Monday, May 20, 2013

Mountainside Tracting - May 20, 2013

I officially hate the keyboard that I am using right now. The keys are really worn out and hard to push. They sound like a thunder storm when I use them. With each key stroke the whole internet cafe echoes. I thought I would throw in that little tidbit for color.

Now to my email :)

Elder Tracey and I are getting along very well. The best part is that if there is ever any conflict, we both try to resolve it quickly. We just do so much better when we are happy and are really good friends. All in all, it is an awesome companionship.

This week has been awesome as we have been really trying to find the best of the best that will help this ward. We have seen a lot of blessings come. One of my best mission experiences to date happened this week. This is what happened.

Elder Tracey came up to me one day and said, "I just had a prompting that we need to visit someone".
ME: "Alright let’s call them and go see them right now”.
Elder Tracey: "Well we would, but I can’t figure out who it is that we are supposed to see".
Me "Alright let’s figure out who it is”.
Both of us conversed for a little bit then both decided that we should pray and look for a prompting. At first we prayed together and neither of us got an answer. Then we said our own private prayers.

As I was praying I got a prompting that we should go visit someone named George. As soon as I got that prompting I wondered “who in the world is George, I don't even know a George”. I said OK and ended my prayer.

After I walked out, Elder Tracey and I looked at each other and we both just said "did you get George?" It turns out we both had a prompting that we should meet with a man named George. Apparently George is a guy that Elder Hall and Elder Tracey dropped last transfer (about 8 weeks ago). He just wasn't committing to anything and he would consistently cancel appointments. We called him up and he answered. He was happy met with us and now he is taking all the lessons again. I really appreciated that experience.

George is a perfect investigator. He really is everything that you could ask for. He is good at speaking English so we can converse easily. When we talk about the gospel, he understands every little bit. He is just really very quick. Not only is he smart, but he has a very steady job. This is key since we don't have to worry about him having leave due to running out of money.

This week we had two baptisms. We baptized a man named Shebon and a man named Hillary. Shebon is a very powerful man and truly investigated the church through and through until he knew that every aspect of it was 100% true. He has been investigating the church for about the past four months. To have the opportunity to be in the area when he finally got baptized was just such a cool experience. I really appreciated seeing him get baptized because he will stay strong. I know that he will never leave the church because his testimony is so strong.

Hillary getting baptized as well was another rewarding experience for many reasons. To start Hillary is 19 years old and just about to finish his third year of university. He is a very smart young man. He already has a strong desire to serve a mission. He already is planning to turn his papers in once he hits the one year mark after his baptism. Seeing someone so excited about the gospel and already have such a strong desire to go on a mission just really makes me smile inside. I really see how people change learn to love sharing the gospel as they learn more and more about God.

Elder Tracey and I were looking over all the recent converts to the Church in our area and we realized that a lot of them are young men and young women that still live with their parents. We noticed that a large majority of these young men and young women's parents and other family members have yet to be taught about the church. We also noticed that these young men and young women (there all at least 19 of them) have large families that need to learn about the gospel. We thought it would be a good idea to start meeting all these families and start teaching them. This is a whole lot easier to visit and have the adult child welcome you in the door and introduce you to their parents than knock doors.

Elder Tracey and I have just started this new teaching method and began with a young man’s named Billy’s family. It was so much easier. We showed up at Billy's home and he gladly welcomed us in and introduced us to his family. We got to know them and shared a message. We were gladly welcomed back for another appointment in the near future. As Elder Tracey and I left this home, we really realized that this is what the ward needs. There are a lot of members in their 20s, still living with their families who are ready for the gospel.

We still need to tract at times. On Friday we decided that we should tract a new area that hadn’t been touched in a long time (about 9 months). It was such an awesome experience. The area that we tracted was horrible because all the houses were built on this huge mountainside. As we went from house to house it seemed it was always uphill. As Elder Tracey and I went to each home, we began to realize that this area had really just been prepared by the Lord for the gospel. All of the people were so welcoming. Almost every single person we taught had a large family that was ready and happy to learn about the gospel. It was an awesome experience.

One of the best people that we found was a man who initially it seemed did not want to meet with us. His name is Charles. Charles is 41 years old and has four sons that are 19, 14, 12, and 10 years old. His wife doesn’t speak any English and is a woman who grew up in a true African village. As we sat and talked with Charles, he at first he didn’t seem to want to learn. As we just sat and talked with him and joked around a bit, he really opened up.

Charles is struggling to make enough to pay for all his kids schooling. He will always pay for his kids schooling and food before he provides anything for himself. He is a remarkable man. He works day in and day out to serve his family. He is just excited about being alive and able to have a family. As we sat and talked with him we began to realize that he has a deep respect for God and loves to learn more about Him.

He refuses to work on Sundays no matter what the cost because of his deep love for God. This is extremely unusual for Ugandans because most have such humble circumstances that they have to work continuously to survive and to put food on the table. Charles knows that if he gives up Sundays, all will work out in the end.

As we taught Charles he became a better and better person in my mind. He just turned out to be such a remarkable person. He committed to come to church on Sunday.

When Sunday rolled around, he not only came to church, he came 40 min early. He sat and read the pamphlets that we had given him as we taught him the past two times during the week. He happily stayed during the sessions and he fallowed along in his bible as the speakers gave references to verses in the bible. The speaker might say, “I’m now going to read from Mather 16” and Charles would look at me and ask me to flip my bible to that chapter. He would take it and follow along as the speaker read the verse. He is just such an awesome man. I really can’t say enough about him hope that he continues to progress the way he has been so far.

Charles has been prepared for the Gospel. I really love this guy. He has no desire to do anything but serve his family and come closer to God.

I’m just about out of time and I am pretty tired of this keyboard. I think that everyone around me is pretty tired of this keyboard as well. I have to go.

I love you all

I appreciate all the emails from everyone. You all are awesome.

I miss you all and hope all is going well for each and every one of you.

The church is true

God loves us.

The Book of Mormon is True


Elder Bitter/Steve

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