Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

It is so great to read all your emails, and see how much fun everyone has had.
This week has been a little slow.  Everyone had the Holidays on their mind, so we did not have too much going on.
We did meet with Heather again, though it was Wednesday instead of Monday, and we are so excited for her.  We taught her about the Gospel (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, Enduring to the End) and had a great discussion with the branch president there.  This week we are going to start teaching about the commandment.
We also met with a less-active who is coming back to church.  His name is Brother French.  He once was in the branch presidency (before they had a building and they met in a farm house) but had stopped coming.  He has come to church 3 or 4 times since we been seeing him (first time in like 17 years).  We asked why and he said it was all timing.  He took time off to get things in order, and just never came back.  But he realized the blessings he was missing, and is coming back.  It is so exciting!  He does not know almost anyone in the branch, because they are all new people to him; so we hope the branch can help.
Sunday, we had about 16 people at church.  A family of 5 (3 included in the 16 people) are moving out this week.  They are moving to Utah.  So are numbers are dropping, and people are getting a little nervous about it.  Brother Sanders was telling us how they use to have 120 active people before they boundaries changed, and people moved out.  We seem to need a big push on reactivation, and missionary work.  But it is a slow work with only a couple of families and a few single people.  Elder Reidleback, a senior missionary at the mission office comes to our branch with his wife, and was just assigned to be the 2nd consular in the branch presidency; so maybe he will push a little more missionary work.
It is exciting times.  I try to think about the beginnings of the church and how they grew so rapidly.  I realized it was because they were all converts and were excited to share this glad message.  Sometimes us born into the church, or convert of many years, loose that urgency.  That is why Preach My Gospel tells us to teach ALL the message of the restoration.  It is a means to invite the spirit to reconfirm truths we already have.
I love this service.  I have a new look at goals, and I'm excited to tell you more next week on how this week turns out. 
  • I wish to extend a challenge: be more involved with the missionaries and their investigators (even a little bit).  Here are some ideas:  Invite missionaries into your homes for family home evenings and invite them to share a missionary lesson or how to be better member missionaries (don't invite them to a play a game though, they got work to do!).
  • Tell them what nights your available to have investigators over at your house, or when you can go out with them. 
  • Don't wait to be asked to help 'fellowship'.  Invite them to do things with you; ask them for their phone number; talk with them.  Keep missionaires informed on missionaity experiences you are having with friends and family.
Have a good week everyone.  I love you and wish you all well!
Love, Elder Shurtz