Say “Hello” to Elder Goulding! My super great new companion!
Elder Goulding is “right in the middle” of his mission (as am I), and in many ways we are quite different. But he is wise and thinks deeply and he knows the scriptures well. He is a great teacher and loves having fun, and I’m very excited for this transfer.
We’ve opened a new chapter in our missionary teaching. We carry a card around with us titled “Evaluate your Teaching”. After each teaching opportunity, we are instructed to go through the questions on the card and evaluate how well we did and how we can improve. One question has stuck with me: “Did you teach from the scriptures?”
Thus far as a missionary, I’ve been in the habit of “using the scriptures in my teaching” rather than “teaching from the scriptures”. As I’ve reflected upon that scripture I’ve mad a plan to create a scriptural outline that teaches the doctrines and principles taught in the missionary lessons plainly and in a logical progression. On a recent exchange into Sissonville, WV with Elder Varner, I had my first experience actually implementing this concept, and it was phenomenal. Both of us agreed that the lessons we taught together that day (having only practiced them once together) were the best lessons we had taught to that point on our missions. I determined to fully implement the idea, and that is what Elder Goulding and I have been working on for our first 4 days together. Today we’ll be finishing the outline for Lesson 3: “the Plan of Salvation”, and will teach it at least twice tonight. I’m very excited to see what this does for us and for those we teach.
We have been experiencing some marvelous miracles as we’ve been working with the members and connecting with their friends and families. One of the young women in our ward (we’ll call her L) brought a friend (K) to church 2 Sundays ago, after we sat down with the family and helped them to think of people with whom they could share the Gospel. This week we went to dinner with L’s family and her friend K, and then we sat down in the living room and taught her the lesson of the Restoration. It was incredible. She had so many questions, and we could see her mind turning and processing everything we shared. We finally had to stop and just simply teach her an overview of what the Book of Mormon was, and invite her to read the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The next day she texted us and told us that she had read through it twice already and had the same chills both times! This is only the beginning of her story, and we’ve already had incredible follow-up discussions with her.
Magnificent things are happening as the result of the prayers and efforts of members and missionaries on both sides of the veil. This is truly the Lord’s work. I am humbled to be a part of it. Historic things are happening and I keep hearing about them. This is a marvelous time to be alive. I pray that you each of you feel that as I do.
Thank you for your prayers and your support. Thank you for everything you are doing. Please continue to pray for the investigators and members here in Winfield, WV. They need it.
I love you, and think of you when I pray. I feel the Lord’s love for my friends and my family when I pray for you. Don’t ever think you are forgotten. You aren’t.
All my love,