Monday, September 30, 2013

30 September 2013

Hey yall! So good to hear from you as always! I have to share a huge miracle that happened this week first off. Saturday we were out with some youth members of our ward Byron (17) and Daniel (13) to help fellowship our recent converts Rozay (17) and Ques (14). We started off going to Ques' house and had a nice visit with him there but when we texted Rozay and asked if he was home he said he wasn't. For some reason we just felt like going over there anyway despite the fact that he said he wasn't home. They live right next to a McDonalds so we always park in the McDonald's parking lot to go to their house. So Rozay didn't answer when we knocked so we went back to the car and as we were pulling out of the parking lot another car started honking at us and shouted "hey! Where is the church?!" Upon hearing that we got out of the car and started talking to them. It was this little member Micronesian family. They had recently moved to Spartanburg from Tennessee 3 months ago and have been looking for the church ever since. Norma (the mom) and her son Dursten (17) and their littlest one Oliver (3) were all in the car. We got their information and scheduled to see them that night. When we went over there that night we met Norma's soon to be sister-in-law Brenda who is not a member of the church. We taught her the Restoration and Norma bore a very powerful testimony of how much the gospel has blessed her life from her baptism at 8 years old and her husbands baptism just a few years ago in Tennessee and how she just wants to come to church every week. Brenda is now preparing herself to be baptized on the 26th of October. Dursten, Brenda, Norma, and Oliver all came to church and had a wonderful time. Brenda was so excited to be at the church and said she felt so happy the whole time. I'm so excited for her and her family to add to our membership here every week! The ward continues to thrive with a lot of members returning to activity, move-ins, and baptisms. I'm enjoying it so much. Things are going so well out here. As for helping your friend and to answer your question let me give a resounding YES to using Preach My Gospel! Preach My Gospel as come to be one of my favorite "books of scripture". It truly is completely inspired writings of the apostles and prophets and is the best go to source for missionary work. Chapter 3 Lesson 2 outlines the Plan of Salvation and the basic principles of it that nonmembers need to know. It offers great council like making sure to be very simple and basic when sharing the story of Adam and Eve. It also offers great scriptures that outline it as well. The pamphlets are fantastic too and I think the Plan of Salvation one would be great to give to your friend. I'm sure the missionaries will give you one. Maybe consider giving it to her with a few of the Plan of Salvation scriptures out of the BofM written in like 2 Nephi ch 2 with the invitation to meet with the missionaries again. Simply say something along the lines of "the first time we talked with the missionaries they basically outlined where our church came from. They'd love to share with you some of the basic restored truths of the church that are outlined in this pamphlet as well." Basically let her know that there is much more that the missionaries share with people and their whole purpose is to be spiritual guides for people in helping them study and learn more. Continue in prayer as you study Preach My Gospel. I'd also turn to chapter 11 on Helping others make and Keep Commitments. Pretty much everything that applies to missionaries applies to members as well :) Every member a missionary! Haha it's funny that you mention that about getting old because I'm starting to become an old man over here myself! We saw someone moving in a bunch of furniture by themselves and we offered to help him out. It was a lot of large heavy things that he had left and just Elder Lee and I and him. Up to this point in my life I don't think I've ever had my back be sore haha. I slept with a heat pad on it that night and felt completely fine the next day but I've gotta start being more careful as I get old and grey. I have a few white hairs coming in and I feel like my hair is thinning haha. I'm not quite sure if I'm just imagining it because my hair has never been this short before but I hope yall still love me if I come home bald :P haha I'm glad Dad's getting involved with his side of genealogical line. Genealogy is something that I've just been so drawn to lately. We'll be going to the temple next Thursday on the 10th so we're getting really excited for that new experience! Things are just going really well overall here. I'm getting so excited for conference. Every year Conference is just so amazing. Sister Krieser was telling me that her son Seth put it in a funny/ completely accurate way. Conference is like the super bowl for missionaries haha. It's true. It's been my favorite weekends of the year. I hope Uncle Junie and Aunt Peachy enjoy it :) Love yall keep up the amazing work! Elder Nair

