Monday, 6 January 2014

Hello From Your Coventrian Missionary!

Dear Everyone,
The official Coventrian
Coventrian may or may not be the right thing to say but it's epic and I saw it on a canal boat next to the road we take to church (check the canal next to the Northern bit of Swan Lane in Coventry, you might be able to see the boat on google maps streetview...). Note from Mom:  I tried and could see houseboats, but not the name. . .Fun anyway to get a feel for the area!  I did find this picture of the "Coventrian" houseboat.  Also, I'll highlight all the "great"s in thus blog.  I think it's been a good week!
So, this week has been good. It's nice to get out of Christmas/Holiday mode and back to work. We still had New Year's eve and day in the middle of the week and they kind of slowed things down a bit but we did get going. Some wonderful things/learning experiences happened this week. I'm really short on time today so I may not be able to properly express how great it was.
1. We had an exchange with the Zone Leaders. I stayed in Coventry C with Elder Graydon who is Irish and learned how to really find and be a full time servant. It was great and wonderful. We found more Potential Investigators on that day than any other before that on my mission. The cooler thing was though that the next day back with Elder DeHaan, we found even more (so it wasn't just Elder Graydon but what we learned and changed). It's great!

2. Because of a goal Elder Graydon and I had to find Return Appointments, we had a return appointment with this cool Muslim guy named an Arabic form of a bible name (most bible names have Arabic forms so it's interesting translating what the Muslims have in the Qu'ran to the names that we know). If anyone could find a table of the equivalents between the Qu'ran and the Bible, please send it to me. I need to know who Suleiman is but others are easier (Musa=Moses, Adam=Adam, they have a different name for Eve, etc. etc.) The great thing was that while in this appointment, the Lord taught us HOW TO TEACH MUSLIMS!!! It was so great. Basically, the first thing is realising that we can teach Muslims. That is huge as most missionaries here just don't/can't do it because there is a bit of a different approach and they tend to actually believe what they say more than Christians do and know more of their doctrine than the average Christian/atheist. Really though, we should be able to use that to our advantage because the focus on actual doctrine will help them see the truth of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ (half the challenge is helping them see that we are different and unique from other Christians and we don't believe and practice as other Christians do). The key to teaching them though is that they must have an understanding of the doctrine of the fall of Adam and Eve and the agency of Man and then they will be able to understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the necessity of a divine sacrifice and Saviour. Another challenge is teaching all of this while not accepting the Qu'ran as the Word of God but also not making it a contentious/confrontational encounter. It's tough but it's going to work. We have a lot of development and practice yet to do as well. This seriously opens up so many doors! It's great!  For a feel for how the gospel can impact someone who has been Muslim, go to this site!
3. We had Interviews with President Rasmussen on Friday. He taught me some great stuff and helped me with the approach to teaching Muslims (we had the revelatory lesson the night before). Basically, the other key is helping all people see that God is their Loving Heavenly Father and He wants all of us to become like Him. Other than on that subject, President Rasmussen taught me about how to really trust in the Lord. My new Motto is to trust in the Lord because it's 100% him and then work like it's 100% me. That has seriously helped me so much. He also asked me to compare the desire I have to share the gospel with people and get return appointments on a normal day with what it would be like if my family was going to be killed if I didn't get a return appointment by the end of the day. I was taken aback at first. Then he said that the difference was that I loved my family more than all of that and the key was to try to love all the people around me as much as I love them because as missionaries, we really are saving eternal lives (which in fact are more important than mortal lives). So that was a good thing for me to think about and try to improve. I've already started to see a change in my desire to share the gospel with everyone we see and meet.
So, all in all, this past week has been a pretty mission/life-changing experience. I have seriously learned so much and grown so much and felt the spirit so much. I'm so grateful for that! Heavenly Father is really blessing me and us. Also, in case anyone didn't notice, I passed my 8 month mark on my mission. That's 1/3! I can't believe I've been out that long. I have so much more to learn and grow and so little time. Oh boy.
Anyhow, I'm basically out of time. I love you all a lot. The weather is dreadful but at least it's only getting dark at 4:45 p.m. now!
Elder Houghton
P.S. Please pray for J, an awesome Latvian Investigator who is so prepared! It's great. Basically, we answered tonnes of questions for him yesterday and it was super. I'm so excited! We have a lot of other people to pray for but I don't have time to write about them now.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your comment on trusting in the Lord. Truly he requires that we set aside the things of this world and focus on the more important matters of salvation. When we can see the whole picture, his intentions, and the plan of salvation, we not only walk in the light of truth, but place all of our trust in his love for us. Trusting in him completely opens the door of faith, creating powerful and miraculous results. As you trust in him he will bless you with the confidence and strength to forth and share his gospel. He will bless you abundantly for your efforts, no matter how small. The field it white...the wheat is ripe...the harvesting continues....