Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Selwin Partys On

Elders Franklin and Lovell at the RS Garden Party
Boy, oh boy we certainly had a good week, with cars honking and people shouting at us as we rode or bikes on the highways and byways.  I think we've gone up in the popularity charts.  Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!!!

We rode our bikes for miles out into the countryside and, of course, a few people thought we were out of our minds, but, hey, the work's got to be done and it's not going to be done unless we do it.  We met a few people this week who were really nice.  One lady seemed like she went through it all even to the point where she referred to her bruises as "battle scars."  I thought she was pretty cool.  We visited another lady and you could tell she totally felt the spirit as we taught her about the plan God has made for us.  At the end of the lesson, she said ... wait for it ... "I think I will be going to my son's church from now on."  When we left her, my companion was a little disappointed, but I reminded him we did what we had to do.  He and I both knew the spirit testified to this lady what we were sharing with her was true and that's what really matters.  Whether she accepts it or not, we did what the Lord sent us here to do.

A macaw?  In Mississippi?
Sometimes in this work we are all engaged in, we notice even when we do our best and give it our all, it just doesn't seem like its enough.  It is then we need to remind ourselves this is the Lord's work.  All we need to do is our best and He will do the rest.

President Gordon B. Hinckley once taught, "There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others.  Let us not dwell on the critical and the negative.  Let us pray for strength; let us pray for the capacity and desire to assist others.  Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and in all places, that the spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from you."

We must never stop what we are doing regardless of the challenges we face, for it is in these times the Lord is building us up and showing us how strong we really are.  As we persevere in all we do, His light will continually radiate from us ... this I know to be true, so hold on and remain steadfast in all you do.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Simeon is Still Learning ... and Teaching

Me with the Thompsons
Well, to be honest Twin Land was what I thought about when I was transferred to my new area which as it turns out is right next to an area I served in two transfers ago! Yeah, the Lord's work goes on and I am very blessed to be called to share this message to those in my new area. We got to work as soon as we got home and sometimes we even forget to plan in lunch or dinner (not joking) which is tough but most of the time we remember and grab something on the go. So I will survive.

Me with my new companion, Elder Nelson
We are teaching some really cool investigators who have the desire to come closer to the Lord which is always a plus here in the Lord's vineyard. In my first lesson, as I had just finished bearing my testimony, the investigator looked at me and said, “that was so powerful. I felt it and everything just felt right. I want you to come back to my house!” I was like, whoa, I did not see that coming but the Lord certainly did and during the remainder of the week we had some very spiritual lessons with other investigators. Weird, but I noticed I was asking a lot more inspired questions than I normally do which builds my own testimony I must be doing something right. Either that or the Lord is reminding me to listen with my spiritual ears and not just my physical ones. But, I will take both of those any day.

We got drenched a few times as the heavens opened up and the rains came. I even had a race in the rain with a bunch of children. I gave them the advantage before blazing away and leaving them in the dust though I gave them the victory. They deserved it because they tried, but that race taught me a lesson. We are out here to bring the Gospel to all the world that all may know it and know it to be true. We are also called to bring the world out of darkness and into the light. For Just as my brother said, “If we do not do it then who will?” We are all called to serve the Lord tag or no tag and as such we should do so boldly, nobly and independently, until the great Jehovah says the work is done. We shall carry on and go forth, for the Lord will guide us safely to do so. Let us be as Ammon and his brethren and share the Gospel to all so they too, just as we have, may be able to receive the covenant blessings of the Lord is my humble prayer.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Selwin Says It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Elder Franklin and me at the doctor's office
The rains have once again come to this neck of the woods but we didn't let that stop us from doing what we love ... missionary work. We had to pay a visit to the doctor this week because my companion had an ingrown toe nail removed and was on bed rest for a whole day.

But after that we got things going and then we were off to the country side to find those children of God who are just waiting on us to knock on their doors.  Sadly, we didn't find a lot of new people to teach this week but the few we found were pretty open to listening to what we had to say. Tracting out in the woods though can be very tricky especially if you're not used to it. So, my companion has been in a battle with those ferocious little creatures called mosquitoes. Every time they bite him a bump comes up, so I urged him to spray himself down before going out. Sadly, he forgot to do so but luckily we  got to borrow some of the "good stuff" from a lady whose door we had knocked on. So I asked Elder Franklin, "why are you calling this the good stuff?" and with eyes closed he looked at me and said "because it burns"

Only 1600 lbs. Pchhh, no problem, but where's the handle on this thing?
The mission we are here to fulfill is definitely not an easy one and a lot of times there are obstacles just thrown in our way.  At times these hurdles seem impossible to overcome but the Lord has promised us that through these times He will be there with us. So we can overcome whatever it is we are facing in our lives, many a times these things cause us to hurt, especially on a spiritual and emotional scale but it is in these times the Lord expects us to turn to Him even more. Pray to your Father in Heaven, talk with Him. He wants to hear what you have to say whether it be in silent or out loud. He is listening, He is mindful of your needs and His arms are wide open to comfort you.

