Thursday, July 27, 2017

Discussion with President - perks of working in the office!

July 21st

This week was a lot about preparing for Zone Conferences next week. Some of the stuff I had to do was get our announcements ready, make a movie with pictures from the last 6 months, follow up with everyone studying english in the mission, get the materials that everyone will need, and other stuff.
Like I've already mentioned, I kinda do all the random stuff in the office!

We also had leadership council this week where all the Zone Leaders come in from the mission to have a meeting. Tthe night before, I went on a split with one of them, Elder Wyatt from Texas. We went to visit Adelson and Edleuza to follow up on their reading and start teaching them the Plan of Salvation, but when we got there, our plans changed. When I asked if they'd read, they said no. Turns out that they'd forgotten everything about our last lesson on the BoM... so we had to re-explain everything to them! It took over half an hour to help them understand, but once they finally did they got really interested. We read the first 6 verses of the BoM with them and explained what we were reading, line by line. By the time we left, they were saying that they were actually interested now and were going to keep reading once we left!

This week we had a miracle with an investigator. Her name is Talita. We found her last Sunday. We went out with the bishop to visit inactives in a neighborhood that's far away, and we found a woman named Dumara at home. She's super nice and welcomed us in. She hasn't been to church for the past 35 years or so, but she talked a lot about how her mom would always tell her that this was the true church. Her mom had a really strong testimony, and even though Dumara doesn't know for herself that this is the true church, she has a great example with her mom. At the beginning of our visit, before I'd said anything, she said to me, "you're American right:" and after I responded yes, she said "Oh, my daughter is American too!" I was a bit confused, but then she explained that when she was married, she moved to New Jersey for 2 years for her husbands job and while they were there her daughter was born. But 9 months after, they moved back to Brazil. Even after 2 years she doesn't speak any English though! So we had an idea to come back the next wednesday and bring president Scholz with us because Dumara loves the States and we figured she'd like to have 2 Americans in her house, so that's what we did! That wednesday when we got there, her daughter Talita was there too. She's 22 and heard her mom talk about the church before and she's been a few times as a little kid, but it's been so long she doesn't remember anything. We taught her the Restoration and it was a great lesson. It's super fun to have president there in our lessons, he doesn't do a ton of the teaching but he helps clarify things. The best part of the lesson was the First Vision. When we told it, the Spirit was there and easy to feel. At the end when we were inviting her to read and pray about the BoM and Joseph Smith, she explained how while we were talking about the First Vision she felt something powerful and calm inside her, but she didn't know how to explain it. We helped her understand that it was the Spirit testifying to her, and that when she prays, look for feelings like that. But as we were wrapping up, president looked at her and said "Remember, if you want to get an answer then you will. You have to do your part because God will do his. It all depends on you."
I've been thinking about what he said to her during the rest of this week. How often do I ask something from Heavenly Father but not do everything that I can to deserve it: Just like an investigator praying to know if this is the true church, we have to show Heavenly Father that we want it. It really does depend on us! He'll always do His part, and when we do ours, that's when we get our answers.
I'm grateful to be a missionary. Meeting new people, teaching, helping other missionaries as executive, and learning through these experiences is a blessing. Everyday I realize that I still have so much to learn and improve on, but all I can do is give it my best.

Have a great week!

-Elder Odom

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