Anyway, imagine my surprise when I opened my Facebook inbox today and saw this message in it.
I am training a group of young men and women this wednesday evening on using social media to share the gospel. Is there any chance you could set up a lesson at that time that we could join? I am looking at around 6:20 p.m. your time (7:20 Utah time)? What do you think? I don't want to do anything to distract from your work, but this would be really powerful for them to assist in some real live teaching.
Okokokok! I was surprised, then excited, then nervous, the humbled! Of all the missionaries in the world he asked me to help him out with that!
I said yes. Hopefully the people I'm teaching in England, Pakistan, New Zealand, and the Philippines will be awake that early (for them)! To say I'm excited is an understatement. The work is soaring on Facebook right now and to say I have a testimony of sharing the gospel online is probably the understatement of the century. Amazing things are happening and I can't even begin to explain them well enough.
But I'll try. I am teaching an amazing man in England. He reached out to me, if I remember right, through a hashtag he found that I used. It was that or a christian page, I can't remember. Anyway, I taught him the basics and focused on the articles of faith. I shared with him a link to mormon.org and some talks from the apostles and he went to town there. He referred himself. However, it has been a week and still no missionary contact. He is "anxiously awaiting the book!" I contacted the London mission office and they'll be visiting him today.
Another update on the Pakistani man I'm teaching. The mission president told me that he is actually going to be the one making initial contact with him! How cool is that! The mission president is going to visit and teach him!
It has been fun to be in contact with mission presidents all over the world and watch them get excited as I hand people off to them. What a cool world we live in.
This week started off to a great start. We found an amazing woman outside her home sitting alone and smoking. We were with a member and decided to talk with her. She was smoking and looked exhausted. After a couple of minutes talking about her move to Arizona, her work, and her family, we connected it to the gospel and we are going over this week to visit her and her husband and two young kids.
I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference it makes when we approach people as "people" and not just the "HEY, COME TO CHURCH?" They see and feel our concern and care and open up more. Miracles.
One of the things that we've been working on is connecting with the people we meet in the street over Facebook. We are always making posts on Facebook and people comment on how they have helped them in whatever way get through a hard day. So our goals is to give them a mormon.org pass along card with our Facebook URLs and get their accounts and bam, be friends. We did that this past week with a very faithful man in his own church and he said, "we ran into each other for a reason!" Maybe baptism isn't on his radar (yet) but he will be touched, no doubt, by the restored gospel.
That was one of my realizations this week. We're invited to talk to everyone. But not everyone is going to be receptive and open and excited about God. So we talk to them about them! Sometimes the best OYMs (or street contacts) never even mention the church or God. We teach and speak to their needs.
We are moving. Probably just send letters to the mission office for now (1871 E. Del Rio Dr, Tempe Arizona 85282) until we know when and where we're moving. It could be as soon as tomorrow or next week. We were supposed to move today but it wasn't ready.
The brief and willing invitation. What is that? President Toone went to a training with Elder Neil Anderson and came back excited to share it. It is a way for members to invite and is not intimidating and is very simple.
The idea? Have a normal conversation! That's not hard, is it? That's it! Talk normally! But the key is that when someone (this is them prompting the invitation, not you) mentions something like, "why are you so happy?" or "why do mormons have such big families" or "what are those big temples?" or "what is that blue book?" you respond with, simply, "would you be willing to hear a brief message happiness/families/temples/the book of mormon? We have two great ____ that would be more than willing to talk about that for ten minutes!"
When I heard him train on that I smiled. This is exactly what we are doing in our OYMs! Connect their interests and comments to the gospel! That way, they have already expressed an interest and all you're doing is allowing the means for it to be addressed! If the person says no, just continue with the conversation. As easy as that!
The Dallas Mission President and his wife tried it for a week. In everyday life, in everyday conversation, and in everyday actions, they were able to use it FOURTEEN times! And only ONE person said no!
They said that since introducing it in one stake over there, new investigators have increased over 150%, referrals received more than 250% and lessons taught over 100%.
It is easy, simple, brief, and effective! Will you try it this week?
This last week was zone conference. We played violin, a duet, of Nearer, my God to Thee. It was a lot of fun and wasn't as smooth as it would have been three years ago but it was a good time. The members here were nice enough to lend us two!
ZING? I got so many answers to questions it isn't even funny!
Can I remind you all one thing? Elder Ballard committed all of you to invite one person to come unto Christ before Christmas. Are you willing to live up to the promises of an Apostle! DO ITTTTT!!! HE PROMISED BLESSINGS!
And guess what else? This week was a good week for nice cars driving through Mesa! We saw a Fisker Karma, an LP640 Lamborghini Murcielago, AND two of the BRANDNEW Corvette Stingrays! Sweeeeeeeeet!
We met an amazing man this week. He said he was a devout atheist and while he cooked his hotdogs we taught him a lesson. The next day we returned, and, long story short, committed him to baptism! Aren't miracles awesome? More on this to come :)
Last night I almost died. We went to the church at 8pm to grab something and as I walked around a corner the building security guy walked around it and we almost died together. That would have been an awesome story on the other side of the veil.
Attached is Mesa District 1! Represent!
Thanks for the letters this week Eric, Will, and Mom! You're all awesome!
Love you all,