Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Selwin is Fasting and Finding

Me, taking a rest, after 7 straight hours of tracting.
This week was awesome, a lot of hard work but it was awesome. So this week and particularly on Thursday we had an "Angelic Finding Day" where we fasted and went out looking for those whom the Lord has prepared to receive His gospel.  (Most of the other missionaries fasted on Wednesday but I wasn't feeling it that day so I just did it on Thursday).

When I got up on Thursday, I still didn't feel like fasting but then I prayed about it and thought about all the members who were fasting and praying for us to have success and thought "well, I can't let their prayers go in vain" so out we went. We didn't get close to the goals we had set but we did find a few and walking around with eight (8) copies of the Book of Mormon plus your own scriptures is not an easy thing especially when you have been tracting for seven (7) hours straight, but it was worth it.  When we were about half way done on a very long street we sat down for a bit.  We had only handed out two (2) copies of the Book of Mormon so things were looking a bit bleak. As we were sitting on someone's stairs (they weren't home) I looked up to the sky and said "God, what do you want us to do?" and clear as the day, I heard a voice say "Keep going" so I said okay and kept going.  We found two (2) other persons to talk as we went - one lady who wanted to know more about our religion and one very young couple who looked as if they had just gotten married who were very open minded about our message.  The wife even wanted to let us in but we couldn't because we were short on time and had another appointment, but you can be sure we will be going back.

It proved to me even more this truly is God's work and we have all been called and chosen to share it with our fellow brothers and sisters. In 2 Nephi 28:30 it reads:

For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts and lend an ear to my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more and from them that shall say we have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

A solid reminder God is not just our friend but our Father and He expects us, as his children, to receive his words and apply them in our lives.  As we approach General Conference I hope you all are preparing to receive God's words from His chosen servants because I sure am.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Simeon is Finding

We found this super cool house while we were out finding.
So, this week was okay.  We did a lot more finding this week and had some good success, but my week was made better when two investigators came to church yesterday.  Boy, was I smiling.  We had been trying for a while so I know my Heavenly Father answered me and I am so thankful and grateful for it. I went to pick up the investigators for church and they were all ready and waiting for me. I was so glad I had to keep from smiling a lot but, hey I made it. This week I really and truly would like to thank all the wonderful sisters we have in the Relief Society because you are all so awesome and special.  We had to get a few things for one of the investigators and the Relief Society stepped up - no questions asked - to help us. It shows their love for everyone.  Even though they have never met the person they are still willing to lend a helping hand and do all they can and to that I say Thank You! 

This week we were trying our super hardest to get everyone we are teaching to church but hey easier said than done. My spiritual experience this week came through prayer and yes! it works. It takes me back to the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith and how when he was looking for an answer he searched the scriptures diligently and most importantly he prayed.  Because of that prayer you and I are all here as members of the Lord's church working hard to help our lost brothers and sisters find their way back into the fold.  No, we are not perfect but we are who the Lord needs us to be and we are anxiously engaged in this wonderful gospel. We are here to help those who are wandering to find their way back home and we are working to go back home ourselves.  Prayer will help. I testify of this is in the name of my Lord and Savior and yours as well, Jesus Christ Amen. 

James 1:5-6
 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sicky Selwin

Well, what can I say about my last week?  Ummmmm, we did nothing and that is all because I was sick.  Don't worry, I'm doing okay now,  I'm not at 100% but I'm getting there. So we pretty much spent the whole week in our apartment where I was mostly in bed which I didn't like one bit, but I did go to church ... I wasn't going to miss that no matter what and it was awesome.

The bishop's wife gave a talk on temples and the importance of the temple, but most importantly about the blessings we can receive by going to the temple. She also talked about how we should all go to the temple when given the opportunity to do so  After she was finished another brother gave a talk on Self Confidence. After listening to this talk a thought came to me that hadn't come for a while and that is "God puts us in places at certain times for a reason." I think I was meant to hear that talk and it lifted my spirit and reminded me everything happens in God's time and not ours. 

