Tuesday, November 1, 2016

WEEK 11 - October 31, 2016 (West Haven, Utah)

Hello everybody, Happy Halloween,

It has been yet another great week. I'll apologize in advance because this letter is a little long, like the last one. I guess some of you like them being shorter I hear? I heard there was some complaining about the length of the letter back home?? Davo?.. but anyways I'll tell ya how things went this week.

I've counted it up and it looks like we had a total of 23 hours of meetings this week. On Tuesday we had greenie training. Which was a lot of sitting there and listening to people talk to us. Then after that we had choir practice for the musical fireside. The mission is putting on a huge musical fireside thing on Nov. 6th in the Ogden Tabernacle. It's supposed to be really good and I guess there's gonna be a ton of people there. The choir director is crazy hahah. I mean, I've played sports a long time with a lot of different coaches, but this guy doesn't compare. He gets SOOO angry if people aren't singing. He literally will stop the music and begin yelling and screaming at you hahaha. If people are looking down at their music and not watching him he gets furious!! It's comical, I love it.

This is Elder Sangsuwan.. he's from Thailand and he's hilarious haha I love him.

So anyway our next long meeting was on Wednesday and it was zone conference. I learned a lot in that meeting from Pres Jaggi. And I had the opportunity to bear my testimony, since I was one of the departing missionaries. The next day was awesome. We got to meet with two elders of the Sevent: Elder Christensen, and Elder Natress. They both spoke at General Conference if you can remember them. So at the beginning, we are all gathered around in a big circle to shake their hands and meet them. When Elder Christenson makes his was over to me, he asks me "Elder Jenkins, how long have you been out?" I say "3 weeks"... he then looks at me with a big smile on his face, puts both his heavy hands on my shoulders, looks at me in the eye and asks "are you doing okay." Hahaha I replied with a yes, and he was happy to hear that, and moved on to the next person. Then when it came time for them to speak, they each talked for about an hour. And they both talked a lot about personal revelation. And also a lot about the spirit. It was awesome to hear from these two men  that recieve loads of revelation. And to hear from them explaining to us how to recieve it and how to be so in tune with the spirit so that you can receive this revelation. What it comes down to are a few things.. asking in sincere prayer, and studying your scriptures with real intent. But what you really need is the spirit.

So I'll give a quick update on all our investigators. We weren't able to meet and have a lesson with the Jenkins because they are so dang busy. But they were at Sacrament Meeting yesterday which was amazing. We meet with them again on Wednesday. Hopefully they don't need to cancel.

Last Monday we had another lesson with Alex the Russian. Unfortunately, our translator couldn't make it. So honestly the lesson was a bit unproductive. But we did get a bunch of Russian pamphlets and stuff for him to read and study. We just need him to come to church.

Same deal with Nikolai the fake Russian and his friend Brayden.. we just need them to come to church. They always say they will, but never do. They say they are afraid of the people at church. 

We met with Kody on Tuesday. He is the one whose wife is in the primary presidency. We taught him the plan of salvation and he really enjoyed it. He knows more about the gospel then he thinks he does. But the good thing is he understands everything we teach pretty well. It should be easier for him to start coming to church because his wife and kids always go. So we're hoping he'll make it this Sunday.

So we knocked on a ton of doors this week. One day for about 2 hours we knocked on just about every door in an apartment complex. Sadly, no one said they would be interested. But we did knock on one door that opened up to us. She said "I would really like to meet with you guys, but I don't think you want to meet with me." We asked why, she said "have you guys ever met with people that are going to try and convert you to their church?" And then she kept talking and basically said that if we do meet with her, we are going to bash. However, we did tell her that we want to meet with her still. So we are absolutely preparing for battle haha. We are going to try our hardest not to bash. So there is something you all can look forward to in the next letter. I'll let you know how that went.

Funny story... so during zone conference the other day, either president or somebody else, I can't remember who, but they told all of us the daylight savings was on October 30th. So we switch our clocks on Saturday night an hour back.. well we wake up the next morning, get ready and head over to ward council, which starts at 7:30. We walk in, and Bishop says "Elders, is there anything you need to add before we close." We were a bit confused and say, "Close? Didn't we just start 2 and a half minutes ago?" They all start chuckling and go, "No, we started at 7:30." Now we were even more confused because I look at my watch and it says 7:33. Then we realized what had happened haha. Just about everybody in the zone made the same mistake, so we weren't the only ones. 

So another "first" happened for me today. For the first time ever, when I went shopping for something, I walked out of the store with more money than I came in with. A nice older lady not only paid for our groceries, but she gave us $20 cash back haha. People here are so dang nice. 

So in our zone conference we talked a lot about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  And we went deep into details about the translation, about Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer. And with President Jaggi testifying of all these things we were talking about and testifying about some deeper stuff we went in to. I was really tempted just to take his word for it, he being one of the greatest, most spiritual men I've met, you really just want to believe the words he's saying. But right after those thoughts went through my head, he stood up and said, "and all of you better not just simply believe the words I'm saying. You all need to get on your knees and ask to know for yourself if these things are true. I don't want you to take my word for it."

The past week I've gained a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon. I've known that is it true for a while now, but my testimony runs deeper deeper every time I pray and ask if something I learned about it is true. 

Obviously, the feelings from the spirit that you receive while reading the Book of Mormon is the most important thing. But some facts about things that went on during the translation can really strengthen your testimony as well. I just want to go through a few of them that mean a lot to me.

• Joseph was pulled out of is home by an angry mob in the middle of the night from his two newborn kids and wife, had his clothes torn off of him, was brutally beaten and then had boiling tar poured all over his body. His friends had to painfully tear the tar off of his skin little by little. And the very next morning, Joseph, all bruised up, with scabs covering his body, went out and taught the people forgiveness. 

•And then Joseph and Hyrum in Carthage, eventually being killed defending the church. Leaving behind fatherless children and a widowed wives because they knew the gospel they were defending was true and they could not deny that.

It really angers and frustrates me when people call Joseph a fraud. No man would go through all of this and literally die over a made up church. 

• And then the witnesses: Oliver, Martin, and David all fell away from the church. But none of them denied that they had seen the plates. They never went back on their testimonies of the Book because they knew it was true.

All though all of these details can strengthen your testimony about Joseph being a prophet and about the Book of Mormon, the important thing is having the spirit confirm to you that the book is true. Through reading it.

Alright I love you all, and will talk to ya next week:) 

- Elder Jenkins 

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