Monday, March 25, 2013

25 March 2013

Hey good to hear from yall as always! That new bishopric sounds wonderful. I'm sure they will be such a blessing to the ward. Haha I'm glad yall get to enjoy each other's company again.
The meeting with Elder Nash was great. We learned a lot of really good insights about our purpose as missionaries and helping investigators learn and grow. We really emphasized that it's all about getting people to the next ordinance. If people aren't baptized, it's baptism; if they haven't been to church in awhile, it's the sacrament; and for recent converts it's the temple. When we focus on these things it really helps us have direction in our teaching. We can see people as they will become. I've really taken to heart the importance of the ordinances. There are so many people that believe living good lives will give them lasting hapiness but in order for us to experience the full measure of happiness we need to adhere to not only the principles but also the ordinances of the gospel. The third Article of Faith really emphasizes that again. We as missionaries are the only ones in the area that have the authority to provide that ordinance of baptism. This calling is so important.
I memorized a few scriptures today. D&C 58:26-28 and Ezekial 33:6. I'm loving memorizing scriptures. The more I memorize, the easier it gets to memorize them and have them in my brain so I can recall them for my benefit. It's like an instant pick-me-up to have an awesome scripture stored up there.
I'm glad everything's going well at home.
I'm so excited for conference! I love general conference so much. It means so much more to me now that I'm older and can stay awake for everything haha. I've been reading a lot of Ensign articles and watching former conference talks to get excited for it. Other than that I'm just looking forward to it a lot.
Thanks for all the help. I haven't gotten the shoes yet. Thanks for everything though I'm always always grateful for all that yall do.
We met this great lady Audree the other day. She is awesome. I'm really looking forward to continuing to teach her. After we shared with her the first vision she cried and said she'd never felt anything like that before in her life. She had wanted to feel like that in church and had been looking for it all her life but just never felt it. The gospel is really going to change her life. Please pray for her.
Love yall, Elder Nair

Thursday, March 21, 2013

17 March 2013

Good to hear from yall again! I love getting your emails,
It's always so good to know that good things are going on at the homefront and to not miss out on the spiritual experiences going on back in the 4th Ward. This week has been great. Quite a rollercoaster but great. It started off with a great companionship exchange that I went on with Elder Willie. He's being trained in my district and is an 18 year old missionary. He's such a strong missionary. He's been out in the field for 5 weeks now and he's just stellar. These 18 year old missionaries are going to be such a blessing to the work. It's awesome seeing the work hasten. The exchange was really great. We met some wonderful people in Conway which is right by Myrtle Beach. Our district consists of Marion and Conway by the way. But it was just such a great day. We met some wonderful people and had a really spiritual first lesson with a gentleman named Cecil. He's in his 60s and you can just tell that he's been being prepared for the gospel all his life. I'm excited to hear how things continue to go with him. He's been to different churches, has fallen away from his church for awhile and then got this feeling to go back. When he went back however he said he felt a big knot in his stomach. After we taught him about the Restoration we had the opportunity to testify to him that he will have an overwhelming feeling of peace and joy by attending the restored church. It was just a really wonderful lesson.
Did I mention that Elder Nash one of the Seventy came to our mission? I feel like I forgot to tell yall about that. Let me know if I didn't.
We had interviews up in Florence with President Holm which was great. He asked me if I had any questions and I asked him how I can make my prayers more meaningful. With praying so often out here in the mission I felt like my prayers were becoming more rote so I have been focusing my studies on changing that. The culmination of all my studies was President Holm's advice to imagine the Savior kneeling beside you praying with you every time you pray. I usually pray trying to think about me having a conversation with God so I'd try to imagine God in front of me. This idea of having Christ next to me has greatly changed the sincerity of my prayers. It's helped me gain a closer relationship with my Savior in knowing that He is truly there for me so that I can be able to talk to the Father. He's my great intercessor. It's with Him that I will approach the Father at the last day and it's Him that will be pleading on my behalf. It's helped me turn to Him in all things and try to truly identify, what would Christ want for me? What would he have me pray for? I love all of the great experiences and the great learning opportunities that come from serving a mission. It's such a blessing to learn and grow and change my life while I'm out here.
One insight that I gained this week in teaching is to be very clear. Boldness is clarity. Being able to speak a simple truth without trying to jazz it up is what will give people the greatest opportunity to have the Spirit testify to them of its truthfulness. Everything is all about the Spirit and this work is all about purifying every little thing that you can so you can be the most clear and worthy conduit of the Spirit. I just want the Spirit to flow through me like a clear sheet of glass with no imperfections that would dampen the light as it goes through.
  Love ya so much!
-Elder Nair

Sunday, March 17, 2013

10 March 2013

Hey! I've got a sweet story for yall this week! I'll start right off with it because of how awesome it was.
So there's this less-active youth in our ward named Kayla who hasn't been to church on Sunday in about nine months. She had grown up coming to church for awhile but when her mom fell away she realized that she didn't have her own testimony so she fell away as well. She said she's never felt the Spirit so she doesn't really know if God answers prayers. She's an agnostic of sorts not doubting the existence of a "higher power" but also lacking faith in Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. When we went over to see meet with her on Saturday she was playing this online game. She was complaining about how she had been at this game for like 40 minutes trying to get this item. I'll explain a little bit about how it works.

