Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 17, 2015

Greetings Brothers and Sisters from frigidly cold Toledo Ohio.

 So it is cold right now and we aren't supposed to see anything above freezing until Sunday but it makes missionary work all the more interesting. There is no big news to report except transfer calls came in last evening. The result was that Elder Lee and I will be spending my last six weeks in Perrysburg East together. As I approach this final transfer my mind has been drawn repeatedly to the doctrine of enduring to the end, the concluding step of the Doctrine of Christ. 
 As I have thought about Enduring to the End there have been several things that have been drawn to my mind.
 1)The first is a missionary who was once my zone leader who I had great respect and admiration for early on in my mission, he was a fantastic Elder and missionary who had been dealt a very difficult hand over the course of his mission. He was  a hardworking obedient kind and dedicated servant of the Lord. Several months ago I was on exchanges with one of my zone leaders who had formerly been my companion and had lived in the same apartment as the above mentioned elder during his last two transfers. As I asked about this elder I was told he had really gone downhill during his final few months of missionary labor, he had become really trunkie didn't work very hard, and over all had just gone downhill. 
 2)The next is a less active member family we are trying to work with, I say trying because they are very much in denial that they are less active. They used to be incredibly strong members of the church, they had been to the temple and been sealed, he had served for many years on the high council and as the stake clerk, she had raised seven wonderful children (who are all now less active) and had been a pillar to the ward. Now however; she never comes because she has to work some Sundays and because of the long shifts she works she is "too tired" on those Sundays that she doesn't work. He is more active than her, but if there is snow on the ground, too dangerous, if it is below freezing it is too cold, if the wind is gusting, it is too risky, I haven't been here during the summer time but I am willing to bet that his vehicle has the same problem that Wally's (from the hit office cartoon strip Dilbert) car has, it can't start in direct sunlight. 
3)Another member we have the privilege of working with is Tom. Tom has served in many church positions over the years, but never something super visible like Bishopric, or stake level capacities or anything like that. Every week Tom gets up on Sunday two hours before church starts, so he can pick up the missionaries for their meeting that starts two hours before church. That is 45 minutes from his house, he even came when it was a level 3 storm warning and there were 5 inches of snow on the roads. He constantly strives to magnify his calling, and has not missed a day of church since I have been here. His children have all gone less active, and his wife though wonderful is not quite as committed as him, initially his family was very unhappy with his decision to join the church, because his father was a Methodist pastor. Yet he is unwavering in his dedication and faithful to the extreme. Tom is an interesting guy, and more than a little quirky, but someone who is committed to the kingdom. 
4)The story of Abinadi in the scriptures. He was rejected and then came back, he testified boldly with a power that was so great it caused his face to shine as Moses's did when he returned from conversing with the Lord on Mount Sinai. He was threatened with physical violence, mocking, and eventually a cruel death, but never wavered in carrying out his mission. In the machinations of Heaven he was not called to be one of great success and honor, to bring thousands into the church as did the Ammon and Aaron, he wasn't going to establish a great stake, or deliver many people from the bondage of Satan. His mission was the unappetizing  task of standing before the wicked and ensuring that when they were thrust down to hell their judgement was just, he was to do less saving and much more condemning; certainly not what the glorious and oft sang side of the work of salvation. Yet he continued without shirking and shrinking to his appointed hour until his work was finished. 

 These examples to me are very illuminating on the importance of enduring to the end. I often wonder if the less active parents in the above mentioned family began to become actively engaged in living the Gospel, rather than just checking off boxes, what difference could that make in the lives of their children, and eventually their grandchildren and for generations yet unborn, how could they change the destiny of hundreds if they simply were willing to sacrifice now? I don't know if it would make a difference but I do know it wouldn't hurt. Then there is the bright enthusiastic Elder that started the journey with so much promise but just when the finish line was within sight felt that he had earned a rest, and the time that could have been his greatest triumph, when he could have gone out with a bang, instead ended with a whimper. Then Tom, in contrast to the before mentioned never served in a glamorous position, isn't incredibly popular, but faithfully fulfills his duty. If the crown of glory we receive in the celestial kingdom is proportional to the effort which we have put forth on this earth, will not this humble assistant ward mission leader have so much greater a glow than the now less active High Councilor. Our treasures in heaven will not be laid up in great and glorious heroic deeds that are to be sung of for generations, rather our royal storehouse will be much more filled with the quite, small acts of Gospel living that we carried out consistently over the course of our lives. When we take this into prospective it becomes very apparent why small acts of worship such as regular prayer, and daily scripture study become so vitally important in the economy of heaven. Then we have the mighty Abinadi, one who despite being so great was given so bitter a cup to drink, and yet endured it carrying out his appointed task. Not all of us will be called in life to be the world's greatest gospel doctrine teacher, or to sit in the relief society presidency, we have not all been chosen to fill the post of Elders Quorum President, or to preside over a ward. Some of us have the smaller and less glamorous tasks of recording home teaching, of simply being home or visiting teachers to a family that needs a little bit more support than most. Yet when the day of final accounting comes part of the rubric of enduring to the end will be how well we carried out our less visible and acclaimed positions, and if the day never does come when the Lord requires of us a calling that demands us to attend many meetings, and sit on various councils, he will still require just as much of our effort as did those who had to get up earlier for church. In addition he will ensure that if we are magnifying our calling we will be able to touch just as many lives as we need to, we will receive just as many blessings as others and one day we will sit on just as exalted a throne in the Kingdom of the Great Eternal I AM. 
 The most important account of Enduring to the End was something I studied this morning. It started with hymn #191 Behold the Great Redeemer Died, verse 3 line 2-3 "I've done the work thou gavest me" this led my studies to John 19, and Luke 23 with the words "It is finished... Father into thy hands I commend my spirit" Thus ended the sermon ever preached on Enduring to the End. We are all called to carry our various crosses in life, we will all have to spend our time in Gethsemane and upon Calvary, and at these times of trial will come the greatest temptation to give up. It may be an unfaithful spouse, a wayward child, a physical illness, a thousand other things, and a thousand combinations of  everything. So what do we do, when the Sun in shame hides its face, when hopes once bright flame is now merely the pilot light to the furnace of greater disappointment, when the promises of Heaven and Eternal Life seem so very very far away. It is in these moments when we must reach out to the everlasting Son of God, who has been there before and knows our pain, it may require us to change somethings in our life to be able to better hear the whispering words of love he has for us. It may require us to humble ourselves more fully and give up some of the weapons or our rebellion to which we are so desperately clinging because they are our only sources of comfort on the storm tossed seas of life. The Love of God is there though, when we do not feel as though we can go on if we will turn to the Light and Life of the World by pouring out our souls to him in secret, vocal prayer, he will hear the pleadings of our heart. He may not immediately change our circumstances but we will feel his loving embrace, we will be given the strength to make it through the day, or the hour, or maybe even the next ten minutes. The Holy One of Israel knows where you are at, he knows your grief and pain, and he has a perfect empathy we cannot begin to understand. But when we come out of our furnace of affliction, once the gloom of Golgotha breaks, and we step into the dawn of the Sunday sun, we will find that those things which we have endured and endured well, will have made us more capable of understanding that perfect empathy which the Saviour has for us. We will find that we have been made more Christlike in the process of purifying, we will be able to better minister to others as the Lamb of God would because he has ministered to us in our time of darkness. Then we must endure after that in patience waiting for the day when we have completed all we have been sent to do, to be called home in a glorious reunion in which we will be able to look upon the face of the Everlasting Son of the Everlasting God and as the ancient American saints did, feel the prints of the nails in his hands in his feet, and bath those feet in our tears. That is the promise to all the faithful, but for now we endure trusting that God who has all reality manifest before him past, present, and future, will be our strength in times of trial and will be our comfort in the midst of darkness. I testify of the Living Reality of the Living Son of God who knows us perfectly who loves us infinity and whose power to redeem is eternal and unbounded. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, whom I have been called to represent. Amen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oct 7 2014

