Monday, July 28, 2014

Selwin's Roller Coaster Week

Get up, Selwin.  Time to get to work!!!
This week was nothing but ups and downs. Just when we finally thought things were turning around for us, everything flopped. You’re probably wondering why I'm laughing, aren't you?  Well, it's no use getting upset over something you can't control, so why fuss over it. The week didn't start good at all.  We had rain and all kinds of stuff put us off so we didn't do anything much, but there's always a “but” in there.  Seems things turned around a little for us, because we finally had an investigator who had questions and just wanted to know more about the church and about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We set up an appointment to teach her on Thursday last. Never since I've been out here have I felt the spirit so strong while teaching someone about the gospel.  There’s not enough words to describe the way I felt at the time. After we had this awesome lesson about the foundation of the church and about prophets and apostles, we found out she was leaving.  Wow, was that a bombshell.  I was like “really?  After all this?  Yes, we lost the most promising investigator ever. I would go as far as saying she was “golden,” but I was smiling because I know one day this young lady would be a member of the church, without doubt.
More of my peeps ...

For a time I was asking Heavenly Father to show me and to help me gain that love for the people I teach and guess what?  He did!  For that I'm grateful.  There’s always going to be ups and downs but you just have to work through them and keep pressing forward.

In Ether 12:4 it reads: Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, and being led to glorify God.”

So just keep the faith and let all the glory be given to the Lord cause like it says all we need is faith and to trust in him and we will be blessed. Congrats to my Bro Simeon for an upcoming baptism.  Keep up the great work.

Simeon's First Baptism Scheduled

Well, I found out this week I am going to be transferred to a place I cannot even pronounce, but I will get it eventually.  Anyway this week I officially quoted as the weirdest week so far. Not even joking. We started off hearing the good news of two (2) of our investigators being given the green light for baptism.  Yahoo!  This means this coming Saturday, and faithfully the next, we will be having four (4) new members in the Cartersville Ward. Yes, working hard has paid off and now I can say we'll be having baptisms. I am so happy!  Then I got the news I am being transferred, but, hey, I sent a letter to my mission president requesting the opportunity to return since they asked me to perform the sacred ordinance of baptism for them.  How great is my joy to see these wonderful persons enter into our Heavenly Father's fold.  It makes me happy to know the person baptizing them is not me but, in reality our Savior Jesus Christ.  Just think about it.  Take away my name and everything else and all you are left is Jesus Christ.  He is the one I am representing, therefore He is the one people reject or accept and when they do accept how great is their joy, as well as ours. This week during personal studies I came across a scripture in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 and wrote it down to share.  It says,
6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Indeed when we serve the Lord and others with full purpose of heart and give our all, and do so willingly, our reward, as well as theirs, is bountiful.  Please do and give all you can in helping others receive the wonderful Restored Gospel into their lives.  Remember to always choose the right and also, do what is right!!! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

"We Don't Do Jesus Here"

Selwin goes "biking with my boys.  It was awesome!"
Selwin writes:  The week was a tough one. It rained some and was pretty much over cast for most of the week which was alright even though I don't really mind the sun. We found a few persons this week, but we are not entirely convinced they are interested in much of what we have to say but we will keep the faith and keep moving forward.

Still don't have a solid investigator but they will come in time. From what I'm seeing this place has potential but we haven't found the right people as yet. This week while we where out tracting we came to a door, gave it a good knocking then waited for the owners to come. When the dude opened the door he asked what we were selling?  We said "nothing" then he just slammed the door in our faces. To be honest, one side of me just wanted to have him come again and to give him a good word but as I'm trying to be more Christ like.  I'm taking upon myself His attributes and among those is patience.  It’s not easy but when things like that happen to us I just turn keep smiling and even start signing.  Trust me, that has helped me a whole lot.  On the same street we came to another house where one gentleman inquired if we were teaching about Jesus.  Then he said, “sorry, we don't do Jesus here."  That made me a bit sad, not just because of what he said but also because standing right next to him were his two young daughters.  I pray someday in their lifetime they will find their Savior.

"My boys" are (from left) Elder Iden, Br. Marcus Journey
and my companion, Elder Muhile
We are working hard and I know things will get better because this is the Lord's work.  All we have to do is have faith and put our trust in Him.

Mosiah 4:6 teaches:  I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him who should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body.

Need I say anymore about how great and merciful the Lord is to us? I know he will bless us because we are his children and he loves us.  We just have to put forth our works.  If you haven't, you might as well get started.

