Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tuesday August 26, 2014 - Listening while teaching, reading the Ensign, 113 out for a baby blessing and a broken toe!!!

Hey everyone, This week in Perth has been a good week. Unfortunately my memory isn't the greatest today SO you will have to bear with me.

So in my personal study this week, as you know I have been going through Preach My gospel. And this week we were studying Chapter 10 on Teaching Skills, and there was a few that stood out to me at this time. #1 For those who know me quite well will get a chuckle out of this but it 's LISTENING. #2 Teach for understanding,  #3 Use the Scriptures.

So as many of you may think, all thee of these are what we should do everytime, but anyone who has served a mission can probably attest to, sometimes when teaching lessons you teach, but we are to be teaching others through the scriptures.The scriptures testify of Jesus Christ and are a pure vehicle of the spirit and the use of scriptures are unbelievably powerful. As I was studying it I found that in my teaching, I use scriptures sometimes, but a lot of the time when teaching about the restoration specifically, I will teach it myself, but I have urged myself to try to use more scriptures in my teaching so that they can feel the spirit much stronger. 

As far as listening goes, it is very important to listen because 1: it shows them you care, 2: it helps them build trust, 3: they feel you are actually there for them. Everybody wants to feel important and as a teacher you must listen to understand what the needs of those you are teaching are. When I was young I had ADHD and in school I would get distracted very easily, so as a child in elementary school they would seperate me specifically from the other students, so that I wouldn't be distracted from people. The teacher knew this would work because she listened to me, I was a very independent person at that young age and always felt like an outsider so I was able to work better by myself, off from the other children. Listening is VITAL because as in Preach my Gospel We are promised that if we listen, something that is said will highlight an aspect of the gospel in which we can share and bear solemn testimony about. As we Listen we invite the spirit into the lesson, because we illustrate we care.

As far as teaching for understanding that one is pretty self explanatory however, I have learned that we as teachers need to be able to simplify our message and understand it so well that we can explain it in plain ways to help those we are teaching understand it. You can not expect someone or even have someone be able to gain a testimony of the book of Mormon or prayer or any other aspect of the gospel unless they understand what is being taught. Always follow up and see if people need you.

Along with those aspects I learned of more effective ways to include members in the teaching, and that is by helping prepare them. As we effectively work together with our members we will be strengthened and uplifted. As all three of us work together in unity, it will be more effective for both of us and we will all be benefited by it, us by helping our investigators, the members will feel empowered and the investigator will be supported and build trust.

So along with that aspect of my study I read several talks in this months ensign which were really good. There were two in the YSA section of it which were really good, "He said no and yes", and "Live on this Land?" I think that is the name of it, and then there were a few talks one was "Be of Good Courage" it was about a military person, and  another one about Light can't remember the name of it but it was really good.

So for this week it has been chalk full of excitement, not really but it was good .

So today I will summarizes it all in a paragraph, Taught some really good lessons. We had the opportunity to help offer a blessing to one of our investigators which was fun, went on an exchange with Elder Stewart learned a lot and had a very good day. Went out to a place called the Carvery which is like a traditional roast beef dinner. Had some great lessons, met some nice people.
We also did very well with getting members out and incorporating a lot of them so that was nice with our small branch, to see the possibility there. We also had a baby blessing on Sunday which brought out 113 people for it so our little branch building was filled to the max, it was awesome.

Also Yesterday was Zone Development had fun, EXCEPT, I might have broken my toe. Will be getting it checked out. It is nasty but I will attach a photo if you would like to see it.

Well love all of you

Live long and Prosper
Elder Reece Out
- Elder James Reece

Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday August 18, 2014 - Search, Ponder and Pray!

This past week was a good One had a lot of fun with it being Moves Week, My companion and I are staying together so excited about that and have learnt alot this week.

