Words of Prophets

Are wonderful aren’t they?

I am very grateful for the opportunity we had this weekend to watch conference. It is amazing that we have such great men and women leading the church, and have the opportunity to hear from them every 6 months. It seems as if every question you could possibly have is answered. Just as was taught, if you focus attentively, you will have a personal prophetic insight given to you.

I especially loved Elder Scott’s talk. I don’t think anyone loves their spouse more than he. Everyone should watch that. And then they should all follow the advice of President Monson and put a picture of the temple in every room of the house.

The work in Pobyeda is going, and about to be going a lot faster, we feel like. I made a realization this week while reading in Ether about the Brother of Jared. I made a realization that asking the Lord to light the ships wasn’t going to get the job done, and he thought of a plan, and said "Heavenly Father, this is what I need done in order to do this" and that is where the miracles began. I have learned that miracles do not come from prayer and routine action, but rather decisive action with directive prayers. I have realized that if we have a righteous desire, or goal, and create the best plan we can, it gives Heavenly Father something to work with, and something to work a miracle with. Elder Adams and I have broken our area down into parts and decided where and how in our area we want to work; which general parts of our area each work for the rest of the transfer. Each day, we are planning to decide where we need to be that day. We both feel that by taking the time to tell Heavenly Father where we are going to be during week 6 of the transfer, we will give him the opportunity to make things happen between now and then to prepare people there. That is our new approach to finding people, and I am very excited about it. Not only do I feel that we will be more effectively drawing upon the powers of Heaven, but we will also be spreading ourselves out and creating a presence in more of our area like you asked us to focus on.

Our investigators are…going. We haven’t been able to meet with Elena since the first lesson we had with her. I think we are going to wait until Leonid and Natasha return from Kyiv and have Natasha give her a call and try to meet her, or just talk. That has been very discouraging because we had such a great first lesson with her. Anatoli and Ludmila have moved to their cottage for the spring/summer and are only in town for English on Wednesdays, which is difficult. I talked to them to try to set up an appointment, and they said they are busy all the time when they are in the city, and if they had any questions they would call us. So they don’t seem to be quite prepared right now, but it will be okay, they have the Book of Mormon, and they have felt the spirit. Sergei is, as Elder Hagee would say, a "box of crazy". We had Vadik and Zhenya with us on the lesson yesterday, which unfortunately lasted for 2 hours. Sergei has a question or comment for everything you say, and everything is taken 100% literally to where he cannot see the difference of things in certain situations. We are unsure what to do with him because he says he is reading, and he prays, but he isn’t really progressing, or understanding what we teach. We taught him last week, but this week he had forgotten everything and nothing seems to stick. It is a tricky situation because he wants to do what is right but it just doesn’t seem to make sense to him.

I am confident that if we can get George to an FHE or another activity with the youth in the city, he will be baptized. He is a great kid. We met with him before English, and taught him the first lesson, and he said "so, in short, if I read the Book of Mormon, and pray to know if it is true, God will give me an answer and I will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet?" We met with him again on Friday, and were planning on teaching him the 2nd lesson, but when we started, he asked us about commandements. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity and found out that he is already living both of them. He told us that he has two friends who want to meet with us as well, so we will hopefully meet with them as well, with a member there. I am very excited to see what the next few weeks have in store.

So….This week Elder Adams was in Bulgaria. It was a fun week with Elder Hagee. The "highlight" of the week was having a "Bible Bash" with a 7th Day Adventist. We taught the first lesson, and afterwards she began to pick apart everything we taught. Undaunted, and possibly unwisely, I sort of gave her the "truth" forcefully in a polite manner :). While we were teaching her the lesson, she quoted James 1:5, and said it was her favorite scripture. Then when we shared Moroni 10:3-5 she wanted to write it down because she said it was amazing. Yet at the end, she said that you cannot possibly pray to God to find out the truth of things. She also laughed at us when we said we had church on Sunday, and started ranting about Saturday being the sabbath. To this I just asked her which was more important: worshipping and setting aside a day, or what day it was. She didn’t have an answer. She just responded with "Joseph Smith is the false prophet Paul was talking about" to which I posed "Then how will there be two prophets who will die in Jerusalem in the last days"? After that she just said that the Bible was perfect, and God says in the Bible he will not longer give revelation to people. Amos 3:7, and Hebrews 6:1 gave a fun little twist. She wouldn’t stop, so I just got up and said we had to leave. Her last comment was "THAT BOOK IS NOT THE WORD OF GOD AND JOSEPH SMITH IS A FALSE PROPHET WHO IS LEADING PEOPLE TO HELL!" I realize in this moment that I have changed a lot on my mission. Instead of blowing up, I took the pamphlet the other lady there gave us, and said that because I respected them and their beliefs I would read it. They refused the Book of Mormon, and we left.

It really is sad how in the dark people are, and how much light the restored Gospel sheds. This woman contradicted herself about 20 times, and I could basically get her to argue anything I would have wanted to. I’m so grateful that we do have a living prophet on the earth, and that the foundation of the church is YOU receiving personal revelation directly from the Godhead of its truthfulness.

Here are some pictures!

Downtown walking to the mission office, thats the back of Elder Hagee’s head.
The Europe Shopping Center, a big place down town. A lot of streets are just brick/cobblestone like you see there.
Thats our Plan of Salvation we drew a few weeks ago.
Victor and I. Yes, You have finally seen him!

I love you all, thank you for the support.

Elder McClintock

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