Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Simeon and My Family

Me with my companion, Elder Talbot from Sandy, UT
Alright, so it seems I always copy my brother's experience from the previous week or we really are twins.  Hmmmm, I will go with the second option because this week was really slow.  We were out and about making a lot of calls and then my good friend “the rain” came tumbling down. I had to remind myself its okay because we still went out in it.

This week we were invited as a mission to fill up a book called "My Family." I am sure many of us have heard about it already and if not then I am telling you it is awesome. It gave me the opportunity to research a lot of family data, many of which, thanks to my brother, were already there.  All I had to do was gather a little more information about them. You know that special moment when you find a link and you tell yourself, “this is amazing I will come back to it” but then you can’t remember where it was? Let's just say that's exactly what happened to me! Yep, I have learned my lesson. It was still really nice to find new names to add to the list of names we can take to the temple.  So that is my message to you today.  This is something you and your children can do for a family home evening and they can take it to school and show it to their friends. I mean, what better way to show the world we are truly trying to save all mankind than by doing their work for them? This is what I will encourage you to do this week. Trust me, it's fun and you will see the love of the family coming together.

Remember … the work of God cannot be frustrated, only the works of men. Remember, also, you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and you have been called just as I have to declare His word among the children of men.

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.

Selwin's Coincidence

Me on the road to finding
Well, this week we were hit hard with rejections, cancelled appointments and every other thing you could think about that a missionary goes through, including being sick again. But don't worry it's not as bad as it was before.

But, of course, the Lord blessed us with at least one teaching opportunity which was truly the highlight of the week. So last week in my brothers letter he mentioned how he and his companion were teaching a family of six and how the husband spoke English and the wife spoke only Spanish. Well, we are teaching a family of six minus three who don't live there and it is the same scenario with the husband and wife. Coincidence? I don't think so. We had an awesome lesson with them this week about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and answered all of their questions to the best of our given knowledge but mostly we just bore our testimonies, which you know are very powerful.

It was just really nice to see the desire shown about the steps to be taken to come closer to the Savior and a scripture stuck out to me. It is Helaman 3:29-30 and it reads:

Welcome sign:  Never mind the dog ... beware of the owner!
 29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—

30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.

Truly the Lord is mindful of us and is always looking after the well being of His children and His promises are always fulfilled to us when we do that which He has asked of us. Well, that's all the news I've got for this week which was super fun despite those set backs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Selwin Pushes Forward

President and Sister McDonough
So I'm stretching and yawning in the library right now. I did not sleep well at all last night but it's time to push onward.

Well, it has been one slow but really good week.  We didn't have any success while we were out this week looking for those wonderful children of God, but we finally got a member referral which might be gold - and I mean a solid bar of gold.  This is the thing missionaries dream of … well, most of us anyway. We had some awesome lessons with a few of our investigators, as well.  Some of those lessons sure brought back a lot of memories, so it was good.

Truly the Lord is mindful of all our needs, He is one awesome dude and I give him credit for everything. We had interviews yesterday with our mission president and it went well. It was way longer than I expected but it was good. He even came up with a theme for my monthly goals, which was super nice of him.

So as I was having my personal study this morning I read Alma 60:36 and in the very last verse captain Moroni proclaims what he stands for:

36 Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country. And thus I close mine epistle.

Truly Moroni was one who knew what was important to him, but do we? Do ye seek to pull down the power the adversary has, not just when he tempts you, but those around you? Do ye look towards obtaining the glory of God and to help those around you obtain it as well? We must follow the example of Moroni and to do that which will bring about the salvation of many souls, bring them to the knowledge of the wonderful gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because He LIVES.

Simeon Stays Put

Okay, so this week was really amazing and wonderful in ways I could not imagine! We kicked off the week getting ready for transfers on Wednesday and after I got my new companion we were off to see a few persons we are teaching, including a really nice family of six (6). 

Now this is a very special and unique family. One of the children is deaf and the mom speaks mostly Spanish while everyone else speaks English.  So how do you go about teaching all of them at once?   You learn Spanish, that's what you do but it is not easy … trust me. I have had to work hard at this one but this is how it goes. We teach the mom something in Spanish as I struggle to read through it all.  Then I text to her son who is deaf and he gives me a ‘thumbs up’ if he understands it. I should mention this family has 2 boys and 3 girls with the mom included and they all came to church Sunday and loved it!. Yes, that sure made up for us having to ride the 3+ miles to church and yes, it was well worth it.  This family is also a "Dare Family" because they always dare us to try something and to be honest they are very persistent.  They will make great missionaries. I just know it.  We fell for this “dare” game where you had to eat some weird jelly beans. I always spun a good spin but my new companion got us into trouble so I got all the bad jelly beans.  Now jelly beans are off the menu for me!.

Me in the mirror ready to bike to Church
This week I also learned showing love and trust is way better than forcing anyone to do anything.  That’s the way it is supposed to be.  I think of it this way: if I were the person standing with my door open to the missionaries what would I prefer? It dawned on me love and trust is the only way to go.  You can be bold as well and then they all work completely in sync.

This week while studying the scriptures I came across something which went hand-in-hand with what I learned this past week.  It is Mosiah 4:27&30:

27 And see all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite a man should run faster‍ than he has strength. And again, it is expedient he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

30 But this much I can tell you, if ye do not watch‍ yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue‍ in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

We must be diligent in sharing the gospel in the simple ways we can and never forget we, too, must continue in faith so we will not perish.

PS:  Sister Sappington reminds us every week to always be willing to submit to the Lord.  Hahaha I win! I already have and will continue to willingly submit to the Lord because it is the only way to go!

