Sunday, October 27, 2013

Members are so important!

The weeks definitely go by faster here. It all feels like one big smear--my memory is whacko since I've been here.

Chris and Elena, we are having difficulty contacting. We did not get their number on our door visit, so we've just been stopping at their house over and over and haven't had success yet. The visits with Susi and Ricky have been good as we have been establishing a habit with them for reading the scriptures each day and having family prayer each day. We got them a calendar and stickers. Ricky was actually excited for that, which made both my companion and I happy.

Last Monday was great because my companion and I, along with a few other companionships, went to visit a reptile zoo. There were awesome snakes and lizards. I was able to have an anaconda on my neck and that was a bit intense. We were able to touch many of the creatures, even a few snakes. They had a cuckooberrow bird, whatever that is, which made the coolest noise.

Transfers were this past week, and I am staying with my companion, with him being made District Leader. Elder Gardner, who's in the flat with us, lost Elder Mautaake and got a lad from Idaho named Elder Van Orden. He's a newby. It is good to still be with Elder Howse especially with the people that we are currently visiting with.

This past week we've been working on visiting members to get them more engaged. What we have yet to do is splits, which no doubt will get the young men involved greatly. There have been members who've been doing missionary work, and it has been wonderful. Not to the point of us teaching investigators from them, but still good, and hopes for the future.

It is good here. Never before have I been so humbled with the acknowledged reliance I need on the Savior and the spirit. The work doesn't move forward when just man teaches and preaches. The spirit is ever so vital. I've been privileged with more investigators from contacting old ones, or potentials, and it has been wonderful. We just really need the ward to be involved. That will greatly help the work. Members are so important. Remember that at home. The missionaries need you more than you think.

Love you all, and see you one day!

Elder Cederlof, Firstborn


Monday, October 21, 2013

Faith...and then the Miracle

The longer I have been here, the more I have realized the ideas people have in regards to what religion is. Many profess their belief, but deny likewise. People think that religion is just a guessing game, and therefore picking what they believe on convenience or what suits them, not considering truth. It is sad, for we know that the purpose of church is to find the truths of God and life, not just to congregate and worship, but rather to come to a closer understanding. So many don't believe in church, but rather having faith, believing in Christ, and thus having the full religion and satisfaction of life. There is so much enlightening to be done. There is such need to teach, to preach, to find, to save. This need is domestic as it is foreign, and I loved hearing those who spoke in conference talk about how the missionaries must come together with the members, and how the members can be missionaries, or are rather called to be such already. What great news, to shed light on this darkened world, where religion and church are wrapped in lies and confusion.   

It has been wonderful here, though there are times where it is hard. Faith can even be tried, but following comes the miracles. It is humbling to come out and see the need to rely on the Lord. It has been ever so humbling. Conversion is not by us, but by the Spirit, who is of the Godhead, which I think I didn't put as heavy emphasis on in my life than I should have. Being out here, I've seen more how deeply blessed we are.
My companion and I were blessed as we were guided to two new investigators while walking to another house to visit. We discussed a few things, and then the young man let inside his home where his mother was too. We shared a short message, and are now going to find Burmese or Karen Books of Mormon for them and their family. I pray that they will have the Spirit to guide them in this important step of their lives.

We were also led to a potential investigator who actually arrived back in Australia from Fiji the day that we knocked on her door. We will be visiting her in a couple of weeks after she has settled back in and we hopefully will be seeing her at church. She said that she'd attend.

Currently, my companion and I are trying to find ways to bring us and the members together. We've been visiting members more often, leaving commitments and asking for referrals, but do you have any ideas? 

I testify that I know this church is the true church. We may have times where our faith is tried, but "joy cometh in the morning" regardless if we remain faithful and true to what we know, for that is conversion, and true conversion brings forth the blessings of salvation. Of that I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  

Elder Cederlof


Monday, October 14, 2013

"It is written"

The issue with emailing home is that all my days mesh together. I feel like I've been here for months, but also that those months have whipped by, so I am not sure if I repeat myself ever. Time is just weird on a mission. Fortunately, each day is planned out so I can figure out what happened.

So at the beginning of the week my companion and I had another visit with Susi and Ricky. They were struggling with keeping the commitment of everyday studying of the scriptures and praying. We taught a lesson and re-invited them to read and pray. That was Tuesday. Thursday, we weren't planning on visiting, but Susi, Ricky's mother, called and invited us over. Ricky had read the night before and wanted to tell us. We were very excited to hear that. We taught a lesson based on what he read, and talked more on how to get into the habit of reading and praying. What wonderful people they are and these small changes are going to shape them.

Missionary work, as you are all aware, is taking a turn as the call is not anymore for missionaries to go forth, but to go forth with the members at their side. I am reminded of Alma and Amulek.  Alma may have been a called man with great experience and testimony of the Lord, but his duty was only fulfilled by having Amulek to testify, to be a second witness of the truth spoken of by Alma.

It is great because my companion and I are trying to figure out how to get the ward involved. I went into General Conference with that question in mind. Now I have the resources to find my answer. Diligent studying and pondering  will reveal further light and knowledge that is and will be vital to this mission. The talks are getting interesting. It seems that they are now focusing on everyone needing to testify and that we are about to face darker, greater storms in the days ahead.  A testimony must be shared or it is lost like the muscles in the body.

As to the new potential investigators, there is an issue of coming to their houses when they are home. We were able to visit a potential investigator named Chad. He has kidney failure or something like that because three days a week he has his blood cleaned through machine for four hours and he puts in the needles himself--gives me the butterflies just thinking about it.

General Conference was wonderful. I saw it only yesterday and the day before, for here it is shown a week after. The power there was great. The spirit dwelled in that meeting. It is great to have this recorded. Remember how Christ spoke, while being tempted by Satan, "it is written"? I believe that is applicable this very moment. We will have temptation and harsh times, but we have the words of this General Conference, which is scripture, and we can use it, for "it is written".

I testify that God lives, and dwells on high, and that we may be below, but well within His sight. It is great to know that "Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold." (Orson F. Whitney). What great comfort it is to know the truth. May we be converted by acting in accordance to the truths we know, this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Cederlof

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tracting - not as scary as you think!

     I am soon coming to being here for three weeks. It has been wonderful. Tracting is not as scary as you think. I actually look forward to it. Even if the people aren't interested, you still enjoy talking to them. Me and my companion have had great success with tracting. From it, we've handed out two Books of Mormon. The first man, Rhammel, was very interested--here's the miracle: we knocked on the door and he came to get it and we talked and he expressed interest and wanted the book and even was willing to pay but of course we gave it for free, and it turns out that the house was his sister's. He lives among his siblings and just happened to be at her house and answered the door though not the host. There are many miracles out here.

     The other time we handed out a Book of Mormon, we were making a return appointment to a house we had tracted earlier with the wife answering and expressing interest. When we got there, she wasn't home, but the husband was and had interest as well and so we gave him the book and he said he'd read it.
     Those games of Laser Tag for Mischele's birthday really paid off.  For our zone P-day, we headed out to a laser tag place. The zone was separated into 3 teams, of which would verse each other in the arena. I was DragoN on red team. My team won all 3 games that we played. I also got first place out of everybody score wise! It was way fun.
    Well if I have not mentioned earlier, I have two 13 year old kids with baptismal dates. There's that issue with going to church, for their mothers aren't for it for different reasons. Please pray for them.
     It's been great here. It can be hard, but forever worth it. I have tried Vegemite, which tastes like extremely salty soy sauce, and have eaten kangaroo meat as a burger. It tastes good but beef is far better. US beef is better than the beef here but the chocolate is better here in my opinion.
I love you all and miss you all. Fairfarren.
Elder Cederlof, Firstborn