Saturday, November 5, 2011

Monday 24 October 2011, Email

Hello family!

         Well, as the subject states...this was a great week! I think that the best part of it was definitely our lesson with Otsuki, and setting a baptism date with him! He is set for the 20th of November! We had committed him in our last lesson to pray specifically about how to overcome his problem with coming to church, and he followed through on it great :) When we asked about his experience with it, he said that despite the fact that he feels like there are going to be difficult parts, and that his mom still hates anything to do with religion...when he prayed, he felt that he would be guided by God to be able to accomplish what he needs to do. I feel like that is such an evidence of the amazing growth that he is experiencing with his was a really exciting thing to hear! :) We are going to be working as hard as we can to get him to church every one of the next weeks leading up to his baptism, and to have the same faith that he does...that we will be guided by God to accomplish the things we need to do.
         Unfortunately, when it comes to investigators...he was the only one that we were able to meet with this past week, but we have been continuing to have great success with our in-actives! The fourteen year old boy that we have been working with, came to church yesterday for the second time in a row...and we feel that he really is well on his way back to full-activity. We were also able to meet three times with a less-active man, Hirabayashi who is actually the perfect age to become another melchizedek priesthood holder here in the branch. He is 23, and has been less-active for a long time due to his job on  Sunday, but he has a firm testimony of this gospel, and we are going to work with him so that he can talk to his boss about getting Sundays off. He has been helping us a lot with preparing for the Halloween activity and other`s been a lot of fun getting to know him :) We were able to meet with several other less-actives as well, and we have been drafting up ideas for callings that they might be good to be considered for...which we plan on presenting to our branch president this next Sunday. It seems that a good percentage of the in-activity is due to not having responsibilities or we are trying to work on getting people some things to do :)
          We have been really busy planning out all of our activities and different things that will happening in the next little bit...Halloween and that sort of thing. We are also all really excited about the dendo firesides that we are planning on having once a month from now on...I think it will be an awesome tool to get everyone more involved in the missionary work in this branch. Kind of an intimidating thing really because I`m supposed to be the main speaker for those firesides, and explaining all of the finding methods that we are currently using in this mission... but I`m just going to do my best, pray a lot, and see how things turn out :)
          Honestly, I feel like I`ve learned a lot about relying on the Lord this past week. I`ve been feeling strongly this past week all of the weaknesses that I have...there have been a couple days when I just felt like at every turn I was getting knocked down over and over, and just getting more and more overwhelmed. Those feelings...stress and all that other good stuff, kept on building and building until I thought I was going to go crazy. I was sitting at my desk, wondering what in the world I could do with the situation to make things more manageable...and I suddenly realized that I had been facing the problems and stress, and trying to resolve it with nothing more than my own thoughts and reasoning. I decided that I would kneel down there at my desk and ask the Lord for help, ask him to help me find a way to overcome the way I was feeling. I did, explaining the way that I was feeling and the problems I was thinking about...acknowledging that I needed his help, and those feelings of stress, of worry, of aggravation...they literally just faded away. The difficult things were still there, but feelings of being completely overwhelmed were gone. I felt at that point so grateful for the power of grateful that we always have that way of taking our worries and problems to Heavenly Father. Kind of funny, how no matter how many times I learn that I can`t do everything on my own, and that relying on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is such a crucial thing... I still do my darndest to do just that a lot of times. 
          This gospel is true family, it really is!  There is so much evidence of that in the blessings that we receive from being obedient to it`s teachings. Have a wonderful week, I love you all very much! 

                                                                                                   -Elder Voss

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