Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

  This week was a wonderful week in the Ohio Cleveland Mission. On Tuesday we had a wonderful opportunity to meet with a new family in the ward, the Storm family. It was a wonderful experience to see the joy that families can find through the Gospel, the Storm family have been members their entire life, but they are fairly young with two young children and when we went over and taught them the lesson it was incredibly touching to see how the parents were encouraging them with answers and asking them questions about things they were learning in their own family scripture study. I just wish every family I talked to could see how the Gospel could bless their family so much.
               Wednesday was a wonderful day in missionary work as well, we had an opportunity on Wednesday to give a blessing to Rick, a less active member of the ward, as he was leaving town for several days, and in addition before we left I got the prompting to give him a Book of Mormon and ask him to give it to someone while he was out on his trip. I don’t know what will come of it, but I know that anything that inspires us to do good and act more like Christ would is of God.
               So Saturday is one of those day that is less exciting in missionary work. When we got down to plan Friday evening we realized that we had no appointments, except for correlation early in the morning, so we planned a day full of stopping by and tracting, and that is how the day fell out we spent hour after hour tracting, and this was one of the warmer days to boot. I loved every minute of it though, I know that it isn’t an incredibly effective way of finding new persons that would like to hear the news of the Gospel but I love the opportunity to get to a door and bear testimony to someone of the fact that Christ loves us, that He has a plan for each of us, that He has called another prophet in these latter days, and that He gave us the Book of Mormon to bless us.
               Saturday was definitely a wonderful day though, not because of the many hours of tracting, but the day prior I had asked my Fearless District Leader and Companion Elder Fiefia, for a blessing because I felt like I should get one. That Saturday evening convinced me of the true power of the Priesthood and of Priesthood blessings, the things Elder Fiefia told me answered questions that there was no way for him to know I had, I know that God has restored the priesthood authority on the Earth and that it truly is the power given to man to act in the name of God, I would encourage every worthy priesthood holder that reads this to offer their family member a blessing this week, it will be a powerful experience for all involved, I would also encourage any Priesthood holder that at this time is not currently worthy to get worthy to give blessings, this world needs every single priesthood holder it can get right now and we can’t afford to have them being out wandering in forbidden paths when right now we are fighting an all out war with Satan, and outnumbered over 100 to 1 I might add.
               Sunday evening was the capstone of the week, but unfortunately didn’t end well. We had an appointment with a wonderful less active, part member family, it was the first time we had actually been able to get in with them to have a lesson. As we sat down with the mother and father, the children were absent, we started talking with them and got to know them a little bit, then we shared with them the blessings the Gospel brings to each one of us, how it can help them, we got to testify of the fact that there is a prophet on the Earth again today and that Christ has restored His Church and that they will find greater happiness through it than anything else, that it would bless their family, and their home, we laid everything the Gospel would bring them out for them; at this time the Sprit was so strong you could almost feel the Saviour in the room. Then we asked them the question, if they would want to continue to learn about the Gospel and avail themselves of the blessings that are just within their reach, they considered it for a minute, then two. Apart from when you issue someone the baptismal invitation, this is pretty much the most suspenseful moment in missionary work,  it is like when you are just about to find out if your team is going to win the super bowl, this is everything you work for and study for and prepare for is to help people to come closer to Christ. Then she answered and said she felt that her Cahtolic upbringing had sufficiently helped her come close to Christ. If anyone within a 20 mile radius had the power to read minds they would’ve heard a very loud NNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO coming from my brain. I wish that they would’ve taken advantage of the opportunity that was presented them, but they have their agency, I know though that a seed was planted, let us hope the soil is ready to receive it.
               In conclusion this week went well, I know that God lives, that he loves and knows each one of us. I know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, and has healing for every person that will come unto him, for his yoke truly is easy and is burden is light. I know that Christ has again restored His church on the earth again and that it does have the divine priesthood authority that can only be given from God. I also know that any person can come to know these same things if they will read the Book of Mormon, ponder in their minds the message it contains, and then asks God the Eternal Father in the name of Christ if it is true.

O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous … will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted that I may heal you?
3 Nephi 9:13
The Report of Elder Hunter Poe