  Howdy there brother's and sisters from cold and rainy Canton. The weather has taken a turn for the colder up here in Canton and correspondingly many of the people who were once outside and on the streets have gone into hibernation for the winter, its a real thing in da hood trust me. So the biggest news I have is that with tomorrow being transfer day Elder Robert Kidd will departing my presence and moving on to bigger and better things outside of the Akron stake; however with that news also came the news that I was training a brand new missionary who I get tomorrow, between all of transfers, conference, Elder Teh touring the mission, and Gladys Knight, plus baptismal interviews, throw in quite a few visits to the hospital to visit various sick members, Elder Kidd and I haven't had a normal day since before living memory.
 For the sake of time I'll just run through the big things that have happened since my last email
1) On September 19th Gladys Knight and her church Saints Unified Voices choir  came to visit the northern Ohio in what Stake President Tally termed the biggest missionary opportunity since Sidney Ridgeon first came to Ohio. She did an evening of music and testimony where her and her choir performed many church songs familiar to people outside of the church, as well as her and her husband William McDowell bearing their testimonies of why they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We had about half a dozen people lined up to bring to the performance but unfortunately only two of them came through, and we lost the tickets, and a lot more background, but suffice to say we managed to make it in and see the performance which was truly amazing, what made it even better is that we had been given permission to worship in the style they do in other churches meaning my wonderful companion Elder Kidd and I took full advantage of the opportunity to be shouting "AMEN" "HALLELUJAH" and "PRAISE THE LORD" it was a truly wonderful evening. One of the thigns that Gladys brought to our attention was that she felt her entire life up to that point, all of her success with the Pipps and everything else was guided by the Lord so that she could now tour with her saints unified voices choir and tell people about the message of the Restoration of the Gospel
2)The next big event that happened the Wednesday after was that Elder Michael John U. Teh of the 1st Quorum of the 70, came to tour the mission and had a zone conference with us and gave us much wonderful instruction and advice. It was a wonderful opportunity to listen from a member of the 70 for six hours as he instructed us on how we can be the best missionaries and the ones the Lord needs. One of the doctrinal highlights he illustrated using the wonderful hit movie Finding Nemo. He talked about the sea turtles would just coast in the East Australian Current (EAC) because it was easy to do and moved them along without much effort, but then showed us that we need to rise to the level of Preach My Gospel missionaries and avoid being stuck in the current and just float along to the end of our missions, but that we need to work our absolute hardest to be best missionaries we can be which requires us to labor with our heart might mind and soul.
3) The next big news that came my way was the information that I was training. This came as quite the humbling experience to me that I realized the Lord has trusted me to train a brand new missionary. We had a meeting about how to be good trainers and much of it revolved around the counsel given in the last part of section 121 in the Doctrine & Covenants as we were extolled to be Christlike missionaries and to help our trainees reach their full potential as missionaries as quickly as possible. As I have been reading through the material that we have been given to prepare I am overwhelmed with the immense trust the Lord placed in me to train someone new and it has taken me to my knees many times asking for additional help and guidance. As the Lord always does he hears and answers my prayers. Part of what compounds the experience of training is that also means I have been called to be District Leader again over the Massillon district.
4)Yesterday I had some of the happiest news of my mission, one of our investigators was interviewed to be baptized and passed with flying colors, it was an amazing experience to see the change the Gospel has made in the lives of this family. The Mullins family is a wonderful family the father has been inactive for some time but is returning back to activity and wants to baptize his wife and 9 & 8 year old daughters. It has been an amazing experience to see the way the Lord works and prepares people over the course of their lives to hear the restored message of the Gospel. They will be getting baptized November 8th, it is far out because the father currently has a hand injury that he can't get wet and isn't expected to heal till then.
5)Transfers is tomorrow, and I have to say goodbye to Elder Kidd one of my favorite missionaries in the entire Ohio Cleveland Mission, and the world to boot, is going to be leaving me tomorrow to be called somewhere else. It is good for him because he has spent the first 15 months of his mission in Massillon Bike and one other area that borders it, so he will enjoy the change of scenery, unfortunately as all things must, our companionship is coming to an end which is cause for mourning, but the good news is we already agreed in the spirit world were going to go on exchanges with each other.
6)General Conference happened which is always an amazing spiritually uplifting experience as I came prepared with questions and concerns I found that each talk applied directly to my situation and was what I needed to hear. It has definitely strengthened my testimony that the Holy Ghost will give us direct personal and individual revelation as we need it and are prepared. Also I really liked Elder Chi Wong's talk because it was delivered in the language I am currently speaking in the mission Cantoneese..... haha get it, because I am in Canton, so Cantoneese... trust me the people around here don't speak English.