As always Let's begin with Studies.
So As you Know from district Meeting a few weeks back, We got invited to study Preach My gospel chapters one per week. So this Past week we Studied Chapter 5: The Book Of Mormon and it was very exciting and solid information. I learnt more about the importance of the Book Of Mormon and how to be able to help others recognize the Book of Mormon as the word of God. I was also wondering why the Book of Mormon, Why do we need to focus on it. And Simply it is because It contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. As we Read from the Book Of Mormon and teach using the Book Of Mormon, investigators will feel the holy spirit testify to them that the book is true. And Once we come to know the Book of Mormon is true well then everything comes to say that the church and everything we believe is true, because If the book of mormon is true that means Joseph Smith is the Prophet that restored the gospel to the Earth.
I know it to be true. I invite all who read this to continue the Invitation given to us in Preach My Gospel and to continuously use the promise given to us in Moroni 10: 3-5, "Behold I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall recieve these things and ponder it in your hearts. 4. And when ye shall recieve these things, I would exhort you that ye would Ask God, The Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the Power of the Holy Ghost.5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" 
As you continue to read and ponder and to pray about the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness your desire to read will increase, your light and truth will increase, and your testimony will deepen. I urge all of you to use Preach My gospel and study chapter 5, and you can come to know in your own life about how the Book of mormon will help you answer questions, how it will help strengthen you and how it will help you recieve personal revelation for yourself. Our church revolves around Revelation and the source to recieve revelation is the Book Of Mormon. If you want to know what the Lord wants you to do well, all you have to do is seek it out through ernest study and prayer of the Book of mormon.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I know that it is inspired translation of the plates of gold and brass that the stories were inscribed of, And I know that if any of you do what Moroni invites you to do you will come to know just like I and millions of others that this church is true. I witness these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

In my study as well, I have been focusing on the fact of REMEMBRING. It is something that comes up over and over again through all the scriptures and it always says remember that your fathers have done this remember that the Lord helped you with this, and I have been pondering and thinking hard about why we remember and as I have I have thought back to the times on my mission that I have had difficulties and what got me through those difficulties?
Remembering the Lord in those times, remembering my potential, remembering the blessings and miracles I have seen in my own life and the life of others. Remembrance is amazing and so important.
In doctrine and covenants section 6: 22,23 have really helped me understand better about this principle.
" Verily, verily I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.23: Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"
This verse has showed me the importance of listening and remembering back these things. I know that it is true. For example if your parents give you an answer are you going to continue to ask them for the same thing? No you are not.  That is because you have already recieved an answer.
I remember a time when I was struggling on my mission and I was praying to know if the Lord was even there, but didn't look back I just wanted to recieve an answer, and as I was praying again and again not recieving an answer a thought came to my head to turn to my scriptures and that thought came because I remembered a friend of mines testimony about how he recieved his answer from the scriptures, and right there it told me I am supposed to be here the Lord showed me again something I already knew and spoke peace unto my heart through remembering.

As I have been working with Less Actives as well one of the most powerful things we can do is to help them remember WHY they joined the Church, how they felt when meeting and learning and what made them choose to join. And as they come to reflect on those things for themselves they see how much they are missing and what they desire most and that is to follow Christ.
So as part of my exercise on Rememberance I have started a notebook, while going through all my district meetings,zone interview trainings, zone conferences, personal revelations from my scripture journal and been looking first off at Commitments I have been given while on exchanges and so forth but then looked deeper into Improvements I have ever needed to make and see how I have changed certain things and grown up and the started looking at Goals and Strengths. So basically I ran a SWOT analysis on my mission and by doing so have seen how these things have impacted me and how my weaknesses are becoming strengths just like what is described in Ether 12:27
"27. And if man come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
The Lord truly does strengthen us as we turn to him, he makes our weaknesses become strengths and I invite all of you to go back and think of examples in your own lives where you have had weaknesses that as you have trusted in the Lord he has strengthened you. I know you will find success and see your own growth by doing so. 

So along with my studies we have had a good week this week.
On Monday we got to clean the house nicely, and learn more fully about the strength of the spirit in clean places.  It was nice to clean it Good, we then got to go for TEA at a recent converts house and have a good lesson about the Spirit in Family home evening with The spirit being able to guide us in darkness. ( you take a bowl of water, sprinkle pepper into it then ask someone to stick their finger in without getting pepper on it) it doesn't work then you use soap on the finger and stick it in and it repells the pepper away.

