November 25, 2014
"If I were a Sister, I'd be going home tomorrow." - Elder Garriss, November 21, 2014
Well, 18 months down. Holy cow. Times been just flying! Anyway, what great week!!
Jing got baptized!!! And then she came to church and was confirmed and given the Holy Ghost!!!! What a great blessing it has been to teach her and to have been able to baptize her. Thank you so much for your prayers for her. I know it made a huge difference for her! She has been feeling the Spirit so strong. President Choi even attended her baptism!!! It meant so much to her to have him there. He spoke at the end of her baptism and talked about how he could see her posterity in the temple, and being a strong influence to the Chinese people. She truly will be. She has such a strong testimony. President Choi asked her to speak at the next Member and Missionary Fireside! If I haven't explained those in the past, I will now. The Member and Missionary Fireside (M&M Fireside) is a fireside where Recent Converts, Investigators, Less Active Members, and Members from all over the mission attend to hear Recent Converts (usually those of the last 3 months) bear their testimonies of the gospel and share part of their conversion story. These have been growing over the past couple of months to the point that between 500-800 people attend each one. Its practically a Stake Conference!! Jing will be speaking at the one in December!! She is very excited! It will be so cool to hear her testify to that many people.
We have been struggling a bit this week outside of our great success with Jing. We have no investigators. We have been tracting and using our evenings to visit potentials but we have not found any new investigators yet. That being said, yesterday we had a conference with Elder Enrique R. Falabella (a member of the First Quorum of the 70). I am so happy to have had a conference from Elder Falabella yesterday! I learned so much and gained great revelation concerning our area and our situation.
Among the many things I learned from Elder Falabella yesterday, was to turn our Recent Converts into missionaries. This was something that stood out to me very much. Elder Falabella illustrated this in the story of Ammon and his Brethren from the Book of Mormon. They are most commonly remembered as the Missionaries that converted thousands, and they did. But it was not on their own. A careful study of chapters 17-26 will show that those thousands that were converted came from teaching families and helping those converts become missionaries themselves. Ammon begins his mission serving King Lamoni (Alma 17:25). He did not wait for King Lamoni to ask him to serve, nor did he ask if he could help and say "Well, call me if you need anything." Soon, Ammon teaches King Lamoni (Alma 18). He then converts his wife (Alma 19:9). Following the "Parents" are the "Children" or the servants and people of the house of Lamoni who were taught and converted but not by Ammon but by Lamoni himself (Alma 19:31). This same pattern is extended as Lamoni shares the gospel with his Father (Alma 20: 8-15) who is converted and in turn follows this same pattern above to convert his family and his people (Alma 22-23). And thus we see, "thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, yea,thousands were brought to believe in the traditions of the Nephites;" but not solely by the missionaries but through the efforts of those who have been converted.
As we learned of these things, I could see the progress of this area overflowing with investigators ready for baptism. I could see the testimonies of our converts growing and becoming powerful missionaries like King Lamoni - bearing testimony to their families and friends. We have 3 recent converts in this ward, 2 of which have a great desire to do missionary work and the third is in a situation to bring the rest of his family into the church. I know that if we start with these 3 and build up, we will have a great investigator pool and our baptisms will explode! We will see the success that Ammon and his brethren saw. My commitment is to study Preach My Gospel daily and to learn the doctrines in it better than ever before so that I may help these recent converts learn the doctrines of Preach My Gospel and do missionary work. I have been neglecting to read Preach My Gospel on a regular basis and repented (starting this morning) and will continue to study it. I am looking forward to seeing great success in this area!
Thank you so much for the support you have shown me. I love you so much! Have a great Thanksgiving!!
Elder Connor M. Garriss
Elder Connor M. Garriss
PS: For those of you concerned about the squirrel bite of last week (Mom and Dad) I have watched it closely. Don't worry, I'm fine! #EagleScout #FirstAidMeritBadge
With Jing before Baptism
President Choi attended!!