28 October 2008

Thank you for your prayers!

Another excerpt from Jeff's weekly letter.

I am feeling a lot better. The blessing really worked and I am so grateful for it. I am really thankful for the Priesthood in my life. Elder Olsen took great care of me and now we are working hard and I have the feeling that we are being prepared for something great here in Guyana. Elder Olsen and I are really tired at the end of each day, because we have so much to do and so many people to see. We are always trying to find new people that are ready to receive the Gospel. And we have found lots of new people that are ready and we are working with them.

This last week there were a lot of changes in the Zone. Changes that affected me as a missionary and the things that I need to do. There was what we call an Emergency Transfer. An Elder that was living in the same apartment as Elder Olsen and I was Transferred back to an area he had previously served in. The area was dying and they needed help in the area, so President decided that he needed to get that Elder back into that area. However, this elder was the District Leader in our District. Now that he is gone he is no longer in the District, so President needed a new District Leader here. Well, I got a call from the Zone Leaders one day before the Elder was going to leave. They told me that they wanted me to be the District Leader in the District. I did not know what to say, when they called. I was never in my wildest dreams expecting something like that to happen. Especially not this soon. I told them that I would accept the responsibility, but that I would need help. They told me not to worry. They said that they had complete confidence in me that I would do well as a District Leader. They also said that they would help me whenever I need help. My responsibilities include talking to the missionaries in my District every night and seeing how they are doing. Asking them about the work in their area and giving them suggestions. I need to call the Zone Leaders every night and report on the District. Every Tuesday I will need to hold District Meeting, in which I will need to provide a lesson on topics in missionary work and help the elders improve their skills in finding people and teaching. It is a lot of work and I have spent much time in prayer, praying for help and guidance and assistance in this assignment.

Anyway, we had a baptism of a man that is amazing. His wife is a member of the Church. He was just never interested in listening to the missionaries. However, he was always very nice to us. He just never came to the lessons. A few weeks ago he lost his job and decided that he needed God in his life. He came to church. We started teaching him and I was able to baptize him on Saturday. He came up after the baptism and thanked Elder Olsen and myself for the efforts we put into him. We both did not do too much. All we did was go by and teach him. He was being prepared before we ever talked to him. When we taught him about the word of wisdom he decided right then that he was not going to drink coffee any more. He gave us his Coffee and we threw it in the gutter outside. He never drank again. He received the Priesthood on Sunday and he was so happy. He will be such strength to the branch and to the District. He will be able to influence the people around him in such a manner that they will also want to change their lives. His family will be able to become strong in the church. His daughter will be able to grow up in the Church. All because of him decided that he needed God in his life.

We did find a girl that is totally prepared. We were walking by a house and I stopped and called into the house and this 20 year old girl came out and talked to us. I asked if we could teach her a lesson and she said yes. We taught her and committed her to baptism after the first lesson. She accepted and accepted all the other commitments we left with her. I think she will get baptized on the 15th of November.

We give people the "Family Prayer & I Love You" challenge. Elder Olsen and I came up with that. We tell people to have family prayer every night and to tell everyone in the family that you love them. We then promise blessings from God. And we tell them that the love in the home will grow. It works!

I hope all is well with all of you. I love you all very much. Thank you for your prayers. I pray for you every day.