Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern France, southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Church on a bus, being bold and Scripture advice

Hey everyone!

This week went by super fast. Not much to report—the man who had the baptismal date when I got here is still going strong. His name is Roger and he was found and committed to baptism due to the hard work of Elder Orton and Elder Wheatley last transfer. There is another man named Hugo who we’ve committed to a baptismal date of August 29th, but we may need to work a few things out with that soon, so stay tuned!

Couple of experiences this week: 

1.     While we were on the bus, a lady came up to us and asked us about what we believe (which, for those of you who have never been on missions, is an absolute dream). We started talking but only got about two seconds in when another lady came up and said “You guys believe in Jesus, right? The one who died on the cross?” Which we confirmed, and she just said like, “That…that is real faith. Because Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and you can only be saved through Him. And you guys…He will save you.” And she just kept going, there on that bus with everyone listening. And the first lady was agreeing, and then a third lady from somewhere else in the bus just started saying “Exactly. Amen.” And in the middle of it all were two 20-year-old North Americans just standing speechless, wondering if they had just accidentally started an Evangelist church service on a bus.
2.     I (re)learned that it’s okay to be bold with people. As we were out contacting people in the street, I walked up to two young men, one of whom was smoking. I started talking and they didn’t seem too interested (and as a missionary you can almost always immediately detect interest levels) so I decided to change styles a bit. I just told them “I’m a missionary for my church, and I’d love to help you quit smoking.” That approach kind of shocked them, and my companion, and me. But they both gave us their numbers for a rendez-vous this week!

And now, some advice about what scriptures to read depending on your objective! This is based off of a whole four transfers of being a missionary, with no outside authority whatsoever to back it up, so it’s obviously super legit.

  • If you want to prove intellectually that the Church is true, read the New Testament.
  • If you want to prove spiritually that the Church is true (plus grow nearer to God), your best bet is the Book of Mormon.
  • If you want to prove that the Church is true based on what’s going on in the world today, read the teachings of modern prophets. If you look, you'll find stuff that was and is incredibly prophetic.
  • If you want to deepen your understanding of the Savior, plus have your mind blown and re-blown with every chapter, read “Jesus the Christ” by Talmage.
  • If you don’t feel you’ve gone deep enough and you want to confirm by deep doctrine that the Church is true, read the Old Testament along with the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine & Covenants. (Disclaimer: I haven’t done very much of this yet.)
  • If you want to realize exactly how little you actually know about eternal things, read the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
  • Lastly, if you want a good laugh, read Song of Solomon aloud in a Morgan Freeman voice to the person sitting next to you.

Love you all! Be good!

Elder Stanford

PS Because I forgot to do this when I left Antony, I would like to do a special tribute to my beautiful blue ville. It is the form of a collection of sneaky pictures of the shoes of a ward member, the one and only Frère Tchim.

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