TILM 2017 Friday

It is difficult to recount our last day of the week.  So many thoughts and feelings emerge as we go about our activities.  Mostly, we feel happy/sad.

  • It’s our last day.  It’s our last day!  We can feel tired and feel excited.
  • The weather is pleasant in the morning, draining in the afternoon heat.
  • We look forward to going home the next day.  We are sad to part from friends we won’t see again for another year.
  • We encounter unopened doors and No Soliciting signs.  We enjoy discussions with returning missionaries and sowing seeds of the gospel.

We canvassed/witnessed neighborhoods in Provo in the morning and the afternoon today.  Lunch was provided at a park by our new mission in Lehi, Good News Lutheran Church.  We met two wonderful women who are in their core group.  The pastor and his family also joined us.  Pastor Dan Heiderich always had at least one of his children with him as he knocked on doors.

We were blessed with another awesome dinner at the Brandt home (members of our church in Taylorsville). Each week that TILM is in Utah, they spoil us with choices of grilled meats, salads, desserts and lots of ‘fixin’s.’  We especially enjoy the liquid ones.  And at least one brave soul enjoys an after dinner cigar with Mr Brandt.

We were thrilled to hear about the visit that two of our youngest missionaries had at the end of their afternoon.  Jessica and Eli were experiencing no answers to their door knocking until a young man answered the door.  They spent two hours with this returned missionary answering his many questions.  His wife joined them when she arrived home.  Their doubts with the LDS teachings and eagerness to learn more about Biblical teachings led them to eagerly agree to have Pastor Heiderich visit them. Jessica said they were so excited to hear the gospel message and they made comments that showed they understood what it meant.  Praise God for this divine appointment between the sower and such fertile soil!

 

TILM 2017 Thursday

imageWe had another pleasant weather day today.  We were done by noon, met for lunch at a park, and then we were done for the day.  Thursday aft is a time for us to decompress and have some R&R. My favorite thing to do is to head to the mountains.  Curt, Jean and I headed to the Olympic Legacy Park near Park City, Utah.  This location was the sight for ski-jumping for the 2002 Olympics.  It now has ski jumps for training during the summer.  The jumpers land in a pool of water.  You can also go zip-lining, bobsledding, tubing and alpine sliding.  We chose to ride the chair lift to the top and walk around.  A beautiful view and great weather.

We have a full day planned tomorrow with a final party at a church member’s home.

Time to sleep!

TILM 2017 Tuesday/Wednesday

Well, here it is Wednesday evening, feeling tired.  We had a 1/2 day of witnessing in Lehi yesterday.  We usually canvass in the morning and then spend the afternoon at Temple Square in Salt Lake City or go on another field trip.  Since it was raining in the morning, we switched the schedule around and did our witnessing in the afternoon. The weather turned out to be beautiful in the afternoon.

In addition to the LDS members we met, we spoke with a non-denominational Christian woman who was happy to hear about our websites to share with others.

Today was a full day.  Judy and I ended up with a different squad and went to a different part of Lehi.  We had a typical day with some people not home, a few no soliciting signs, kids answering doors saying mom was napping, a few non-LDS.   We spoke to one young man at the door and a few minutes later a young woman came and said, “Are you bringing me the Lord?”  She was cheery and happy and we had a fun conversation with her.

Some thoughts from our morning meeting with Pastor Mark Cares:

  • the Bible says that works are a fruit of faith;
  • LDS – works are not a fruit but a root;
  • Bible says works are visible evidence of invisible faith
  • LDS – we are here on earth to be tested: works are done to be accepted by God.

Our devotion was on II Cor 12: 7-10.  Paul speaks here about how God’s grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness. Paul delights in weakness. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  Pastor Cares reminded us that God’s love provides for us, protects us and blesses us.

Thankful for the great weather, having God’s Word to guide and lead us, and a group of dedicated Christians who love to share the good news!

Wishing all of you reading this were here with us.

TILM 2017 Monday

Truth in Love Ministry and the blustery day.

Our morning devotion prepared us for our first full day of witnessing.  We read the words of Ezekiel 37:10 (prophesying to dead bones and to the breath to create a vast army).  Plus, II Corinthians 10:4, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”  We went out encouraged knowing we have the power of God’s Word, which can demolish the stronghold of Mormonism AND bring to life those who are lost.

Bill, Amy, Judy and I split up our map and started knocking on doors in Provo.  The wind was picking up and became quite gusty as the morning progressed.  The day was cool and the temperature dropped.  Quite a change from the sunny 80-90 degree weather we usually get when we are here.

