Again another rainy week has slipped by in Stanley, ID. The weather is turning colder. Yesterday it was a crisp 44 degrees most of the day! Not your typical Minnesota August weather.
Well this week it seemed that we got tossed into a huge variety of odd opportunities but in every case we were able to help someone increase their faith in Jesus Christ or learn a little bit more about the gospel. On Thursday, we went into town to find out that an outdoor community country concert and dance was going on! We recognized a few people standing on the sides so we decided to take an adventure and talk to them! Almost instantly we had people coming up to us and asking us questions about our missions or about certain doctrines in the scriptures. I guess in our white shirt and ties we stuck out pretty well among the crowd :) Although we weren't in a normal teaching setting when talking to these folks about the gospel I still felt the Holy Spirit testifying of what we were saying as true. We weren't in the best environment and got offered beer, whiskey and vodka a couple of times, yet we were protected as we focused on helping people in their faith. As I thought about this experience the rest of the week my mind was brought to the Savior and His ministry. In Mark 2:16-17 we see just how Christ went about his work. "16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Now, I'm not saying everyone there was a sinner or anything like that, but we were able to help people in a place where people wouldn't expect missionaries to be.
On Sunday, we attended one of the other services at the chapel, the multi-denominational service. When people saw us they were definitely surprised but didn't say a bad word. All they did was welcome us to the service and commend us for our work! Visiting was a Lutheran Pastor from Hailey, ID, just over the mountain. His message was about the "Body of Christ" and the grace by which we were saved. It was a wonderful sermon. However, through the whole thing I felt as if something were missing. As Elder Prosch and I discussed afterward what was missing we determined the Authority of the Priesthood wasn't there. The Pastor shared a great message and he didn't say anything against the doctrine of the Bible, but we could feel the lack of Priesthood Authority from God there. We are so very blessed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to have the fullness of the gospel and Priesthood Authority restored from Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. I have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.
Shout out to the Clegg family from Jerome and all their generosity allowing us to eat and be at Red Fish Resort so much! As it was another rainy week, we spent some time inside of the Clegg's family cabin watching movies with Sarah McInroy and others. Don't worry they were all good movies like "The Restoration", "Finding Faith in Christ" and "The Best Two Years". Sarah is quite determined to be baptized into the church and married/sealed in the temple for all time and eternity :) She is waiting to share this with her family in Portland, Oregon and will be baptized in her ward up there.
I got some fantastic news from Mountain Home today! Jennifer Sizemore has received a witness that the Book of Mormon is true. She will be baptized on the Aug 30th! Sadly I won't be able to attend the baptismal service, but I would ride my bike the whole way if allowed! She really is a special daughter of God :) If there is anything I've learned in the past month, it is that anyone can change. Anyone can partake the gospel of Jesus Christ and be forgiven of their sins through repentance! That is exactly what repentance is, Change. Our Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to change ourselves and accept His truth. Through His son, Jesus Christ we are able to be forgiven of our sins and return to God. This is true and to quote the Prophet Joseph Smith about the First Vision, "I knew it, and I knew God knew it."
Sincerely your friend,
-Elder Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org)