23 September 2013

Hey yall! So good to hear from ya. Sorry that you're not feeling so well...Elder Lee has been sick as well. It's just that time of the year where things start going around. I learned a little trick that may or may not work but it's been working so far to help me not get whatever it is that Elder Lee has. It's simply that whenever someone in your vicinity (doesn't matter where at just in the surrounding area) coughs or sneezes, just hold your breath for a few seconds. The germs die in a matter of brief seconds so I guess it helps you to not catch colds from that. It's secondhand info from a pediatric doctor so it may or may not be true, but I figure it couldn't hurt. Definitely something I've already gotten into the habit of doing and will probably do for the rest of my life haha. Matt was baptized and confirmed this past weekend :) It was great. Things went so smoothly for that. We are for sure, for sure going to the temple now. I'm so excited about that! We'll figure out when exactly we go soon. I love the temple! It's been a very crazy month with all the success we've been having but it has ultimately all worked out great. The craziest times in life are the best times in life. Brandon is doing well, he's decided to get married! We're excited for him and looking forward to helping him work out all the details. He's working on living the Word of Wisdom still so we're pushing his baptism back to the 12th of October. He's going through a lot right now with his family but his dedication to the gospel will bless him so much. I'm excited to see how the gospel will continue to bless him. Keep it up with the missionary work back on the home-front. I'm excited for yalls success and perseverance to share the gospel. I know how many great and eternal blessings it will bring you. Zone Conference was fun. It's interesting to see some of the signs of becoming an older missionary....I can basically quote all of President Holm's little "catch-phrases" and his favorite topics of discussion haha. It's kind of funny. I'm just glad I still have so much time left out here. It's such rewarding work. That sounds like fun to have some of the family together for conference. I hope Aunt Peachy really enjoys it. Last conference we invited a member to invite one of her friends that lived in Alabama to watch conference. That was his first experience with the church. He really felt the Spirit, loved it, started meeting with the missionaries and was baptized 3 weeks later. So I definitely have a strong testimony of the power of general conference. I hope things keep going great for yall. Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement you give me! I appreciate it so much from the bottom of my heart. Knowing that yall are there to love and support me makes this so much better. I couldn't imagine doing this without yall. Love ya

Monday, September 16, 2013

16 September 2013

Hello from South Carolina! That sounds like a pretty cool meeting. I like when other religions can at least accept each other and get along. It's always a shame when you see people from another faith with so much anti-Mormon stuff instilled in their hearts. Our core doctrines are all pretty much the same but people get so anti'd that they think we worship Satan or something. It's a pretty weird part of being in the South but as we break down those barriers and keep sending missionaries out into the field, the stereotypes will be broken down little by little. It's cool though seeing that most people realize that the stereotypes aren't true. It depends on which area you serve in. On that note, I'm still here in Spartanburg with Elder Lee. Things are going great. We've been together for about 8 weeks now. It's a blast. There's so much success continuing to go on. We're working with this golden investigator Brandon who's really intent on changing his life. He came to church for the first time yesterday and loved it. His four year old niece that he babysits loves it too. She's so adorable haha. Babies and little kids are awesome. This work is still moving forward with great speed. This weekend Matt, the husband in a part member family is getting baptized. Brandon is on date to be baptized next weekend. He has some things to overcome but he's going to do it. He's being really strong and progressing greatly. The ward still seems pretty excited here. We're helping this awesome member family that just moved in a few months ago. The Leggitts. He served a mission in Canada. They're a great missionary-minded young couple and even brought a friend to church last week. He's going to a medical school in this area which is awesome because there's a lot of people that come from different parts of the country attending there and since most other churches aren't worldwide, a lot of them are looking for a church to go to. There's a good little group of Mormons going up there so it's quite exciting for the work. I'll for sure let you know about the temple trip. I'm so excited to go soon. We'll probably go the last week of the month. We have zone conference coming up this week so we get to travel to Greenville for that. Zone Conferences always pumps me up. Being a missionary is sweet. It's tough at times but I've never done anything in my life that has been so rewarding. I'm so happy to be out here. Love yall, Elder Nair

9 September 2013

I'm so glad to hear all is going well with your friends :) I love that yall are speaking up and having the courage to continue to take steps to help your friends along in the gospel. It's amazing the sweet miracles that God provides when we simply have a desire to serve him. I love that every single word in the Book of Mormon is so inspired. I love how universal the church is too. It makes me so happy seeing people of all races and backgrounds reading the Book of Mormon in their respective languages. We met this wonderful member from Laos the other day who hasn't been to church in awhile. After talking with her she made a resolve to ask for Sundays off. She loves church and the Book of Mormon and has a copy in Laotian that she reads from everyday. She's just been having to work a lot. She made us some really good sticky rice :) It was so tasty! I'm excited for her to return to activity. I'm sure she'll love talking to the Sister Nguyen in their native tongues! Things are continuing to go great out here. We're still on track to hit our zone goal this month :D I've heard amazing things about the new temple experience so I'm incredibly excited to go. I venture that we will attend later the last week of this month. I love the temple :) It's amazing how the time flies out here. Spartanburg has been quite a blast to serve in. The ward here is great and continuing to grow. We're helping some members get excited about missionary work and building solid relationships with them. They're very excited about the sisters coming in. They arrived last Wednesday. They'll be covering the south side of the area which is really convenient because we don't get down there very much due to our limited miles. There are some great families in Woodruff (a city about 20 miles south of our apartment) that I'm excited for the sisters to start working with. The work is really hastening. We're looking forward to finding and preparing people for October and helping the people we have that are currently on date for September still. I love this work! There's just an amazing Spirit in missionary work that you just can't get anywhere else. I hope yall continue to feel the excitement as you keep finding wonderful people to bring into the gospel. And continue to have fun with it! If you're not having fun in missionary work you gotta change something haha. It's awesome! Thanks for all that yall do I love yall with all my heart, -Elder Nair