We met the usual people and responses as in the past.  Smiling, quiet women who didn’t say much; those who were willing to say they were LDS members and willing to share their beliefs about trying/doing their best and Jesus covers the rest; and a few who left the LDS church.  Also met a Morman woman from Brazil who was happy to have conversations with people of other faiths and seemed open to listening.  We always encouraged people to check out our website, read an article or two, and give us their feedback online.

Our last person of the day was interesting to chat with.  He had been a Mormon, but was inactive at the age of when they usually do their missions; so he had never gone out on a mission.  He told us he was currently a member again.  When I asked what brought him back to the church he said it was because everyone was bugging him about it.  He seemed to be on the fence about several of the teachings including all the commands of what he needed to do for the church.  He appeared to be genuinely interested in checking out some of our articles and then giving us feedback.  Pray that he does.

After a delicious baked potato bar back in our hotel meeting room, Pastor Mark Cares gave us a TILM vision presentation.  It’s an ambitious goal of training 80,000 missionaries and giving them opportunities to witness to Mormons.  This involves a lot of online training and we were excited to hear about the professionals who are volunteering their time and experience to make this a high caliber endeavor.

As we felt the exhaustion of a full day of travel, lots of training and a full day of hitting the streets, we were free to go at 6:30 p.m.  I was happy to get in the hotel hot tub and relax.

I am so thankful for the many blessings: safe travel, God-led training and canvassing, the fellowship with like minded Christians, and a comfortable hotel.

 

 

TILM 2017 Sunday

Sunday June 11, 2017

After church and lunch we started another round of training. We did multiple role-playing sessions to help us feel more comfortable about going out knocking on doors. After introducing ourselves as Christian missionaries from out of state, we will ask if they have seen our ads for our website. They should have received a postcard in the mail last week. We also advertised on Facebook and Instagram in the Provo and Lehi areas. We hope to extend our conversations at this point into giving a witness of our joy and confidence at being made perfect through Christ. This is our opportunity to be “proclaimers” and then point them to our website, beyeperfect.org, for articles that help explain what Christ has done for us. We encourage them to give us feedback at the website so we can continue to be in contact with them.

After dinner, we continued training and got our group assignments. I am happy to report that my roommate and I will be partners. After 6 years, this will be the first time we will go out together. Then we had two speakers; a couple who left the LDS church and became Christian. Jan’s story was heart- breaking, but all too common. Her life of trying to meet the demands of the church left her broken. She didn’t attend for years, but went back again and gave it another try. Eventually, and through several events and encounters, she finally left for good and has found peace and joy in a Christian church. Her journey highlighted how difficult it is and how long it takes to leave the LDS church.

Please continue your prayers for us as we enter the mission field tomorrow. Please also pray that we will reach people who are lost and hurting, that the Holy Spirit will open their hearts and minds to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

To God be the glory!

TRUTH IN LOVE MINISTRY 2017 Saturday

Saturday, June 8, 2017

What a joy to be back in Utah with fellow Christians that I have bonded with over the years through Truth in Love Ministry! Our reunion is just a small foretaste of a heavenly reunion with our fellow saints. Thinking of the joy of seeing friends and family that have passed before us to our heavenly home.

Due to a delayed flight I was late to our orientation meeting on Saturday evening. Here are a few highlights of orientation:
• Two initial goals: encourage people to go to our website, beyeperfect.org, and to plant seeds of God’s word at the door.
• We will be witnessing in Provo and Lehi; 88.7% LDS.
• Materials: postcard (which was mailed to neighborhoods before we arrive at their door), samples of our Facebook and Instagram ads, and a ‘leave behind’ piece (which emphasizes the difference between Jesus being our substitute or just an example).
• We are to be proclaimers of God’s Word, not lawyers.
• Introduction of the new WELS pastor of Good News Lutheran mission in Lehi.
• According to the orientation agenda there was also some reference to Packer fans being put in exile. Good thing I wasn’t around when that came up or there might have been a problem. (Glad I brought my Packer logo jacket along!)

Our closing devotion was based on Matthew 28: 18-20, where Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. Pastor Mark Cares emphasized the last sentence of this passage – “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We usually look at what God tells US to DO, but instead we focused on what God will DO for US. We considered one of the most visible examples of God being with us – the 40 years of the children of Israel wandering in the desert. An estimated 2-3 million people had food and water provided, sandals and clothing that didn’t wear out, and God was with them in the form of cloud and fire. God took care of them and and He will take care of us as His children. God will be with us and bless our efforts. What a joy and comfort!

Wishing you all were here with me to enjoy the many blessings of this ministry!