Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

The Elder Poe Report

This week was my first full week in New Castle and it has been an ever so interesting experience. 

 Monday we had the opportunity to eat with the Bishop and his family, it was a wonderful way to be initiated into a new area. As we were discussing the Work of Salvation in the New Castle Ward, and he shared how he feels that the New Castle Ward is ready to experience a large amount of real growth. 

As we progressed through the week we had many of our appointments either cancel on us or flame us which was rather disheartening. But that freed up quite a bit of time for finding activities, and we saw several miracles on that front this week. We had three different people who we knocked on their door and they answered the door and as they answered you could tell they were quite ready to shut the door and had no desire to talk, however as my wonderful companion Elder Tollefsen and I began to talk to them and listen to the whisperings of the Spirit their hearts were softened, and although they still weren't particularly interested in learning about the Gospel but they did accept a copy of the Book of Mormon and said we could stop back by in a week or two to see what they thought of it and what they had read. If they really do read it prayerfully seeking to honsetly know if it is true I know that they will have a desire to learn more and to become baptized because as Preach My Gospel says "The Book of Mormon along with the Spirit is your most powerful tool in conversion". So I am really banking on that promise. 

We had an opportunity to meet with the first investigator I have met with so far her name is Mercedes a middle aged black lady with a very sweet heart and a great desire to come closer to Christ. She reads the Book of Mormon and the Bible everyday and she really wants to get baptized and is very accepting of everything we have been teaching her. She just has a problem coming to Church and is trying to quit smoking. To me it is a powerful lesson about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help us but only insofar as we are willing to act upon it. We must be willing to not only believe and accept the Gospel but also be willing to live it if we want the blessings to happen in our life. 

One last event I wanted to mention this week is we had an opportunity to have dinner this week with Brother Gould a member of the ward, who is really a remarkable guy. Brother Gould was the first priesthood holder I met in this ward actually, and I told him my goal was to fill the New Castle chapel before the end of the year, and he said that he believed it could be done and that he was anxiously looking forward to when they get a bigger building. As we had dinner with Brother Gould on Friday evening he told us a little bit about how the ward had grown from a tiny branch that met in someones basement to having their own building, and that he was confident it would continue to grow to become a stake. It is really inspiring to see that it isn't just me being a crazy missionary thinking that we could grow this small ward into two large wards but that with faith, works, and miracles, we will see this ward grow.

I know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour and Redeemer of the World and that President Thomas S. Monson is the head of this church, and that in this most recent general conference he called and commissioned each of us to go forth and spread this Gospel for it truly is "The gospel of salvation to everyone that believeth", I know there are millions of people in this world that are spiritually starving and need the nourishing words of the Lord that we have in our lives and as we seek to spread the Gospel others we will see miracles occcur daily.

The Report of Elder Hunter D. Poe

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

The Elder Poe Report
Good morning my wonderful Brothers and Sisters, Elder Poe is now emailing you from the New Castle West Area, in the Youngstown zone, of the Ohio Cleveland Mission. I am serving with the wonderful Elder Conner Tollefsen from the good town of Mesa Arizonia as well as living with my amazing zone leaders Elder Curtis of Idaho and Elder Barnes of St. George Utah.
I am laboring alongside the Lord in the New Castle ward of His vineyard and I will definitly tell you it is much diffrenet than Strongsville. In Strongsville much of the population is rich, cahtolic and white, out here in New Castle much of the population is poor, non practicing, and black. Much of the area we cover is in a city called Youngstown which is appearantly the 3rdhighest city in the United States for murders. I am definintly not in Kansas anymore.
The ward here in New Castle is deinfintly differnet, whereas in Strongsville the ward was run a lot more like a business, here in New Castle the much smaller ward is more like one extended family. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and both require a unique style to bringing to pass the work of salvation.
                Also this week I finally got the chance to feel like is was really in the Ohio CLEVELAND Mission.  We stopped by a less active member on Thursday and as we approached her porch we realized that there were about half a dozen rather not so nice looking people on her porch several of which were wielding brown paper bags. We approached the door and asked for Natasha, which in response to our query one of the men on the porch said she had just left for the store and asked us what we were doing. Elder Tolleffsen and I explained we were missionaries and a little bit about the purpose we shared, as we continued to discuss the Gospel we gained courage and confidence in the Lord and were more able to address the individuals on the porch we had a wonderful conversation with them and tuaght almost the entire first lesson. We did however decide to get out of dodge when one of the more inedbriated individuals started screaming at us about how he was pentecostal and several other things that I wouldn’t feel comfortable repeating as a missionary. On the plus side several of them requested new bibles so we will be visiting them again to deliever some Bibles and some Book of Mormons. Maybe one of them will end up getting baptized it will be wonderful.
                I am very glad to be a missionary in Ohio and I know this is the Lord’s work and He is hastening but it requires the work and effort of all of the Lords people. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God the Saviour and Redeemer of the world and through His Atonement all man kind can become free from sin death and hell. I know that Joseph Smith is God’s prophet chosen to restore Christ’s church on the earth.  I also know that if we will take the intiative to share the things we learned in Conference with those not of our faith we will find remarkable results and we will be able to bring to pass much good in our world.

The Report of Elder Hunter D. Poe

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oct 1, 2013 - The Newest District Leader

The Elder Poe Bi Annual Report

               So on Wednesday the full 6 month mark will hit, I also found out that I will be being transferred out of the Cleveland zone, and have been called to be a District Leader that is the big transfer news. As I look back I am pretty sure God is playing some sort of joke on missionaries in relation to the time space continuum, it has not been 6 months yet, it 100% doesn’t feel like it has been more than two or three weeks tops.
               I can remember it seems like just yesterday that they marched all of us new missionaries into the transfer room and had us find our companions, I remember my first lesson I had here in Strongsville and how it went. I can’t believe that it has already been 6 months, it has been the six greatest months of my life, being able to invite others to come unto Christ and seeing the miracles the that can be brought to pass, and seeing how well the Lord can work with people to change who they are into who He intends them to become.  If the rest of my mission goes by this fast I will be sorely upset, I am praying it drastically slows down from here on out, but I have heard that it just continues to pick up speed, which if true means that I as a missionary need to make sure I am laboring even more diligently and working even harder and relying on the Spirit more fully to make sure that I don’t leave anything unfinished.
I can’t find an adequate way to summarize these past six weeks but some of the important things I have learned include.
1)      God knows best: The Lord will always make more out of your life than you ever could, as long as you surrender your will to His and do His work.
2)      They were His sheep long before they were ours: The Lord loves all of His children more than any mortal can comprehend or imagine, He also knows His children more perfectly than any other person including ourselves, and because of that He knows exactly what they need and exactly when they need it.
3)      Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you: Prayer works and they are always answered. Every pray we offer up to God having faith in Him and His power, as long as it is done righteously will be granted. There is almost nothing on this earth more powerful than a mother on her knees pleading for her children. Prayer allows miracles to happen
4)      My ways [and time] are not your ways [and time]: God works on His own timetable and in His own way for the benefit of mankind. We can be rest assured that everything the Lord gives us and when He gives it to us was a specially designed and crafted to best help us return to live with him
5)      My purpose: My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. That is why I am here in Ohio, that is why I labor each day, that is why there are over 75,000 missionaries out in the world right now leaving their families, friends, jobs, schooling, scholarships, it is so that other can come unto Christ and find the healing power of His Gospel and His Atonement. The world is starving to death spiritually, what we have will feed the hungering souls.
6)      After all of the testimonies that have been given of Him this is the testimony last of all that we give of Him that He lives: Christ lives, He lives, He lives, disappointment may occur but He lives, sadness may strike, but He lives, trial, tragedy, disaster, heartache, sorrow, grief, suffering, and hell itself may all combine against us, but Christ lives, and because He lives we will live to if we turn to Him. No matter how bleak things seem right now you are not alone, Christ is with you in all things and is there to nurture us through all things for He has felt all of it so He knows what you are going through and will help.
I wish I had time and resources to write everything I have learned record all of the miracles I have seen but time marches on against all things.
               I look forward to the future with hope and confidence knowing that I labor on the Lord’s errand and His help will be there. I would still appreciate any advice anyone has for leadership, I am feeling pretty unqualified to be a district leader at this point.
Also in commemoration of the sixth month mark we bring you
Let’s face it tracting is important and powerful and it is a wonderful opportunity to bear testimony and show diligence but sometimes it is just flat out funny. Thus we share some of the more memorable tracting experiences
A guy pulls up in a truck right next to the house we are about to knock on we send a cheerful greeting to him and he responds by just staring at us and then walking inside. We next knock on his door and he yells go around back. As he comes out the door we introduce ourselves and give him a little bit of what we share with people, after staring at us awkwardly for a minute or two he points his finger at my large Tongan companion and drawls out “I’m part of the klannnn”, we tried giving him a card with Christ but he said he didn’t want it and to get out.

My energetic self knocks on a door and a man comes to the window next to the door and demands “What do you want?” I explain that we are missionaries then he yells “I’M WATCHING TV” I replied with “We are telling people about a book” holding up a Book of Mormon, he looks at us funny and then waddles back to watch TV

Me: Knock knock
Old man answers the door: Hello?
Me: How are you doing today sir?
Old man: Horrible, wadda you want?
Suffice it to say he wasn’t particularly interested in learning about Jesus Christ

We knock on the door of young mother who answers the door, we explain that we are sharing with people how their families can be blessed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and give her a Family Proclamation, and start discussing it with her. She seems interested and we ask if we can come back and discuss more about the Gospel with her to which she assents. I then tell her that if she wants to learn a little bit more she can visit the website listed on the back. She looks at us and says “Mormons, no thank you” she then shoves the pamphlet into my hand and slams the door.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is God’s Kingdom established prepatory to the second coming of the Messiah, I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father.

“We have been called to serve in the place
Where Christ our Saviour has shown His face
We’ve heard the words the Lord has declared
“Kirtland will be built up again”
We are in the Ohio Cleveland
We have prepared since our youth
And we are in the Ohio Cleveland
To bring Ohio His truth
To bring Ohio His truth”  - Ohio Cleveland Mission Song 3rd verse (sung to the tune of Army of Helamen)

The Report of Elder Hunter D. Poe