Monday, May 11, 2015

6 months

Yesterday was great getting to talk to the family. S/O to Auti for sending the snap to Alyssa for me to see. ya look good (; So now I'll tell you about this last week.
Tuesday night we had a lesson, I'm going to leave out name(s), but there was a question about what happens after death and what happens in the spirit world. This was only the second time that I have shed tears during a visit, the first was in the MTC. Strangely enough both times happened over the subject of the Plan of Salvation. In the MTC the investigator wanted to know what was going to happen to her grandmother who had just past away. I bore my testimony that I knew what was going to happen to her grandma because I knew what happened to my grandma, Grandma P. It's such a powerful and comforting thing to know what happens to us and our loved ones after we die. I want you all to know that I know that God has a plan for us and that He knows each one of our individual circumstances and needs. Don't ever let Satan, the Great Deceiver, convince you otherwise.
The baptism, unfortunately, fell through. Ramona decided to go to Peoria, IL for Mother's Day weekend and decided not to tell anyone. On Thursday we were supposed to have a lesson with her and then have her interviewed by our zone leader. We waited for about a half hour for her to show up when we finally got a call from sister Glass telling us the story. Sister Glass is the one who always picks her up and brings her to the church for her lessons. 
I felt really let down. Probably one of the lowest moments of my whole experience in the mission field. That night I couldn't even work up the will to lay under the bench press and  pump out the day's frustrations like I do every night. "Why had this happened to me? After six months of nothing I thought maybe, maybe God would grant some kind of a miracle." But no dice.
Those were my initial thoughts, but after much pondering and prayer, I have now realized that it was my fault, not God's. I didn't help her understand the importance of baptism. It didn't mean enough to her to make the effort, even after over a month of preparation and progression towards it. I didn't help her enough. I failed God in bringing one of his daughters unto him, God did not fail me. 
And I think there is another principle to learn from this as well, and that is I can't force or make anyone do anything they do not choose to do. My purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end". Invite is an important word, one I think I have overlooked so far in my mission. I wanted to make people have faith, repent, and be baptized. But all I can do is "invite" and "help" them in these steps. It's going to take time, but I know there's a lot of improvement I need to make in order to be someone who can have the mindset of "inviting" rather than forcing.
President Fenn, in a zone training meeting on Friday, talked to us about how we can get through adversity, which was exactly what I needed to hear. He shared with us this:
"Life was not intended to be easy. In the pre-mortal life God said 'And we will prove them now herewith to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them' (Abraham 3:25) We are here to prove ourselves to God, and the way we prove ourselves is by passing through adversity so it can strengthen us. '...peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well. God shall exalt thee on high;...' (D&C 121:7-8) After tribulations come blessings (D&C 38:4; 101) and after trials come miracles (Ether 12:6-27)."
The most important principle, I think, of the gospel is "Endure to the End". In D&C 14:7 we are promised Eternal Life if we "endure it well" like it says in section 121 verse 8. To go along with that is something that Coach Holland taught me my senior year of lacrosse. "Balls to the wall, 4th quarter". He taught us to endure throughout the whole game. I'm trying to keep the same mindset for life.
We got our transfer calls and looks like I'm staying here in Galesburg with elder Riggins.  They are closing down the other area in the ward so it will just be me and him. Yep definitely will be needing prayers if it's just the two of us here. It will be a good opportunity to take over their area so we can have more people to visit. Hopefully some hidden treasures will be found there.
That's it for this week, and just in case you wanted to know I wear a size 9 in the new Kobe IX's.(:

Elder G. Franklin Scherer
Galesburg, Illinois

1319 Butterfield Road Suite 522
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Friday, May 8, 2015

Galesburg 5.4.15

Dear Family and Friends ,

This was probably one of the best weeks of my mission! I know it's not about numbers, but this week I finally had numbers to report! I actually felt like I was doing something and we've stayed busy.
So Ramona, the lady who is getting baptized on Saturday, got up yesterday in fast and testimony meeting and bore her testimony! She said she was so grateful that God showed her this church. She also said she was grateful for the "brother elders" who have been teaching her. It was so great (:
We had three investigators come to church yesterday. It was awesome. Our Sunday school lesson was chapter 16 in the gospel principles manual, about the primitive church in Christ's day and how it was the same as it is now. If you haven't read that chapter I would recommend looking at it, and chapter 17 as well. Anyways, Jo had a couple questions about the apostasy so we helped her understand a little but more about that. It's an important doctrine to learn and understand. If there wasn't an apostasy, there would be no need for a restoration. BUT there was an apostasy, God took his priesthood away from the iniquitous world and it has been RESTORED through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
I finished the book of mormon in a week. Last Sunday to yesterday. The Monmouth Elders that we share a ward with, Elder Heiner and Elder Harrison, had two baptisms this week. Both little kids who were 9 years old. The second one, Angelo, got baptized on Saturday and his dad was speaking just before the ordinance about baptism. My favorite line that I've ever heard in church, "You finna be dipped". I was trying so hard not to laugh. Raymond, Angelo's dad, is the funniest guy ever. I love black people!
In Ezekiel chapter 37:1-14 it totally talks about a zombie army! Check it out. There's some weird stuff in the Old Testament.
Til next week, Peace.

Elder Garrett F. Scherer Guardsman🏾
Galesburg, Illinois