Monday, November 24, 2014

Selwin and A New Companion

My new companion, Elder Hatch from Layton, Utah
Well, this week has been way better, at least weather wise. It's been nice and cool. So I got a new companion this week. His name is Elder Hatch and he's from Layton Utah. He's cool and gets excited about the work easily, so that's good. Anyway this week has been a good one.

We didn't have much success in finding and none of our investigators showed up at church but we did have some really good lessons which pretty much made my week. Being prepared sure helps you, especially as a missionary.  After teaching the same lessons again and again it gets stuck up there so your memory and the Holy Ghost can take it away. Letting the Holy Ghost testify to those we are teaching is of great importance because it is only then the Holy Ghost can testify to them of the truthfulness of the message we are sharing.
So I don't forget where I came from
 ... a Guyana flag from my uncle

3 Nephi 11:36 reads:
"And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father and I and the Holy Ghost are one"

The role of the Holy Ghost is to testify and He can't if we don't give him the chance, so give the Holy Ghost a chance. 

Simeon's Investigators (But No Pictures)

This week we truly saw blessings and miracles as we had fasted and prayed for, and, yes, I mean it!  We also saw how when we are not doing the things the Lord has asked of us, we truly do miss out on those blessings and miracles.

The week started off with the visit from Elder Kopischke and his wife, and, boy did I receive some serious revelations at those two meetings and my heart and soul hungered and thirsted for more.  I learned so much it's impossible to even begin to explain.  And, hey, this week the weather was a little kinder to us except yesterday when the rains came pouring down, but, hey, that's okay because I got to hold an umbrella and help all the members come in to church.  Now, how sweet is that? We also had three of our investigators come to church and they loved it. 

Now the story all started when this woman stopped on the road – and, get this - in rush hour traffic to tell us we were doing a great job and to give us her number.  So after a while of calling and saying prayers with her, she finally confessed she feels the spirit so strongly. We had given her a Book of Mormon to read as well.  At first she said she did not believe the Book of Mormon so we testified to her that every single scripture we had read to her over the phone – especially those which gave her such comfort - came from the Book of Mormon.  As you can guess she was silent but admitted it is the word of God!

Then yesterday, as Elder Stewart and I were teaching another investigator and her boyfriend about marriage and all the blessings the Lord has in store for them, I just sat there pondering and pondering on what to say.  All I knew is that I opened my mouth and out came the words they needed.  They felt the spirit so much everyone in the room went silent.  Now I do not know how my brother and have experiences like this, one after another, but I testify the Lord has already prepared a way for us, and everyone else, to return to live with Him. They also had this super huge Christmas tree with tons of decor on it and we used that as the perfect example for all the blessings their Heavenly Father has in store for them. I was reminded of all the blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for us as we do what he needs us to and my brother echoed the right sentiment.

I came across this scripture (2 Nephi 33:10-11) as I was studying Elder Holland's talk "Safety For The Soul"

10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

So let’s keep testifying and sharing those blessings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Selwin's First Baptism

Shirley Duncan before her baptism.
Alright, my people, I'm not laughing. I need to know, who has been playing with the thermostat?  Okay, maybe I am laughing, but, I'm still extremely serious. Alright I'm not, but this place has gotten really, really, really cold! (note how many times I stressed the word really), but I am doing great.

So I've got some news for you ... we got a BAPTISM!!!!!!  On Saturday, November 15 we baptized Shirley Duncan. Actually, I didn't do the baptism but I did do the confirmation and it was truly miraculous.

So on Sunday, when it was time to do the confirmation it started really well, as with most of confirmations, until it got to the part of giving the blessing.  My mouth was open but the words did not come out, the others hands became extremely heavy, the congregation was noisy and then my leg started shaking.  Can you blame me? I had never done anything like this in my life before, but as all this is happening I felt a calmness over come me.

My legs stopped shaking, the other hands got extremely light and then almost at the exact time the congregation went silent and I mean "drop dead quiet", and then I heard the words which were to be pronounced on this wonderful daughter of God. Truly the Lord keeps his promises to those who are faithful and strive to do His will while bringing to pass the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 84: 85. So don't worry when the words don't come sometimes. We just have to be patient and listen. It's a challenge but we can all accomplish it. The blessings of God are opened to all, so why not share them?  So now you know what you have to do this week? That's right, share those blessings. 

By the way, I'm getting a new companion this transfer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Simeon is Not Weary in Well Doing

I told Sister Sappington I would never wear this scarf,
but its cold outside!  You were right, Sister S ...
anything to stay warm!
This week I was tired so many times I cannot even count how many on my fingers. Strange though, even though I was super tired I just did not want to stop. I know because I really did not need to. This week we found out Elder Kopischke of the Seventy is coming to our mission and that I guess blew the tiredness away. We worked hard this week and yesterday, even though no investigator we are teaching showed up to church, we were fasting and praying as a companionship to see blessings and miracles in the coming week. Yesterday we were on the go as soon as we were out of church. We saw those miracles and blessings start to happen and this week we will work even harder to see even more.  Yes, I will probably be tired but I also know my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ will be there to give me a helping hand.  They will give me the strength I need to carry on and keep pressing onward and they will help me to make my weaknesses into strengths.  

