Friday, February 28, 2014

John 17:3

 John 17:3  And this is alife beternal, that they might cknow thee the only true dGod, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast esent.

Good Morning! 

This week was awesome! We taught a ton of lessons as a zone. We set a new record for our zone! One area in Huntsville Arkansas has been teaching like 7 or 8 lessons a week for a few weeks and this week they taught 44 lessons! Everyone did great! We are really excited. In other news the Rogers Zone taught 791 lessons this week! A new mission record! That was pretty cool. 

The work here is going well. Steady. Consistent. Which is good. XXXXX and XXXX XXXXX are doing great. They're baptismal date is set for a couple weeks from now. They are progressing well and should be prepared for that date! It's been so cool to see the change that has happened in their lives. XXXXX especially. He is going through a serious trial right now. But  we are just working with him to strengthen his faith in the Savior, who can give him strength to get through anything. 

I'm focusing my studies a lot on Grace right now. I've learned a lot. I feel like there is a lot of members in this church that beat themselves up thinking that they aren't good enough or that they never will be good enough. They think that the Savior's commandment to "be ye therefore perfect" is something that we are required to fulfill on our own. It's not! We can't possibly do that! We cannot possibly keep every commandment all the time. We will fail, a lot. There is truly no amount of work we can do that will save us and give us eternal life. Jesus Christ paid the whole debt, everything. And because he did that he fulfilled the demands of justice and provided a bridge for us to cross. The bridge that fills the gap between our imperfect, fallen state and the perfect state that is required of us to be in God's presence. That bridge is called the gospel. Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. The Doctrine (singular) of Jesus Christ. We are not saved by Faith alone, we are not saved by Repentance alone, or by baptism or by the Holy Ghost. We are saved by Jesus Christ, by living His complete Gospel, by following Him. And when we fail, which we most definitely will, we don't give up, we don't quit, we remember Jesus Christ and his words when he says "come now, and let us reason together , saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

I believe in Jesus Christ. I love this Gospel and I love being His servant. I love all of you! 

Elder Sherwood

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hebrews 10:38-39

Hebrews 10:38-39  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man adraw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
But we are not of them who adraw back unto bperdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Good Morning! 

This week was actually a fantastic week! We set four baptismal dates! One with XXX and XXX XXXX for March 7, XXXX for March 1, and XXXXX for sometime in April. Things are going great! We got two new investigators earlier this week. XXX and XXX XXXX. That was a very interesting night. They are a referral from a lady in the ward here. We contacted them a couple weeks ago and gave them our phone number but they called back and invited us over for dinner on Tuesday night. So we went not really knowing what to expect. They were really nice, really welcoming and very open to learning. We had an amazing conversation about the plan of salvation and what happens to us after we leave this life. They said that the things we taught them brought more peace to their minds and hearts over the recent loss of their daughter. One comment they made really made Elder Stapley and me think. We asked them if they had ever met with missionaries before. And their response was, "we didn't think missionaries ever cared to meet with us.” These poor people! They have been struggling with the deaths of loved ones for years. Finally we were able to share this message with them. A message that brought peace and joy in to their life! It made us realize that we really don't know whom of our friends and loved ones needs saving. We just don't know until we open our mouths and talk to them, invite them to come unto Christ. I hope you are all striving to do something everyday to bring another closer to Christ. It brings so much joy to your life and the lives of others. 

One fun fact, Yesterday I had dinner with the Sherwoods! haha! There is a Sherwood family here in the ward! I forgot to tell you a few weeks ago we went on splits with Brother Sherwood. So it was Elder Sherwood and Brother Sherwood going around visiting people haha. It was awesome. We don't think we are related, mostly because of the whole Strickland controversy haha. But they are an awesome family. 

Today will be a great day. We are getting together with our whole zone to play volleyball and other games. Should be a great preparation day! Thank you so much for all the support you all give me! I love you all so much! 

Elder Sherwood

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

More Pictures

An older photo. First day in Tulsa back in October 2012. Seems so long ago!

Not sure...

The Mission Home

Outside the Mission Home
Meeting in January

Alma 32:21 & Deuteronomy 31:6

2/10/14    Alma 32:21  ~ And now as I said concerning faith—afaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye bhope for things which are cnot seen, which are true.

This week was awesome! We are busily trying to prepare for our Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday. We have been working on making an agenda and coordinating all the training that will be happening with all the missionaries in the zone that are participating. It will be a really good meeting. President Shumway will be there for interviews and to do some instruction and training for all of us. It will be awesome! 

Elder Stapley has less than 5 weeks left now on his mission. It's crazy! He is doing great though. Still working hard and doing his best. Our zone is doing really,  really well right now. Our key indicators are getting better every week. Our zone finds the most new investigators out of all the other zones in our mission almost every week. It's awesome and we have a lot of progressing investigators. Our missionaries are doing such a great job. It’s so fun being a zone leader! 