Monday, September 2, 2013

2 September 2013

Hey! That's so awesome to hear about your missionary experience! I'm really excited about it so I'll talk about that first. As far as following up with them, I would suggest first asking God for direction in what to do and secondly, share something interesting that you read or learned about in the Book of Mormon when they ask you how your weekend was. Now that they know a little bit more about the church, you can let them know something that you learned from Sunday that helped or strengthened you that week and what the Book of Mormon had to say about it. Bringing it up like that can hopefully spur some further discussion on the matter. Just continue to remain their friends and seek the Lord's will in your decisions with them. It's so great to hear that the work is going great back home and out here as well. This weekend was really excited. I'm so happy for the excitement that is growing with this ward about missionary work. Rozay and Ques (Quay's younger brother) were baptized this past Saturday and confirmed yesterday. I'm so happy to see how the gospel will continue to change their lives and give them much needed direction in life. I hope to see both of those young men serve missions. Donovan, the cousin of some less-active members, was baptized after church yesterday. He's really involved in marching band so his weekdays and weekends are completely booked except for Sunday, so we had a wonderful Sunday baptism. He'll be confirmed next week. We're having a lot of success with less-active members as well. It was excited to have two people who hadn't been to church in years come back and feel the joy of a very powerful testimony meeting. We hope to continue to help them see how the gospel will bless them and help them have peace amidst lifes greatest challenges. I love this gospel. We met some fantastic people last night. AND I have a miracle to share with yall too. I'll start with the people we met last night. It was about 7 o'clock Sunday evening and we had just tried to contact a less-active in this apartment complex. It didn't look like anyone was home so we started to drive out of the complex. Both Elder Lee and I felt pretty impressed to go back and knock a few doors before heading to the next person on our plans so we did so. There were lots of different buildings in the complex but ultimately we decided to start with building J. after 3 doors of noone answering and 1 door of someone who was busy and told us to come back later, we met this awesome guy named Keenan. Keenan just moved in a week ago and he's playing basketball for a local college. He said he used to attend a baptist church up in Charleston but hasn't found a church to attend here. While we were learning more about him his roommate Riley comes in. He's also playing basketball for the same college. He however comes from a Methodist background. They both have been childhood friends but have had a lot of questions about religion like, "why are there so many different churches when there's only one God?". We explained how God has worked with his children in the past through prophets and how Christ church was established and then there was a falling away and everything was just clicking with them. Riley even said, "in my history class we were learning how there just used to be one Christian church (the Catholics) awhile after Christ died. How'd that get started up?". When we explained the apostasy they understood it completely and started saying that there should be another prophet on the Earth, like how God did it in the past. Perfect segway into the Restoration :) They felt the Spirit as they listened intently to the First Vision and accepted the invitation to act on the promptings that they felt and first pray and confirm the witness that they felt and then act on it and prepare for baptism. It's amazing to see how the Spirit supports our boldness as missionaries. In an hour a heart was changed to decide to take the first steps into the celestial kingdom. Nothing but the truth could lead people to desire to do this in such a short time. I love it :) Miracle 2: Brandon, one of our investigators that we met last week, is a self-defined "truthseeker". He wants the truth, nothing but the truth and has recognized all throughout his life the different flaws in many of the religions today. He said it makes no sense that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are literally one being. They just had to be seperate. We've taught him the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation this past week and he really has felt the Spirit as we've taught him and even accepted to prepare for baptism on the 21st. He was out of town this weekend but yesterday we decided that we needed to reschedule our appointment that we have tonight with him to a later time. After we texted him this is the text message that he sent back to us. "yes. its funny u called. I just got done reading THE RESTORATION. And i was praying for somthing like a sight to know this ministry was true and after I said amen i began to read and then you called. that must mean the things I have read to be true." God is literally a God of miracles. We can choose to take miracles and brush them off as coincidences or we can take time to see the hand of God in our lives. It's amazing getting to do this work and experiences these blessings 24/7. I love being a missionary with all my heart. I'm so grateful for the constant support of yall and for everything that yall do to help me be out here. Yall are the best :D Love, Elder Nair