Monday, June 23, 2014

Selwin Writes ...

The Haderlies:  Conner, Wendy and Bryan
Hey, I guess it's time for my weekly report, huh?  Unfortunately, there's not much to report.

We had interviews this week with the mission president, which was awesome, as always.  We got some new goals I need to accomplish by the time we visit again.  Scary. This has been an okay week though.  We are still working hard to find those souls the Lord has prepared.  It’s been hard work.  A lot of people out here are grateful for what we are doing even if they don't believe or want to hear what we have to share.  Other times you meet a lot of people who just want to argue about The Book Of Mormon being the word of God.  A lot of times I feel like reading the scripture found in 2 Nephi 3-14 (mainly verse 6) but I don't.  It's sad to hear what they say but hopefully some time down the road when other missionaries come they will change their minds and listen. 

Yeah, that was basically my week then President Benn sent me some scriptures to read from Doctrine and Covenants 33.  I especially like verses 16-17 which reads:

17 Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom—

18 For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly. Even so. Amen.

Yep, that’s right.  The invitation is there and we all have a work to do, so like President Hinckley said "The gospel is nothing to be ashamed of. It is something to be proud of. 'Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,' wrote Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 1:8). Opportunities for sharing the gospel are everywhere".
So lets start doing it.  Blessings will come but it's the joy of seeing our fellow brothers and sisters brought back into the fold that's going to make it all worth it.

Oh, yeah.

Simeon Meets Moses

Out with the old (companion) and 
in with the new - Elder Torgersen!
This week we had rain, sun and transfers. I got a new companion his name is Elder Torgersen and he's from Spanish Fork, Utah. I put him to work right away (it's just what I do). He has been out 15 months and has seen it all, so he always lets the spirit guide him which is awesome … and he keeps the place clean. A lot of our appointments fell through last week but, hey, that's missionary work for you. I always tell myself that only means I have to work harder.

Since we have been out here we have heard a lot of nicknames people give us, for example: the Spanish people call us Marshmallows and would say every time they see us "the marshmallows are coming, the marshmallows are coming" and then they would run away.  One girl in her prayer called us the "Marians" and the best is not a nickname … we met a lady who named her dog "Moses" so I was like, no way!  Was it you who parted the red sea, stick and all?  Honestly, I busted out laughing.  So did my companion and the owner as well.  The only one who seemed to have a problem with the joke was the dog.  He just barked all the time.  Hey, I guess you can't please everyone.

I learned this week members as well as missionaries have the light of Christ within them.  We taught a family an amazing lesson on how to recognize the Holy Spirit and explained they are the key to building up the Lord's kingdom here on earth. I said we are all here to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man". Sometimes we have to remember the rock upon which our foundations are built.  Do not forget the foundation upon which you build and help others to build their foundation up as well. In Helaman 5:12 we are reminded we must all build upon the foundation, which is the sure foundation, then we can face all things with the help of the Lord. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Selwin's Rough Week

Irony ... sign on a house where we were told to go away!
Okay, so my week was a rough one, but I can't complain cause things have been getting better. It's been alright.  We did some service this week so all-in-all I would say it was okay. Didn't really meet anyone who was interested but that's okay cause I know God has prepared his children for us to teach. We just have to find them.

As I was reading my scriptures this week I came to the realization that as long as we have the spirit of God with us we will be blessed. It says in Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law".

Wake up, Selwin.  There's work to be done!
In this life all we need to do is to turn to our Father in Heaven. He is just waiting to hear from us and to let us know He cares dearly about us because we are his children. As we met with a less active member this week he was a little concerned about these things and so I read that scripture to him and told him about the love God had for him. His greatest desire was to change his life, so we told him as long as you have that desire and as long as you are willing to do what it takes, God will bless you because He knows you by name and knows your needs.  It makes him happy when we do the things to draw us nearer to Him. No matter who you are or what you do, my advice would be to pray and ask God to show you the way. For more help read 3 Nephi: 9.  It will change your life, if you believe.

Simeon Still in Cartersville

Well, as I expected I'll be staying in Cartersville (YES!!!) but will be getting a new companion. I pray he is ready to work because that's literally all I have to give him "WORK".  Anyway, this past week we got to go to the temple again because we had a zone training meeting.  It was awesome!  The place was so foggy but as always the spirit was so strong.  I felt at home there and honestly, if I had the choice, I would stay but of course I have a work to do.  1 Nephi 3:7 says "I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded" and that is exactly what I will do.  

We tracted a lot last week but did not have much success though but that's alright. I'll try even harder this week. I'm finally finished with my training and guess what happens now?  We have to get up at 6:00 am and also have an extra half hour of study.  We needed this long ago (try telling that to my companion who says, "I need my rest").  Hey, I say to follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and I'm pretty sure he would have gotten up and got to work ASAP... no questions asked. From now on I'm pushing and giving it my all even more than before.  I want everyone to join me for "We Are All Enlisted"  Yes, we are, to bring this gospel to others.  Don't make me have to sing the hymn for you please. We are all God's children and everyone needs to hear this wonderful message.  Oh, and a few scriptures to read (3 Nephi 11 & 27).  Trust me ... you will love it. Exercise faith to the fullest and remember Alma's words, "and now as I said concerning faith, faith is not to have the perfect knowledge of things. Therefore, if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen but which are TRUE"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Simeon Is "Meant to Be Here"

A view from our apartment after a rainstorm
So this week was super weird, and I say weird because of the many miracles I have seen. We did not do a lot of finding this week which means we have to step it up. But on that note, I would like to focus on families and how the gospel blesses families because this past week we met a few families. One in particular had heard my story of what my brother and I went through before coming on our mission and she and her husband marveled at that. She said, “Elder Lovell, you were meant to be here.”  Boy, did that touch my heart.  They are the Bassler family and Sister Bassler is from Uganda.  She is awesome and really loves the gospel but what she told me got me thinking of how as members of the church we need to share this gospel with all those we meet. You don't need a name tag to be a missionary because you are already a missionary with the tools and the resources so why not use them?  Why not bring this wonderful gospel into the lives of your non-member friends or family?  You can do it, I know you can.  So my challenge is for us to work together because we are all meant to be where we are in order to share this gospel with those who need and are ready to accept it.