We had specialized training yesterday and our mission president said something which clicked in my head and it is that Satan has stepped up his game and so we have to step up ours, too. It's a challenge each and every single day but in this battle between good and evil we know in the end good will always prevail but we have to be on guard at all times.

As I read 2 Nephi 22 this morning it talked a lot about how at the millennial day all men will praise the Lord and also declare his words, but the way I see it is we must not wait until then.  We have to do it now cause the way the world is going these days they desperately need God in their lives. My challenge to you would be to share this amazing gospel with everyone you meet. It doesn't matter how much you tell them but what it can do for them in their lives. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Simeon and the Lord's Way

It's 5 a.m. and I'm ready for Zone Conference
So, this week we had a lot of spiritual inspiration and saw a lot of blessings, not in finding a ton of new persons to teach but in just the simple things.  Yesterday at church we were expecting a few of our investigators to show up.  We had everything planned from who will pick them up, but none of them showed up.  I was really disappointed at first until we went out to teach a few lessons and I was touched by the spirit as I was teaching and explaining the gospel to them. I was told I also needed to do the same things myself and then I got it! If I tried harder to be the light and example for others to follow, even in the smallest and simplest things, I will help others see the blessings that come from doing so themselves. I had to realize everything happens in the Lord's time and in his way, not mine, and I know he is there just watching as his plan begins to unfold and put into place. I was touched to see this little eight-year-old stand up and tell his grandmother he wanted to be baptized and he wanted to go to church. I would have cried but after all real men do not cry - they only shed a few tears. Sometimes we forget by small and simple means are great things brought to pass and that we should be grateful for even the smallest blessings we receive because our Heavenly Father has greater things in store for us.  This week we also met a lady while we were out finding and it was really perfect timing by the Lord.  We first knocked on her door but her daughter answered and said her parents where not at home.  As we were leaving, guess who showed up?  Her mom so I was whoa! and then after stating our purpose and what we do, she told us she had recently gone through a divorce.  I knew we were definitely sent to her. This is divine intervention on the Lord’s part.  She invited us back and that is what helped me to understand it's the Lords Way - not mine - that we will bring our brothers and sisters back into the fold.

Alma 37: 6-7 teaches us: Now ye may suppose this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Simeon and the Devil

The sixth week in a transfer always seems to bring multiple challenges for a lot of reasons.  This week I had three flat tires so walked or ran home a lot. It is also the time when those we are teaching are opening their eyes to the truth and are starting to progress.  It is also when the adversary always tries to stop you in your tracks.  Unfortunately for him I have no intention of stopping or slowing down! Instead, I will double all of my previous efforts in order to bring my lost brothers and sisters back into the fold, and most importantly, back to Christ. I love doing it and I have the feeling my Heavenly Father does, as well. 

Though the week was a trying one we had a reason to smile as one person who we are teaching came to church. Yes, how I smiled, because that's “strike one” for the adversary but one great fastball by the Lord. Sometimes we forget to smile at the blessings we receive and just focus on getting more instead of being thankful for the little things and waiting for the big ones to come. In Guyana we often say “he who laughs last laughs the best.”  So, though the adversary may be laughing now our Heavenly Father and us will have the last laugh. 

This week, I watched the story of John Tanner who gave everything he had to help the church and who, whenever asked, never questioned or complained but did as he was asked to do.  He knew it was God and not man who was asking him for his service, so he did it gladly. Like John Tanner I will go and do what the Lord requires of me for John Tanner knew and I hope we all know the greatest treasure we will ever receive will be eternal life. I testify this is true in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ Amen.  (Mosiah 2:17) And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service‍ of your fellow‍ beings ye are only in the service of your God.

OK, so thanks for my 6-month anniversary box. I love my EFY CD’s. No trades on that but the tie … not so much.  I have good taste just not for that tie, but I will wear it because I love you that much.

Selwin and the Library Box

We found this little library box in a neighborhood where we were tracting
and realized there were no copies of the Book of Mormon
in it so I suggested we leave a few!
This week has been a good one.  We have stumbled across some people who actually seem interested in what we have to share.