As I move forward into this next transfer and companionship  I look forward to a future filled with hope because I know that my Redeemer lives, I know that there is an individual plan laid out for my life that is deisgned to help me get into eternity with my family and Saviour to dewell in a celestial glory. This knowledge gives me the ever burning hope and knowledge that one day as it says in Revelations 21:4 "God shall wipe away all tears from [my] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" on that great millennial day when I am brought back into the presence of the Almighty Just and Holy God, by the Atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, I shall be able to stand with pure hands and a clean heart for by the grace of Christ I shall be made spotless pure and white, and dwell forever with my family in unending joy.
The Report of Elder Hunter Poe 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27 2014

Salutations, Brothers and Sisters from warm, sunny, humid, Findlay Ohio. 

 So the biggest event that happened this past week was the personal appearance of Elder Jeffery R. Holland, and President Donald Hallstrom in the Ohio Cleveland Mission. It was a truly an amazing experience. It would be difficult for me to properly sum up everything Elder Holland talked about, fortunately probably 55-70% of his talk is almost word for word out of other talks he has given to missionaries. The talks to look up are 1)Missionary Work and the Atonement, 2)Feed My Sheep (the one given in the MTC not the one given in general conference) 3)The Miracle of a Mission. Those offer a lifetime of inspiration for pretty much any missionary. Elder Holland also talked about teaching with power and authority, the fact that we are representatives of the Almighty Lord and as such we can invoke that authority when we are teaching someone about the Gospel. It was awesome, Elder Holland is truly an amazing man, as well as President Hallstrom. Much of President Hallstrom's address was focused on the fact that when Christ called the 12, it was a lifetime calling, and so it is for missionaries. The call to the ministry is not over when one returns home but rather it is a call that extends throughout time and eternity. So I am sending a repeated call out to every person that has served a full time mission to find your name tag and then look at it for a minute, ponder about what your mission meant to you, think about what happened to you during that time. Then get down on your knees and pray for the Lord's guidance about how you can continue to serve Him. Our lives are not our own, our souls were redeemed for a price, and our bodies will be perfected for a price, that price was the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel, the Great I AM, was what it cost for us to have the privilege or repenting, the joy of being baptized, and the opportunity to experience the love of the Holy Ghost, and to begin to understand the love the Saviour has for each of us. In return Christ has said he wants us, every part of us, everything we care about, everything we love, everything we hate, every little last imperfection, Christ wants us to lay on the altar of sacrifice so that he can begin the process of fitting us for the life above, and in the end that is all that really matters. Something Elder Holland talked about repeatedly was that in a swimming contest the blue ribbons aren't given out after the first couple of feet, everyone does remarkable for the first couple of strokes, but that the reward only comes at the end. It doesn't matter if we start out on the path of overcoming our anger issues, or start out to do missionary work, or begin the trek of discipleship, if after the first hour or so we decide that we have come far enough, it is just good enough to look over into the promised land without enjoying its fruits, if we decide we will follow the Saviour's example right up to the gate of Gethsemane but we decide we are too scared to go any farther. If we don't decide we are willing to go through the process of Calvary we will never be able experience the joy of Easter Sunday. We aren't asked to pay the price the Savior did but we will be asked to go through soul stretching experiences that will test the very fabric of our being, and the very core of our selves. The question becomes will we pay that price, does our faith in the Lord extend to the point where we are willing to give up our lives and wills and let them be swallowed up in His? Do we trust in the Lord and his promises that we are willing to turn everything we desire over to what His desires are for us? Fortunately God has given us the promise throughout the entirety of the scriptures that His grace is sufficient. Nephi promises that "the Lord giveth no commandment unto the the children of men save he shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." So it comes down to our choice, the same choice we faced in the pre-earth life, the same decision. Will we follow the Plan of Salvation and say to the Father "thy will be done". Or will we choose to be children that felt the mud pie of their own limited imagination they had made in the sandbox was of greater worth than the feast their Father the King had prepared for them in his royal mansion above? Joshua 24:15
Elder Hunter D. Poe

