First of all, Matthew Doane is a beast! All I can say! I had to look
up in the dictionary to see what Hmong even means, but that is
awesome! We have a few Chinese speaking elders in the Manchester
Mission and they always are baptizing people. (No kidding, they
baptized 3 last week alone!)
This week (5 days) has been amazing! Elder Stubbs and I have been on a
mission to talk to less-active members of the ward, and so far we have
It all really began on Thursday night at the ward coordination
meeting. We got a new ward missionary, and he had an idea to list off
all of the less-active members in certain areas and then try to street
contact and tract around those places. So Friday night we taught a
lesson to a man who has gone Catholic after his wife died. He knows
that the Church is true, but has some issues. The Spirit was amazing
as we talked with him about coming back to church.
Saturday, we went up to a part of the area that hasn’t been contacted
as much. It is a beautiful countryside, and a lot of people go there
on warm days. The weather has been amazing (low 70’s) so we decided to
see who we could find. We ended up having tons of people willing to
talk and that was great!
Saturday night was when we had a miracle. After getting out of a tea
appointment, we looked at the phone which had been on silent. We had
several calls from the Zone Leaders and thought that there was an
emergency, so we called right away. They got a hold of us right in
time and asked how fast we could get to the church. We told them an
hour, and they told us that there was somebody that really wanted to
see us who would be there.
When we turned up, there was a very less-active member standing
outside the gates. He is a man who has done almost everything in life
to try to fill the void he feels. He began crying as we went into the
chapel and he told us his story. A few year ago, he was baptized, but
he fell back into his old ways and began to be very prideful.
Prejudice, addiction, and misery followed. Eventually, 2 weeks ago,
everything fell apart and he was left essentially homeless. He walked
the beaches of Heysham until he knelt down and prayed that he could
have help. He felt the Spirit come over him and comfort him. Ever
since then, all of his addictions, prejudices, and miseries have gone.
But, he has also had a desire to come back to church. So on Saturday,
he was walking down a street in Preston when he envisioned praying
with some elders on the street. When he turned the corner, he saw the
Preston Zone Leaders in their car at a red light. He tapped on the
window and asked if they could give him a blessing. A few hours later,
he was back in Morecambe and meeting with us. We invited him to
church, and he came. As he was sitting there, we sang “How Great Thou
Art” and he wept the entire time. Never has the Spirit touched me so
strongly, seeing how God forgives all.
I love this work. Even as we went to the dodgy part of town yesterday
to look for less-active members and had chips thrown at as and were
ridiculed for believing in God, I could see what that one man had that
nobody else did: the knowledge that they could have eternal happiness.
Not the happiness that comes from getting wasted with your 12 and 13
year old friends in your front yard, but happiness that comes from
knowing you are at peace.
Sunday was also great because we got to see the Sharpes! When they
walked into church, Brother Sharpe (it feels strange to call him
that!) came in and hugged me. It is amazing to see the generations of
people in the Church come together. Dinner at the Willis’ was great
because we got to hear some of Brother Sharpe’s stories. Driving a
truck across the Sahara Desert is a new item on my bucket list!
Well, I have to go now! Hope all is well at home, and congrats again
to Matt -er- Elder Doane!