We are called to do a needed work. I know our Savior Jesus Christ is at the head of this work and with Him we will accomplish all things righteous and pure.  As we all work together we can and will do that. "Come follow me, the Savior said" so shall we not so we can bless the lives of those who do not know to follow Him, as well as our own?  Remember the scripture In 3 Nephi 5:13:  “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” We are all disciples of Christ and we are all his children.  I commit to keep working hard no matter how tired I get for I know He will always be there to give me a helping hand and to give a helping hand to you as well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Real Men Love Jesus ... and So Does Selwin

This week kind of felt like it dragged a bit, to be honest - probably because we didn't have much success when it came to finding and teaching new people about the gospel, but it's all good.

But things have been going well except this weather.  This week, up until Friday, it was some really awesome weather and then the cold came again.  I mean ... lets make up our minds already - either hot or cold!!! To be honest this weather is kind of a reminder to me how we need to exercise patience in everything we do and to remember the Lord's time is very different from ours.

While doing my personal study this week I came across a scripture in Mosiah 23:21 which is a good reminder:  "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten His people; yea, He trieth their patience and their faith."

A lot of times we tend to wonder why God lets us face so many challenges but the reason is clear as the scripture indicates.  Other times we pray to God and expect Him to answer us right away. I'm guilty of that a lot of times. But after reading this scripture my mind was opened a bit more and once again I am reminded God's time is the best time.

PS: Oh, and guess what? I finally made contact with the missionary who baptized me almost nine years ago Yipeeeeee!  His name is Anthony Torres and, yep, he's one cool dude!

Simeon Declares

Home from the grocery store
This week we worked and worked and worked and yes, it was awesome!  The members helped all around which is amazing.  They even love having us come over to share short 20-minute lessons with them and their children and hey, some even agreed to let us teach them how to play cricket! Now that’s what I am talking about!  

We saw the Lord's hand in our work this week.  I cannot begin to explain how much the Lord blesses us when we give our all to serve him.  In one instance, a lady who had pulled up alongside us one day while we were walking gave us her phone number because she thought it was just wonderful to see two young men walking around sharing a message about the Savior with everyone. So we called her and she told us all of her problems from A-Z and even confessed to us she did not know why but she felt the spirit telling her to invite us to say a prayer with her and her family.  Now that is for sure the Lord's hand and I’ll just testify it truly is. 

This week my companion Elder Stewart and I gave talks in sacrament meeting. In the MTC, we learned we must and should always be prepared, so when at the last mintue we were asked to give talks Elder Stewart was up and studying while I watched him with great amazement.  It is just wonderful to see how the Spirit works and we both got through our talks despite the counselor saying we were from Ghana.  Hey, I do not mind but once I got to put a smile on the wonderful faces of the members, all was well. It reminded me of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the precious and sacred responsibility we have to share it.  

Quoting from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who said,  "the standard of truth has been erected and no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.  Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, but the truth of God shall go forth, boldly, nobly and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”  Let us all continue to unite as one and press forward until the great Jehovah shall say the work is done!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Selwin Finds Bigfoot

Alright, this has been a really good week except for the last three 3 days when the weather decided it was going to drop below fifty degrees. I certainly don't remember sending in an order for a reduction of heat so I'm out seeking justice!

Nah, I'm just being difficult. The weather reminds me of St. George a lot even though I prefer the heat.  The cold is okay for now.  We had a few appointments fall through but that's nothing new.  Besides that, this week was pretty good except when we tracted on Halloween.  Only one person gave us candy and even though I'm not really into the sweet stuff, that was just unacceptable.  Lately we have just been working extremely hard not just in finding people to teach but by trying to find and bring back those members who have gone inactive. That is a tough job in itself since there is over 1,000 inactive members in our ward alone.  Currently, members coming every Sunday only total about 150-200, so you can see why we need to do this.

A while back I had the privilege of giving one of these less active members a blessing, this after listening to why this gentleman and his wife were not coming to church.  All I could see though was the fear he had and I wanted to help him. The blessing was amazing, so he said, but honestly, I don't remember a word I said. I tried but I just couldn't remember, bringing me to the realization even more that the words which I spoke were truly God's words.  He made me say exactly what this gentleman needed to hear.

This reminded me of a scripture in 3 Nephi 18:32 which reads:

"Nevertheless ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent and come unto me with full purpose of heart and I shall heal them and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them".

Need I say more?  The work is here for me and you to do. Don't forget that.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Simeon is Cold in the Weather ... Warm in the Gospel

Me and my Zone Leader Elder Dobbins
Well, I'll be!  This place is getting colder.  Really, what does an Elder need to do to get some sunshine around here, man! Sorry, but rain, cold, snow, sun and even ice will not stop this Elder and neither should it stop any other missionary. Some may call us crazy but, hey like Elder Selwin Lovell quoted the Prophet Joseph Smith's words, "the worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God" for it indeed is. The world may look upon us with dismay but we shall still press forward and keep going on.  This week the temperature dropped all the way down to 28 degrees at night and one day it was 35 degrees but off we went.  Yes, I will not lie … I was freezing and could see my breath, but onward I rode. We may not always see or know the reasons why we are so determined to share the gospel but God knows and He smiles at all of our attempts.  Even when we are turned down we are given a smile of approval from Him. This week I was on a week long exchange with my Zone Leader Elder Dobbins so lots of work always was expected. We met some awesome people and taught an amazing spirit-filled lesson.  We left that meeting so full of the spirit our cups were over flowing. I was singing a hymn as we prepared for our companionship studies one morning. I have sung this hymn many times but guess I never noticed the last stanza before.  When I did it made me smile and I knew we all were chosen by God to share this gospel no matter what weather we may have to face. The last verse of hymn 85 ("How Firm A Foundation") is:

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

Remember the work we are doing will help bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man … and we should never forget it.