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

The Elder Poe Report

  Happy Mother's day everyone, sorry it is a day late, but Mother's are the greatest thing in the world. Things here in Ohio have moved up to the 70's and 80's which is fantastic, much better than a polar vortex anyway. As I have been reviewing this past week and thinking about what experiences I would like to relate in this report one incident stuck out in my mind more than any. This Saturday we were out tracting and we got a call from our amazing Bishop WIlkerson and he asked us if we could come with him right now to an emergency appointment. As Elder Black once explained to me "When a Bishop asks you to do something your only response should be 'we'll get right on it'." We of course assented, and 10 minutes later we were in the Bishop's car en route to a less active sister who has been struggling for quite a while. As we got there we greeted her and sat out on her porch and talked for a couple of minutes then she broke down crying and began telling us about many of the storms of life she had been facing. One of the biggest challenges she was facing in getting reactivated was that a certain sister, who held a rather prominent position in the church, had been very judgmental, mocking, and disparaging to her, and had retold many of her judgments to other persons in the ward. To some of those who are rather familiar with my past know that I have a very strong opinion on the matter of judging and ridiculing from those who have sworn to take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ, who call themselves Saints. As this sister was talking to us it recalled to my mind an excerpt from Joseph Smith History wherein describing the treatment he received following the first vision "being persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me" Why is it those of us who have been called to the holy work of the ministry, and all those who have been baptized and brought into the House of Israel have been called into that work, can feel at ease with passing judgments on those who Christ has asked us to bring back into the fold. Did our Master not say "judge not that ye be not judged" (Matt 7:1) every person we meet every day has a story they have a million things that have happened to them before we come in contact with them and they will have a million things happen to them after we see them. Yet only Christ alone knows what they have been through only Christ alone has walked the exact same path that they have, Christ alone knows the thoughts of their heart and the true nature of their character. Why then do we feel secure in passing on judgement on those of our fellow travelers through life when we are all struggling with our own burdens. As the Lord said "Thou hypocrite first cast out the beam out of thine own eye" (Matt 7:5) Their can be only one thing at the heart of judging others and that is pride, pride is the antithesis of charity, pride is the delusional belief that some how you are superior to another person on this earth, it is a damning sin and for those who have any shred of pride in them at the last day will be cast out into outer darkness where there is weeping and waling and gnashing of teeth. 
 The good news is that the Lord has given us away to overcome the damning effects of pride, he has provided means that we may change our characters that we may strip ourselves of pride and become full of charity. That is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Christ felt every person on this earth was important enough to atone for. Our Redeemer didn't say I will pay the price for Jeffery's sins but not for Donald's, He didn't pick and choose who was worth trying to bring back into Heaven and who wasn't, the Holy One of Israel paid an infinite price for every last one of us because every person that ever has been borne or ever will be born was important enough to the Great Mediator to try and bring back to Heaven. So next time you are called to pass judgement on another, next time you begin to open your mouth to criticize and condemn another's actions. Stop, think your Savior sweating blood in Gethsemane for that persons soul, think of the nails that were driven through his hands and feet for their transgressions. Then ask yourself how many drops of blood the Saviour has shed for you? When you want to hold a grudge remember the King who when suffering on the cross cried out "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" remember that it was because of you he was on that cross. I think too often we Christians think of the blessings that we receive from the Atonement without thinking about as well the price that was paid, that price that we incurred on the Savior for our mistakes and stupid decisions. The Lord lives he loves us he knows everyone of us perfectly and completely from the homeless man on the street to the CEO of Blue Ocean, he loves us. He would do anything for us, and has done everything, his only request is that we love one another as he loved us. Christ lived, he died, but most importantly he was resurrected. I know that with all my heart that he still lives and because of that we will all one day be brought before his judgement bar and will be asked how we treated a poor wayfaring man of grief. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ amen. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 5, 2014