And, hey, I am still in the Brockett Ward for at least this transfer so I am happy because I really wanted to stay.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Simeon Says "Brrrrrrr"

The weatherman just said its going to be 11 degrees today!  Freak out ...
Well, guess what?  I am STAYING …YIPEE! I am glad I get to stay another transfer here in the Brockett Ward.  I know I am here to work harder this transfer. This week we were blessed with the opportunity to go to the temple again. After, I was so tired I kept falling asleep in the middle of training.  My Mission President had to clap his hands to wake me up. it worked because I stayed awake the entire rest of the training.

This week, I will be honest, I think someone touched the thermostat because when you hear the weather guy say its 11 degrees outside, you kind of - what's the word I am looking for - oh yeah, here it is … Freak Out!  I almost did!  It was so cold all I could have done was super bundle up and pray I would stay warm. It worked everywhere except my hands because I use them to knock on all of the doors.  Yes, we went finding in this weather and we were able to find one person but that made me feel warm the entire remainder of the day. The one cool miracle I will share is the same person who accepted the invitation to learn more had been to church twice before.  Now that truly is something!  Although we were cold our Heavenly Father sent us to knock on that one particular door. I am glad he did. It also turns out it was the person’s birthday so we sang happy birthday to her.  She was so happy she blushed.  Yep, thats missionary work for you. We sing and they blush.


And here is a good scripture to go along with that. I found this during personal study.  It's in 2 Nephi 33:10-11:

14-year-old Simeon and Selwin in the
January 2015 Ensign
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 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, they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

So go and do and despite whatever weakness you may have, what you will say and do as you share the Gospel will stand out to whom so ever you are talking to.

PS:  On page 16 of this month’s ENSIGN you shall find me and my brother during a seminary class back in Guyana years ago. Yep, we were preparing to serve the Lord even then. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Selwin Says ...

Selwin with Elders Hatch, Jarret and Cohnte.
This week there was a new stake presidency called in the Gulfport stake so we had two general authorities here.  Elder Michael John U. Teh and Elder Rulon D. Munns of the Seventy stressed the importance of Ward Councils and Hastening the Work.  It was so awesome listening to these servants of the Lord.

The new year is finding us doing a lot of finding.  We are heading out more and more to find those who are ready to hear the gospel. In stake conference they focused alot on ward councils and how to use those same principles in our family councils. On Sunday, Elder Teh focused on the light we have and how it chases away darkness and how darkness cannot chase away light.  He mentioned how the temples are an example of this and encouraged us to go as often as we can. Elder Munns focused on the exact same principles but used more of a family oriented theme.  They were both awesome speeches. I found instead of writing down notes I just listened and the message was still received.

We had exchanges with the AP’s this week as well.  Talk about a long drive to get there and then to return. Exchanges were awesome but I was happy to get back to my area because time is precious and cannot be wasted. As I was reading in the Book of Alma, chapter 54 it really struck me of how much it meant to maintain their religion and also the cause of their God.  It inspires me to up my dedication level even more … not just to those I serve but most importantly to God.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Selwin's New Year

Transfer day
Happy New Year, one and all!!!! I know there was a lot of resolutions made for 2015.  I hope being closer to the Savior was one of them.

We got the new years off and running and I mean that in the most literal way.  We were out tracting in the country and came across a fenced yard with three (3) huge dogs. On our way up the street we didn't pay them any mind but they just kept barking at us, so I devised a plan on our way back when we would play a little game.

At the Bernhardts
I handed my companion my bag and camera, which he didn't use, and decided the game would be sprinting.  I raced those four-legged beasts and beat them, even though I totally forgot I had on my boots and not my shoes, but I still nailed it. We visited one of our investigators this weekend and told him of the importance of attending church and guess what? He came and really enjoyed it. Church is where the spirit can be felt the strongest and where the Holy Ghost can testify to our souls.

It was an amazing and spirit filled sacrament meeting, where the Holy Ghost bore and testified to our souls of the will of God. We should treasure his companionship always.

3 Nephi 28:11 reads: "And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and Me and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost to the children of men because of me"

So let us help those who don't know of this truth find it.

Simeon's New Year

My new wheels
Well, here we are at the beginning of another brand New Year!  This week was like a bag of Trail Mix … the only thing was you sometimes received what you liked and at others times you did not. All-in-all, it was a pretty okay week. We went out with the full determination to not only find new persons to share this gospel with but to teach them as well and we did good on that part. After all the fireworks (and, I am pretty sure, gunshots) announced the arrival of a new year we were at it again (though not a whole lot of persons opened their doors to us on New Years Day) but one lady did. Boy, did we feel the spirit radiate from her as she spoke and she laughed with us.  She even gave us some water to drink and, I will be honest, that made my day.  Knowing there are still persons out here who are looking, searching and wandering for the truth gives me all the faith, hope, love, charity and courage I will ever need to keep pressing forward which just as my brother said, "is well worth it!”

My new planner
Also during this week we found a family of seven (7) who were looking for exactly the same thing. It is great to be the one who brings the truth to them so they can be happy and enjoy all the blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for them.  It was so strange but yet so familiar as we talked with them.  We quickly became friends and were laughing at the strangest things almost like we have known one another forever (and we know we did in the preexistence). So I will be straight with you.  I know you are doing your best and your all so my simple advice to you is to keep doing it.  Of course I will do the same for we are all in this together.  Just like the Three Musketeers said, “all for one and one for all.”  With a little addition from our Heavenly Father, of course, it is, "ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM OF GOD"

And here is a nice scripture which says it in another way:

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.