Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept 16, 2013

The Elder Poe Report              
               This week was a challenging and unique week as far as missionary work goes, and it was painful as far as biking goes. On Tuesday of this week Elder Hyde, one of my roommates, and me were on splits into Elder Hyde’s biking area. As I was cruising along the cracked sidewalks of Middleburg Heights Ohio out of nowhere a rather sizeable rock jumps out in front of me, determined to show the rock what was what I proceed to assault said rock with my bicycle, unfortunately the rock proved the victor as upon impact I pulled off an impressive half front flip with my bike. As I was in the air my bicycle went one direction and myself went another, covering about 5 feet of ground before I met an unmerciful ground, on the positive side no bones were broken and no serious injury has been sustained except for a rather large bruise on my left upper arm, that was the low point of the week, as of right now though I have almost fully recovered and should be fine.
               This Friday, the 13, was the ward BBQ. As is befitting of such an unlucky day as the dawn broke we saw a rather large wall of solid gray clouds moving our direction and bringing with them a very cold breeze. As the day progressed the clouds marched unhindered across the sky dropping the temperature down into the low 60s. Undaunted however we showed up at 4:30 at the site of the BBQ and began to prepare what needed to be made ready for the guests. As the minutes went by we were anxiously awaiting for people to start showing up. As it got closer to the appointed starting time, I began to be nervous, as nobody was there that hadn’t been involved in the preparation. In my heart I said a little prayer to the Lord asking for assurance, and as I finished I got a very calming sensation enter into my heart and I knew that it was going to be alright. Finally people started coming in droves and the activity was a success, there were many less active members, and part member families that came to the BBQ the weather held off on a down pour until the conclusion of the BBQ and it was a wonderful time to be had by all. To me it was a powerful reminder that this is the Lord’s work and He is hastening it.
               The other exciting event that happened this week was we had another wonderful appointment with David. David was a potential investigator found by the Elders in the area before us, we had stopped by once on a whim and he had been home, he was interested, we taught him the entire first lesson and he committed to being baptized. After that we weren’t able to meet with him for over 2 weeks and spent much of the time playing phone tag, however after much persistence we were able to get in contact with David and have another appointment with him on Saturday. We actually had the appointment in a rather crowded restaurant as David’s mother is not a huge fan of the church. As we met with David we got to know him a little better and realized how truly prepared he is for the Gospel, he had lived in Texas for a while and met many LDS people down there and he had always felt there was something different about them, he always expressed how he didn’t think divorce was the answer and that he thinks God put us in families for a reason, and so many other ideas that seem to be so in line with what the true Gospel of Christ is. It was amazing, even though we were in a busy restaurant with lots of noisy people and many distractions, the Spirit was still there to testify of the truth of our message and it was able to help us all come closer to Christ.
               The experience with David also taught me another very important lesson, of never giving up on those that we have been called to help and work with. We spent weeks trying to get something lined up with David and each time it fell through, we began to get a little discouraged and wonder how sincere he was, however a thought came into my head at one point, how the Saviour never gives up on us, no matter how many times we stumble, fall, or move backwards, every time the Saviour is there trying to help us as best He can to turn back to Him, and every time we turn to Him he loving has His arms open to welcome us back and find healing and hope.
               I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, I know that He is the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. I know this with a conviction that no force on earth will separate from this knowledge. I have an equally firm knowledge that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, He was called and commissioned by Jesus Christ to restore Christ’s church on the Earth again in the last days, and I know all other people can come to know this as well if they will read the Book of Mormon, ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then ask God the Eternal Father in the name of Christ if it is true. I testify of these things as one called to represent Jesus Christ and His Church, in His blessed name. Amen.
The Report of Elder Hunter Poe

