Dear family and friends,
What a week! This last week the work went viral in every facet of the work. I would attribute a major portion of it to the unity and compatibility of our ward. We are of one mind and one heart as the scriptures portray. The leaders in our ward have embraced the mindset of continually counciling and the trust, love and correspondance has plorifirated.
Ward council has become a mindset rather than a once a week event. Something so simple as communication---as Moroni would say---has "altered the management of affairs among [us]". It makes since as we think about how important companionship unity is and this principle of continual counciling takes unity to the next step in our ward councils to establishing the church through auxilaries, while simultaneously promoting self sufficiency and unity in our ward.
After planning at night we call the auxillaries corresponding to those with whom we met that day and report to them the specific needs and progress of those we visited under their stewardship and specify that we are reporting, then empowering them by asking what they think needs to be done.
This does many things that when implimented will be discovered and magnified. However, if I had to choose the three major assets of this I would say first member missionary correspondance, second, activates agency of the leadership by outlining specific ways to help those they serve and take part in missionary work, the last, and in my oppinion the most diverse, the communication and compatiblity of the members and missionaries merges finding, teaching, baptizing, retaining and reactiviating into all one work.
"You reap what you sow" , when all is said and if "this" works or not in any given ward, it will because of a missionary's and the ward council's diligence and willingness to experiment. I see time and time again that if we do the bare minimum or just what we think is good, The lord will give us the bare minimum or what He thinks is good. It is not until we do our all and give our all in a consentrated effort that we recieve all He has to give.
More often than not in missionary work we exert so much effort on trying to solve the "how" of accomplish a certain task or implimenting revelation-----understanding our purpose, christlike attributes, and lately establishing the church---- that we end up on a detour of extraneous solutions with almost little or not benefit. No wonder there is frustration with leadership at times. Simplicity...The idea of continual counciling is simple--- daily communication. I hope we can keep it that way. It doesn't answer all the questions or solve all the problems, nothing all at once ever will. However, it has done much good in our ward, and seems to be a very simple,clear, and specific way of establishing the church through auxilaires.
I can not explain the hundreth part of the tender mercies witnessed this last week. It has finally all come together. The area is on fire. The ward is firing on all cylinders and I am pleased to say would be just fine if missionaries had to leave Armenia. Our bishop along with most members is a great leader and understands the importance of personal ministy. The people we are teaching I feel in reality are teaching us and we learn so much from them. Elder Peterson and I couldn't be happier.
The miracle family...2 weeks ago Mher and I were on a bus going to a near by village. As always we talked to as many as would listen to us. We talked to a young single mother with her daughter and shared with them briefly about what we do and the blessings of forever families. We gave them a restoration pamphlet with our number and information on the back and like most people do, she said she would call.
This past Tuesday we got a call from this lady and she said that she read "our book" and wanted to know more. Anxiously suprised we set up a time and visited her the next day. I didn't make the connection over the phone that it was this lady who we had talked to on the bus 2 weeks ago until we went to her home and met her and her children of 4. We started the lesson and she and all 4 of her kids (between ages 9-18) said they had read the book we had given them as a family.
Elder Peterson and I at this point thought we would wake up from our dream at any moment, then the next words they said brought the spirit and confirmed the reality of this unique message to the world. "When we read as a family, we felt something so powerful and peaceful, we just had to call, what did we feel?
I wish I could fully portray through words of just how that meeting went with the miracle family and how every meeting since has gone. I testify of the divinity of this work and the results of faith in Jesus Christ through consistent effort. I know without a doubt what we share everyday is true. This family and 2 other families made up of 2 people are progressing so beautifullly. These 3 families all came to church and will be entering the waters of baptism these next several weeks.
I have been on my knees this last week much in offering my grattitude and joy that is full in the Lord and these people. If you want to know how we feel Ammon in Alma chapter 26 is the closest account in words that can depict the fullness of joy that comes from this work. My joy is truly full in the Lord and in these people.