Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Throwin Down Testimony

Hello beloved family! 

I forgot to let y'all know that I was going to the temple this week!
This past week was pretty dang good! We have been busy with a lot of investigators and a lot of splits! One of the people we are working with is Chinese and he has the same name as one of the Book of Mormon prophets we are studying with him. (They both use the same Chinese characters too...which is rare considering how many different characters could be used in different combinations and yet end up with the same sound!)  That certainly makes likening the scriptures with him pretty easy! He is struggling a lot with believing that God is real. Elder Cook and I feel like that is his biggest obstacle. Once he overcomes that he will start progressing more!

Elder Cook and I held Zone conference on Tuesday and it turned out really well! Leading up to it we kept planning to set aside time to prepare what we were going to teach during the meeting, but every time the time came we always felt like we needed to go do other things. Because of that, when it came time to give our training, we didn't have anything but the theme and some scriptures planned out. That may sound like enough preparation to a lot of you, but to me, being the awful public speaker that I am, I did not feel nearly as prepared as I would have liked! Fortunately, when the time came to give our training the Spirit took over and Elder Cook and I were able to give and speak the words that God would have had us say. The theme we planned to teach on was "Faith as a principle of action". What it became was "Fear and doubt: the opposition to faith". I was so grateful for the incredible help we received. I now have a much stronger testimony that when we give our all in order to do what God would have us do, He will make up the lack. We focused on following the Spirit instead of doing the things we thought we needed to do and that helped us get a lot more things done! It was awesome!

This week I went on splits with an Elder Tolen and Elder Ishikawa(石川). They were both great splits and I learned a lot! The missionaries in this zone are all incredibly hard workers and really want to improve! I have been able to learn so much from their example. Yesterday Elder Ishikawa and I stopped a man on the street who is a young father suffering from a pretty severe illness (I didn't understand which illness it was, but it was a pretty bad type of cancer). We got to know him a little bit when we stopped him. While we were talking I looked at his hand and did the only natural thing someone that has spent a year at BYU would do and did a ring check:). I saw that he had one so I asked him about his family. He told me a little about them and I was able to testify to him about how the Gospel blesses families. I felt directed to show him the picture of y'all--the one where we are all sitting in the middle of the train tracks! He loved it and commented on how we all seemed so happy. I told him that y'all were far away. I talked about how hard it is to be away from you, but how through the teachings of the gospel I know that no matter what happens, if we all keep the commandments, we will be with each other again. I promised him the same thing. After that Elder Ishikawa threw down a testimony of prayer and Heavenly Father and tied it to my family testimony perfectly. I felt like we were Alma and Amulek testifying to the Zoramites!! We plan on teaching that man again this week!

This past week was great! There were some tight situations, some heart wrenching moments and some frustrating experiences, but I felt a lot of guidance and influence from the Spirit of the Lord, and that made everything better. This zone leader thing is really fun, primarily because I get to spend so much time with a lot of different, awesome, amazing missionaries--and my companion is a pretty amazing missionary as well. I feel like I learn a lot more from the missionaries I serve then they probably learn from me!

Anyways, love y'all! I got a call from the mission office saying that I have a package! I haven't seen it yet but thank you!

Elder Siebach

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