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 12, 2013

The Elder Poe Report
               This week was an exciting and interesting. This week I saw the Lord’s church in action and some powerful lessons on the importance of trust in the Lord.
               We will start with the bad news of this week. David unfortunately was not there yesterday for the appointment we are not sure why, but we will try getting back in contact with him soon. In addition we had two less active members this week tell us they would prefer not to have any contact with us or the church anymore. So that really stunk in the extreme, but people were given their agency and they are free to use it, that is what we fought a war in heaven over was whether or not we would have that agency. That makes it all the worst that people seem to be so willing to give up their agency to a substance or behavior because it is making them slightly happy for the time. I really just wish I could help people see that the Gospel of Christ can free them from worry, sin, and remorse. That is what the Gospel of Christ is here for, to make us free and happy.
               Yesterday I saw what was nothing short of the Lord working a miracle for the benefit of his children. There is a man, we will call him Les, in our ward who is a little bit elderly and several months ago had a serious stroke that brought about a speech and memory impairment, as well as some degree of physical disability. During church you could tell that he was not doing very well, another member of the ward Robert saw that, and he could relate as he had a similar experience occur to him several years ago. After church we got a call from Robert asking us if we would be able to come with him to go talk to Les and see how he is doing, we immediately accepted and later that evening went to see Les, who we talked with for a while and who was doing better after we left. The thing that really struck me though is that one brother of the church saw another one of his brothers struggling and acted as Christ would’ve to comfort him, because he cared and loved him. Isn’t that what we covenanted at baptism, to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort? Additionally this showed me why we really have the home teaching program, home and visiting teaching is more than just visiting once a month and sharing a lesson, it is loving another family and caring and looking out for them and helping them come closer to Christ. It is really about loving another family as the Saviour would, how blessed are the members of this Church that we have the opportunity to serve each other selflessly and exercise the saintly virtue of Charity.
               The final experience was more of a weeklong learning experience. At a certain point this week I was feeling a little down on myself, due to a previous day spent mostly in tracting without fruit being brought forth and several other items this week that were aforementioned. I expressed my sentiment to my companions and they helped me to see that this work is not necessarily about convincing others of the truthfulness of what we have but rather finding those who will receive us as it says in D&C 42:8. As  it says in 2 Nephi 12:3  “many people shall go and say, Come ye and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob” it doesn’t say let’s go convince other people to come up to the house of the Lord  because of how good it will be for them but rather that they will have a desire to. God is preparing people to receive the message but not all of the people are being prepared all the time to accept the Gospel, like a good friend said to me shortly before I departed and reminded me in an email. We aren’t teaching people anything new everyone we teach already knows everything we are telling them they were taught it in the Pre-Earth Life (not the Pre-Existence, that is for you Parke family) they just forgot it for a while. Our duty as missionaries is to create an environment in which the Spirit can be present to bring these things to their remembrance.
               I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, I know that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to work an infinite and all powerful atonement, and that through it all mankind can saved through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. I know also that all these truths were restored through Joseph Smith, who was called of God to be the prophet, seer, and revelator that opened the dispensation of the fullness of times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God’s church once again restored on the earth again in these last days and it is lead and guided by Thomas S. Monson under the direction and guidance of Jesus Christ.

The Report of Elder Hunter Poe

August 5, 2013

The Elder Poe Report

               This week has been an interesting week full of many exciting challenges and opportunities. In short prayer and fasting works, the scriptures are the word of God written specifically for you.
               So the first big incident that caused a problem this week was that on Wednesday we went in to visit a less active member and although I had my planner when I got out of the car when we returned to the car after the brief appointment my planner was nowhere to be found, even after a diligent search. This was incredibly unfortunate as I have the memory of a goldfish if something isn’t written down, and so we had to rely for most of the week on Elder Fiefia’s planner all week, but it was a valuable lesson to me about the importance of having a remote backup.
               The big awesome news this week is that we found a wonderful new investigator from Texas named David. It all started Saturday evening, our mission president decided that this fast Sunday that as a mission we were going to fast that those persons who have a baptismal date in August will be able to keep those dates, and that those of us who don’t have investigators will be able to find new investigators. So on Saturday evening we opened our fast with a prayer crying mightily upon the Lord that we would be able to find persons that are open and receptive to the Gospel and that those persons who had a baptismal date for August would be able to keep it. The following day (Sunday) we had an appointment at 1:30 with a wonderful young Indian lady named Guyetreah scheduled. I was really excited for this appointment because I figured this would be when the Lord answered our prayers and we would be able to teach her entire family and commit all of them to baptism. But then to my utter disappointment when we went there, no one was home. It was incredibly sad and depressing. However as we were about to drive home, a random person popped into my head. You see several months ago I went on exchanges with my district leader into the Strongsville  West Area that I am now in, and while there we had done a little bit of tracting and found this guy who was really nice and had even given us some bottles of water while we were out, he had lived in Texas for a while and gotten in an accident and was in the hospital for a while and the missionaries had been some of the only people to visit him while he was in the hospital. At the time me and my district leader had talked to him he hadn’t really seemed interested but we left a restoration pamphlet with him and told him he could visit  if he wanted to learn more, and left it at that. Yesterday though he popped into my head, and I could see in my mind the exact street he lived on, and I got the prompting we should go visit that house. So acting in faith and trusting in the promptings of the Spirit we went and visited that house. That same young man, David was his name, answered the door and said that he had read through the Restoration pamphlet and thought that it all made sense and sounded true. We then taught him a wonderful first lesson, which was not at all because of us, but rather the Spirit guided and led that lesson to address it to exactly what David needed to hear. The Spirit was super strong as we taught a simple first lesson on the doorstep but the faith that was exercised by all involved parties allowed miracles to be wrought, David committed to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and when we extended the baptismal invitation he accepted it, and we now have a return appointment with him for this next Sunday it was wonderful to gain a surer knowledge that the Lord will answer any prayer we offer up to him in righteousness, not necessarily in our time or our way but He will make sure that the answer is for our good and benefit. I would encourage everyone that reads this to as it says in Malachi “prove [the Lord] now herewith if, [the Lord] will not open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” God has promised that anything we ask in the name of Christ will be answered unto us. As it says in Alma 17, the sons of Mosiah had “given themselves to much prayer and fasting;” and through this they were given the power to bring forth the works of the Almighty God. 
               I know fasting and prayer works, I know that there is a hoard of blessings the Lord wants to pour down upon our heads but can’t until we ask, to preserve our agency, I know that he loves us and I know that He cannot lie, Christ has promised us that whatsoever we ask the Father in His name will be given unto us. When we exert the faith to trust in the promises of God there will be no thing on this earth that we will not be able to do, there will be no knowledge that God will keep hidden from us and we will be confident knowing that we will stand on the right hand of God at the great and terrible day of the coming of the Lord and what else matters except that.
               God loves all of us His Son Jesus Christ loves us just as much and He wrought an infinite and eternal atonement so that all of us can be free from fear, worry and guilt if we will trust in Him and strive to do his works. This knowledge was restored through Joseph Smith who was called as a prophet of God to bring forth the fullness of the Gospel in these last days, and President Thomas Monson is the continuation of that line, and Christ is as the helm of His Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The Report of Elder Hunter D. Poe