On Tuesday we had a chalk full day, we had the chance to finish tracting the street we were tracting then had the priviledge to see our investigator, We had a great lesson about the Restoration and reading it from Joseph Smith history is just so powerful. we Also taught our book of mormon class which was very good, and had the priviledge to learn and discuss it to strengthen our testimonies and theirs.

On Wednesday we went to St. Andrews, (the place where golf was invented) and saw the golf course and the ruins and tower, it was magnificient. I do have photos and they will come. One of the members took us out and we had a great day of bonding and strengthening with them, it was such a great experience and Elder Patterson is a golfer so he almost lost it. :P But it was overall a great experience. I got to partake of my first chippy, so that was incredible. 

On Thursday: We had a pretty crazy and busy and tiring day, we did alot of administrative things and had the priviledge to Try by and contact some less actives and see if they were interested in coming back, unfortunately they weren't but it was nice to meet them. We lended up in the evening going out for 20 minutes and following the spirit and it led us directly to where we needed to go to find an investigator we were directed right to their street and as we were directed to her street they pulled in and we went to talk to them. It was incredible.

On Friday: We had district Leader council which was fun because zone leaders invited us district leader companions in to the meeting so we could be apart of it, we talked largely about how a leader's area is to be a model area and we are all pushing hard to do exactly that. We then had great lessons with Aimee and another investigator it was nice to see them both,

On Saturday we had a great day, Several solid lessons and were able to feel the spirit strong with them. We have also been focusing on largely on the setting return appointments and we are excited for this week since we already have most of our week booked. We had good lessons and alot of success.

On sunday: We had good lessons at church and the message this week in Priesthood was on bringing up our children in Light and Truth. So it was a really good lesson. We then went for dinner as usual and I was able to do some family history while Elder Patterson prepared for his district meeting, So that was exciting.

So in the following e-mail will be pictures from St. Andrews.

Hope you all have a great week, and enjoy yourselves, 

Trust the Lord, he Trusts in you

Live long and prosper

Elder Reece Out

- Elder James Reece

Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday August 11, 2014 - Scone Palace visit, teaching investigators, fasting for missionary work and family history

So first off, we have recieved moves calls, and I am happy to say that my companion and I are staying together for another transfer. Our district is only having one change so that is interesting,  however, a funny thing is that every companionship except us in our district is training, There is one elder and two sisters that are being trained in our district, so it's pretty cool.

So this week in my studies we have all been studying Preach My Gospel in depth, and I was studying chapter 3 which is all the lessons. My companion and I at the moment, are going throug,h looking for the specific doctrines of the lessons to understand them and marking the scriptures, so that is really exciting. I am also trying to write down some questions I have about certain topics and then try to solve them so it is interesting.
This week has been interesting, I have been reading abit of the Book Of Mormon, but focused most of my studies on Preach My gospel, I am currently in Mosiah 7 and it's interesting the things I am picking up on in the versus now. Just interesting facts I find.
Well That is all for studies however this week was interesting.
So this week we have had some ups and some downs. Lately we have been having difficulties meeting with some of our investigators, so we have been doing alot of finding, and this is the most tracting I have done on my whole mission so it is interesting. It is definately a challenge for us right now to find new people to teach and Contact less actives, but I can feel the Lord has something big in store. We have a branch Fast on the 23 and 24th of this month for missionary work So we will see what results, but The members and people are getting more involved so that is amazing.
So On Monday we went to Scone palace, which is the coronation site of Scottish Kings and it was really cool, we learnt a bit and got to play with swords shields, and muskets( I think they are called) They were in the gift shop, we had a blast,
On Tuesday We had our last district meeting for the transfer and we all thought we were staying and as mentioned earlier we all stayed except one. Later on we had some less active lessons which is nice, we have seen some people with some struggles and it is nice when they have us over and as we see potential. It is absolutely amazing
Wednesday we had a very good lesson with our investigator aimee, There was a strong spirit there and it was evident in the room for sure. Oh and we did Family history and we now have access to My heritage, family search, and Find my past, so it is very exciting to see. I am starting to have abit of success.
Thursday was a good day we found a lady by following the promptings of the spirit so that was good, we had 20 minutes left because 9 and pondered on where to go and we were brought to this street and this one house stood out to me and then as we went to knock it a car pulled in and we went to that house and found some people interested.
Friday was a good day we had the priviledge to teach a new investigator named Willie and had a member with us the lesson went very good, the member we had had a solid and strong testimony so it was very amazing. He definately felt the spirit strong and we all had good laughs there as well. He was trying to hook me up with his daughter it was kind of funny, but I know he was just being cheeky so everything is okay. :P
Saturday Was a full day of tractin and gqing and contacting people it was long but had some success found some good potentials and will go back in a week to visit them. I was also able to write some letters home as well in my lunch break so that was nice.
Sunday I gave a talk which was good, it was on how we are to be the light in this dark world, and was influenced by the temple when I was at the MTC seeing it at night all lit up with darkness all around.

