Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 3--Teaching, learning and growing in "apostate Toronto"

It's been quite a week! So many things have happened that are good and now that I have time to write, I will try to write it all. Last Monday, when I was writing about the week before, things were rushed and I didn't organize myself so I could take that time. However, I have plenty to share today. 

We have an investigator named 'J'. He's real neat. He was well prepared by people before I came, but I would be too humble if I said I didn't help him get to where he is now. After being invited to baptism, he said he had to think about things or something, and it felt like he didn't have a witness that the things we're teaching are true. Later in the night we taught him, he texted us saying, "I'm ready for baptism, the church can pick a date for me." Afterwards we worked and worked and worked with him, helping him make changes and recognize more strongly the influence of the spirit in his conversion. 

We had FHE Monday night with returning members, and ward missionaries, some people that we've gotten to know well. Afterwards, there were two people who wanted blessings. One was of comfort, and then the other wanted a blessing as well, because he had bad pains in his right side. He's one of our recent converts, who was baptized shortly before I arrived to the area. He asked me to give the blessing and luckily I had, in the morning, felt like I should take my consecrated oil with me, so I did. Because of that, I was prepared to take part. I gave him the blessing, my first time giving a priesthood blessing as well so I was glad I had the opportunity. 

The next day when we came over for some food from our good friend 'E', the man I gave the blessing to was also there, and I was so happy because He wasn't in pain, and as I said in the blessing, he was able to make it to work the next day, work which he was staying home from due to his pains. It really strengthens my testimony of priesthood power. I can't take the credit, however, since that blessing was only fulfilled because he had faith to do the things which he was told in his blessing to do, in order to experience that healing process. I couldn't help but thank God for that experience because it put everything in perspective. The Holy Ghost's role, and also God's will being the most important factor. We do all we can, but it all comes back to, is it what God wants right now, or is there a better choice, or a better time. From all my experiences, I absolutely know these things I'm teaching are true. It's not the easiest thing being out on a mission in the centre of apostate Toronto, but with God's help, I've done fairly well and we broke our goals for the week, doing much better than we hoped. 

Some of the things I did this week, were exchanges, other appointments, and church. With exchanges, two sets of missionaries trade companions for a day, to see how things are going and also to learn new things based on the other companionship's experiences. It was great and fun sometimes, and it was a learning experience at other times, all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent, and it flew past so quickly, which definitely eases the daunting thoughts of how much time I'll be spending doing things I'm not used to. I also learned how to say "I'm a missionary" and "Dinner" in Mandarin. The thing is, there are more cultures and races and languages here than I've seen in my entire life. We had this Filipino man, whom we visited on Sunday, feeding us. We ate and then he talked with us about his conversion about 40 or so years ago. It's amazing how he was prepared well before the missionaries met with him, and I hope to find people who are also prepared in that way. It's been a fun and eventful week, and I'll get back to you guys next Monday.

Elder Rodgers

PS Also, I found out I'm related to my companion, Elder Austen Gibb. Apparently Grandpa Rodgers is his dad's cousin. His family tree shows the same grandparents on dad's side.

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