We had MLC on Monday and Tuesday which I updated you about last Wednesday when I emailed. That was great. We worked hard this week and taught a lot of really good lessons! The XXXXs are doing good. The Dad and kids want to take a little bit of a break because it's all pretty overwhelming for them right now. They have never had any religion or faith in their life until now so it's hard for them to make this big change in their life. But Sister XXXX is doing really, really well! She is really sincere. We were talking with her today and she was telling us how much of a change she feels in her life. She feels happier and closer to God. I love doing this because over and over again I get to see the gospel of Jesus Christ change people's lives. I get to see their countenance change. I witness more light come into their life. I'm not surprised anymore when this happens. I just know that it's only a matter of time for everyone who sincerely investigates and ponders the message that we share. The message of the restoration of the gospel is true. I love this work so much and I love all of you! 

(Elder Sherwood added this in another e-mail) I wish you guys could see or be in a lesson with me. You would be shocked, haha. It's just crazy to think back about how little I really knew before my mission.  And now I know so much more! And I'm able to form cohesive thoughts.  Not just to say words, but thoughts that help people! Through real challenges! I'm 20 years old!! I don't know how to help people who have recently lost a loved one, or someone who wants to commit suicide, or someone who has experienced physical abuse or a divorce or bullying, or smoking! But I do! And I have! Those are all real problems that I have helped people overcome on my mission. There's no way this work ISN'T the Lords work. There is just no way. 

Elder Sherwood

2/5/14   Deuteronomy 31:6 ~ Be strong and of a good acourage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the bLord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not cfail thee, nor dforsake thee.

Good Morning! This week was a great! The weather here is really bad right now. It's been snowing off and on for the past few days. It's cold and icy and awesome. I love weather like this haha! We can't really drive anywhere far but we can walk! haha. MLC was awesome. President Shumway made a sad announcement however. That was the last MLC in the mission home in Tulsa. From now on MLC will just be in Springdale or Rogers and it will just be one day from 10 - 4. No more traveling to Tulsa, or spending the night in the mission home. It’s such a bummer! But it will be ok. 

This MLC was all about improving our teaching skills. After all, that is our whole purpose here. To teach people! And to invite them to come unto Christ! We talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and his role and purpose in our lives. I think sometimes the role of the Holy Ghost is overlooked. We take that gift for granted. I know I do sometimes. We need to recognize the promptings that he gives us and we need to follow them! That is how God works in our lives. He uses the Comforter. The Holy Spirit. He is real! I don't know how to explain it. In the words of one of the general authorities that I can't remember right now, it's like trying to explain what salt tastes like to someone who has never tasted it! It's almost impossible! You just have to taste it! The Holy Ghost is the same way. We just have to seek after his guidance and presence in our life. Jesus Christ promised his disciples the Holy Ghost, he told them "he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.” I know this is the truth. Because I have experienced it!

The work here in Springdale is going great! We are teaching a lot and we keep finding more people to teach. It's awesome. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be here serving a mission. I love serving the people here in The Oklahoma Tulsa Mission! I love serving the Lord. And I love all of you! 

Elder Sherwood

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pictures from Arkansas & Oklahoma

With the Sister Missionaries in Tahlequah Oklahoma at Northeastern State University

Visiting a district

An addition Elder Sherwood made to the white board in the apartment

Moroni 7:16

Moroni 7:16 For behold, the aSpirit of Christ is given to every bman, that he may cknow good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Good Morning! This week was great! We had two exchanges this week. On Tuesday I was working here in my area with Elder Wilson. And then on Friday I was in Fayetteville working with Elder Coon. I love being a zone leader and getting the opportunity to work with a lot of the missionaries in the zone. It really helps me become a better leader and teacher. It's so fun! On Wednesday we did something really fun! We went to Tahlequah Oklahoma. There is a college there called Northeastern State University. The Sister missionaries serving in Tahlequah set up a table with pamphlets, pass along cards, and other information for our church in one of the main buildings there on campus. We spent the day just talking to a ton of college students! It was awesome! They were all super friendly and open to talking with us. I never thought I would be one to love approaching strangers and talking to them about the gospel haha! But it was so fun! I'll send some pictures. 

That brings up an interesting point. This generation is so awesome. For the most part they have open minds that are willing to listen to new ideas. They aren't so set in their ways. I think a lot of the problems in the world come from the pride of man. And this generation can change that. 

We got transfer calls on Saturday night. Both Elder Stapley and I will be staying here in Springdale for another six weeks! This is Elder Stapley's last transfer! He goes home in six weeks! But he wants to sprint through the finish line and I'm excited to be with him. We are doing good work. There is a lot going on here in Springdale. XXXX has a baptismal date for February 15th and we have a couple other really promising families that are progressing really well. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a servant of the Lord. I love this message. It really is a message of peace. I love to watch it change lives. I know that Jesus Christ loves us and is mindful of each of us. I know that there is peace and joy that can be found in living a Christlike life. I love serving the Lord and I love you all! 

Elder Sherwood