From “Magic Underwear?” To Mini-Missionary

Vancouver B.C. Temple

Vancouver British Columbia Temple

Hello friends and family! They are having some kind of random pirate dance party in the corner of the library I am e-mailing at… So please forgive me if this e-mail seems a bit scatter brained!

So this week was CRAZY! So long! The highlight of the week was our mini-mission with our recent convert. He was the 18 year old that requested a Book of Mormon over Mormon.org after watching South Park and The Book of Mormon Musical! It has been amazing to see him go from asking us on our second visit, “Are you guys wearing your magic Mormon Underwear?” To coming on a mini-mission with us–preaching the Gospel–for three whole days. I’ll talk more about this a little later; but if that transformation isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

So last Tuesday, after I emailed, we went on exchanges with Willoughby! First, they came to our apartment so we could all have lunch together before we broke off. Elder Sloan was with them so I made his favorite of course… Perogies!! Haha, he loved it. So Elder Smith and I were in Brookswood and we had a great day! We taught ALL DAY! Which was great because that is just how I had planned it! So near the end of the day, we got a call from the two of the Assistants–Elder Baker and Elder Kennedy–and they told us that they were going to spend the night with us so they didn’t have to travel all the way from Richmond to Abbotsford the next morning. Elder Baker actually trained Elder Smith in Brookswood a year ago, so it was cool to hear them talk about what had happened in my area a whole year ago! I don’t think I could learn anything else about this area… considering I’ve been here so long haha! So their sleepover was a lot of fun–I can’t wait for Elder Kennedy to get home and play basketball for BYU! I’ll be like, “I know that guy!! He ate all of my food once!” Haha.

Wednesday morning, we had a great zone meeting with some spectacular trainings and testimonies. I got to bear my testimony, and I used 1 Peter 5:5-11 in my testimony. I used it because we had been talking about humility earlier in our meeting, and it is also one of my favorites :)  So then, after zone meeting, I went on a back-to-back exchange with Elder Englestead! We had a super good day. He came out at the same time as me, so it was cool reflecting on how the last year of our missions have gone. We also taught one of our investigators (who has some slight mental handicaps), and when I asked him if he thought Joseph Smith was a prophet, he said, “Well yeah, he is. God and Jesus Christ appeared to him didn’t they? Then why wouldn’t he be?” Miracle!

So Elder Bennett and I were finally back together on Thursday and we weekly planned. We also made our last preparations for our mini-mission with our new convert I mentioned at the beginning of this email.  So on Friday morning, we picked him up from his house and started on our missionary work! The day went great and we did a little bit of everything with him–teaching, finding, planning; the works. Then Saturday went great as well! We taught our investigator I call Conspiracy C and had an awesome lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (or “J-C” as he calls him). At the end of it, we invited him to be baptized on August 30th and he responded by saying, “Holy Crap.” In German. Oh C, such a jokester haha! Anyways, he actually said yes!! We taught him the Word of Wisdom (which he had NO problems with because he is a health nut) and the Ten Commandments–mainly because he’s got a bit of a problem with taking the Lord’s name in vain haha. He said yes to that too! Then he came to church again! Miracles! He is on track to get dunked at the end of this month!

Another cool thing that happened on our converts mini mission is that we ended up teaching him and another Brother (the recent convert about to get his endowments) D&C 132… The section that explains how we can become Gods. Haha, never expected to teach that on my mission. It went shockingly well, however, and they both understood it. I’m glad that I know doctrine well enough to break it down so recent converts can understand it. Because let’s face it, that is some DEEP doctrine haha! Anyways, enough of that. Church went great, and then we had to take “Elder Green” home. It was sad to see him go because we had SOOO much fun with him haha! Elder Bennett and I are his “original” missionaries before we handed him off to YSA. He was baptized in two and a half weeks and has been a member for three months; but he did an awesome job sharing the gospel with us on his mini mission! I wish we could do it again! We will get the chance to do it with a couple priests in two weeks, so that should be fun! I’m sorry this letter is longer than normal! I didn’t have that many others to respond too and SO much happened this week! The next paragraph of this e-mail is kind of my testimony for the week; read it if you dare!

The most memorable thing that happened this week, for me, came Friday night when we were P-T’ing (pillow talking!) So since we have to be in bed by 10:30, but we usually aren’t done talking; we pray and then lay on our beds and chat. So Elder Bennett fell asleep pretty quick on the floor, but our recent convert and I stayed up talking for a while. We talked about a lot of things, but one thing in particular was about where his testimony is at now. His is kind of at the point of, “Even if God isn’t real, at least this church makes me happy and I feel like I’m doing the right thing.” Which isn’t bad, but I went ahead and used it as a quality teaching moment. I told him about how I know that God is real: It is because of the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is the word of God (or “true” as some say), then Joseph Smith really did translate it from golden plates by the gift and power of God–never could a man such as him write a book like that, even with the help of others! If Joseph Smith translated them from golden plates that he had (and there are 11 men that testified that Joseph had plates “with the appearance of gold”), than that means that the angel Morori appeared to him and revealed to him where they were buried. If an angel of God really did appear to Joseph after his original First Vision, then there is no way that Joseph Smith would have lied at the start by claiming to have seen God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in that grove which is now sacred ground. If Joseph Smith was visited by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the sacred grove, than that means two key things: That Joseph Smith was called of God to be the Prophet of the Restoration; and that God and Jesus Christ are REAL, are very much aware of us, are two separate beings, and a multitude of other truths! For me, I know that all these things are true. And as for objections to these events that happened, consider this quote by Ezra Taft Benson: “Our main task is to declare the gospel and do it effectively. We are not obligated to answer every objection. Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand”. I have received that witness for myself and I can’t deny it. Our recent convert is still learning for himself, but I’m sure that the experiences he had with us on his mini-mission will be a foundation for his testimony in the years to come!

Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed this novel of an e-mail! I hope you all have an excellent week and that your summer continues to be glorious! I’ll talk to you all later! Love you all!

 

–Elder Rushton The Third

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