This past week has been amazing!
On Tuesday a member of the Spanish branch was cutting a tree down in preparation for putting up his fence. We were helping him out but because of how dangerous clearing trees is. We were at a very safe distance as he was cutting it down and were going to help move it after it was on the ground. The tree fell and when it hit the ground it then came back and struck his thigh. We ran over to help him and he asked for a blessing. We then laid our hands on his head and gave him a priesthood blessing. He went to the hospital and they did x-rays and not a bone in his leg was broken. It was bruised very badly of course but it is a miracle that his femur isn't broken. We are so blessed that the power and authority of the priesthood have been restored to the earth. The same power that Christ healed with is available for us through the priesthood. I've been so blessed to have that power always available to me. Thanks Daddy for always having and being worthy of the priesthood. I've taken that for granted my whole life.
This week we have met with D and have gotten to know his brother J better. We really hope to start teaching him and his girlfriend S soon. They are great! The gospel would help them so much and it would help D and his mother if all the people living in their house were all trying to live the same standards. I'm excited to see the Spirit come into their lives more.
We had a miracle happen a week from last Sunday. A man named Antonio came to the Spanish branch with a Spanish investigator. He doesn't speak any Spanish though and the English he does know is very broken. He speaks Burmese, which is a very interesting language. It's letters look like swoops and swirls. When we was at the Spanish branch the Spanish missionaries found us and asked us to teach him for one of the classes. We talked in very basic English and shared the message of the Restoration as best we could. We then ordered a Burmese Book of Mormon for him and we are hopefully getting it this Wednesday! We went by his house last Saturday and invited him to the English ward and got him a ride and he came to church! I'm excited to continue sharing the gospel with him! And so our teaching will be very simple but I'm excited to help him learn!
We had an amazing 5th Sunday lesson! Our bishop shared an amazing lesson on member missionary work! He started off by saying what was always his first thought when he thinks of missionary work. He walked up to a brother of the ward and shook his hand and said, "Hey Matt would you like to come to church and get baptized and start paying tithing and go to the temple and make more covenants." That's his first thought when thinking of missionary work. He then explained that many people look at missionary work this way and that we really need to change how we think of missionary work. He then talked about how we may not have been good member missionaries before but that that can change. He taught with the story of Ammon, and reminded us that Ammon had not always been the best missionary. At one point of his life he had gone around with the sons of Mosiah and were destroying the church but then over time he became an incredible missionary. It's the same principle for us. He then talked about how the first thing Ammon did was serve. He started with serving and being a friend. He was there to preach the gospel but he didn't start off by asking them to be baptized. The bishop then said, "We need to serve others and develop a relationship with them." He then invited every single person in the room to go and make a friend. One friend and develop a relationship with them and that is where missionary work starts!
Elder Stufflebeam in answer to members questions about missionary work has been, "We don't convert people. That is the spirit's job. We are only supposed to help them feel the spirit and then invite them to do something. And that something could be really small like come over to my house and have dinner or for a FHE." It's so true.
It is such a blessing to serve as a missionary in the Texas Dallas Mission! I love it so much. There are challenges but it is so worth it. The amazing experiences and blessings just keep flowing! Today I got an unexpected one. It truly was a Tender Mercy for me. I received an email from a member of the church in the Philippines today! She said that she has been preparing to serve a mission and that she was looking online for missionary blogs and reading them to see what missions are like and more importantly to be uplifted and inspired as she read them. She bumped into mine apparently and thanked me for serving a mission and gave me some words of encouragement. It was an amazing experience for me! The Lord has amazing children all around the world who are preparing to serve him and who are living examples of how much the gospel blesses us. Thank you Mommy for all the hard work you do! Updating that blog is helping others too. I forgot all about it but it was a blessing to know that the experiences I have can also help others too.
Well I love y'all and I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Keep up the great things that are going on at home. I love y'all!
Elder Drew Bowen
Here are some pictures of Elder Bowen and Elder Stufflebeam.