Come Follow Me

Come Follow Me
"And he saith unto them, "Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 4:19) As the New Year begins, we, the members of the Willow Wood Ward, invite you to Come and Follow Him!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Elder Justin Thiel

This week was pretty good. Me and my companion did a lot of tracting but we did find reasonable success while doing it. This week we got a lot of new investigators. One of them is named Johnny Goodman. He is working to be a minister at his church. He was a refferal that we got last Monday. He wanted a free bible from us, but he also agreed to hear the message that we share. It was a good experience, the first lesson went over well. We went back the second time and that was an interesting time.. so we found out that he is an Aristotle ( its kind of like a penicostal). We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he started bringing up some scriptures in the bible. One of them was in Timothy. It was Paul talking to Timothy about some slaves and following their master but putting the Lord first. the way that he used this was that we can follow any "master" or church as he put it, as long as they follow God. This guy took it completely out of context.. he also told me that God was a spirit and that God and Jesus Christ are the same person etc.. I've heard it all before. That really bugs me when they do that. The guy thought that he had won and baffled me but I wasn't going to have it. I tend to be really bold and blunt with people and I tend to sometimes be overbearing because I can't stand false doctrine. I was about to attack the guy's logic using his bible but the spirit made me hesitate.. So I held my peace because I felt that the Lord was going to show me the way I needed to go but I had to wait for something. So then he went from scripture to scripture and then asked me if I knew the 7 denominations of Christ's church that he set up. At that moment the spirit was just like he's all yours now. So I told him I didn't know of 7 denominations that Chirst set up. I told him I only know of one church that Christ set up. I then went to Eph 1:10 and some other scriptures about to apostasy. After that I testified boldly about Christ's one true church and how it has been restored and this guy was totally baffled. I testified of the Book of Mormon and its importance. I used the analogy of a point and how with one point you can't draw any line through it any way you want and I told him that this was the bible and that's why there are so many churches. Then I showed him what happens if you draw a second point. I showed him that you can only draw one line through it. I then told him that this is why the Book of Mormon is so important and one of the reasons that God brought it forth. He then said that he would really read it and pray to know if these things are true. He also wants us to go to his church with him this Saturday. I have high hopes for this guy and I feel that this guy is going to be a catalyst for something that's supposed to happen in this area. We had some other awesome experiences like this one this week.

As district leader I have to conduct district meetings on Tuesdays and decide who is going to teach us during them and what they have to teach on. I have to collect everyone's numbers in my district for the week to report in to the zone leaders. I have to come up with goals for my district as well as give help to anyone in my district who may need it. I also have to be an example to everyone in my district and my area is supposed to be a example to everyone in my district. In all honesty being a district leader isn't very hard at all. 

So that was a little bit of my week. There is so much that happened this week that I could fill a book with things to say. One thing I will talk about though is something I found while in time this week. I read a talk called out of weakness he will become strong or something like that. The talk is about Joseph Smith. While I was reading this it really just hit home. The talk describes some of the weaknesses that Joseph had, like his limited education and art of speech, and how that only through God he was able to overcome them. The talk then goes through some scriptures like Ether 12:26 I think that talks about why we have weaknesses. It then talks about how we have weaknesses so that we can understand that we need God but once we know this, if we turn to God with full purpose of heart then with the Lord make those weaknesses strengths. I just felt the spirit just whisper to me and chastise me in the most loving way. Thoughts came into my head. They said you need to stop relying on yourself. Your weakness in your knowledge. If you want the success that you desire you need to solely rely on Me. I will tell you what to say and speak, and then will you have the spirit of power. It went something like that. I realized that my confidence in my understanding of what I teach has lead me to pride. There is still so much that I need to work on. The Lord humbled me and I plan on keeping it that way. I'm going to start leaning on Him more as I teach as well as when I contact people. The second that you realize that you are weak and on your own, you can't do it. Then will the Lord make you strong and you shall accomplish it. I have a sure testimony of this now. I would invite all of  you to take some time and read this article on your own. It's on the picture of it has Joseph Smith in like a patriot suit, in the church history section.

I hope that you all have a great week and I love all of you!
Elder Thiel                  

We had an interesting week this week. We didn't get as much done as we could have because of zone conference on Thursday as well as interviews with the president on Friday. We have quite the drive to get there. It takes us about an hour one way and then zone conference was 3 and a half hours long so that day was basically used up with all that. The same with Friday.
We did go to a Bible study with Johnny at his Aristotle church.. that was interesting. The pastor there is a woman and the spirit wasn't there at all. We also had a "prophet" in our mists while we where there. People were given the opportunity to bear testimony before the meeting started so I took that opportunity and I bore testimony of the Savior. They asked us if we wanted to teach, but since it was the first time there we said that we just wanted to observe this time. The pastor wasn't very prepared so they just took us to a random chapter in Isaiah. They asked us to come back and next time we can teach so we are going to take that chance. I think that Johnny felt the difference in when we teach and when his pastor teaches because he wants to come hear my companion teach in church in 2 weeks so we have high hopes for that.
This week we are going to try and get the ward here more involved in the work. We are going to try and get the bishop to come out teaching with us and other ward members. For the work to move forward here, the members are going to have to get more involved so we're are trying our best to give them opportunities where they can.
Me and my companion are going to work harder this week. We both have the feeling that there is more that we could be doing here then we are currently doing. I'm praying and fasting to know what and how to do it. We have found more people to teach then ever before but the biggest struggle is to get them to church. If they don't come to church, then they cant be baptized and if they don't come to church, baptizing them won't mean anything. The members are very hesitant to give rides here and it doesn't help that most people in this area don't have transportation. It's a puzzle that we are trying to solve.
That's really cool to hear about Johnny! You should give them my email and give me theirs so we can keep in touch while we're in the mission field. He leaves really soon. They didn't give him much time to prepare, haha. I can't wait to hear where Jordan is going. You need to get me his email. I want to talk to him before he leaves so as soon as possible please.
As for that scripture, it is truth. Many people like the ones you talked to are trapped in a world where there is no hope, joy, purpose, or direction, their hearts fail them. That's because in the world, those things don't exist. Those things only come from one place and often the answer is right in front of them but they just cant see it. Satan works this way to bring down many. The only thing that can help them is Jesus Christ. Many people don't think that this is the solution they're looking for, in fact it is the last thing they think would help sometimes, but once they let it in the solution becomes clear. Using the atonement of Jesus Christ can do more then just heal us of our sins it can also heal us from ourselves. Living and following the gospel of Jesus Christ can change behavior faster and better then the study of behavior itself can. It is said in the scriptures by Jesus Christ "come all of you that labour and are heavy laden, and i will give you rest" (Matt 11: 28-30). Those who want to be healed need only seek it, but the key is desire. I hope that could be of any help. I wish I had more time to speak on the matter for I have personal experience with it, but this I can bear short testimony of: I know that if any wish to be healed from these afflictions, you must come unto Christ and seek it. You can seek medicine but that only nulls the pain and doesn't fix the problem causing it. If you turn to Him who is mighty to save, you will be healed of anything. I know that through utilizing the power of His atonement, that our burdens and sorrows will become light. His atonement has real power that we don't fully comprehend. If we live what he taught and search the scriptures, we will find where the true happiness, purpose, joy and peace lies. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I hope that you all have a great week! I love all of you love,
Elder Thiel

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