The Lord is our guide as it say in the Book of Psalms:

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

At every hour, in every need turn to the Lord and He will always be your guide. 

Simeon is Not Weary in Well Doing

Elder Schoebinger and I taking a safe break
So, I found out early this morning I will be leaving the Sharpsburg Ward and area and will be going to who-knows-where.  I don't know yet where I will be serving but will find out at the transfer meeting on Wednesday and report back.

This week we were both feeling tired for some reason. It seemed, despite our wonderful plans, there was always a little set back and we all know who is behind them. I found myself praying a lot more than I usually did and I quickly realized I was not tired at all and I was full of energy always. It is the sneaky trick the adversary loves to play, especially when he sees you working hard.  He puts a prompting in your head to deceive you because that is all he did. I was not about to say “hi, come on in.”  NO WAY! I kicked him out.  We cannot work and do what the Lord needs us to do on 90% … only know the adversary is not going to go 85% for us or for the people he is trying to deceive.  Instead we should give more by praying more, reading our scriptures more and serving others more.  We should be at 200% and more - slacken not against the adversary for he will not to us.

Shooting some hoops (and a selfie) at our Zone P-Day
Even though we did not find a lot of new persons to teach it was exciting to teach a recent convert about the temple and family history work.  Her face lit up at the idea.  It was truly special to see and her diligence in gathering her family information is getting better. I know the spirit of Elijah has touched her heart.

We also were able to see many old faces come to church yesterday.  To see these less-active brothers and sisters return to the place they truly belong is something special - even as special as when someone new joins the Lord's church.  The feeling is one I still cannot describe but it brings joy to my heart and soul.

A few quotes from an apostle of the Lord and the Prophet got my attention this week as I did my studies:

1: "Cling to your faith. Hold on to your hope. Some blessings come soon, some come late and others don't come until Heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ THEY DO COME."     Elder Holland

2: "Amid the storms of life, danger lurks. Men and women, boys and girls find themselves stranded and facing destruction. Who will guide the lifeboats, leaving behind the comforts of home and family and go to the rescue? Our task is not insurmountable. We are on the Lord's errand.  We are entitled to his help."  President Monson.

Brothers and Sisters, we need to cling to our faith and hold on and hope on and as we do, we help others along the way for we are promised by the Lord as we do all we can do to help ourselves and others he will help us, for nothing is impossible with the Lord.

"Every member a missionary" is not just words from a Prophet! They are the words from God and as we go to the rescue of others we ourselves will be saved. I know this counsel to be true for I see and know it. I will continue to see it in my life and my humble prayer is for you to do and experience the same in the name of our precious Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Selwin and the Mosquitoes

Happy Mothers Day because everyday is mother's day, right? Well, this week was transfers and I'm staying in Picayune - no surprises there - and so is my companion Elder Franklin. We rode and walked quite a bit last week and the weather was awesome.

That awesome feeling of perspiration running down your forehead reminds me so much of the weather at home and also indicates you are working. We renamed one street "Mean Mitchell Street" because, as you can guess by the name, everyone was mean. We also had swarms of mosquitoes follow us around for a while to the point where we had to start running to get away from them. I guess they were just attracted to the awesomeness of the gospel we share and can you blame them?

After trying for over three hours yesterday I was able to call home, but what hit home is what I should have done first I did last and that was to seek the help of the Lord. It made me realize a lot of times in our life we tend to put the Lord on the back burner and forget He's there and only remember Him when we need something from Him. Now we all know that's not the way it should be. King Benjamin reminds us in Mosiah 4:11 which reads:

So, no more dumping dead cats?
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel."

As any parent, our Father in Heaven desires us to remember Him always.  Remember, the Father will never let go of us but a lot of times we let go of Him and all because we don't put Him first in all we do. So it is my humble desire we put the Lord first in all we do and with out any doubt we will see a difference in our lives and in all we do.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Simeon Trusts in the Lord

Light and Elder Lovell at the end of the tunnel
This week went by super fast and super slow at some points and boy, oh boy, did we have it tough talking with people and finding new persons to teach. It would seem the adversary is hardening the hearts of these our brothers and sisters and leaving us with the tough task of softening them up which sometimes is not a piece of cake.  

