Monday, September 16, 2013

Withstanding The Adversary

On Saturday Bishop Hanson and us met with Sabrina and Savong at their home and made some really good progress with them. As I had told you all we have had some issues getting them out to church each Sunday and so we were planning on pushing their baptism back a week or so. But on Saturday we sat down and talked about the importance of attending church each week to partake of the Sacrament and renew our covenants with our Heavenly Father. I don't think they quite understood the importance of the Sacrament before Saturday. But we got everything squared away and kind of just told them that if they wanted to get baptized (which they REALLY want to do) then they needed to make it to church each week. So sure enough, they showed up to church yesterday. They both already have friends at church, and so they really enjoyed it. After having a good talk with Bishop Hanson, we decided to keep their baptism scheduled for this Sunday the 22nd. So hopefully everything goes according to plans!

Last week I told you about the experience we had of giving Vickie a blessing to help her withstand Satan's attempts to prevent her from getting baptized. Well thank goodness she asked for that blessing, because Satan has been throwing everything he has at her to try and stop her from being baptized. This past week her life pretty much fell apart. First her husband decided to leave her. He just didn't like it here in CT and wasn't happy with life so he moved away to Tennessee for some reason. Also she has had temporary custody of her niece for the past 6 months or so and has been raising her, and due to some legal situations her temporary custody of the girl was up and so now the niece is back into the situation she was in before Vickie was taking care of her. So she has had these two awful things happen to her directly after she made the decision to get baptized. We see this happen with a lot of investigators. As soon as they make the decision to be baptized, the Adversary is going to do everything he possibly can to make them change their mind. He can see that  great thing is about to happen in their life, so he wants to stop it.

We saw the same thing happen when Joseph Smith went to the grove of trees on the day of the First Vision. Before God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph, he tells of an experience of where Satan was trying to work upon him. He says in Joseph Smith History, "I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction." Fortunately Joseph was able to withstand Satan's attempt to stop the great thing which was about to happen with Joseph. Thankfully Vickie is also handling her situation very well, she is a really strong lady. She will still be getting baptized a week from Saturday on Sept. 28.

We had interviews with Pres. Packard this week and it was great to be able to sit down and talk with him for a while. Things are going so well in our mission, and we have some really exciting things happening. For the month of September we had 92 scheduled baptismal dates which is pretty crazy. The most baptisms our mission has ever done in a month is 53, which was just two months ago. So that's pretty exciting. We also got word that within the next two months we will begin working with the digital mission. Our mission has been working hand in hand with Harvard and MIT in creating a website that we can use to share the Gospel. During the slower hours of the day we will start working online where we find the people who are searching for the questions such as "Who is God?" or "Where do we go after this life?" and things like that. Once we find those people, we will send them a message online and give them a link to our website that will have the answers that the Gospel provides to those questions. It is something really exciting, and we are pretty pumped to start working on it here shortly. They have had a few trial runs with the website and have experienced quite a bit of success. Just with the trial mode there were 3 people that were found online, ended up meeting with the missionaries and then being baptized. It is a pretty great time to be a missionary, definitely a lot of exciting things happening! Have a great week, love you all!

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