Well that was my week love you all
This week we are going to St. Andrews for P-day so that will be fun with some members. Love You
Live Long and Prosper
Kirk Out :) 
Elder Reece Out

- Elder James Reece

Monday, 4 August 2014

Monday August 4, 2014 - Sharing the gospel, his apt, a wedding, investigators, kilt wearing and Scone Palace visit!

Hello Everybody,
This past week has been a good week. We had alot of cool and alot of strong studies this week.
As always we will begin with my studies of the week, so what was studied this week, well everything. There was some general conference talks, some preach my gospel, some Book Of Mormon, doctrine and covenants,  church movies and quotes (Spiritual Thoughts)
So this week in Preach My Gospel I have continued to go through highlighting all the important things I find through studying the lessons, and I have made it up to laws and ordinances now. I have been able to study more in the commandments this week specifically and been doing it for about 10-15 minutes per day and writing down thoughts about them.
So this week in topics, I focused alot on Christlike attributes, I studied I think obedience, and then after that spent several days( and still studying it)  on love and charity and diving deeper into why tat is important and what it means. As I thought of it, pondered it and studied it I came across a scripture that said basically if you have faith and others but no charity then you are nothing. And I thought of that for a bit because without charity we are nothing, We may follow the rules but we don't do it for the benefit of others, As we serve the Lord with all our heart might mind and strength, we must show love, because as we serve we are only in service to our God,  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ judge us based on our desires, so when we don't have charity our desires are either for self gain or other unrighteous purposes. Heavenly father and Jesus Christ love all of us or else this plan wouldn't have been given unto us and with charity the Savior would not have suffered and died for us.

Charity is important in all things and as stated by Thomas S. Monson, It is the very essence of the Gospel. All that Christ did was to serve and strengthen other people, he never ridiculed, degraded, or torn down anyone, he was perfect and loved internally. Even when christ was on the cross he cried out to his father for him to forgive those who did this to him, for they knew not what they have done.
I don't know about you, but for me I would not be able to, I don't think forgive someone for torturing me against my will. He Loved all of us and will continue to love all of us, He has a perfect Love, a complete Love for us and I love that Jesus Christ would have died just for one of us as he did for all of us.

I also studied a few talks on Love, One the essence of the Gospel, By Thomas S. Monson and as well, The first Great Commandment- Jeffrey R. Holland and labour in the vineyard and they all underlined Love.

In the first real commandment, peter is asked three times if he loves the savior and repeatedly replies saying "yay lord thou knowest that I love thee", and then Elder Holland shares his idea on what the exchange happened. I love how he talks about how once we come unto our new lives we can never look back, just like in the scriptures talking about Lot's wife she looked back and desired to go back and was turned to stone, as disciples of Christ we can never go back to the old way, those bridges have been burned and if we try to return then we are taking away progression, The Lord helps us progress and make changes to become better everyday he Loves us and we love him.

LOVE TRULY IS THE ESSENCE OF THIS GOSPEL IT IS THE REASON WE DO HOME AND VISITING TEACHING IT IS THE REASON WE DO SERVICE AND IT IS THE REASON WE ARE ALL UNITED, We come from all different paths of life some of us more then others but we unite to pay respects to the most high God.