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sept 9, 2013

The Elder Poe Report      

               This week was an exciting one in the mission field. This week Elder Fiefia and I discovered a part of the Word of Wisdom that is currently missing in most copies of the Doctrine and Covenants it reads thusly “thou shalt not partake of sushi at a five dollar all you can eat Chinese buffet, and those who do so will be afflicted with grievous pains of the stomach and posterior.” We had Zone Training Meeting on Saturday, following which the zone went out to lunch, at an all you can eat Chinese buffet wherein Elder Fiefia in attempting to sample everything they had to offer inadvertently knocked himself out of commission for the rest of Saturday due to what we believe is sushi at a cheap Asian buffet. So that is a warning to all out there.
               In addition this week was not the most productive in terms of numbers; we labored long and hard in an attempt to secure appointments but to no avail unfortunately. It has been a powerful lesson in trusting in the Lord’s timing. For those not aware Joseph Smith prophesied that the land of the Kirtland Ohio would be built up again prior to the second advent of the Saviour, the night before this prophet of God was martyred he asserted that the prophecy had yet to be fulfilled. This means that I know that one day soon Ohio will be built up as a powerful stronghold of God’s kingdom in the Latter Days, unfortunately it does not appear that this week the Strongsville area of the Ohio Cleveland was quite ready to start construction, insofar as adding new people to the kingdom.
               This Sunday though was a wonderful day in bringing back one of the lost sheep of the Lord. There is a wonderful less active member we have been working with, Sister Marge, for the past two or three weeks, our initial visit was not incredibly productive as Sister Marge didn’t quite seem to feel the Spirit as strongly as we hoped, and she is quite the talker, I mean to the point where you sometimes have to just interrupt her mid sentence if you want to keep the discussion focused on the Gospel. Despite that we had another lesson with her this week wherein she revealed that she had stopped attending church at approximately the same time her father passed away. As we found out this information we got the prompting to start discussing family history work and temples as well, although it was a little difficult to keep the discussion focused, we did help invite the Spirit in to the room very strongly and were able to bear powerful testimony of the Plan of Salvation, following the closing prayer, my companion, myself, and the young man that was accompanying us all sang Families Can Be Together Forever, for Sister Marge before departing. The Spirit was incredibly strong as we ended and I was feeling a little bit teary eyed. This Sunday Sister Marge came to church it filled me with such happiness to see her back at church,  she was very welcomed back into the ward, and she seemed to have really enjoyed it as she stayed for the entire three hour block. Personally when we had left the lesson that Wednesday evening I didn’t think it had gone that well, but the Lord will touch the hearts of those who are ready even if we don’t always think He has.
               One other piece item of mention for this upcoming week is the Strongsville Ward Food Drive and BBQ. Several weeks ago I reported that as a Strongsville District that we had come up with the idea of a ward talent show to allow an opportunity for people to invite their friends to see more of the church, and through the process of bureaucracy and councils the idea eventually got morphed into the Strongsville Ward Food Drive and BBQ, which I am totally okay with as it is still moving the ward for missionary work. I will let everyone know how that goes next week.
               In conclusion I know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour and Redeemer of the world, that he walked the streets of ancient Israel, healing the sick, granting sight to the blind, cleansing the lepers, and even raising the dead. I know that although he lived a perfect and sinless life he took upon himself all of our sins and infirmities so that we might have an opportunity to live with Him again. After suffering beyond mortal comprehension He was arrested on false charges, convicted by a power hungry court, and then crucified to satisfy an angry mob. I know also though that death was not the end of His life, but rather the beginning of His glory, for He arose from the grave on the third day, claiming a total victory over the powers of death and hell, allowing each of us to be ransomed from sin and Satan if we will turn to Him. I know also that in His resurrected, immortal, and glorified state, Jesus Christ then appeared to Joseph Smith and called Him to be the prophet of God to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of time. I know also that I have been called by divine authority, through revelation, to serve in the mission where my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ personally appeared, and I know that any person can come to this same knowledge if they will read the Book of Mormon, and then ask God the Eternal Father in the name of Christ if it is true.

Elder Hunter D. Poe