Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 6

Hey everyone,

This is week six of transfers which means this Saturday we find out if we are getting transferred or not... Ahhhhh, this is always such a week of butterflies as we wait to find out where we will be for the next six weeks, and who we will be serving with. I am pretty positive both Elder Thatcher and I will be staying here, but of course it is never for sure until we get the call letting us know. I am very much hoping we are right in thinking we are staying! Well I'm going to go ahead and get started with how our week has been in Belen :-)

- In our Zone Conference a couple weeks ago, when Elder Zivick spoke (the attached picture), he recommended each missionary getting a blessing from the bishop of the ward in which he is serving to help the work progress. This is something I am wanting to continue for the rest of my mission. Elder Thatcher and I got our blessings from Bishop Hanchett here yesterday after church and it was a great experience. The blessings spoke of the unity in our companionship as well as the unity and excitement that is forming in the ward regarding missionary work. After we were done with the blessings the bishop shook our hands and said that the missionary work is going better now then it has since the ward began, and most certainly since he became bishop, and that he is very excited to see the miracles that come of it. I cant take credit for the success, or future success, here though because the ward's faith and work is the reason for it, and I'm just happy to be a part of it.

- Barbara and her great grandson came to church this Sunday and both are very excited for their approaching baptismal dates. She got two calls from ward members and a visit from the bishop encouraging her to go to church so they are definitely being embraced by the ward.

- I love it here. Its great going from an area where we were happy with a 5 lesson week, 9 lessons being our highest and the highest in the last 9 months, to an area where we are now averaging 15 lessons and we need more then one hand to count the people who are progressing and moving towards baptism. My excitement for missionary work continues to grow and the time keeps passing faster. Preparation days come and feel like an inconvenience now because I am not out teaching or talking to as many people about Christ and his gospel. Suddenly I am looking back wondering where the past few months have gone and I want to be sure the months coming are even better.

Sorry this letter is so short and uninspiring. We have another busy day ahead of us and I am super worn out so my brain is running a little more slowly then usual (hoping for a short nap today, lol). I love you and am praying for you though!


Elder Inman

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just Great

Hey Everyone,

This week has been another great one to add to the list (I would say diary but sadly I am still horrible at writing in it). I am loving my mission more and more each day, and now it is beginning to feel like it is slipping away to quickly. 8 months already?! Our apartment is finally clean, we have our area organized, and we are being extremely blessed with the people we have to teach. It is nothing short of a miracle with how well this area is doing and my companion and I are already talking about how we better not get transferred out. Just a real quick example of how the Lord is sending people to us to be taught- Last week Brother Chavez came to church. This is amazing because he is not a member and has not been to church for 32 years (or something like that). Most of his family are members, and he had taken the lessons at one time but never attended an actual meeting. Yesterday at church he said that he went out that morning to shoe his horses and as he was going over everything he had to do that day he suddenly thought 'wait, I need to go to church'. We will be meeting with him later this week to see if he is ready to take the lessons again.

This area really is white and already to harvest, and we are being so blessed for what work we have been able to do so far. I have seen faster and more exciting progress here then either of my other areas, and other missionaries who hear about it are thrown back with surprise. Barbara and her grandson are preparing for baptism on the 6th of November (she said a dream she had told her it needed to be in November), Keith (who we found tracting a couple weeks ago) is preparing to be baptised on the 20th of November, and last week we began teaching an 11 year old in a part-member family who said he wants to be baptised on the 30th of October. We also have begun teaching a lady who asked for our help moving her couch last week, and her neighbors, who are members, said they want us to teach their grandchild because he wants to be baptised. On that same street we tracted into a lady who said she wants to read the Book of Mormon and we have our first appointment with her this Wednesday. And Leon, the guy who knocked on our door during interviews with President Miller, came to church on Sunday and we should be meeting with him tonight for his first missionary lesson. We also visited a former investigator who said she just decided to start attending a church with her daughter and that since we were there it might as well be our church, and that she would like us to teach them. And to top it all off we received a promising referral this morning :-)

Wow, I have so much I want to write about, but I have to get going so I'm going to bullet point real fast. My paragraph structures in this are pretty sad anyways so I don't think anyone will mind the change to bullet points to much:

- We had Zone Conference this week and a General Authority, Elder Zivick (spelling may be off), spoke at it. It was incredible and the way he taught made me want to be a much stronger teacher.

