Bathing the Elephants -- Working to Make a Ward

alright so heres the backdrop for the week: we set a goal at the beginning of the transfer to have 100 people come to church on sunday. average is around 50-60. we worked hard, and we prayed even harder. we literally had every member involved in trying to get this goal to happen. we had all of our home teachers praying for the goal, and telling their families about the goal. And then having them invite others to help us reach the goal, in helping this branch become a ward. (the branch needs 80 people to come to church consistently for 6 months or something like that in order to get a ward building. so thats been our goal. baptisms and rescues. a hundred people at church. 

last week we were at about 65, and we had a big dissapointment of having every investigator not show up. We worked way harder this week, and honestly i was startign to feel like "okay maybe not 100 but atleast we can get 80 people to church." but i still kept praying that we could get 100. now let me relate in a scripture from the book of mormon, the words of the prophet moroni: 

"27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
 28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.
 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
 35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
 36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith thatmiracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because ofunbelief, and all is vain."
an answer to our prayers for sure- having 110 people come to church yesterday- we didnt have enough chairs for everyone, we didnt even have enough room for everyone to stand- elder wright and i had to sit on the stairs and just listen to sacrament. it was a way good day for everyone and an experience ill never forget- but of course there is still a lot of work to do.

so some cool experience this week- 
1. so we were inviting in front of the church with some free time in between lessons, elder wright was inviting (i taught him the dance) and i was rolling calls trying to set up some appointments. i decide to go dance and invite with him for a bit, and one of the first motorcycles driving by starts to slow down a bit as if they might be a little interested, but they are too scared to talk to a white boy. so i run after them, my jesus inviting card out in hand, and get them to stop and talk. haha she was signaled to her other friend to stop to, and after hearing my spiel, she said she had free time right then, and so i invited them into the church, and taught these 3 people right there. we had a member at the church just hanging out to so to make it better it was a lesson with a member. it was a solid first lesson, and this crazy miracle lesson of an invite was what helped us reach our goal of 5 member lessons that day. woo!
2. so we finally get sister lek's family to meet us at the church (our recent convert) and its a mom, a dad, and 2 daughters. there was two members there that helped us teach (a single mom with one of her daughters- who they are way awesome but i've always kinda felt like they judged me or just didnt like me for some reason haha not sure why) but anyways they help us teach. we had a really good lesson on the plan of salvation. after the lesson sister ming (the daughter that helped us teach) came up to me and thanked me WAY sincerely, for being such a powerful teacher, and for serving here in the branch. she told me that when i spoke, it brought her to tears (which during the lesson i thought it was just the "because he lives" video that we watched). they thanks me again and complimented me on being such a good represantative of christ. coming from anyone a compliment like that would have meant a lot, but ESPECIALLY coming from them it was very moving, and i just got one of those feelings that i only get every once in a while- that im just so grateful to be out here, and there is nothing in the world i would rather be doing right now. i thanked them for being such a strength to the branch, and they really are. 
3. in one our lessons last night with an recent convert/less active member, we are helping him prepare to serve a mission- which was a desire he expressed to us last week. this last sunday he actually came to church in a white shirt, tie, and nice slacks and looked so great. but anyways, at the end of our lesson, i felt impressed to invite him to share his testimony (however big or small it was) with the 2 investigators that just happened to be sitting in at the end of the lesson. after that i invited both of our investigators to bear their testimonies about their experiences thus far, and then another member that showed up, to then bear his. it was a really good powerful experience where the spirit was strong. our investigator brother chuu, said how grateful he was for everyone else's testimonies, and he bore a way solid testimony himself about the joy that has come into his life in coming to church and meeting the people there. 
4. had a lot of way good street contacts of people down to quit smoking so we'll see where that leads ayye! and speaking of people quitting smoking- we have an investigator named watermelon who is about 32, just a good humble nice dude. he is actualyl getting married this year which is pretty exciting. but anyways we had a powerful lesson with him this week as well. we are helping him to quit smoking. i thought for sure the Lord was gonna perform a crazy miracle and give him the strength to stop smoking that day (in the lesson he was pretty funny and when i asked if he was going to quit or not he said "well it seems like i dont really have any other choice do i?" haha) but he relapsed the next day. last night he called us and told us he didnt smoke once that day, and didnt even crave it. it is so rad to see his faith grow as he meets with us, prays, and reads in the scriptures. at first he was a guy that said he just believed in science and he didnt believe that anyone could REALLY know for real that god was real. his transformation and his trusting in God's power has been making huge differences in his life, and will continue to help him change to become a better person. great dude. 
ahhh soo many sweet experiences i want to share about the week but yeah ill just finish with one last one-
so its friday night and we have book of mormon class. we have a rule as missionaries that if their are sisters or any girls in the church we have to have male present as well- and so we sit down for book of mormon class and only a bunch of sisters show up. elder wright and i were like, well this is wierd i guess we'll just go sit outside haha, and so we take our chairs and sit out front of the church, and i called the zone leaders to see what they thought we should do. they gave us the okay, but elder wright was still like "dude i dont know man i think we should just stay outside", so kinda feeling like he just didnt want to go to book of mormon class for some reason i took the phone and called president senior haha- pres. senior gave us the okay, and after that elder wright was like okay fine lets go, just wait a bit while a call a potential or something like that. so im sitting, and there is a kid walking by and im just like "hey do you feel like your looking for happiness in life and not finding it?" and a little caught off guard he stopped and came to talk to me, and after talking a little more he sat down and starting asking all sorts of questions about our church, and how it would change his life, and what activities we had, etc. the most GOLDEN contact ive ever seen. thanks to either elder wrights slight stubborness or his following the spirit haha we had this way rad contact- who will be entering the waters of baptism in no time. 
yeah so anyways good week, lots of miracles, rode elephants again which was a blast, and i am having the time of my life out here :) 
love you fam!
elder chamberlin

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