A lot to update this week. it has really been an amazing week here in Dubbo. Most notably, we have two baptisms scheduled for next month! We have been working so hard and have been seeing so much progress with many of the people we teach, and several are close to making that covenant of baptism. I could not be more excited. Happier still is that we have a few more that we are planning to set a date for baptism and we have begun teaching several part-member families in the past week that are very excited to learn about the gospel. I love the people here. I am definitely at that point that I was in the city where I just love it and would be pretty crushed to leave. there is just so much joy in the work. there is no such thing as a dead area. God is preparing his sons and daughters everywhere. I am so glad to have had this chance to open and lead this area, it has taught me so much, has caused me to rely on the Lord. through all these efforts I did not really know the extent of our successes until last night. being the last sunday of the month, the zone leaders asked us to total our “numbers” from the month and set goals for June (we set a lot of goals, but for the month we focus on how many baptisms, how many attend church, how many lessons we teach with a member present, and how many new investigators we have) While we fell a little short of our goals for may, elder welch and I were pretty pleased with what we had accomplished, we knew that we had done all we could and that the Lord accepted our offering.. The amazing thing we did not realize is that we are leading the zone in every single goal. The zone leaders were shocked when we called them with the numbers of what we did this month and what we had as goals for next month. We did not know that these were high numbers, they were simply what the Lord provided for as we sought for inspiration.. in fact, I still feel that the Lords vision for our goals is a higher standard than what our weaknesses will allow us to accomplish. This experience taught me a lot. its not about the numbers, its not at all that we are exceptional missionaries, but I know now more than ever, that the Lords thoughts are higher than our thoughts, his ways higher than our ways. In opening this area we did not have any set standards or precedents that helped us to set goals or standards for our work… we got those standards through prayer and fasting, and in turn, we Had heavens help in what we accomplished… as long as we were committed and strove diligently and obediently to achieve those goals.. I know that God will help us to improve our abilities, give us guidance, and purify us to help us reach our goals for this month.
I encourage everyone to look at their lives, what have we allowed ourselves to be complacent about? what have we allowed logic, reason, or the shadows of prior failures to limit our hopes and dreams for what we can become? are these limitations in line with Gods vision for what we can become, or what we can accomplish? Do not allow the world or the adversary put a limit on your goals. Christ has commanded us to be perfect, even as He is perfect. If we have faith, he will show us the true vision of who we are, and what we can accomplish. As we rely on him, fast and pray often, and are committed to this vision of perfection and limitless progression, He will make up for where we lack, he will comfort in times of trial, he will chasten in times of unbelief and sin, and will lead us to that vision line upon line, and precept upon precept.. I am motivated by this simple statement. “you have seen what might be, now make it so” I am grateful for the trials and difficulties I have seen here, they have and will continue to refine me, to teach, to stretch. I hope to be a tool in His hand, whatever that requires.
I wish you could all know all the specifics and details of my life here. a lot of exciting, hopeful, spiritual, comical, emotional, thought provoking, dreadful, discouraging, empowering, humbling, uplifting, etc experiences make up each of my days. thats what you get for being a traveling minister of Christ in a town like Dubbo. But I hope you feel the spirit of my words when I say I love the Lord, I love this work, and I love each of you.
I hope to heard from you,
Elder Ryan York Faulkner