Monday, June 6, 2016

Mini Zone Conference and Miracles

A great week this week. Seriously just love it here in Fort Dauphin. Everything here is just amazing. 

Ponderize this week: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart
2 Cor 3:3

Monday night we went and taught Sandy and Esperant with Fr Lahitanony, the 1st councilor in the other branch. They are family of his actually and it was a great lesson. He shared his testimony about the Book of Mormon with them and why he chose to join the church. It was a powerful lesson. They are still unsure if they should get baptized or not so pray for them! They are so awesome! We then helped Lahitanony give his wife a blessing because she was giving birth like the next day. It was a cool experience. Then we went over to Voavison and Aina's and taught them about the Book of Mormon and why they should get baptized if it's true. It was a good lesson. He was leaving the next day to Fianarantsoa for work. He knows where the church is up there though so that's good. 

Tuesday we had a great day. WE taught Yvon and Lala, a less active couple, about Fasting. We weren't planning on that but we felt like we should talk about fasting. It turned out to be a way cool lesson and he felt really bad that he hasn't come to church in a long time and said he would come this week. Well he didn't. We contacted a referral from a member last week and finally taught them this day. They are a way awesome family that are prepared. They really want to follow Jesus Christ and improve their family life. THey realize that they need God in their lives. It's awesome. Helenie and Edward are their names. We also came across some less actives while we were out there and taught them about the importance of putting God first and everything else will work out. We encouraged them to read scriptures everyday and do FHE every week. 

Wednesday was rough. We caught our first 2 times and tracted into a third time but other than that we had nothing. Everyone dogged us. And tracteing didn't even go at all. It was a rough day. But the one time we tracted into was a drunk guy that was very rude to us but the neighbor's kids were all their too. Maybe they just really wanted to hear a white guy talk I don't know. But one of the 13 year old kids in the group said he had a question. He asked why their were so many churches if there was only one God. Way awesome question! We taught him about the Restoration and invited him to church. He didn't come though...

Thursday we had a pretty decent day. WE cleaned out or program on this day. We just dropped everyone that wasn't progressing. WE Christian first, a less active, and he kind of opened up to us about how he had made some mistakes and really was feeling bad. He asked us to give him a blessing and I gave him one. It was awesome. So really cool story. That morning we were thinking of a member that could come teach Naina with us. WE had been thinking awhile about Liva, the Elder's quorum president. He doesn't live super far and seemed like a great match for Naina. Our time with Naina was at 4 and Liva works at the Chamber of Commerce and so we figured that he would probably be working and there would be no way to get him to come with us. Well we called him anyway. And he said yes! He kinda joked around and said that if we speak English with him then he will come. So we go meet him and head over to Naina's and start teaching and it's going awesome! They've known each other for years actually. Liva recognized the house when we got there. During the lesson Liva tells a little story. He said that he had had a ton of work to do that day. He was actually planning on going on vacation the next day. While he was doing all of this work we call. The first thing that comes into his mind is: "Say no. You have way too much work to do" But then he heard something whisper in his mind: "Go" So he joking told us that he would go if we spoke English to him. He had no idea that we were going to teach Naina and the Holy Ghost told him to go with us and because of that we had an awesome lesson with Naina and his family. 

Friday we had a cool day of work. We are working a lot with Francisca because she's in a bit of a hostile environment. Her family is pretty religious but annoying religious if that makes sense. Like they are very full of questions about things in the bible and some of their questions will break down the faith of a recent convert. We taught Mahala and Elvine too and gave them a Book of Mormon reading chart to help them with their reading. We started doing a lot of tracted around that area too and we had a pretty cool experience tracting. WE just started walking and making turns and I said :"Hey this door looks great" so we knocked on it and this guy lets us in and is super cool. Learned from missionaries before. He used to be Muslim but has a way strong belief in Christ now. Way cool. We got a return appointment with him and his family. 

Saturday I had a split in my area with Elder Koplin to do baptismal interviews. Before we went out we set a goal to find 5 new families to teach. So we go out and our first 2 times dog us so we start tracting. Well we found a bunch of cool families. Like a bunch of them. 5 to be exact. It was awesome. We found a guy that was Muslim but loved all religions and wanted us to come back and talk to his family. WE contacted into some newly weds too. They got married 6 months ago and are still trying to figure things out. We had a way good lesson with them and got a return appointment. Then we went to Naina again. And the lesson was awesome. He shared with us his feelings. He loves the missionaries. They have stopped by his house off and on for about 2 years. They keep coming back though. He kept wondering, why do these missionaries love to come by my house? Maybe God is trying to tell me something. We invited them to be baptized and he accepted. They have actually been talking about it a lot for the past couple weeks just among themselves. And he said he would come to church and he did. The baptismal interviews didn't end up happening because the husband went away to grab the birth certificate so they can get married. Then we found out President Foote was here and so we invited him to dinner at a nice Chinese place that sells hamburgers. 

Sunday was great! The testimonies were awesome. Helenie and Edward came. Naina came. President Foote was in our branch so I got to sit up on the stand and translate for him. It was really fun though. Naina loved church and everyone loved him there. In Branch council they told us to hurry and baptize him so they can give him a calling in the church haha. We had a couple meetings after church. We had a PEC meeting and it's been very interesting and very humbling to me that these people would ask 18,19, 20 year old kids what they need to do. They ask us for ideas and counsel and advice on how to do things. We talked a lot about the priesthood or the lack of it and how we can help our less active brethren. Then we went out and taught Ruffin about the priesthood and hauled back to the house to wait for President Foote who gave us a mini zone conference in our house. It was all about being an example and a light to those around us. Part of it was the scripture that I ponderized this week. Internalizing the gospel will make us an example and a light to those around us. And it affects everyone, even people we haven't even met. It will make us stand out and be different. But we don't need to worry about what others think. We'll spend a lot more time with ourselves than anyone else. We just need to be our best selves. It's kinda like track. You're just there to beat your personal record. As long as you PR every time you put your cleats on, you are doing everything you are asked to do. 

This week we have another baptism on Saturday. I am giving a talk this week in church because it's my last Sunday in Fort Dauphin. We've got some soiree's set up this week and I am way excited to just go ham teaching and inviting others to come unto to Christ. Everyone needs Him. Teaching that lesson with Naina this week made me realize that this is what it is all about. We are helping God reach out to His children. He loves each and every one of us. I know it. There is no way I can feel the joy that i feel now going back home. I love this work. Have a great week everyone. 

Elder Coleman

I asked Austin what he has learned by being in Fort Dauphin...........
My testimony that this is God's work had been strengthened while I have worked here. I can see that God is in the details of our lives and I am grateful and humbled that I have been able to be a part of that. Hearing the testimonies yesterday and the testimonies of those that have been baptized since I got here has strengthened mine so much.

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