- Our ward is moving forward with missionary work faster and stronger then I had imagined or even prayed for. The success here so far is largely due to the faith and hard work of the members in the area, and they seem as excited as we are.

- Lately I have noticed I am more in tune with the spirit and more able to follow His promptings then any other time in my life so far. I have seen so many miracles as a result of following very small promptings that at the time didn't seem important. A couple weeks ago we were working with someone who told us he wants to be active again, and he asked us for a priesthood blessing. This happens all the time, and of course we give them a blessing as asked, but this time I told him that we will give it to him the next time we come by. I wasn't sure why I said that, or even that I was following a prompting, but Yesterday I saw the result of it. We had a member of the stake presidency visit and in one of our meetings he mentioned that he knew him and wanted us to go with him to visit him. Turns out they were both baptised into the church at about the same time and were very close, but had lost touch with eachother through the years. It was a beautiful reunion and he gave the blessing that we were asked to give a week earlier and the spirit filled the room and touched the heart of everyone there. It sounds like a small thing, but miracles like that are happening on an almost daily basis. I love it!

- My companion loves the package we received from my family, and of course I love it as well.

Well this is really long and we have to go continue with our day.

I love you all!

Elder Inman

PS, thank you for all you do Batman Family!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Conference weekend

Hey Everyone,

This has been a beautiful week and one that I am very grateful for! I don't know how its possible to end one's week with inspired talks from prophets and not look back on the week with joy. There was so much said in the talks that felt like they were written for me, or for the people I am working with in this area. Plus, as a great added bonus, two of our investigators came to church for the first time and had the opportunity to hear the Prophet Thomas S. Monson speak! There is so much I want to talk about, especially concerning conference weekend, but like always have a very limited amount of time and have to be selective. One that I felt prompted to share, probably out of gratitude for such inspired parents, was by Larry R. Lawrence ( I might have the name wrong because I don't have my notebook with me, and I might get what I write a little off, lol). He spoke a lot on the need to brave and inspired parents in these latter days. There are, according to him, five big things that if applied can strengthen children and families. 1- Have a curfew and wait up for the kids to help enforce it and show your love when they return home, 2- Sleep-overs are dangerous and should be prayerfully considered before allowing them to occur, 3- If one parent feels uncomfortable about something then the other parent needs to support them, 4- Parents should hold private interviews with the children periodically, 5- Family dinner and FHE should never be scheduled over. And then in another talk, by Thomas S. Monson, it was mentioned that sports are not to be played on the Sabbath.

The reason I wanted to mention those is because as I wrote them and looked over my notes I was thrown back by the revelation my parents must have been receiving through my childhood since those are guidelines I have grown up with. So many times I have been told by friends, or companions on the mission, that my parents were being over bearing by not allowing me to miss seminary because of sports, or FHE for a friends party, or stay at a friend's house over night. I learned a while ago that I personally agree and am thankful for all of those family rules, but now a General Authority has come out in General Conference and voiced his agreement as well. Joseph Smith taught that no religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things does not, and will never, be able to build the faith necessary to enter the Celestial Kingdom. WOW right? Those guidelines that my parents had me grow up with have shown me repeatedly that nothing should come before God or my family and I have been required to sacrifice what I thought of as 'good' for what is 'best'. In a world that asks us to be away from our families so much it is wonderful to hear assurance that it is still possible to follow that timeless council. Last week I was told that my brother, Harrison, chose of his own free will to miss one of his soccer tournaments so that he could make the Saturday conference sessions. When I read that I broke down in tears knowing that my siblings are growing up in righteousness and I can be certain of their happiness and safety as well as our eternal relationship. My siblings are growing up to be better then I am, and I look forward to reading letters from Harrison as he serves his mission and tells me of the miracles worked through him. Is there anything greater then being eternal with your family in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father?

This weekend we received needed council from servants of the lord that if followed will keep up on the strait and narrow and out of the mine field of misguided worldly distractions. Carnal pleasure is and always will be bitterness, so I have decided to follow the prophet and receive peace, the promised gift of the spirit. I have not been able to write much about my week or the many miracles I have been witness to but I have loved it and look forward even more to this coming week. I am so grateful for my family, friends, mission, church leaders, Belen and the ward here, my companion, and so much more!

I love you,

Elder Inman