 But, we had some really cool lessons this week with investigators and that because we wanted them to have a vision of how the Lord sees them.  We taught two investigators in front of the baptismal font and though we did not get to fill it, the effect was still the same! When we taught them the lesson we all felt the presence of the Holy Spirit so strong and testified of it with all energy of heart.  One investigator was smiling through it all and the other felt it as well.  Whe asked me to share with her a little of how I joined the church and so I did.  I told her I needed to learn to trust the Lord a whole lot because at one point I had very little trust in him and always doubted saying, “I cannot do this” or “I can't do that.”  So by putting my trust in him I was able to more fully comprehend he has a plan for me in this life and though I really don't know what it is, he does. Though one of the investigators could not make it to church, since it was Mother's Day we stopped by, gave her some flowers, a poem and, of course, chocolate which cheered her right up.  We found out she had not been feeling well for a time but she is now.
This week I was also able to give a blessing to one of the sisters’ investigators.  Boy, the Holy Spirit was so in charge of that one because the words just kept coming and I just kept speaking.  After the blessing one of the sisters told me in the blessing, I answered the question her investigator had.  That is so awesome and I left there thankful and grateful to be a worthy priesthood holder.  What a blessing it is to have the priesthood in these latter days.

Yes, trusting in the Lord is so important, even if we cannot see the full picture He does and works miracles in our lives.  Yesterday I was able to talk with my grandmother and she said, “I am reading the Book of Mormon but the names are so strange.” I said, “true Gran but the message is the same.” I was able to comfort her to know the message we share is true and I encouraged her to read, ponder and pray. I know she will.  So you see, the Lord sees the bigger picture so let us trust him and be like Nephi of old who said in 1 Nephi 4:6-7

6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.

 7 Nevertheless I went forth.

My humble prayer is we all do the same and trust in the Lord to lead and guide us through.  I know we can do it and as we do we will be blessed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Selwin's Week is One for the Books

More ties from Elder Franklin's mom
Boy, this week has been one for the books. We pushed ourselves to do everything and to try to achieve all of our weekly goals. Sadly, we fell short but not by much.  This week was awesome!

We also had the opportunity to attend a baptismal service this week.  It was really nice and for the first time I just felt prompted I should go up and bear my testimony, so I did. Then I read about my brother's week and it just reassured me even more there are those out there whose hearts will be touched by us and by the testimonies we share of the gospel and of Christ. President Brigham Young credited his conversion to a simple testimony from a member of the church.  Truly it is a powerful tool in bringing others to know of the Father's will for them

In his last testimony Moroni said:
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

 34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen."

If the Lord has blessed you with something great, it is to be shared with everyone.  Don't keep it to yourself but use it. It is the reason why you have been given it.  Who knows by what means your testimony will be a bright spot in someones's day or change someone's life forever. I know words have molding power, my friends, and your testimony of the gospel is no different. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Simeon's Good Week

Elders Dimanche, Lovell and Robinson
So yesterday was fast and testimony Sunday. We met together as a ward and I saw many new faces I have not seen for a while or ever.  The fast and testimony meeting was really something special for everyone in our Sacrament meeting felt the Holy Spirit. I know they did. The old bishop of the ward and the new bishop both bore their testimonies.  So did a few members, then I felt prompted to go up and do the same.  It is not easy to follow a bishop but I knew I needed to, so I did.  After way too many people came up to me to say it was a wonderful testimony, a few non-members even called it a talk.  It was alright because I knew they all felt the Holy Spirit for sure.

Our past week has been good.  We have been working really hard to get this wonderful ward of ours moving to do missionary work.  Hey, it is tough but I will not stop now. We were able to see quite a few people show up to church and one of them met our mission president.  Boy, he got straight to work.  It was really cool to stand on the side lines and watch him invite this investigator to act and be baptized.  Then he testified of the many blessings, then he called his wife in to bear witness to what he said. It was awesome!  I was just standing there going “yes, way to go president.” it was really awesome to see.

Things get hard sometimes but that's okay.  Instead of arguing or complaining I have learned to be thankful for the blessings I receive and thank my Heavenly Father for them, as well.  It helps big time, for as we know, as much as he can freely give he can surely take, so I say thank you for all the little blessings and miracles I see or receive and I know he appreciates it.

That is all I have for this week but I will not let you go without a scripture:

1 Nephi 8:1-12
 1 And it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind.
 2 And it came to pass that while my father tarried in the wilderness he spake unto us, saying: Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision.
 3 And behold, because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam; for I have reason to suppose that they, and also many of their seed, will be saved.
 4 But behold, Laman and Lemuel, I fear exceedingly because of you; for behold, methought I saw in my dream, a dark and dreary wilderness.
 5 And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
 6 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
 7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
 8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
 9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
 10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
 11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
 12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

Just remember someone called you to come and partake of the fruit.  Now you have, so you need to do the same for someone else. You can do it … I know you can! Be brave, bold and loving and you will see it will work out. Trust me, I do it every day. I know the Lord rejoices as you do.