Simeon Isn't BUSY

Br. Bedwell gives Simeon electro shock therapy!  Say what???
This week, I must say, was OK.  We only found one person who wanted to learn more, but, hey, as the saying goes “beggars can’t be choosers" so I am grateful for one. This week, though, we exploded with member present lessons.  It was awesome!  The members now seem to realize the missionaries are doing all the work so they want to help out more. YES!  This is what I have been waiting for.  It is just like I said, “the work moves along when members and missionaries work together.”  It is wonderful to see members, willingly helping out in the work, for that is the way is should be.  I know we all have busy schedules but a wise leader back home told me one Sunday, when I told him I was "BUSY" doing something else, the best definition for the word "BUSY" is "B-eing U-nder  S-atan's Y-oke.”  Now do you think I was ever "busy" after that?  No, I was not. There is always time to do the Lord's work, so please help out in every way you can to move this good work along. I know you can do it and so does our Heavenly Father. 

Anyway, I was preparing a Baptismal Calendar for a few kids we have on date to be baptized so I did the same for someone else. I went totally color crazy.  It made me feel like a kid again but it just goes to show how exciting it is to share the gospel. I was reading 1 Nephi 19:23 … “And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.”  We know the truth so lets liken it unto all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Selwin Reports In

Sister Barrow is getting ready to go home. She loves 
ninjas, high fives and has been a great missionary.
Well, guess I'm not being transferred. Oh, yeah! I'm staying with my companion Elder Muhile, as well, so double oh yeahs. The week has been a tough one.  Because it was the week before transfers we worked extra hard, but to no avail.  It was honestly so discouraging, because normally the week before transfers is one where the work slows altogether, but we wanted to change that.  We did, but we had hoped for more success.

But there is always a bright side to everything.  We actually had a potential investigator text us and schedule a meeting which made my week.  Forget about everything else that happened.  This was a miracle. There's always going to be ups and downs in this life but it's up to you whether you get back up or keep laying down.  My advice is to keep getting up. Our Heavenly Father knows us personally and knows our needs.  If we have faith and trust in Him things will get better … then you best believe they will.

My peeps ...
This gospel is so amazing and offers us the opportunity to get nearer to God.  In 2 Nephi 31:20 we are promised if we endure to the end we shall have eternal life. Thus it is with everything we face in this life.  We just have to keep pressing forward and then “ye will feel the love of your Father in Heaven,” so don't give up. Our Savior Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us and we owe him everything for it, but all He asks is we simply endure to the end, see things out and then we will have everlasting joy.

I just found out my uncle has passed away and even though I'm feeling sad and down right now, I know there is still hope and all is not lost. I will press on and I encourage you to do the same, no matter what you’re facing in this life.  I love and miss you all.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Simeon Says ...

Elders Lovell and Torgesen at lunch during a recent District Conference
I honestly must say seeing some being baptized and then receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is truly amazing.  The sister missionaries in our ward had one of their investigators follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ being baptized by someone holding the Priesthood Authority of God.  How great was his joy and, more importantly, how great was God's joy.  

My companion and I had an okay week.  We invited about 5 persons to be baptized … all of them said YES! Now we are trying super hard to get them to church and eventually following through on the commitments they have made. It takes me back to when I was baptized and received the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost.  It was a while ago and looking now at these souls whom the Lord has prepared to bring into his fold gives me great joy. Sadly, we sometimes forget the joy we feel is not being experienced by others, so it is up to us to help them find it.  It is hard to think of what to say or how to go about doing it but you should always remember you are not alone because you are the light placed in the world to help your families, friends and others receive, accept and eventually be brought back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. 

Elder Bertschi from the B7 Ward
Please do not say, “I cannot do it” because YOU CAN!  You are the best missionaries out there, so go and do.

I just found out an uncle of mine has died and another is in the hospital with the same illness.  They are brothers, and they, unlike us, have not yet received the blessings of membership in this wonderful restored gospel.  Please do not wait because, who knows, the moment you open your mouth to speak you could be saving a soul in the process.  I urge and ask you to be missionaries for that is who you are!  Elder Quentin L. Cook said, “we must fear and faith …” so lets exercise our faith and help Heavenly Father bring His children back home to Him.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Simeon to Take the Adversary Head On

Simeon?  Petting a dog?  Inside someone's house?  Who is this guy and what has he done with Elder Lovell?
So, as tough as last week was, this week was way tougher.  We had appointments drop right, left and center.  It was mouth dropping but through the whole week I just smiled. Why? Well, I see the adversary is stepping up his game so I'm preparing to take him head on.  If he throws a fast ball "I'll hit it out of the park", if he is the goalie blocking my way to score a winning goal "I'll go around him and score" and if he bowls a full toss "I'll hit it for six" for he may stand alone, but I have the Lord's army with me. 