So a few weeks back we met the Dickerson's, a really nice pair who are very open minded about things and so we have taken the opportunity to teach them the gospel. We went to see them on Saturday night as we usually do and decided we were going to teach them "The Plan of Salvation" from the beginning again since Marsue, the wife, was not there when we first started teaching.

And, oh boy, did that bring out a lot of questions.  Gladly we had and knew the answers to all of their questions. But it also gave me the opportunity to bear my testimony about God's plan for us and a part of that wonderful plan is the fact families can be together forever. I also shared with them how the devil's goal was to destroy families so we would lose happiness and be miserable like him. That hit a nerve and so Marsue started telling us of the many trials they are going through as a family.  It was sad to hear but we did promise both of them, if they read the Book of Mormon and continued to pray, those problems would be resolved and they would draw nearer to their Heavenly Father.  Please keep them in your prayers.

It's just an even greater testimony to me of how great God's plan is for all of us and how we can enjoy the blessings He has in store for us each and every single day of our life. God is not a partial God and His plan is complete and perfect.  It is up to us to choose whether or not we want to be apart of His plan or not; and, whether or not we are willing to follow His commandments and live the way He has asked us to live.  Is it a tough ask? Maybe, maybe not, but I know it's well worth it. "For I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the things which He commandeth them" 1 Nephi 3:7.  Can't believe I'm actually remembering these things. I surprise myself a lot!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Selwin: The Twin Experience

Dressed down and ready for service
You know the saying which goes, "If you’re a twin and something happens to the other half you will most likely have the same experience." Guess what? I’m here to testify to you, it is so true because I felt exactly the same way the whole entire week.  I didn't know why either. Must be a Guyanese twin thing!  But other than being tired, this week was awesome, especially Saturday.

So this week we have been fasting a lot and I'm here to tell you it works. For the first time everyone we had planned to see were at home at exactly the time they said they would be and we got to teach them all. It was so awesome!  A few fell through but that happens and I guess I would say it's my Heavenly Father's way of telling me there are those out here who are just ready and willing to listen to you and to receive His gospel into their lives. 

Being a missionary is so awesome … tough, but awesome. So we had exchanges with the zone leaders this week and as we were tracting one of the streets we came across two people who were just siting there.  As we started to talk to them the guy said, "you know just a few seconds ago I asked God for a sign and then the two of you show up."  I was like “this is so awesome!”  

They are going through some tough times but hopefully as we continue to teach them they will see God is always there and Him sending us at that exact time was for their own benefit to “come unto Him.”

As I was reading in 2 Nephi 6 and 7, which are a few of the Isaiah chapters, it struck me God truly does use His servants to proclaim and to share His word so men can see, with Him all things are possible. As a young man I feel privileged to know He has chosen me as one of those to share His word with the world and I know you all have been chosen as well, so don't lose faith. Keep working hard to bring those souls unto Christ and go out with the missionaries because they are all awesome.

SIDE NOTE:  Selwin was awarded the "Golden Mop Award" for keeping his apartment clean in his first inspection.  He's going to make a great husband one day thanks to Minetta Lovell!

Simeon Testifies

Football on zone p-day
So this week I dubbed the weird week. Sorry, I just had to. I felt super tired all week and I do not know why. Anyway this week we had our first lesson with a member present which was like the rain Saint George had last week. Only thing is we were all smiles for this one, because members play a huge role in helping investigators convert to the gospel by the wonderful testimonies they share.

Here is one super amazing experience from one person we are teaching. Her name is Melody.  She told us, “I woke up one morning at 4:00 am because my stomach was hurting me and I decided to pray to God for it to stop. The strangest thing happened as I was praying.  Something told me to pray and ask God if what the missionaries were telling me is true and so I did and went back to sleep. The next day I was sitting on my steps just playing with my phone and I noticed a certain plant my mom had cut all the way down had grown and was growing ever larger.  At first I thought I must be dreaming but then a friend of mine said the same thing and we both agreed since those ‘Mormon’ boys started to come that plant has started to grow again.”