 Good Morning Brothers, and Sisters from cloudy, rainy, windy Findlay Ohio. Seriously there I think there have been more days of rain and snow here in Findlay since I got here than there have been of sunshine. On the flipside the Lord knows how he is running the weather machine so who am I to complain I'll just say "yes, Lord" and trust He knows what He is doing. 
 This week we had some interesting experiences, in the middle of the week we had a day in which we didn't have any appointments, zilch, and as consequence we had a lot of stop by's planned. As we were going from place to place we saw an older guy out on his driveway and so we stopped and started talking to him about the Lord and the Gospel and how families can be together forever. He started talking to us about what he believed and how he puts all his stock in Romans 10:9, so we had a good 20 minute conversation, and asked him if we could come back Sunday at 7:30 and he told us he would be there. So we go back Sunday evening and give him a pretty awesome lesson on Restoration, he tried pulling it off on tangents and what not but with the help of the Lord we were able to gracefully bring it back to one of the principles of the Restoration, and after reciting the 1st Vision the Spirit was super strong, then he went out to get something and came back and it turns out that we had been talking to Reverend Joseph Goodman the entire time, but he seemed to like what we had to say and said we could come back so it will be quite the experience when we go back, he seems like he genuinely felt the Spirit while we were talking and so the Lord is working on him.
 Also last week I had the privilege of delivering a talk about "how does daily study of the Book of Mormon help me come closer to my Saviour" as I was thinking about it and pondering on what I should say one point that came to my mind with some force was the power the Book of Mormon has to weld families together. Out here in Ohio I have seen many youth who have gone less active, and met many more members that have gone less active after they left home and have raised their children in a generation of inactivity. This is a crises, this is an epidemic that is sweeping at least Ohio if not the nation, right now Satan is winning over too many of the youth and in this world today we Christian soldiers can't afford to lose those who are already enlisted. One of the most powerful ways we can combat though is through studying the Book of Mormon daily as a family, I don't know why every person goes less active, or why children stray from the strait and narrow, or why some choose this day to serve mammon. There is one thing I do know though, that is that the Book of Mormon is one of the most powerful tools that God has put in the hands of mothers and fathers to combat the influence of the adversary. I cannot promise that every child who sits in on family scripture study will be stick to the Gospel through thick and thin, I can't promise that all children who hear the words of the Book of Mormon are going to remain active throughout the course of their lives; however without a shadow of a doubt I do know that if mothers and fathers will put forth the effort to try and study the scriptures everyday it will come back to play a decisive role in their children's eternal progression. It may take time to see the effects of the gospel seed planted in the hearts of the children to begin to grow, it may take months, or even years, before the effects become manifest. The Prodigal son didn't waste all his substance in riotous living, end up feeding pigs, then come to himself in the course of a week, I think it took many months or years before the memories of home stirred within him. I can see him know as he is trying to feed himself with the food that the swine did, the memories dancing in his mind of a warm fire, a soft bed, mommas home made supper. These are those things which the Holy Ghost called to his remembrance in this time of despair, and I know that if we choose to study the Book of Mormon each day as a family, no matter how hard, the same thing will happen for those of our children who do wander, there will come a time when the Spirit will bring to remembrance the words of Christ which they heard while in the home, it will bring the spiritual nourishment that they have been so long estranged from, that is the power of the Book of Mormon, it testifies and invites all to come unto Christ and be perfected in him, that is the central message of the Boook of Mormon and to those who hear that message regardless of whether or not they sink in at the time, they will never be forgotten. But first we must plant the seed. When it is late at night and the day has been hectic and you can't feel like you can do it but forth the effort to study the Book of Mormon together, when the children have been fighting and screaming, and the teenager is being moody and obnoxious pull within yourself the strength to sit them all down. The impact won't be immediate, but it will be eternal. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

