Dear Friends and Family, Aug. 16, 2010
... this week was awesome. Just awesome. It started when Elder Ho. and I sat down last Sunday, and we basically said "Look, it's tough right now. Our area is suffering, and we're wearing down. We can either a.) die, or b.) work." We opted for the second. We made a big list of things we don't do well and can improve on. Then we made a list of ways we can fix them. Then, I made a giant T-chart of the whole thing. I have grown powerful in the ways of T-charts and whiteboards. Our whiteboard was beautifully overhauled as well, which allows me to see not only the numbers, but the names of all the people each companionship are set to baptize. Our area book is perfectly up-to-date, and our zone has never been stronger. We are doing in 4 weeks what we used to do in 6.
The other big difference is, even though we were overhauling ourselves, we also recognized that it wouldn't be the difference between success and failure. We kneeled in prayer and we told the Lord that we've been struggling, and we know it's our own fault. We told Him that we were sorry for failing to counsel with Him, and that we really need His help this week. That's really what did it.
We set a goal of having 5 new faces at Church this Sunday. We pushed out lesson after lesson, contact after contact, and every day we'd say, "Holy heck, that was awesome!" Then we'd sit down to do our planning, and the effort would just hit us all at once. We'd promptly pray, and go to sleep. The week ended with us having 8 new people at church, including Gladys and her son, Sammy AND her sister. It was awesome, seeing the Lord bless us for just a little hard work. The real trick is, if it only happens once, it was the exception, not the norm. If we don't repeat, it means nothing.
THEN, Elder Be., the District Leader in my beloved Kasoa district, called and said he had too many interviews to do, and needed us to come do some in Buduburam... Well, he twisted my arm! I was able to go down and see the Swary's who are still amazing, and managed to bump into almost all my families there. So far, so good. Mary F. is struggling a little, but all in all, they really hard holding strong! We spent the rest of Sunday there because Elder Ki. and Elder Ev. are doing some great work, and it took all day. We arrived home just in time to report our numbers, and promptly crash.
We've been working a lot more as a mission and as missionaries world wide to read and use the Book of Mormon. I bear testimony that it truly is God's word. It is a powerful reminder that God is mindful of all His children, wherever they are in the world. It is a record of scripture written chiefly for our day, and is a pure vehicle for the Spirit. No one who is academically, spiritually or intellectually honest can overlook the Book of Mormon without reading it, and accounting for it's origins.
We also have been emphasizing the power of personal prayer. What a blessing to be able to speak to the greatest being in the universe, anytime, any where, without appointment!
I've also noticed this past week the subtle hand of the Lord as I have gone about my studies. These new principles are things that I have been studying and working on for a while now, even before it was revealed to us. Not that I am boasting, rather just the opposite. What I thought were really good ideas are really just revealed principles by God. Dang. Here I was thinking I was the clever one. It did feel good, though, knowing that my companion and I are just as entitled to revelation as even Church Leaders, though in a much smaller sphere.
Mail was wonderful this week. I guess last DearElders were backed up, because I had so many this time around. I do so love hearing from you all, and the other missionaries in the field. I promise, though, I am still hard at work, and loving every minute of it. I'll be home as soon as I am done, and not a minute sooner.
Elder W. Farnbach