A view of downtown Atlanta from the park
Of course, Melody had no idea what was going on so I explained how Heavenly Father was giving her an answer to her prayers and was telling her the message we are sharing is true. I reminded her of the first day we met her and she told us she did not think she had faith so I shared with her Alma 32:21, 28 and testified to her that like the plant her faith was also growing. It is so amazing to see how our Heavenly Father works by revealing to others the truthfulness of the message we are sharing and that if they read, ponder, exercise their faith and pray He will answer their prayers in unexpected ways. I testify the message we are all called to share is true and as we invite others to partake of it's wonderful blessings we all are blessed. I came across this scripture during personal study and I agree it is for all of us.  Its D&C 38:27 and says, “Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.” Let us all become one and invite all to become one with us, as well.

I came across this scripture during personal study and I agree it is for all of us.  Its D&C 38:27 and says, “Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.” Let us all become one and invite all to become one with us, as well. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Selwin Holds Strong

My new district ... except the elders in the green and red ties!
Okay, so this week just shot by and I didn't even notice it.  That's funny cause I notice everything. So my companion sprained his ankle before he got transferred so it's been hard going out to do a lot of work because he has been wearing one of those protective casing so as to not make it any worse.

So it's been a bit of a struggle but something I've come to realize this week and from reading Sim's story is that finding is important but also getting those members who aren't coming to church is just as important. I have truly seen how much these members enjoy seeing missionaries but every time I leave their homes I always get this amazing feeling. Even as members we are still trying each and everyday to build and grow our testimonies about this gospel. I was so surprised when a less active told us how badly she wanted to read the Book of Mormon but would never do it.  I made a commitment to her that we would read it together and, my, oh my, has that been a joy.

To hear the testimonies they have, you just wonder why they haven't been coming to church, but what's even more amazing is the willingness they have to change their lives for the better.  As members of the church we are faced with so much ridicule, pain and afflictions, yet we stand strong and hold firm to what we believe in. in Alma chapter 34:38-41 but especially 41 it reads:

38   That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

39   Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.

40   And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions; that ye do not revile agains those who do cast you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them;

41   But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.

I know if ye have willingness and if ye have desire ye will overcome whatever obstacle you are facing in your life at this time.  I'm not one who is great at words or speaking but one thing I am is forever grateful for my Father in Heaven and for His loving arm extended towards me. I know if you call on Him, He will do the same for you.

Simeon Has Finding Success

Okay, so this week started out with a blast! I must say it was super awesome.  From Monday on it was amazing!  We went out Tuesday on exchanges with the district leader.  I got his “greenie” as my companion for the day.  He is a good missionary and loves to work like I do, so I put him to work. We biked up several hills and he was puffing at everyone of them but when the time came to work we were ready to go.  We found six (6) of our lost brothers and sisters.  That was so awesome because we pretty much went finding for the entire day as the few appointments we had fell through. Then on Thursday we had an appointment fall through so we went searching again for our lost brothers and sisters. 

As we were walking, we saw a group of ladies sitting on the porch of one of the houses talking one to another.  Of course, we waved but kept on walking but I was prompted to turn back.  So I asked my companion, hey, should we turn back?  So we passed back and talked to them. I am so glad we did because we found by following that prompting we now are teaching all four(4) of those ladies the restored gospel. And, guess what? They are willing to follow our Savior’s example when they find out for themselves, through prayer, the truthfulness of this wonderful message our Heavenly Father has sent us to share. 

I think back to the letter I wrote last week and know when we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are indeed lead to do what the Lord requires of us. And though the remainder of the week a lot of our appointments fell through it is alright for I know as we go and do as the Lord commands we will see the blessings which come from being obedient, we all will. Scripture Mosiah 2:17 says, “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”  The pics are from churches in Olive Springs and Smyrna.  The only thing is  they all need the fullness of the restored gospel and that's why Sel and I are out here to bring it to them.  Oh, yeah!