Monday, August 31, 2015

Simeon Says

District meeting
I got up one morning this week and went outside only to find the air was cold!  I don't know who is praying for the cold and not the beautiful sunshine and heat but I really think they should stop because when it gets too cold Elder Lovell gets worried! But this week has been wonderful. We got drenched a little but that was okay for there is no missionary work without the rain.  So we were up and about refusing to give in to the adversary and, of course, we never will.

This week as I went out with a young man to teach an investigator we both saw how this investigator glowed with the Light of Christ. We both felt the Holy Spirit as we taught him and helped him to remember what we had taught him.  It was so awesome and as we were walking back to the young man's home he said, "Elder Lovell, you are the best and coolest missionary I know because every time you teach and bear your testimony I can always feel the Holy Spirit and I know you love those you teach."  To this I simply responded I give all the credit to the Lord. I also thanked him for always being willing to come out with us even on short notice.  I felt prompted to tell him because of him coming out with us he will have a more rewarding mission and will learn a lot but also help others a lot as well.
A rousing game of basketball on P-day

We were blessed with rain on Sunday though the wet weather kept a few persons we are teaching away from church but that is okay.  We will get them this week because we will not give up.  Also during my studies lately I have noticed how much more I have been able to pick out things I have never noticed before and it gives me great joy to know no matter how many times I read the Book of Mormon I am always edified and filled.  Hey, that is a wonderful feeling.  As I read Alma 60:36 I was touched by Moroni's plea to help others and forget about himself which really helped me remember the advice President Hinckley got from his dad, "Forget yourself and go to work."  So that is what I will go and do.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Selwin in the Rain

Well, this week was one mixed with everything including lots of rain.  It was okay, but not fun riding through, especially on wet roads.

We were met with some disappointing news, as well, when our most promising investigator said he is moving away for a while because of work, but he did commit to continue reading the Book of Mormon which was super awesome to hear. We have been trying our best lately to find people who are ready to receive this wonderful gospel but we haven't been as successful as we would have liked. However, the members have stepped up their game and they have realized we need their help in finding people to teach.  That’s been super awesome.

We went tracting way out in the country again and met one guy who said, "In all my 20 years of living here I've never met a Mormon missionary.”   I looked at him and said, "well, you know there's a first for everything" so we knew we were exactly where the Lord needed us to be.

We also drove down this week to give a blessing to a member from the ward. We didn't find out until we got there that it was a member I had gotten really close to. At the end of the blessing he asked to hold our hands and said a prayer, giving thanks to God for allowing him the opportunity to receive a blessing from Him through us. This brought tears to my eyes as I watched how the faith of this faithful servant of God did not wavier despite the difficulties and challenges he faces and will continue to face in his life. I felt the spirit so strong.  As I gave his wife a blessing of comfort it was made known to me all would be well. 

The Prophet Moroni said:
27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy, which he hath upon the children of men?

 28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.

 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

 30 For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness."

Faith in the Savior can push us to do so many things and enables us to know the Savior is always mindful of us and our needs.  As He has promised to all who are His disciples "He will be with us always.”

Monday, August 24, 2015

Simeon is Teaching Like Crazy

Simeon in an investigator's toy room
Well, this week has been a good week. It has been good, for one because of the many blessings which came our way.  Despite the challenges, with the Lord's help we were able to continue to see His hand in everything we did. We started off the week teaching people like crazy.  They were those we found the previous week so we were in high spirits but halfway through we saw how the adversary got into the hearts and minds of people.  We had shared the message of the Restoration with this wonderful family.  They had accepted a baptism date and we all felt the Holy Spirit in that lesson. I mean it - the feeling and presence of the Holy Spirit was wonderful so we went back on Saturday to introduce them to the member who would bring them to church.  But they totally just down right said, “no, thanks.  We’ve changed our minds.”  My companion asked the, “do you believe the things we taught you are true and that the feeling you felt was the Holy Spirit testifying of the truthfulness of the things we shared?” They could not answer, so with much sorrow we left. I remembered the words of the prophet Alma in Alma 32:28.  I pray with all the love I can that they do not cast the seed out but keep it, nourish it and let it grow.

The wonderful opportunity came for me to go to the temple to see a couple be sealed. I had come to know them in one of my previous wards.  The spirit in the temple that day was incredible. I was pretty sure I would explode sooner or later but luckily I did not (so, hurrah). I truly got to see that seeing everyone in white three times made all the difference because this is how our Heavenly Father sees each and every single one of us.  Then on Sunday we had "my friend" show up for church again.  He loved it despite being a little tired and he said next week “I will bring my family” and I was like, “YES!” Oh, what wonderful joy the gospel brings, not only to those who receive it but to those who teach it, as well.

I did however, forget my Book of Mormon on top of the car again. This time the rains came down with a fury and so I was inside the car looking for it, then the Holy Spirit kicked it and said, “you left me on the roof.”  When I found it, it was still is in good condition, and in fact, the rain hardly touched the pages which just goes to sow the truth inside this wonderful book is pure indeed.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Selwin Chases the Wrong Dog

New Mission President and Sister Olsen
Well, the temperature has dropped over the last few days mainly because of rain, which is sad, but we got to pull out the raincoats and go riding in it.  It was probably not the best idea, but hey the work has got to be done whether the sun be shinning or the rain be falling.

The week was a good one. We met with one young man who was very interested in what we had to say, in fact we spent an hour at his door alone talking with him and answering his questions. He didn't come to church but we will be seeing him really soon.  During the week we also went to visit a few less-active members and on our departure they started looking for their little dog. They saw it down the street but it just kept running away because we were riding towards it, so I yelled out "we got to catch that dog.”  I shot past my companion and the dog pulling both brakes to bring me to a halt. I then turned and looked at the dog and said "go home."  It was then I realized this was not the less-active’s dog and stopped my companion from riding behind it to take it home. The poor dog was just trying to get back to it's own home when we chased it down. I couldn't help but think that the dog thought that we were crazy.

It reminded me of the path in this life we are asked to walk on and many of us have already found that path. But we all know staying on that path to the end is what really matters.

President Thomas S. Monson once said, "There is no need for you to sail uncharted seas or to travel unmarked roads in search of truth. A loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing guide even obedience".

So know our Father in heaven will help us all walk on that path no matter what, so let us all continue to endure to the end.

Simeon Loses Two ... Gains Two

Me with my new companions:  Elder Baker from Idaho
and Elder Miller from Nevada
This week I welcomed two new companions as my last two were transferred to other areas.  Phew, it has been quite a busy past few days but also a very blessed few days.  After getting settled in I took my new companions to church.  The most amazing thing happened as we were waiting for church to begin.  My phone rang and when I answered it, on the other line was a gentleman named Muka.  We had invited him to church since the week before but he did not show up.  However to our surprise Muka was standing outside the church and boy that made my day.  He came in and in every class he called me his friend. It was really awesome.  While we were in Elders Quorum he was introducing himself and started to look for me but couldn't find me.  So I said, “I am right here, Muka” so he told everyone, "this my friend invited me to church" then he gave me a pat on the back.  He is from Burma and is pretty cool. Later in the day after missing all of the food at a “linger longer” we went to teach a woman we met during the week.  Instead we got to meet with her and her daughter who had never heard of the Book of Mormon before.  We explained what it is and why God gave it to us.  She was really excited then went on to describe what type of church she would like to attend.   The church she described is our church to the exact tee.

The next miracle happened just as we were leaving.  We walked down the steps that led to the previous place where we had been and there sat a lady smoking and drinking. In respect for her we said hello and as we were walking away I heard her say, “excuse me, excuse me.”  I looked back to see it was the very same lady calling out to us.  She said, “young man, can you please say a prayer with me? I am going through a lot. My mother just passed away so I am breaking down outside so my children will not see me.”  I had so much Love for this daughter of God and though I had only just met her I felt God's love for her.  We said a prayer with her and told her how she can be with her mother forever. After our short discussion she said,  “I honestly did not know you were up there but when you guys passed me I felt the presence of angels walking by so I had to say something. I had to open my mouth and speak. I am so glad you said this prayer with me.  Oh, how my joy was full to running over to hear that and to know the Lord loves this woman so much He prompted me to go to our appointment way earlier than we had planned.  I have not even told my companions this as yet but we were so early we were blessed to catch the daughter of the woman who did not know about the Book of Mormon and a woman who needed a prayer from the angels of the Lord. I testify there are no coincidences with the Lord's timing. I am grateful to always just follow those promptings I receive despite not knowing before hand what would happen.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Selwin Brings A Few Back

Cowboy Selwin
Well, it's official.  We are in heat wave season.  Whoa, talk about fun in the sun! We almost got a tornado a few nights ago but luckily the air wasn't hot enough and the winds died down. Our power went off three times so our flashlights were brought into action.  Yep, that was exciting … scary, but exciting.

We had a rough week but despite our problems we saw the Lord work miracles for us as we were able to visit with quite a few members who haven't been to church in a long time. I'm talking like forever ago but these people were so happy to see us, including one Native American who thought his name was no longer on the records because he hadn't been visited in a while. Guess what?  His wife has the same first name as our mom and she pronounces it the same way.  How awesome is that? And, they are willing to come to church, which is even better news. Yep, you best believe the Lord truly does work in mysterious ways. I also had the opportunity to speak in church again but this time I just spoke about "love" and from reports it was a good talk.

Jacob 5:70-71 reads:
70 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.

71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come."

As compared to the world we are definitely very few but our efforts are great because we have the Lord on our side. This is His work we are doing and in time we will have joy in His kingdom on high. 

Simeon and the Power of Love

Selfies with Elders Hope and Snedeker on exchanges
Alright! So the transfer is over and I have found out I will be staying here in Decatur but I will be losing both of my companions which I will say I did not see coming! Yeah, it's just one of those times.  This transfer has been a seven-week transfer so to have both my companions leave is tough. I will be getting a new missionary, I am told so it's back to the grindstone. No sitting down which is just how I love it. 