I looked back on July 4th for one instance where we biked 44.8 miles.  The average a missionary goes in a car is 40 and we found no one who wanted to learn more, but instead of giving up I stepped up and me and my companion taught two teenagers an amazing spirit-filled lesson.  It just goes to show when we are willing to put in the work our Heavenly Father will bless us. Yeah, easier said than done, I know, but is it not worth fighting for, to bring those lost and cherished souls of our brothers and sister back to God? I testify to you that it is. We are all missionaries - name tag or no name tag.  Let us not forget as my brother quoted from 1 Timothy 4:12-16 I will add Doctrine & 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". Trust me it works! Just remember we all have only just begun and there is still more work to be done, so as Elder Holland said "HOPE ON, JOURNEY ON"

Selwin's Challenge

We baked on the Fourth of July
It didn't rain at all this week but the place was really cool, much to my companion's delight.  He just hates when it's really hot. The week has been good but I wish it was better, but, hey, I'll take some good over nothing any day.  We have been working hard to find new people to teach and by some amazing miracles we have. It has been good.  We are now trying to follow up with them and to be persistent following the counsel of Elder Russell M. Ballard. One more week before the next transfer and the end of training. I can't wait.  It truly has been amazing so far that much I can testify of.

So, last week I was watching a video on the Mormon Channel called "Rescued By Christ" and it was awesome but it was the message under it that got me thinking. It was a quote from President Thomas S. Monson and it reads: “There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. Are we doing all we should?”

It got me thinking. Even as a fulltime missionary, am I doing all I should to help those who don't know about the gospel of Jesus Christ? So I've been trying to challenge myself to start if I haven't and I would like to encourage you all to do the same thing for those neighbors and friends who aren't members and the people we work with. It is our responsibility to bring them to that knowledge. We are all disciples of Christ and as his disciples it is up to us to carry on and do His work.  What greater purpose can we have in this life than doing our Savior's work and will?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Simeon Proposes a Missionary Challenge

Playing ping pong in our apartment ... I always win!
So, this week was super tough!  We found one person who wanted to know and learn more of God's plan for her.  Everyone else we talked to were not too interested.  But, hey, one is sometimes enough because that one could lead to 2, then to 6, and, then to 10. This week we had Interviews.  My mission president said, “keep working hard. I know there will be baptisms this transfer. I just know it!” He's a good guy - that mission president of ours.  We always feel the spirit whenever he's around. I believe we can have baptisms this transfer.  Every prepared person already has a baptismal date given to them by our Heavenly Father. Isn't He awesome?  

We are biking a lot - more than we did before.  We pretty much toughed 200 miles in the last week and a half.  Whew! I have no complaints, but it is funny when you look at your companion at a stop sign and see beads of perspiration rolling down his face. Hey, he said he could keep up. I just put him to the test, that's all. 

So this week, how about we study talks from General Conference. They were awesome and inspiring.  My goal this week for all of us is to pick a favorite talk and share it with a friend or non-member.  You can do it so don’t say, “I don't know if I can” because “fear and doubt opposes faith. Resolve your fear with faith" and if you need extra help, remember 1Nephi 3:7 … "I will go and do the things the Lord hath commanded."  Be as Nephi of old and trust the Lord to be your guide in sharing this wonderful gospel with someone else who needs it in their life. The way is already prepared so jump on your bikes and start pedaling down the PATH!  

Selwin says ...

Whoever lives here must have REALLY big feet!
Okay, so last week it rained for three days which totally put us off.  My companion was really glad it rained … yep, he was all smiles this week. Anyway, by God's miraculous power we where able to work and it was awesome.  We actually found some of God's lost children to teach and hopefully they will progress.  On top of that we had a lot of less-actives in church on Sunday. So it's been good despite the challenges we faced. 

This week during personal study I came across a scripture I had marked but wasn't looking for.  

It's taken from 1 Timothy 4: 12-16:

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, inpurity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
It reminded me of my purpose as a missionary which is to invite others to come unto Christ. Elder Dallin H.Oaks once said: “We do not preach and teach in order to ‘bring people into the Church’ or to increase the membership of the Church. We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives. … We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God. No one else can do this.”
And that is so true, so I try to remember every day to ask the Lord to be with me and to loosen my tongue and to talk through me and I have seen His hand at work so just keep at it.
This is not my work but my Father which is in Heaven and I sure am glad I have this opportunity to serve him.  Well, till next time, stay strong, saints.
Oh, and here is a sign I saw while tracting a house:Beware of the dog but the cat is not trustworthy either.”  So watch out you cat lovers. Oh, yeah!!!