Well, I know that you were all worried sick about me but I am pleased to report that I have survived the storm, fortunately it was about 200 miles away. So quick hurricane update (y'all probably know more than me) but on the mission side of things we were tracking the hurricane and saw that it was headed straight for the east side of the mission so on Wednesday everyone got the command to initiate Phase One of the Hurricane Preparedness list, which was pack up in case you are evacuated. I was not too excited to pack because I did not want to pack up just to unpack a few days later because THE STORM WASN'T COMING TO FT. MYERS! Anyway, we packed up and then that night all the companionships on the east coast of the mission were evacuated to the chapels, but the "west is best" coast kept doing missionary work. The hurricane, however, did do quite a number to the "L'sid" of Haiti, but it turns out that the places that were hit the hardest were the places that Voodoo is most prevalent... food for thought. So before the hurricane was about to hit the mission it hit Freeport Bahamas and instead of continuing north west towards the mission, the storm went due north for 3 hours before heading back northwest and because of that, the Hurricane hit just outside of the mission boundaries and wrecked the Orlando mission instead. And thus we see as taught by Nephi, "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." That 'bout sums it up for me.
Anyway, during the days that the other side of the mission was on lock down we kept working here on the west side! What a blessing, we didn't see any effects from the storm, not even a bad thunderstorm which was great. On Thursday, we prepared our report for the stake missionary report with the stake president so that was a pretty unproductive day. Then on Friday we finally got to work in our area, which was great! Friday and Saturday have sort of run together on me so I will give you the highlights of both days. First off we contacted a referral and it was an Indian family (like actually from india) and they were pretty cool! The referred us to another Indian family down the street and we prayed with both families! The next day we taught the first family and they were pretty open to the gospel. On Friday we also taught twins, Whitney and Britney and they also accepted the gospel and after that we taught a referral from the YSA sisters, he's a15 y/o kid named Marcel and he was super cool! He is turning his life around and wants to be more positive and he observed that people that were involved with religion tended to be more positive, who knew?!? On Saturday we taught 2 more people, we taught Tiara and she came to church! She is from Atlanta GA and is looking for a church here and Elder Smith and I were like, "Well we have a church", so that was that! To end off the night we taught Tifarel Ambroise who is Nellie's Husband. We had never taught him before, we always went in the other room when we were teaching Nellie and Neifa, but Nellie wants to go to the temple as a family so one thing lead to another and we are now teaching Frè Ambroise! All in all we got 9 new investigators in 2 days... not too shabby. Also this week as a zone we were on the countdown to 40 new investigators and we ended up getting 44 New Investigators this week! Yeah wooh!!! So awesome! Anyway that was the week in a nutshell. Now to the part that is actually cool:
My last thought, so this week as I re-listened to conference there was a talk that caught my attention. It was the last one so maybe that is why but nonetheless, here it goes...
"Joy is one of the inherent results of repentance. The word repent connotes “to perceive afterwards” and implies “change.” In Swedish, the word is omvänd, which simply means “to turn around.” The Christian writer C. S. Lewis wrote about the need and the method for change. He noted that repentance involves 'being put back on the right road. A wrong sum can be put right,' he said, 'but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.' Changing our behavior and returning to the “right road” are part of repentance, but only part. Real repentance also includes a turning of our heart and will to God and a renunciation of sin....Real repentance must involve faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith that He can change us, faith that He can forgive us, and faith that He will help us avoid more mistakes. This kind of faith makes His Atonement effective in our lives. When we “perceive afterwards” and “turn around” with the Savior’s help, we can feel hope in His promises and the joy of forgiveness. Without the Redeemer, the inherent hope and joy evaporate, and repentance becomes simply miserable behavior modification. But by exercising faith in Him, we become converted to His ability and willingness to forgive sin... President Packer said: 'The Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed. … It just heals, and what it heals stays healed. The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, [the Savior] has promised that He would atone. And when He atoned, that settled that… The Atonement … can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated.' "
I testify that this is true.
I hope that you all have a fantastic week and you enjoy the fall weather.
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission