Our ward is starting to bloom (no pun intended), and everything is starting to fall into place.
Awhile back in September we had an excellent training from Elder Foster of the Quorum of the Seventy. He talked about the three phases of missionary work within the ward/branch.
Missionaries do all of the finding and work (tracting/street contacting).
Avg. Baptisms per month mission wide: 30
Members Help missionaries by going out to teach and fellowship.
Avg. Baptisms per month mission wide: 100
Members do the finding (referrals), missionaries help with teaching in the members home.
Avg. Baptisms per month mission wide: 300 (Note this is if every area in the mission was at phase 3.)
This past week we have started to teach lessons to our investigators in members homes. We had lessons with Karri in 2 different members homes one of them even had her for dinner. We have had 4 lessons total in a members house this week! We had received tons of referrals from members active and less-active, even some of our investigators have given us referrals! Last night we had dinner at our investigators house, The B~'s (referral from the Johnson's), and we invited all of them to be baptized on the 23rd of April and they all said yes! I hope I stay one more transfer. The ward is catching fire. I never want to leave.
The weather has finally calmed down and we have started to get warmer weather. Today we are going to do something outside as a district.
John's baptism was amazing. I was worried at first because 15 minutes before the program we only had 7 people show up, but of course everyone's watches were set on "Mormon Standard Time." At 7pm on the dot and the room was packed. I think next time we will use the chapel. The spirit was so strong. Karri was able to come for the service as well as some of the Sister's and Blackwell's investigators. As John stepped in the water I could tell it was cold, oops, but after he went under the water you could just see the joy in his face. John became clean he was a new man. While John was changing we handed out 4x6 note cards for people to write down their thoughts, feeling and testimonies on. It all worked perfect. I gave the closing talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost and then we sang the closing hymn, Battle Hymn of the Republic. John picked a good one :). After the closing prayer we gave John two big envelopes stuffed with the note cards. Never have I held so much love than those two envelopes. On Sunday Brother Stolt (John's Father-in-law) preformed the confirmation bestowing the Gift of the Holy Ghost and gave a powerful blessing. I am so grateful to be blessed with the opportunity to help John and watch his life change.
The work is great and the gospel is true!
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Sincerely, Elder Watkins
Elder Watkins and John
Elder Watkins, John and Elder Matthews