Well this week we got some new faces in the zone. We went to MLC on Thursday and had a pretty good meeting. We talked a bit about a talk from the last General Conference, “What Lack I Yet?” We talked a lot about self-improvement and seeking to know our weaknesses to turn them into strengths. We had a really cool miracle right at the end of the year. We had a goal of 25 baptisms for the month of December, and by the 27th we had 24, so they had us ask the missionaries if they had anyone who could be baptised before the end of the year. Well, there was no one in our zone, but there was one man up in a place called King’s Lynn who had been taught by the sisters for a while and had been coming to church. One night he just decided the Book of Mormon was true and he needed to do something about it, so he got baptised on the 31st! I thought it was pretty cool, because I know this guy! When I was in Gillingham, the Gillingham sisters were teaching a man named Clayton so I heard all about his progress in call-ins with them. Only thing was, he didn’t actually live in their area, he lived in the Norwich zone…in King’s Lynn. So when I heard about a miracle baptism of a guy named Clayton up there, I knew exactly who he was and what that took! So cool.
Well, good news, Pawel got baptised this Saturday! He’s such a nice guy. The baptism went smoothly, and he brought a few of his friends to it as well! They liked it, although they not interested yet. I’ll send a picture of the baptism. He actually texted us this morning and told us if there’s anyone we’re teaching that could use his testimony that we should use him! He’s come so far. He used to be a complete atheist, but he’s since been humbled and realized that he wasn’t happy, and that opened him to grow to a knowledge of God, and then that He was his Heavenly Father.
Madre has asked that I add some of my thoughts on Commitment as well, since that seemed to be a recurring theme on Sunday, so what you need to know is that commitment is key to life. It’s pretty huge in missionary work, but only because it already plays a bigger role in each of our daily lives. Funny enough, Elder Leite and I actually gave a training in Zone Meeting on this very topic. I learned a specific pattern in Preach My Gospel to commit someone to do something. The first step is to ask direct, specific questions. I can tell you from mine and other missionaries’ experiences that if you dance around a question, they will dance around the answer. As a missionary, I ask people all the time, “Will you read this chapter in the Book of Mormon tonight and then pray and ask God if it is true?” The next step is to Promise Blessings. Heavenly Father is a great example for this one. You can’t read the scriptures and find a commandment in there without a promise that He will bless us if we follow it. One sister in our zone meeting made the statement: “If they fully understand the benefits of what we ask them to do, they won’t say no.” I totally agree. I think it’s easier for us to keep our commitments- like work, homework, things our parents tell us to do, the covenants we make with God, etc.- when we understand and are excited about what will come from it. The next step is one of the most important, bear testimony frequently. In a nutshell, when you bear testimony, and even share your personal experiences that helped you know a principle is true, the Holy Ghost starts teaching them. Your own teaching after that just supports and backs up His teaching. And last of all is Following Up. The best way for Benson Sam and Mia to understand why this is important is for me to ask you this question: If you didn’t receive any grades for your homework or even have to turn it in to the teacher, would you do it? Who knows, you might, but I probably wouldn’t to be honest! Any ways, that’s my little schpiel on Commitment. You can ponder on what commitments God has given you and how well you’re doing on them. I thought about that when Elder Holland told us in the mission that we are God’s investigators, and He expects us to keep our commitments as well.
Have a great week, family! I love you! Love, Elder Packer