A cool way of teaching about the Book of Mormon
using paper and scissors
This week was a good one, I will say, though we ended up in some very strange situations. One, for example, was when we went finding in an apartment complex.  Boy, I could smell the language barrier from miles away but we still went in.  We found a few persons who spoke English and I should mention me and my two companions all felt the Holy Spirit prompting us to go finding there. Then upon our return to see one of these persons, we entered their home and found out they are from Burma. I don't know much about their culture but I was shocked at their wallpaper which was pictures of naked babies plastered on their walls!  That was very creepy and so we could not wait to get out of there. Then on Sunday we bumped into them again and the gentleman was like, “please, come in.”  We told him “no, but would you like to come to a member's home for a lesson.”  He was disappointed but he said “yes” and so we are safe. I also taught a guy from Bhutan this week.  He is a Roman Catholic but very open to learn. He was so amazed at what we taught him he stopped us and asked, “where has all of this been? This is wonderful.  Tell me more.” He even accepted the Book of Mormon with open arms.  It was awesome. Ahh, if only everyone could be like that I would be super happy.  Of course, we all have our choices.  

I was studying this week and thought a lot about the pioneers and how they sacrificed so much … not only for themselves and their children but for us as well. I pray we remember those precious souls of our brothers and sisters and that we remember what they did that we and all might be saved. Onward Christian Soldiers!  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Selwin Moves Forward, Despite the Heat ... or Because of It

So it's gotten up over 100 degrees almost every day this week. What a blessing. The reason why I say that is because more people are at home because of the heat so we have more people who answer their doors. Haha, no escaping us now.

We had an interesting week, one where we found ourselves in a lot of members homes just teaching them. We were at one home where for some reason the sister missionaries were there, too. We shared a spiritual thought on the Atonement of Christ while the sisters did theirs on the pioneers which then brought about the bearing of testimonies by the members and the sister missionaries and my companion. People were crying because the spirit was so strong so I closed the meeting with my testimony about the wonderful gift of love the Savior has for us all. 

Ding, dong.  Is a bandaid better than duct tape?
Later on in the week as we were riding home I felt the urge to call up Brother Fairbanks, another member in the ward.  He invited us over.  His wife is out-of-town so he was glad to have some company. He then shared with us a few of his life stories, about his joys and struggles but it was his story about his mission that really left an impression on me.  In the words his mission president said to him, "You have been chosen by the Lord to fill this calling.”  

As I recapped my day, these words of the Savior came to mind.

John 15:16:  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

It reminded me of the faith the Savior has in me, enough that He chose me to teach, preach and to testify of His true Gospel which has been restored to the earth today. There is no other, nor will there ever be a calling so great than that of doing the Lord’s work.

Simeon and the Bible Bash

Wishing our Mission President a Happy Birthday!
Alright, so this week we were able to go to the Temple again. I enjoyed it to the max.  What an opportunity it is to go to the temple and to do the work of one of our brothers and sisters, truly it is. 

During the Zone Training Meeting I was asked to conduct and so I was up and about as I addressed two zones and helped them feel the Holy Spirit. I enjoyed doing that which is strange, so, hey, I will not complain. We focused a lot on using the Book of Mormon more and the missionaries were truly catching the vision. It was really nice to see.  We talked a lot about serving others, including our fellow Elders and Sisters who at times need as much support as those we teach.

Preparing for a baptism
Later in the week we found ourselves in a Bible bash. From experience, I have learned to keep quiet and stay clam, but one of my companions was getting pretty fired up.  It was crazy and to calm him down I simply touched him on the back and said “Elder.”  It is supposed the persons we went to see had called their pastor who, without a doubt, had an agenda.  I sensed it coming so I was not looking forward to it, at all.  The sad part is he had his children there to view all of this.  The thing is, they believed us and not their dad or their pastor because the spirit of the Lord was still trying to be there, which is a good thing.  After that whole confusion, I came home and said a prayer to be comforted and to comfort the very people who had bashed us.  As always, the Lord was right there telling me everything will be fine, so out we went again.  The rains came down but onward we went, soaked and all.  Yes indeed, this is missionary work and I love it.

We had been trying to contact this young man for weeks and finally during one of our shelter breaks, as the rains came down, I was prompted that we needed to go and see him, despite all the rain. When the rain stopped for about 5 minutes I asked my companion, “so, what should we do?”  He replied, “lets go see Samuel.” (the young man's name).  He was finally at home so I was super excited.  It doesn't matter how much we go through … what matters is we come through it with the Savior right by our side. It is just wonderful to see the Lord's hand in everything we do.

These are the best stories to tell because they show the Lord does answers our prayers as in Alma chapter 34:18-27 where it talks about praying to the Lord always and everywhere which brings me a sense of relief to know He will always be there no matter what.  Keep praying and keep exercising faith. The Lord will hear and he will answer.