Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Meeting with D. Todd Christofferson of the Twelve

This week truly was amazing! Elder Degn and I have been working hard and I can already see the beginning of the fruit of our labors. We found 2 more investigators this last week and taught more lessons then we have all transfer. April and Maurice are still out of town. They had a death in the family and the funeral was in the Philipines so we still haven't met with them yet but they still want to meet with us and I think the Lord is just preparing them a little longer. 
This Wednesday I was on an exchange with my District leader, meaning he was my companion for the day and we worked in my area, and it was amazing! We had great studies in the morning both personal and companion and we did service in the community and we stopped by a potential investigator and that is where the miracle happened. We knocked on this door expecting Anna (the potential investigator) and Holly answered instead and invited us in right away. (We had never met her and didn't know her name at first.) She was on the phone at first but as soon as she got off the phone and we started talking to her she told us about how crazy her life was. Her daughter Anna had a baby a few weeks ago out of wed lock and her boyfriend took off and she was taking some drugs and breastfeeding the baby so that the baby was getting doped up and then she told us about the struggles she has had with her husband and abuse and possible divorce and how Christ has helped her. She has such a strong testimony of Christ! Elder Christensen (my district leader) and I both thought of how much the restored gospel will bless her life. So we talked about how with Christ we can hope for a better world if we have faith in Him. We then were going to share a scripture with her and she went to get her bible because she wanted to follow along. As she left the room she called out to her daughter Anna and said "Hey Anna come down here and listen to these Jehovah Witnesses that you invited back over." Elder Christensen then corrected her and said Mormon and she said "These Mormon boys." When she came back into the room she asked why we didn't want to be affiliated with the Jehovah witnesses and He replied that " It's not that we don't want to associate with them but that we have some differing beliefs" and I added "And we want to be completely honest with you." She then asked if we believed in the trinity and we said no the Godhead they are 3 separate beings and one in purpose.  She had a hard time with that and we said that "we could go and point it out in the scriptures but we won't right now" she then asked "Who's Jesus to you then?" I don't know why but people here in Texas think that we either don't believe in Jesus Christ or that we believe in a different Jesus and I think its so ridiculous but I answered, "He is my Savior who died for me on the cross, who loves me so much and I don't know why." She then dug deeper and asked, "Why did He die for you?" I answered "Because He was the only one who could because He was perfect and loved me so much. " She asked 2 more questions about my testimony of Jesus Christ and then moved onto my companion. After this we then talked about the restoration  and the Book of Mormon. She was taking notes as we spoke. That was a first for me. She had a difficult time accepting that the priesthood was conferred by the laying on of hands. We eventually invited them to read the Book of Mormon and pray to ask if it was true and promised them that it was and that they could know too. Holly committed to pray about it but she didn't say she would read it.  Her daughter said that she would read and pray. They said we could come back and talk more but that it will have to be around the 18th because they are going out of town. We then prayed and left and later that day we scheduled two appointments with potential investigators. It was amazing 
Then this last Saturday we had the oppertunity to go to a meeting down in Dallas where Elder D. Tood Christofferson spoke to all 249 of the Texas Dallas Missionaries. It was amazing. The chapel was filled with missionaries! I loved it! Of course we saw some old companions which I loved as always. As we were waiting for him to arrive the spirit was amazing! He came with 5 members of the seventy and they all spoke. It was like a Texas Dallas General Conference! When he walked in we all stood and then we each were invited to come up and introduce ourselves to him and shake his hand. It was amazing! As I went up and introduced myself and shook his hand I looked into his smiling face and felt so happy and loved. As he spoke to us I took as many notes as possible. He spoke on how we hold an apostalic calling. He explained that we were doing exactly what the Twelve Apostles would do but they can't take it to the world by themselves so they call the seventy and then they still can't do it so they call the missionaries. It was amzing. We are doing the work of the Lord and we are to do it with power and athority. He also said I don't care what others think of you. What others think doesn't matter because this is the true Restored Gospel and our Saviors work. That was good to hear. No matter what other people think I can at least know that the Twelve are greatful for what we do here in Dallas. It was an amazing meeting. At the end he invited us to ask any questions we might have. One of the elders I came out with asked how we can loose ourselves in the work. His answer was by thinking more of others then ourselves, thinking of those we serve more. One Elder asked how do we not run faster then we were able? He turned to the scripture in Mosiah 4: 27 and said "Do you know what the Lord is asking here?  He is asking for diligence." He told us that diligence is doing what you can and that our ability to be diligent will increase over time as we are more capable to serve. It was an amazing meeting and I took many more notes. Another question that was asked was "How can we more fully understand and access the atonement?" I loved His answer. He spoke of how we often think of repenting as changing and we read the bible dictionary on repentance and then he said it's turning your whole person, character and life to God. It's what we are becoming. Repentance is a learning process to be like Christ. It happens with effort, practice and changing but it doesn't happen without help, without Grace. He also said that as we repent our ability to avoid sin increases. I was amazed. He was so spiritual and yet funny. He had such a great sense of humor that you laughed but it didn't detract from the spirit ever. I loved having this opportunity. I'm so glad that he was here to do some training with the stake leaders and the bishops and that he asked President Durrant if we would like to meet with him also.  
Well I love y'all! I am excited to be able to skype with you this comming Sunday after 4 sometime my time. I love y'all! 
Your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

Notes by The Mommy - So this was actually last Monday's, May 6th, email.  I am getting slower at editing and posting these every week!  I'm really going to get better at this!  It was so much easier for me when he sent his emails on Saturday!  At any rate, we had a WONDERFUL talk on Sunday.  He looks great and sounds great and is doing a great work.  He's just an amazing young man like that!  We met Elder Degn briefly and it sounds like they get along great.  He didn't actually send a group email for this week, so I'm now caught up and will stay this way! :)

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