So that is what I found in my studies this week.
This week has been filled with exciting things and cool experiences.

On Monday, We had a family home evening on by small and simple things are great things come to pass. And it was a really good lesson. On p-day we watched the animated stories of the Book of Mormon and I had the privilege of making shephards pie and early morning to make cookies for my district. They really enjoyed them on Tuesday

Tuesday I was then here in Perth with elder shubin, and him and I are alot alike. We both had the same companion, Elder Cziesla and when last transfer I was serving with elder cziesla, he always told me I was like Elder Shubin and I couldn't comprehend it but then afterwards I noticed we are alot alike. It was a great exchange did some good contacting and got to do BOM class which is good, I do wish we had more to teach but we are working on that Alot

On Wednesday we had a good time at the British Heart Foundation steaming clothes, which is nice, however Sara is moving in two weeks so we will miss her dearly but know she will do great in Birmingham. We then switched back and had the opportunity to see several people unfortunately we hadn't scheduled joint teaches so it didn't work out that bad. But Had a good time, really good lessons where the spirits touched their hearts strongly.
On Thursday was a day of planning, weekly planning and we got to do some Family History and learn more how to use it I am working on it, I need one more thing and I think I can jump back much farther once I get a few more things. It was a really good day and we will be doing hometeaching planning this week which will be well. Oh on Thursday as well we got to help out some friends by taking photographs at their wedding for them, unfortunately it wasn't a temple marriage but it was great nonetheless and my first wedding to be at. The love in their eyes for each other was apparent and amazing.
I am so greatful that this gospel allows us to be sealed to our families wives and children for eternity, and I am so greatful to be able to share that truth with the world.
On Friday we did alot of organizational stuff and had a nice day out on Faeries Road and organizing the area much more, Elder Patterson was doing Eye Of Faiths and while he was I was setting up an area specified document for all less actives, and even though it feels weird to be sittin around we organized our area for Less Actives and alot of formers where as now we can know what to do specifically for our time.
On Saturday, We had received a referral from head quarters and headed to contact them and they weren't home but on the way down the road a man and either his sister or girlfriend stopped us in a big van and asked us a bunch of doctrinal questions he enjoyed talking with us and him and his whatever were named Bethany and Isaiah and they both knew the Bible very well and asked us lot of questions about it all and I was lucky because elder Patterson knew a great deal of the Bible so he was able to help them understand, lot better. We tried setting up a returned appointment but they are in Glasgow and not from here but hopefully they will look them up there and talk they were very nice people but the girl kept smiling flirtily at Elder Pattersona and I so that was a little weird but overall was a good day.
We had a great day unfortunately we didn't have the turn out at church that we have had the past few weeks but Aimee was at church along with a less active We have been trying to meet so that was good. Testimony meeting was very powerful, alot of people spoke on the Atonement and the love the Lord had and all aspects of the atonement and the spirit was definately in attendance and because we only had like 25 people, almost everyone got up which was nice and the less active bore testimony as well.
As we left our flat in the morning we said hi to a man and he recognized us right away as the Lord's representatives and he was partially blind, we had a really good conversation and he talked about how his accident caused him to trust in the Lord. And made me think of a scripture in Alma, where it talks about they who are compelled to be humble are blessed but we are more blessed if we choose to be, but whether it is caused by choice or circumstance being humble allows the light to flow freely to the world
Last night as well while we were at a member's house he allowed us to try on a kilt and I was the same size as him so it fit me perfectly.
Today is  a beautiful name and we are going to go to Scone Palace which is a coronation site for Scottish royalty so that will be awesome pictures to come next week.

Love you all and know that I KNOW THIS CHURCH IS TRUE AND that Heavenly Father LOVES ALL of you and is aware of you and if you are ever sad, depressed, or need a friend get down on your knees and pray to him and he will be there and hug you with a large embrace and you will feel joy and happiness in your life.

Live Long and Prosper

P. S.S. Photos will be attached in next one

- Elder James Reece