. Transfers is here in 2 weeks. I can't believe I have spent almost a month out here, time certainly goes way to quickly.

Last thing, I have been doing some thinking about my conversion to the gospel. As I pondered on what it was that made me really believe that this gospel is true I came to the conclusion that I always knew. Meaning that, there were times that I only believed that it was even hoping it was. Then after some time, I mean 18 years I just kind of
grew into the knowledge. For any of you that are struggling to know. Keeping doing the simple things: Pray! Read! Go to church and take the sacrament! I promise you that you will eventually come to the knowledge that I came too. This is God's gospel. The mission that I am on has in small part helped me taste what 'God's work and his glory...' is. There is no sweeter experience than watching someone come and try the fruit of life for the first time in their life. Challenges will and do rise but I promise they will end. Keep the perspective of eternity and they will become easier to bear. I love what God says in the scriptures, he always is saying 'prove me'. So you want to know for yourself if this is true? Prove God. Prove him. Choose a commandment and study upon it then do it and see if the blessings come that God promises. I love each of you but more importantly God, our Heavenly Father, is always mindful of you and loves you more than you can possibly imagine. This is the only true church on the face of the planet. We as missionaries (full time) are the only people on the earth that can save a soul. No one from the other church's can do that. We must help our brothers and sisters. They are waiting to know of the truth and are "only kept from it because they know not where to find it." Show them the way. Again I love you. Thanks everyone for your support - Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Carolyn, Swinsons, Allens, Family, etc. Enjoy the week.

Elder Henderson