Monday, June 25, 2012
Jun 25, 2012
Saturday was a hard day! I stressed the night before because we had no appointments scheduled, we were out of miles, the heat-index was into the high 90's or 100's and yet, we still needed to get out and work. So I planned, and called, schemed, plotted, sought help and none of my plans worked out. I prayed hard that we could go out and whole day Saturday and work effectively even though we didn't have any appointments.
After a massive miracle, I could not believe it when we left the apartment and set off into the world. All I really knew is that there were a ton of people on one of our ward lists and neither myself nor my companion knew any of these people, so we were going out to meet them, strengthen them, and set up follow-up appointments; with the added benefit of being able to talk to people by the wayside.
We went house to house and met some great people. One family fed us lunch (Which was great, because I stressed about how we were going to eat lunch). We met some less-actives, strengthened families, and were even taken to a home where the husband spontaneously asked us to give him a blessing. It was a beautiful thing to be part of! No one in this area has asked me or my companion to give them a blessing except one other time for a less-active family's 2 year old son. It was a magnificent experience to be an instrument in the Lord's hands and make known to this man all that was to be made known to him. I felt edified by this miracle and this tender mercy!
Then, after eating dinner with another family, we went out to do a thing many missionaries highly dislike. It's called "Power Hour." You get with a member at a little before 6 pm, share a powerful quick, message. Then ask the head of the household to give a prayer, combining everyone's faith that we would be able to find someone(s) to teach. Then, from 6- 7 pm we go out and FIND!!!! Yea, you can probably guess why this isn't the favorite activity of many missionaries. But I have been pushing and pushing to go out and do this every single day! On this day, we shared a powerful lesson, we asked the head of household if he knew anyone that would be blessed by the message of the restored gospel, he pointed out two houses and said, "Good luck." We went to the first one and nobody was home. Then, we went to the second house where the member described the man living there as "Extremely Christian."
After ringing the doorbell, a man comes to the door, pokes his head out looks both ways and says, "You guys Jehovah's Witnesses?" "No" we say, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." "Wow! This is rare, come in." he says. We then had a very long and awesome conversation with this man and got a new investigator!! It was AWESOME!!!!
After this, we walked a few miles back home, a member driving by drove us the last mile and we finished our day as it should have happened- filled with miracles, and both extremely sweaty.
The Lord's hand IS in this work! He guides and inspires his servants according to their diligence and righteousness. He WILL gather His sheep, regardless of whether we are worthy and ready or not; His purposes will be accomplished. But if we are ready, willing, and worthy; we get the amazing blessings which come from taking part in His work.
I testify of Christ! I testify that He lives! And that is all the reason in the world to go and labor diligently despite the challenges which may seem less than ideal.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Love Ya All
Elder Ryan A. Bell
Monday, June 11, 2012
June 11th 2012
Thank you all for the wonderful packages, letters, e-mails, encouragement, and upliftment. This has been a great week for me. I got to return to my old area on Saturday to baptize the last investigator I was working with. His name is Patrick Patterson, and it was an AMAZING baptism!!!!!! I have never had quite that experience baptizing someone until Saturday. The kind where you just put them in the water, pull them up, and then just embrace in a hug of purity!
How could I ever have had an experience like that or felt the joy of teaching Patrick and watching him learn, progress, and grow if I had not left home to come out here? It could never have happened! I never would have met the people I have, I never would have seen the miracles I have seen, I never would have had my own testimony and relationship with God strengthened to the degree that it has been if I had not come to this place; and how grateful I am for that!
These great experiences do not come without a price, as you all well know. I firmly believe that the family has a much harder time on a missionary's mission than the actual missionary themselves. So I wanted to take a minute this special Monday to tell each of you thank you for making the sacrifices you have so that Jordan and I could go forth in the power of the Spirit and do the work we are doing! I love each of you SO MUCH for this!!! For spending the time and putting forth the effort to make my mission even better by listening to these rants every Monday and sending support and encouragement in the form of letters, e-mails, packages, and prayers.
I really cannot express what I feel for each of you. Think of something like the deepest abyss and then throw in a volcano of love and that might come somewhere close.... but I don't know.
Hopefully I can send pictures of the baptism next week. I would love for each of you to see Patrick!!!!
-Elder Ryan A. Bell
Monday, June 4, 2012
Guess what? I did get transferred last Thursday. I am now in a magical place they call, "The Woodlands" if you are ever bored and on Google Maps, go check out some of the houses here. Probably about the same as Bountiful or comparable in Utah, but for the Houston area, they are monsters! But, I do get to go back to my old area on Saturday to participate in the baptism of an awesome investigator named Patrick….
Anyway, I am now in the Woodlands which is the richest part of the mission. Crazy houses up in here, lots of affluence, nice cars, nice people, and no soliciting signs. In this area, the missionaries cover 2 wards, so I get to come to know 2 additional families to add to my list of famililes that I will eventually abandon. (You are the first on that list). It was so cool getting to meet ward members on Sunday! Both wards were very welcoming to me. In one of the wards, the Bishop, whom I had never met, stood up in Sacrament Meeting and said, "We have a new missionary in the ward, his name is Elder Bell, I hope each of you will get to shake his hand and get to have him over for dinner." I was so surprised! It was awesome!! I have had the opportunity to go on splits and meet 10 families in the past couple days, doing missionary work, talking about missionary things, and just- AWESOME!!!! I am so stoked to be here!
Yes, it is definitely a hard change, but if I am as blessed as I have been so far on my mission, I will be just as sad to leave this area as I was to leave my last one. Love just never hurt so much!
Elder Ryan A Bell
New AddressSpring, TX 77386