August 20, 2012 Another Week in the beaches. mission conference

Gd’day everyone.
This week has been a great one! especially seeing some great miracles finding new investigators. After several months of tracting, I decided that I missed the”street contacting” approach to “finding” I learned in the city. DeeWhy is not a very big town, but I talked my companion and a few other missionaries I had exchanges with to hit the streets to find some new investigators. It was very sucessful!
one struggle we have here is people not being home! since it is a very expensive area to live, most people work all day, so tracting has not been very fruitful, simply because we do not get to talk to many people. But there are always people on the streets! I think one of the greatest blessings of missionary work, especially in this mission is the chance to meet such a diversity of people. This week I met people from every continent except antarctica, it is amazing how the gospel applies to everyone. There is little I find more joy in than walking up to people on the streets, getting to know them, introducing the gospel and them accepting an invitation to learn. I cannot believe how comfortable and confident I have become in this aspect of missionary work. I remember the beginning of my mission how strange it seemed to me to just talk to people on the streets, I worried that they would be uncomfortable, shocked, confused or afraid of a total stranger approaching them. Honestly, I do not feel that I have gotten any better at it! haha, people sometimes do feel uncomfortable, confused or angry! The difference for me has been a deepening testimony of the divinity of christ and the restored gospel.  I am not sure how, but I have a love for everyone I speak to, I know they need the gospel, I have witnessed the changing power of the atonement. I hope they can see that in me. I hope they feel the spirit testify through me.
Missionary work is not always easy, because salvation is not a cheap experience, but I am learning how missionary work is always rewarding. I love the gospel and know it is true, I hear the spirit speak through me daily, I feel that faith is coming to entirely displace doubt and fear in my life, at least pertaining to sharing the gospel. it is a process that has taken great effort, and one that needs much more refining, but I witness that as we take a step of faith, even if it seems to be in darkness,  walking in the paths we know to be correct, we are given strengh equal to our tasks.
We had the great priviledge of hearing from two general authorities this weekend, in both stake conference and a mission conference. Elder Christiensen (presidency of the seventy) and Elder Pearson (pacific area president) I learned a lot from them. but there is one thought I would like to share for any who ever question how the spirit works.
we often debate within ourselves which of our many thoughts are inspired of the spirit, and which are the products of our own understanding. We often feel promptings to do things, even small things like calling a friend, or even to take out the trash. our minds are filled with thoughts. I remember many times sitting in fast and testimony meeting wondering if I was really being propmted to share my testimony or if it was just in my head. I also remember great internal conflicts in trying to separate revelation from other thoughts. I have learned two truths that have helped me with this question.
first, all good things are inspired of God. All good things. we learn in moroni 7:13,16 that anything which persuadeth man to do good or to believe in christ is sent forth by the power and gift of christ;wherefore you may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. so stop worrying if it is the spirit or your own mind, because even if it is from your own mind, if it is good, it is the result of gifts and light given to you from God. Those things are inspired of God. Follow any propmting that is good or brings you unto christ.
second, I am convinced that the spirit has no obligation to prompt us to do things we already know we should do. for example, at the begining of my mission I often waited for the spirit to prompt me to invite people to be baptized, or to prompt me to talk to someone on the street. I have learned this to be foolish. I already know that preach my gospel tells us to invite people to be baptized on the first lesson, it teaches us to talk to everyone. The spirit will not tell me things I already have been taught to do. So what I have learned is not to wait for strong impressions to do things I know are right. We should not wait for the spirit to prompt us to go to church, or share the gospel with friends, or to pay our tithing, etc. we already know these things, so do them, know that they are inspired of God, and that will always be true. If you ever feel that the spirit has stopped motivating you to do something you once felt propmted to do, it is not that the spirit has changed his mind, and those things are no longer inspired, it is God giving you a chance to grow. Those things are now part of who you are, what you have become, the spirit does not need to tell you any more. So continue to let the spirit build upon what you have become. if we want to follow forever, we canot progress. This is Gods plan, for the gospel to transform us into celestial souls through the atonement of His Son. The spirit guides us in that process.
I love you all so much, I will attach a few photos, I am hoping to get some more soon.
Elder Faulkner
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