Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 8-Month Mark Is A Perfect Time For Enlightenment and Revelation

Today marks 8 months for me as a missionary - woot woot!  I guess it's awesome, but it's just sad, too, because that's a whole 1/3 of my mission, and I'm seeing how fast time flies, and I just don't want it to be over that soon!  The best part, though, is that when I think about that it makes me realize how valuable the time is that I have, so it just makes me want to work harder and harder and never waste a single minute!!!

Well this last week has been kinda rough.  We've had A LOT of dropped appointments, and even more rescheduled appointments...that end up falling through anyway.  So that doesn't make things any easier, and it sure doesn't help the progress of our investigators or our area, but it has taught us a lot.

Sunset @ Gloucester Bay
These circumstances, along with a great talk with our Bishop this last week, have really helped us to feel enlightened and receive revelation on what to do for our area.  We prayed a lot about it this week, pondered to ourselves about what we could do, and then last night Matt Wood came and helped us sort out everything (seriously he's the best.  He's such a close friend to me, he really helps us a lot, and he will be such an amazing missionary).  After talking about our area and discussing our investigators, Matt said, "Something has to change here, and it needs to change quick," so we got to work :)  Basically, we realized that we've been striving to much for quantity of numbers and not the quality of the people that those numbers represent.  We've been spending 9 days out of 10 in one area, and don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful people there and they are all special sons and daughters of out Heavenly Father, but generally the quality of the people we find as investigators there turns out to be more of a burden to the ward than a strength.  Basically, we've decided that we need a "teaching pool" of more solid investigators who have more stable lives - people who, upon baptism, will become a great strength and addition to the ward.  Now this doesn't mean that we are just going to forget that area and move on, it just means that we are only going to focus our efforts there on the people we already have (and of course any other referrals we get), but spend the rest of our "finding times" in areas such as Rowley, Groveland, and especially Georgetown itself. 

We are very excited about this change that will take place in our efforts here, and we feel strongly that this is what the Lord would have us do at this time.  With that in mind, we also feel that the Lord is preparing specific people to be put in our path in the areas where we are about to search, so now it's just up to us to rely on the guidance of the Spirit and then find those who are really seeking the TRUTH!

Well I'm excited to get to tell you about all the miracles we will see :)  so till next time.....

From New England with love,

Elder Dustin Carr

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Training By A Special Witness of Christ

Monday we had a Zone Conference in which we were blessed to have Elder C. Scott Grow come and speak to us/train us.  It was so amazing getting to hear from a General Authority for several hours and getting to literally speak to him, work with him, and learn from him.  He taught us a lot about how efficient it can be to seek referrals from Less-Active Members.  We also got to have some question and answer time, as well as listen to one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard.  His teachings have given us more solid ideas and approaches to this work, and his testimony has strengthened me and built my faith so much.  I am so grateful for the blessing of having Elder C. Scott Grow speak to us at Zone Conference, and I am so excited to see the miracles and success that will come through following what he has asked/taught us to do.
Well, Junior's baptism went great.  We had a relatively small crowd, but a powerful service.  It was a great start to his life of growing up in the church, and he is going to go far and do many great things because of the choice he made to be baptized.  This next week we are going to start having FHE with him and his family, and we are hoping to have one of our investigating families join us there.  We're really excited about that! 
Well I am loving it here; the work is hard, but it is always wonderful and worth it.  We see a lot of miracles, and also a lot of things that seem to let us down, but we don't let them get us down, we just keep on working and exercising our faith.  I feel so close to this ward and I have really developed some solid relationships that I know will last past my mission, like with Matt Wood and his family.  I'm so happy here in Georgetown, and I just love this work!  I know that this church is the only True and Living church on the earth.  I know that Joseph Smith was the prophet through whom the Lord restored His church.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God.  And I know, with all my heart, that Jesus is the Christ; that He died for you and for me, and that there is nothing - physical or spiritual - that His Atoning Sacrifice does not cover.
Stay strong in the faith, and do all that you can to be stronger everyday.
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Progressing Explosions of Progress!

These last two weeks have been CRAZY AWESOME!!!  Elder Busby and I have been so incredibly blessed with so much success from all of our hard work.  Last week, we got 6 new investigators! This Sunday, we had 7 investigators at church! By the end of Sunday, we had 8 progressing investigators! And this next Saturday is Junior Fernandez's Birthday!!!  It has definitely been an exciting few weeks full of miracles and so much more.
With investigator Simon
Elder Busby and I have been learning TONS and growing so much.  We are always setting new goals and striving to do better and better EVERY DAY!  At first I was having a hard time with my own pride and not allowing him the equal opportunity in teaching/finding situations, and I felt terrible about it, but I didn't know what to do.  As I prayed and pondered how I can fix this, I realized that I need to rely on him more.   I have always been able to trust him, and I've always had so much confidence in him, so now I just needed to put that into action!  And so this last week has been really great and I have been able to take from his example and learn so much during all the work we do. 
As we talked this last week about why/how we've been so blessed with all these miracles and how our new investigators have so quickly become progressing investigators, we came up with a three-part formula to missionary success.  First, striving to be 100% Obedient (even in all the little things); Second, striving to be 100% Dilligent (no justifications for wasting 1 single minute of the Lord's time); and Third, having pure Faith that miracles will come through our obedience and dilligence.  :)
I have also learned a lot about Faith recently and how essential it is in this work.  Last Sunday, a young man, whom we didn't know, came to church.  He had come a few times about a year and a half ago, and randomly decided to come back.  We met with him later, and when we asked what sparked his interest in coming back and investigating the church again, he told us a story.  His story was about a recent experience when he had felt the spirit so strong, and it drew his thoughts back to our church.  He is such a solid investigator now and he is growing daily in his testimony.  Having him come to church that Sunday was such a miracle and it really reaffirmed my faith that the Lord truly is preparing people to be ready to recieve His gospel.
Well, we're looking forward to another week full of work, obedience, dilligence, faith, and hopefully more success :)
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr