Sunday, January 26, 2014

This week was very good. It involved miracles in finding. You really do need to be bold and courageous in talking to more people because that is where great progress and miracles can come. Several days ago, Elder Howse and I were going to visit a few potential investigators. The first ones weren't home at all. As we were heading to the car, Elder Howse had the phone and someone was calling, so we stood for a minute. A lady from a home that we already tracted saw us and started walking towards the two of us and stopped several meters between us. Elder Howse and I both wanted to say hello and invite her. As soon as we said hello from the distance, she started walking quickly towards us, eager to speak with us. She spoke of how she needed to talk to someone, that she was a christian too, and the stress of her family. We actually did not invite her to learn, but she asked for a pamphlet, our number, and said she'd call us. She also said we could stop by when we were visiting the area. That was a miracle because we hadn't met her when we tracted her house, so we would have never met her.

Another miracle occured less than an hour after that when we were heading to a house that Elder Howse had heard a family with children when we had visited the street before, so it wasn't even a potential, but a potential potential. They weren't home, but as we were at their front door, a red vehicle parked in a house just a few houses away. We decided to visit, and found a wonderful man who had had experience with past missionaries quite the tad ago. He was busy at the moment and week, but gave us his phone number to contact in a few days, and he was happy with us stopping by again. That was another miracle.

Lastly, Elder Howse and I, as we were about to head off for the day in the morning to start proselyting, we saw a man walking on the other side of the street. We got out of the car, headed over to him, and introduced ourselves. He had currently been thinking about what's really out there and we taught a mini lesson right there. We gave him our number and now we are waiting for him to call. It was amazing, miraculous, to have such an encounter. This week was just so full of miracles involving finding.

I studied the role of the Holy Ghost during this past week and especially loved the idea of needing to be courageous in following the spirit. Sometimes I honestly don't know for sure if the spirit is prompting me or if it is just myself, but when I exercise the courage to test it out anyway in faith, I don't regret it. I think that if it was really easy to detect the spirit, my faith wouldn't grow as well than if all I had to do was be easily shown what to do. I can really grow if I am more brave with following promptings, even if I am not sure.

I also have been reading the Book of Mormon in Mosiah when Abinadi is chastising Noah and his priests. I love how Noah and the priests, leaders with power on earth, have no power over Abinadi save God lets them. At first, they have nothing and Abinadi does as needed--to testify against them and preach unto them repentence. Afterwards, God lets Abinadi die, and now Abinadi is in joy with God. We are protected when we have work to do. No man on earth has the power to destroy us. There is no reason for fear when in the service of the Lord. Peace unto us is given.
This week was really great. I wanted to also focus on humility and selfishness. I had great opportunities for both, and I pray for more. Such a purging is taking place out here, and boy do I have a tad to go. It is wonderful. Affliction truly can be consecrated to our benefit and growth. I love you all, and I pray you peace.
Elder Justin Cederlof

Monday, January 20, 2014

       This week has been very fruitful. Firstly, we've a new missionary in our flat taking place of Elder Van Orden. His name is Elder Grant. He is an Aussie, and very awesome. He has heaps of church books, including a book about the teachings of Joseph Smith. I read a section about the plurality of gods and my mind was blown. Joseph Smith just has so many amazing speeches and teachings that contrast with his farm boy life before. He definitely was inspired and enlarged.
        We have two people who have agreed to baptism. Elder Howse and I extended one to Gwen, who said it was an "honor" to have us invite her to do such. That was humbling. The other, an african lady named Eustina, also agreed, and we hope that we may see their baptisms before we are transferred. An elderly lady named Sister Perry was very helpful in being a fellowship to Gwen. We do not yet have a female fellowship for Eustina, and fellowship is essentail, so that is one of our goals for this upcoming week.
       A miracle this week was stumbling upon a man whom we encountered a weekish prior. We were tracting, and decided to start at the top of a complex. The first door we knocked on gave no answer, but then my companion felt like knocking another time, and sure enough, John, the man we met earlier, was the owner. He let us in, we talked, gave a lesson, and have met him again already. He has such great faith in Jesus Christ and the bible. He will be difficult to teach and to help, for some of the people who are really focused on the bible and Jesus Christ ironically somehow blind themselves almost in a really hard way to understand. We will definitely be praying that we will teach him with the spirit as the senior companion, and then we'll have a miracle.
      The heat peak was this week, and now it will die down, and Tuggeranong is doing fantastic. I am feeling the spirit, and seeing such areas that could use growth. What a time to refine. I love it.
I love you all. Fairfarren.
Elder Cederlof

