Sunday, November 9, 2014

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

"Hey Everyone!

It was a great week here in Charleston, the weather is getting a lot
cooler so we got our heat turned on today, it is very nice. This week
our zone is having a little bit of a trial of faith, not as many
people came to church this Sunday and there aren't as many people on
date throughout the zone, but everyone's spirit's are really high. We
had Elder Renlund and his wife visit us from the first quorum of the
seventy. It was really great how he taught us and it changed how we've
been teaching our missionaries. Instead of just dispensing information
and telling us how to do things or what things we need to do or fix he
assigned us talks to read beforehand about seeking learning by faith
and strengthening our conversion. The bulk of the meeting was him
asking us what we thought of the talks and what they meant to us. So
rather than him being the source of the information he had us study
and pray, and then in a sense bear witness of what we had learned
which I think taught us in a way that committed us to adhere to our
own beliefs. There were four things that he made sure we remembered at
the beginning of the conference. 1) The First Presidency and the
Quorum of the Twelve have sent a member of the quorum of the seventy
to tell you personally, thank you for the work that you are doing and
the sacrifices you are making. 2) You have been called here by
prophesy and by revelation and if you don't know that down to your
bones than you have a right and an obligation to find out. 3)
President and Sister Salisbury have been called here by prophesy and
revelation and they love each of us more than we know. 4) Jesus Christ
lives, He is the Savior of all mankind and He exists.
It was s powerful and the Spirit was so strong as they taught and bore
their testimonies to us and truly wanted to help us be the best
missionaries we could be. The conference but a lot of fire in us to do
as much as we could to bring others to salvation. We also learned this
week that in the months of January and February our mission will start
to use Ipad's as part of our missionary work. We aren't sure how it'll
roll out or what all we'll be doing, but it should be great. This week
Elder Degooyer and I have seen some really great miracles, we've been
working a lot more with our members in teaching them how to use Preach
My Gospel to do missionary work. This week really strengthened my
testimony of following the promptings of the Spirit. We had planned on
being in a neighborhood called Campbell's Creek on Friday to see the
Slater family but when we prayed at the end of our nightly planning
session it just didn't feel right. I thought it was maybe just that
the Slaters wouldn't be home at that time and we should go earlier. We
ended up moving seeing a potential investigator family to Saturday
since we weren't going to be in that area on Friday. When we went to
go see the potential investigator family, the Pauley's, and teach them
they told us that on the radio they told people to stay our of the
Campbell's Creek area because a group of people were blocking the
roads with tree branches and stuff and mugging people when they got
out of their car. Thankfully the Holy Ghost warned us and we were
safely in Boone County on Friday. Another cool thing that happened
this week came as we were driving down the road and I thought I saw
someone we had taught before, the Spirit whispered a little louder,
because I'm hardheaded, and we pulled over really quickly and talked
to the lady that I saw. She's a former member of the church who has
been going pretty consistently for a couple of months and the friend
that she was with asked if she could come to church with Macel, the
lady we knew. She came this past Sunday and loved it, including fast
and testimony meeting, which in our ward is a little bit of a nail
biter. We taught her afterward and the member that gave them a ride
offered to have us all over for dinner and a discussion in her home.
The investigator Jackie was just blown away by how nice everyone was
and how at home she felt.  We're super excited for how she progresses
and how the Pauley family does in the future. There are so many little
things that God watches over and we're blessed to get to have the gift
of the Holy Ghost to guide us when we can't really see the whole
picture. I hope you have an awesome week, I love you so so much."

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