Hello everybody! Sorry about last week. Yes, I did forget to push send. My bad. Sometimes on P-day I get so caught up with missionary work and teaching repentance that I forget to do worldly things. So I apologize for that.
Totally kidding, just so you know. I realize that joke could sound really arrogant, but I think it's funny so I'm not going to delete it. Anyways, enough with the joking around. Now for the important stuff!
Life has been going well here in the Bayview ward. I think the most important thing that happened this week was probably that DAVID'S GONNA GET DUNKED. In more reverent terms, he really wants to be baptized, and he's looking good for September 24th. During the last couple lessons he's told us that he told his wife he's not drinking her coffee anymore no matter how good it tastes, he wants to bring his son to church, and he really really wants to get baptized. He's so sweet.
We've pretty much taught him everything he needs to know, and so it sounds like there should be no problem with him getting baptized on September 24th. Of course, Satan usually tries really hard during these last couple of weeks, so you never know, but I have a ton of faith in him. Pray for him hard, alright?
Also, another funny thing about David. On Sunday in Gospel Principles the topic was missionary work, and the lesson was super fun. Basically Tina (The teacher) had us all split up as missionaries and investigators, and Elder Stowell got paired up with David as missionary companions. Then they had to do a street contact, and they did it with some of our other investigators! So basically Elder Stowell started it off, but then David just took over and started unloading everything he loves about this church. So that was super fun. I was across the room teaching with Vivian (another investigator) and we got put with Brother Lee. Brother Lee is the old bishop, and so he knows all about missionary work and he tried to make it really hard for us. He pretended to be a stubborn Buddhist and everything he said was so cliche I was pretty much incapacitated due to laughing. Vivian did a great job though.
In other news, one of our investigators accepted a calling... and he's not a member yet. He's loves playing the piano though, so he's gonna take over that job. So we're pretty much guaranteed to have one investigator at church every week until we baptize him. Blessings. Also, he has the coolest name ever. His name is Glory. As in "I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description". I think if God gave him a golden birthmark on his forehead that said "baptize me!" it wouldn't be more obvious.
Also, this week we found a ton of new people. We really have been trying not to waste any time this week, and in Toronto it's a little frustrating because we're in traffic quite a bit. Usually we always try and roll down the window and talk to the person next to us, but that's hard because we only have like 10 or 15 seconds before one of us moves, and so pretty much the only thing you can do is give them a mormon.org card. One of the new things we've been trying to do is call everyone in our phone. All the missionaries phones have years and years worth of contacts that have been stored and forgotten about, so we've been trying to purge it. There are probably several hundred numbers in there, some of which are members and some of which are potential investigators and some of which are random people, so whenever we're in the car we just go through them and ask if they want to hear a message. Some of them have obviously been in there a long time. Many of them have said they haven't met with missionaries for 4 or 5 years.
Vivian has been doing awesome. She's been reading and praying every day, and she's coming to a ton of church activities as well, which helps all the young members in the ward get to know her. She has quite a few member friends now. She's still nervous about setting a baptismal date which is fine, but I can just feel that she's so close to making the decision.
Also, we went to bible study this week. However, it was not at our church. It was at the People's church. So that was fun. I think some people there were a little intrigued as to why Mormons were in their building, but they were all really nice. We only went for a half-hour or so because we had to go teach English class, but we took the opportunity to hand out Book of Mormons and most of the people there wanted one.
In other news, we've been meeting with an older lady named Chen. She just got to Canada, and the only reason she left China is because of her husbands health. China's got some pretty bad pollution in the cities, so she came over here with him, and from what she says, it sounds like he's pretty close to passing on. We taught her how to pray last lesson, and she said one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard. It was super short. Pretty much all she said was "Dear God, please bless my husband that he will live a little longer. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." She was crying, and honestly I was pretty close to doing the same. Shes just a super sweet lady, and she has no religion, but she wants so desperately to believe in God.
That was pretty much the week. We taught some folks like Rocky, Henry, William, Liu Jia Hao, David (different one), David (another different one), Sam, Shaelin, and Jermaine, but the two that are closest to baptism are definitely David and Vivian. Keep them in your prayers.
Last thought before I close. I was reading the book of mormon this morning and trying to find spots where there was obviously some heart and soul poured into the writing. Elder Stowell heard a talk a while back called "The Tears on the Pages" which refers to the spots where the author could have been crying while writing it. For example, Moroni at the end of the Book of Mormon writes that he is all alone, but he knows that he shall soon rest with God, and that one day the Lamanites will be brought back to the knowledge of their Redeemer.
Anyway, I was reading in Moses this morning which I don't usually do because we don't really use that with our investigators ever. But I did, and it actually turned out really cool. I'm sure most of you know, but there's a spot in there where Enoch is with God, and together they behold the wickedness of the world before the flood of Noah. After that, this is what's written
28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?
In essence, Enoch is saying that God's creations are endless. He has a thousand worlds just like this one, and for him to lose just one need not be important. But to God it is, and Enoch finds that to be marvelous. He is amazed that God will weep at the wickedness of men despite having all the power and the glory of the universe. Then God tells him why.
32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands...
33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?
40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep...
I just find this amazing. The world is so huge, and every day here in Toronto I meet people from all around it. I see people with all sorts of stories, backgrounds, and lives, and every single one of them was made by God. We are not random accidents or flukes. We are made. We are created. We are designed in the image of a God - A God that knows every single one of us. And he is our Father. Our lives and our choices will never be controlled by him, but we are watched over. Watched intently and lovingly by a God who only wants the best for us. I promise you all that you are all loved by a God in heaven, and that is meant in a very specific way. He loves you, and I know that's true. The things that happen to you today will be noticed by him, and if you pray to him they can be the subject of your conversation. Always remember that God is yearning for you to make the right choices today.
Anyway, I thank you all so much for your prayers. They are felt here, and I love every one of you. I wish you all the best!