Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Birthday in Basingstoke

Hello beloved friends and family of mine!
As Dwight Shrute might say... it is my birthday.
I was delighted when my Bishop and his wife showed up at our flat singing happy birthday with a birthday cake and other goodies. It really made my morning! :) Today we will go up to Reading, I will probably have an extremely unhealthy lunch, and we will play some sports. We have a teaching appointment tonight, followed by a YSA activity that we have planned for two of our investigators (since the normal YSA is in Oxford and we can't get two people all the way up there.) McDonalds is being purchased for the activity and all signs point to a success. My birthday coinciding with this is just chance... :)
Also, the library here is in a mall and they have Baskin Robins and Auntie Annes pretzels... didn't know they existed in England but they are a little ridiculously expensive so I don't buy anything from there. It does, however, remind me of that wonderful song from How I Met Your Mother- "Let's Go To The Mall." Also we visited a less-active member this week and when we walked in she was watching this strange film. We saw like two seconds of it before we asked if we could say a prayer, but those two seconds involved Neil Patrick Harris piloting a airplane that was about to crash. It was weird.
What a wonderful morning it is! Although the spring weather certainly doesn't seem to have arrived yet, things are definitely going well in this amazing area!

I really love Basingstoke. The members are quite wonderful at missionary work. We have received some excellent member referrals as of late and we are teaching them as much as we can. Finding through and working with members really is the "higher way" (not sure where I got that from... perhaps from a district meeting or something- but for some reason, I wrote it in my Preach My Gospel!) As the members see that we mean business about things, that we are there to get work done, they will trust us with those that are close to them. I think that my strategy for working with members can be best summarized as follows-

1. Prayerfully prepare what you will share with the members when you visit them
2. Gain their trust by not wasting any minutes and beign exactly obedient
3. Be yourself. Don't be a robot. Don't be mechanical. Be yourself in every way possible and let people know who you are.
4. (And, at least for me, this is key!) "Be anxiously engaged in a good cause"... we need to be persistent! We need to continuously ask for referrals and schedule appointments with the members ourselves! We need to be proactive in this, we can't just sit around and wait for members to provide referrals! We need to show how much we want them, how precious they are to us. As we are diligent in seeking out the elect, the Lord will provide. He always has and He always will.

Proper synthesis of those four things will always bring blessings. It is the higher way. As we do not waste any minutes of the day and throw ourselves head first into the Lord's work, He will provide the rest. Above all, this is what I've been studying and working on lately.

A lot of our investigators flogged this week. That's okay though, we will keep trying! Our dinner appointment and two other investigators cancelled on Saturday. It was FREEZING and we could have just given up... but we didn't. We quickly arranged to meet with a part-member family. Luckily, they were available on such short notice and we were able to schedule a time for the non-member wife to go on a chapel tour. Furthermore, after that, we were able to receive a referral and introduce a YSA to the church. The member who referred her to us was also there (we think they are dating but we are unsure) as well as two other YSA. The experience was wonderful. We had a great time together and we were able to introduce the Book of Mormon and our church. The members bore powerful testimony.
Our other invesitgator is progressing wonderfully. We taught her last night. We REALLY wanted to extend a specific baptismal date but we felt the spirit telling us that now was not the time. We soft-committed her and invited her and her boyfriend to pray about a baptismal date, and that we would do the same. The member told us that he was relieved, thinking we would force a date on her. He said that he felt that praying about it is the absolute right thing. I am so grateful that we have the Holy Ghost. We'd really be helpless without it. We have an appointment on Thursday, where we will set a baptismal date.

We walked to one invesitgators home to pick him up for church. He was asleep. We told him that was alright, we'd wait for him while he showered and got ready. While we waited, his mum made us some breakfast. It was all quite nice. Then he walked to church with us. He (along with our other three investigators there) had a wonderful experience and they were superbly fellowshipped.

One of our investigators attended a youth convention yesterday. He told us that he bore his testimony and that is just wonderful! We are going to fast with him on fast sunday for him to gain permission to get baptized from his father. Once that happens, he will be baptized pretty much immediately!

As a whole, everything is just great. I am humbled daily, but such is the way that our Heavenly Father refines us. As we prayerfully consider the work that needs to be done in out areas, we can set goals that are both optimistic and realistic. We lay those goals before our Father in Heaven and humbly acknowledge that only through His power we can accomplish them. Then we put our trust in Him and GET TO WORK! :)
The work I do is the work of God. I can't do it (or anything, for that matter) without His help from on high. He loves me perfectly, but knows that without a great Mediator, there is not chance of returning to His presence. As such, He sacrificed His perfect son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ knows me perfectly. He has felt my joys, my pains, my temptations, everything. He's felt and experienced it all. Because of this, He can help me through anything. He is the means of attaining exaltation and I am eternally grateful for him. I invite everyone to take some time this Easter week and study the many scriptures pertaining to the Atonement in remembrance of that great sacrifice that was made for us a bit over 2000 years ago.
I love you all so much! I feel your prayers daily. You guys all take such good care of me :) I love reading the happy birthday wishes and getting these packages and letters. I really am the luckiest Elder in the field... no one can convince me otherwise!
With love,
Elder Frederickson

 Bishop and his wife surprised Matthew this morning with a cake and some goodies.  Such a happy missionary - such a happy mom!!!!

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