Monday, January 13, 2014

I don't have my planner on me, and my memory is not the greatest - so much room for improvement there - so I will try to include things that have happened this past week.
Once again, for this new transfer, which started yesterday, I am with Elder Howse. He has been my only companion for this whole time. There must be something to be done here in Tuggeranong. There is definitely a lot to be done, people to see, etc. and I am so glad to still be here with him to serve those people.
In our weekly or montly new letter from the mission, I read a fantastic quote that just is too awesome to describe, so I won't.
Christ says "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work, I want YOU. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked - the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself, my own will shall become yours." (C.S. Lewis)
Such an amazing and inspiring quote. It is overwhelming to think that we are given doctrine about God and that being Almighty, he would speak unto us, offering the opportunities of the eternities. And to think that I get to be involved in sharing that opportunity and knowledge of God and His plan to others, to bring them unto Christ, is just amazing and obviously not fully understood. I don't think I will ever understand how magnificent this opportunity to serve was until after mortality.
This week has not been the best of weeks, though there was enjoyment in doing 24 hour splits with other missionaries. Our visits and key indicators were down - but shall be avenged. Mutherun, an investigator, has accepted the invitation to baptism, and we are excited to be pushing for that date. Fellowship will make all the difference, and we are blessed with that.
I have not much to write concerning this past weeks history, but I can write of the spirituality of this week. It is kind of odd to think about the gospel in the idea of us being totally not involved with obtaining the message. Can we come to know God by our own means - forever no. It was given, a blessed gift. And to think that most do not know the fullness, and yet we have it - dumbfounding. And furthermore, to think that we can be privileged vessels to share that, mere mortal me to another person - just humbling.
Besides writing that I can say not much more, for words do not fully depict. I can testify, however, that I am filled with the Holy Ghost, and my testimony is at its peak, and there is so much more room to grow. Also being out here, you see your carnal self more than ever, and you see the need to kill it, slaughter it, destroy it completely, for it is the enemy. That's the cool thing about being out here and having afflictions. That's the marvelous thing about having a companion that is different than me. It's fantastic.
I love you all and what great times to come.
Elder Cederlof

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Week of Miracles

My testimony has increased so much this past week. I stand all amazed when I think of the power of God that I've been privileged to have this past week. It has also been humbling, because during the experience, it's like I am the investigator or less active because I sit there as well, as the power of God takes control and makes itself manifest. I can never boast of myself.
The first miracle was with a father, Puteho, and his son, Swanni. This was the second lesson, which we were teaching about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. The lesson was good, concerns were met, though Puteho still has some issues with our church and the center of it being on Christ.
However, the miracle came while we were leaving. Elder Howse and I were in the front yard, but Puteho still had concerns and Elder Howse spoke to him while I spoke to Swanni. Then and there, Swanni told me of an experience during the lesson. He had not been really focusing, and was drifting off, but at the time, a voice told him to listen to us, for we would show him the true church. When he told me of that experience, I felt the spirit and I was amazed. Swanni really wants to learn and to come unto Christ. He also, for this new year, wants to change and become a better person.
Another miracle was acknowledged when Elder Howse and I went over to visit a less active named Darren. He invited us over for dinner--huge burgers: two patties worth of meat cooked with jalapenos and sauces in between. After dinner, he invited us into the main room or family room to sit and chat. Darren brought up our last visit, where we watched President Thomas S. Monson's talk "I Will Not Fail Thee, Nor Forsake Thee".  That talk had spoken to him. The spirit testified to him of the need to change and to come back to church. He prayed unto the Lord between these two visits, and received guidance to come to church. Darren testified of the power of prayer.  That whole time, I felt the spirit. I truly felt humbled, sitting back on the chair and feeling the power of God being made manifest in Darren's experience and the experience we had the night he told us of his experience. He will be coming to church this upcoming Sunday.  Glory to God!
Those two experiences have testified unto me that this church is true and that God lives. Never before have I had such experiences. The mission is amazing, and I am truly privileged to serve it.
Jesse should be back very soon. We are waiting to get back in contact with Maria. Gwen is doing great. She's been to church. Elder Howse and I have taught her the Restoration and she believes the Book of Mormon is true. Now she just needs that divine answer to testify unto her. She looks at us as her grandchildren and has offered to iron our shirts. She's a gem. We love her so much.
We have a lot of potential investigators and are excited for this week to change those to investigators. The work is going wonderful here. The longer I am here, the more I love it. After the trial of our faith, we receive a witness. I testify of that, especially for this week. My faith is stronger than it could be if I did not serve a mission. The mission truly is worth any sacrifice. What a great opportunity of the eternities. May we go forward in faith, until that beautiful day when we have faith no longer, but know Him. These things I say in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.