April 29, 2014

Hello there Brothers and Sisters from Findlay Ohio

 So transfer information came down the grapevine last night and Elder Hesford and I will be having the wonderful opportunity to be serving with each other again for another six weeks in Findlay Ohio. This week the rain hasn't held off and we have been being hit by Satan left and right but we have been seeing miracles, one of which occurred yesterday. So Monday we had two awesome lessons lined up with investigators that we had high hopes for, Gary and Crystal, everything was set up perfect for the lessons we had the perfect members coming, cute little objects lessons lined up, the whole nine yards. So about two hours before our lesson with Gary we give him a phone call to confirm the appointment and we don't hear back from him for a half an hour... then an hour... about 30 minutes before we are supposed to be there we get a text from Gary in which he informs us that he has committed to his wife that he will start being a Catholic, this is pretty much the worst news a missionary can get so instead of letting things go quietly we eventually work out with him that he is willing to give us 30 minutes of his time on Thursday, the 1st. So that was a huge let down especially because he only let us know 30 minutes before the member was already there when we informed him of the cancellation of the appointment. So after that we go do some tracting and stop by some people without much success and we are biking to our next appointment we are about 3 minutes away from her house when she calls and cancels on us, and we were like NNNNNOOOOOO!!!!!  We reschedule for next week but know we are pretty bummed, and to boot we had to skip lunch to get to an appointment with a less active member on time, and we had everything that we had planned fall through for the next 2 hours, and to top it all off it had been raining all day long. Our mission president had told us in a zone conference that when appointments go through to pray and ask the Lord to let us know who else we could help. So we go to a quite park and ask the Lord in prayer to show us where we need to go and what we need to do to help someone come closer to Christ and my inspired companion suggests we just go out onto the street in front of us and turn left and so we do and then we make another left and as we are biking along I see a house and feel like maybe we should go there, but we bike past it, then I almost hear a voice telling me go back and knock on that door. So we turn around and knock on the door and the most amazing thing happens..... they pretend  to not be home. So we leave a Book of Mormon pass along card in there and are about to head off to a potential in the area when we see two guy across the street in their garage so we go over and talk to them. Lo and behold it turns out that one of the guys is Bob, a man we had a wonderful conversation with in a Wendy's about 3 weeks ago and he had said he would come to church, but unfortunately never did. So we start talking with Bob and about 20 minutes later we say goodbye as he has a copy of the Book of Mormon in his hands that he has committed to read all the way through and pray about and he wanted to discuss more with us. Miracles happen in this work the Lord. This is the work of eternal salvation and "the Eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on until all his promises shall be fufilled" (Mormon 8:22). I know that Jesus Christ lives and runs this church. I know that it was restored through Jospeh Smith who was and is a prophet seer and revlator, and that through him all of the keys of the Holy Priesthood were restored to the earth, I also know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and all those who seek comfort, solace, consolation, truth, and the Lord can find him by studying the Book of Mormon. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 14

Greetings from soaking wet Findlay Ohio

 So first things first need to clear up a misconception that occurred during my last email, I am not training Elder Hesford I am greenie breaking him. It means that I am the first companion he had after his trainer and as such am breaking him of all the bad habits his trainer gave to him. 
 Things in Findlay are great and fantastic, apart from the frequent rain which comes by out here in Ohio, which wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem excepting that when one is on a bike and it begins to rain one tends to get soaking wet as well as all of the supplies which one is carrying. As for the area the people are nice enough, although as the weather warms up many people feel the need to hurl profanity at us from their car window I am not quite sure why.... So far we are working our tails off and trying to put forth extraordinary effort to show the Lord our faith so that he will start to work miracles according to it. We found a wonderful new investigator Lou, apparently missionaries have been trying to stop by her since before I got here but the first time Elder Hesford and I stop by bam she is home and we teach her a lesson and pick her up as a new investigator. So that was awesomely exciting, although we haven't been able to get a return appointment with her. That appears to be the vein of things right now,  lots of people want to meet with us and we set up a time to go see them and then when we get there they aren't home. Rather quite depressing, but missionary work isn't easy and it isn't supposed to be. Missionary work is a work of forging and refining souls, and sometimes it is our own souls that must be refined and forged in the Master's hands, but as we dutifully show our faith through our obedience to his commandments and rules we will build within ourselves a more Christlike being and as we become more like Christ we are capable of experiencing greater happiness, and greater joy. It is only however as we come to appreciate and apply the Atonement of Christ that this transformation can occur it is only Because of Him (mormon.org/becauseofhim) that we can find salvation and exaltation, it is only because of him that we are freed from death hell and the devil and misery and endless woe, because of him we can be changed, transformed, and uplifted from where we are when we were born to what we desperately want to become. It is all possible because He lives.

The Report of Elder Hunter D. Poe