John 3:5 says, "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven."  We are all important in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, so I will commit to do it and I ask you to commit to do the same. 

Hey, Sister Sappington, thanks for all you do. Love you guys and tell Brother Ed and the ward I said hello.  Oh, and Sister Sappington, if you get a cat I'm officially staying on my mission … end of discussion!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Selwin Sees A Long Road Ahead

There's a long, long road ahead but I can see the end!
So this week has been a challenge but I made it. We have been told one of our goals as missionaries is to work with members in the ward - which is actually a good thing - so we have been hard at work trying to meet with members and helping them in whatever way we can, especially asking them to talk to their friends about the church and the Gospel. This week our aim is to reach out to more less-actives so we will see how that goes.

So this week I was reading in Helaman 5:12 where it talks about the foundation upon which we should build is Jesus Christ, so we can withstand all the devil throws at us. Yeah, it is a reminder we must stand firm in what we believe because it's very easy to start doubting yourself when you are out here. So everyday when I prepare to do personal study, I ask my Heavenly Father to help me as I try to learn more about him and his Gospel and how he wants me to live my life so I can better apply it as I'm teaching his children.

It's amazing actually how much new things I learn everyday just by doing personal study, things I didn't recognize or understand before are becoming clear and easier to understand. For me, it all comes down to trusting in the Lord, and I have the perfect example. On Saturday evening we were teaching a family from Kenya where my companion is from and we were teaching them the "Plan of Salvation.”  We taught them the whole lesson and it still seemed like there was something missing because they weren't getting it at all.  For a time their home was just silent and my head was blanker than a brand new chalk board.  Yep, it looked like the end. But just then I felt the urge to say something. I thought to myself, “what can I say? My head is just blank,” but again I felt the urge to say something and this time I heard, “say family,” so still not knowing what to say I opened my mouth and sure enough, the words came out and I bore testimony of how much our Father in Heaven loves us … too much not to have a plan for us and that I knew of a surety the Plan of Salvation was that plan and how families are important to Him and we can have the opportunity of being together forever with our families and with our Heavenly Father. 

When they heard that the wife's interest was peaked about families being together forever but we left it there so we could visit with them again and explain it. I'm not saying this to boast in anyway but it shows when you do what the Lord wants you to do and when you listen to him the blessings he has promised you will be fulfilled. So I turn to Doctrine and Covenants 84:85:  "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion which shall be meted unto every man."  I'm so grateful for this verse in particular, said as I was being set apart as a missionary.  I have seen for myself it has truly come to pass!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Selwin Stays Put!

So the last week has been an alright week.  We found a few new investigators who seem very interested in the gospel and one in particular has a lot of questions and concerns, but nothing we can't handle. We had some appointments fall through but that happens and we had some rain.  Yep, it was a week where everything happened. And in these times you might get discouraged but then you remember how hard it was for our Savior Jesus Christ and also his prophets.  In Alma 31: 31-35 it talks about how Alma pleaded with the Lord to bless him and his brethren so they can go forth and do his work so that's what we're doing.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said: "So here we have the burden of those called to bear the messianic message. In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on (that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just to weep (that is the painful part of discipleship). They know full well the road leading to the promised land “flowing with milk and honey of necessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with 'thou shalts' and 'thou shalt nots'.  Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them." 

Elder Holland certainly knew what he was talking about, but like he said, this work is the Lords and it must go on and we, his children, are the ones who have to do it cause if we don't then who will.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Simeon Practices Patience

This past week has been a little tough.  A lot of our appointments fell through. It just goes to show one must be patient with the Lord’s work. There has been a bright side, of course, as all weeks do. We taught a wonderful lesson to a part-member family yesterday.  The presence of the holy spirit in their home was amazing.  I honestly left that meeting so full of the spirit, I can't even explain it. Then, yep, when we had arrived at our next appointment this lady, who does not like missionaries, asked us why we were wasting our time teaching a less active sister and her un-baptized children.  She said, "I never even see you go in the house."  Truth be told, we could not go into the house because there was no other male present.  We explained to her the Lord loves his children and the less active sister and her children needed to know that. The lady finally agreed we were right, but by then the spirit was gone from me.  I honestly wanted to say, “this is the Lord's work and every single person needs, it even you.”  Of course, I did not, but still I knew by just thinking it was wrong because I would have said it out of anger.  I got home, got on my knees and did the only thing I knew would work - prayer – which worked way better than getting angry at someone.

President Thomas S. Monson said patience is a virtue we all need to practice more. He said it is a heavenly virtue and he is right, for we often forget, even though times will be hard, by being patient we must always remember the Lord is with us and we will always know what to do in hard times. I end by bearing my testimony that the heavenly virtue of patience, when put in place, does work regardless of what we are going through. Put it into practice, and I promise you will see the blessings which comes from being patient.

 Oh, and by the way, my hair is already growing back!