Randomly these certain monsters will appear and even more randomly they'll drop this specific item that she needed to complete this quest.
So basically you have a completely random chance of this monster dropping this item you need.
Anyways, after sharing some scriptures with her while she had this game going on in the background we felt impressed to promise her a specific blessing. I told her that if she prayed and asked God to help her get this item, that the next monster that she killed would have that item and that she would be able to know that God answers prayers and that she had to come to church tomorrow.
She said she felt a little ridiculous doing it but ended up following through and saying a simple prayer to our Heavenly Father.
After about 3 minutes she found this monster that she was looking for and killed it. Lo and behold, after what was now a little over an hour of her searching for this thing, her prayer was answered. She found the item haha.
It was a pretty awesome experience. It was just like this undeniable evidence to her that God truly answered prayers. Needless to say, she was at church yesterday and ended up enjoying herself. It was great.
As missionaries we're truly ordained of God to call forth the powers of heaven as impressed by the Spirit. That experienced increased my faith with being bold or clear with people and having confidence in the powers of heaven and the spiritual promptings that I feel.
But that's my awesome story for the week haha. We're right now meeting with a lot of new people and really focusing on using the gift of discernment to find people who will be willing to keep the commitment to come to church. Right now we're working with some step brothers of this recently activated member Jessica. She has a 16 year old and a 14 year old step brother, John and Chris. Pray for them to be able to gain a witness that the Book of Mormon is true. They're great kids and building the priesthood here is something we're really working on.
Some of the active members that have been helping us out a lot here is Brother Putich (Sister Weatherford's grandson-in-law) who's the Young Men's president, The Elder's quorum president, President Cabiniss, and the Branch mission leader Brother Buffington. There's a lot of great people here that are really focused on missionary work and building the branch membership here so that's good. It's just tough because of how spread out everyone is. The branch covers quite a large area so it can be difficult helping people with rides. But it's fun stuff.
I'll try to get some pictures soon, Elder Holley is still carrying on the work in Gaston which is in the West Columbia zone. He's doing great from what I hear but a lot of times you don't get to hear too much from past companions until you both get put into the same zone or something. Elder Memmott's serving as my zone leader in the Florence area of the Florence zone so we got to see each other at the zone meeting and actually got to go on a companionship exchange with him which was way fun. I'll see him again this Wednesday at a zone fireside that we're having. Our district consists of us and Conway and we have had a couple meetings and been on exchanges to learn from each other.
That's great to hear about your gospel sharing efforts. It will increase your friendship with people and as Dad has experienced, help you make new friends as well!
Thanks for the toner I needed it. And new shoes would be appreciated as soon as you can send them thanks!
Love yall,
Elder Nair

Sunday, March 10, 2013

4 March 2013

Hey! Good to hear from yall again
I'm excited about the missionary efforts going on all over the world. It seems that the Brethren are really pushing to help the church become missionary minded as a whole. The work will not simply hasten by the increase of the number of missionaries. Missionaries need solid people with established families who will be willing to keep commitments to teach. More often then not, the most established people who could be strong members of the church, will feel too busy to meet with missionaries when they knock on their door. Having a simple contact with a member of the church who has set a good example makes all the difference in someones conversion.
This week has been fun. We've met a lot of great people who we're teaching. We're just having a hard time helping these people make it out to church. Marion's a pretty big area and so it's often hard for people who don't have a lot of money to find it in them to afford the gas money for church. We're doing all we can out here and I'm always trying to see how I can better my efforts. It's just an ongoing process of refining my actions and coming more in line with the will of God for His people.
That's cool that you met the Bowman's kids. The Bowman's are great up here. It's always a pleasure having a senior couple in the ward. They help us out a lot and have been so nice.
I've been studying this week a lot about the importance of the Atonement. It's honestly the greatest event that has happened in the history of this Earth. My thoughts reflect back to a conference talk titled "None Were With Him" by Elder Holland. It's so impossible to comprehend the willpower of Jesus Christ. Coming into all the pains of the sins and temptations that we go through, all the emotional sorrow that we not only cause, but also the sorrow that comes upon us by mere circumstance, the pains that we run into by our own disobedience or even simply the pains we experience by accident could not have been an easy task. At first it's reassuring to think that someone with such a strong relationship with God is going through this because God was there to strengthen Christ through those pains. But then the fact that God left Jesus to Himself for some of this suffering comes into the picture. How was Jesus Christ so strong to be able to complete that on his own? It's amazing. I think of the trials that I have to go through in my own life and contemplate how difficult some times have been for me, but then I realize: God is always there for me. He will never leave me. I can always turn to Him for my strength. How would I fare under these menial trials that I go through without God? I simply couldn't make it. I don't know how people go through life without the Atonement in their lives. I can't even imagine where I would be without the Atonement in my life. Certainly I wouldn't be here, teaching this glorious message and preparing myself to have a successful family and eternal peace and joy someday. There's a quote from Preach My Gospel that says something along these lines. "As your testimony and understanding of the Atonement grows, your desire to share it with others will increase". That applies to everyone. Whenever I feel hesitant about sharing the gospel, whenever I feel like I'm not teaching with power, I turn my studies back to the Atonement.
The Atonement of Christ is the means that everything important on Earth is accomplished. Without it, we have no purpose here on Earth; with it, there is so much more. And with a true understanding of the Atonement, notably that the gospel of Christ is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end, bring a much greater understanding and a true understanding of our purpose here in life. How people go through life with a warped sense of our purpose is beyond me. I again look to what an impact the teachings of truth have been in my life. I can't see myself going through this short portion of mortality that I've been through any other way. I feel sad that the rest of the world is lacking this and it just awakens me to a sense of my responsibility in bringing this message into the lives of others.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. A true understanding of it is 100% necessary for eternal life. Without this knowledge it is impossible for one to truly live a life in which they are devoted too and leaning on Christ forever. This mission is setting the path for my entire life. I will not and cannot live without relying upon my Savior Jesus Christ.
"O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Nephi 4:34)
Just continue to pray for me that I'll have continued strength in this work. I need all the help that I can get. I'll let you know how things go as some more people progress.

Love ya so much,
Elder Nair