Monday, September 14, 2009

The miracle of Fasting & Tithing

Dear Family,
Life is wonderful as a missionary! I really love this work! Yesterday I hit my 4 month mark, which is really weird. We're staying very busy, and I sure hope that I'm making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Your prayers and messages are much appreciated!Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of confirming Al Carter (my first time confirming someone). He is the first investigator that I've been able to work with from the very beginning until baptism, so that was really neat!

Dear Dad,
It sounds like you had a great birthday, which makes me really happy! I sure love you. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling the blessings of the Lord poured out upon your life and family. Remember "there is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven...upon which all blessings are predicated," so you definitely do deserve them! I've often thought about how blessed I've been in my life, and why it is so easy for me. I honestly don't have ANYTHING to really complain about. The thought comes to my mind, that for people like that, the Lord has high expectations for service. Since we don't have to worry about ourselves, we can give more to others. We should "do many things of [our] own free will" and "bring to pass much righteousness." I want you to know that I look up to you a lot and know the Lord is very pleased with what you are doing in your life. Thank you for doing all that you did to get me on this mission. My life will be forever changed!

Dear Mom,
Thank you so much for everything! Thanks for calling about the insurance/immunizations thing. I love you beyond expression! I'm not "trunky" or "homesick" but I do miss you very much! At our last zone conference they told us to "be the missionary your mother thinks you are." That really hit home for me. I desperately hope to give the quality of service that is expected from a son of yours. I can honestly say that I am working hard and making a ton of progress, but I also have a long way to go in the next 20 months. Sister Pfile said we need about $60-100 for the flu shots this fall so we can prevent potential worse medical bills. I'm not sure about winter gear yet, but I don't think I'll use the trench coat thing :)I could use some stamps and letters please :)Thanks again for everything! I love you all so much!

P.S. Say "hi" to Grandpa Craft for me. Tell him I love him!

Copied Stories:We had Al Carter's baptismal service last Saturday, and he was confirmed yesterday. Along with finding and teaching other investigators, right now we're really working with the Foster family: Robert, Rachel, and their four kids, one of whom is old enough to be baptized. We've been very blessed with these people who are very prepared to be baptized, and we're excited to continue to find and teach more!

MIRACLE Stories:We witnessed a very definite miracle this past week with the Fosters' van. Last Fast Sunday as we were visiting with them, Elder Oakes felt prompted to teach them about fasting. We decided to fast with Robert so that they could find and afford a certain piece to fix their broken-down van. Just a couple of days later they told us that someone agreed to trade a good one for their broken one. It didn't cost them a thing, and they were able to fix their van! Because of that, they have been able to get their 6-person family to a church tour the next day and to church on Sunday.
Another miracle we witnessed this past week was in teaching Al the law of tithing. At first it was really hard for him to commit to. With business being slow and hours being cut, he just didn't see how he could afford it. After much prayer and testimony, he agreed to test the Lord and pay the whole 10% first thing. The very next day, his boss talked to him about taking on new responsibilities and probably getting more hours. Also, due to some blessing disguised as trials, something happened so that he won't have to pay one of his bills, and it is quite clear that he'll be able to pay his tithing. The Lord really does provide a way!

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