Monday, December 8, 2014

The Greatest Miracle of My Mission 12/08/14

When I received the call to come to Houghton Lake, I had no idea what to think. I had heard many stories about that place, and none of them good ones. I had heard it was a dead area, a place they send disobedient missionaries to be punished. Knocking all day long without getting anywhere. When I got here, we had 1 investigator we met with on a weekly basis and none of them were progressing. The zone leaders texted us all saying they wanted to set a goal that every area have three investigators agree to a baptismal date. At the time that seemed like such an unreachable goal for this place, but we worked at it. We fasted, we prayed, we worked. We did everything we could to get this area moving. The greatest miracle of my mission is to have seen first hand what the Lord is doing in Houghton Lake. 

We now have 11 investigators and 5 that have accepted a baptismal date. I am usually one for names, not numbers, but I don't have time or space to tell all the names and stories associated with them, but I want to talk about a couple of the miracles this week. 

On Wednesday, we had an appointment with a new guy named John. Just before his lesson, his wife's cousin Dallas walked in and sat down with us. Both are so solid. Dallas told us, "I am not to interested in a church, I am interested in the truth." It is a good thing we have it. We had an awesome restoration lesson with them and are very excited about the Book of Mormon. Dallas even warned John saying, "Your church is going to do everything they can to keep you from reading that book, but we will do this together." It was such a sweet experience. 

Thursday, we finally got to meet with Ramon, the man who has come to church 3 weeks in a row. So get this: We start teaching the Restoration, and half way through he stops us and says, "I appreciate this boys, but I already know all this. Joseph Smith, gold plates, all of it." "Do you believe he was a prophet? Do you believe the Book of Mormon is true?" He answered yes to both. "Will you be baptized?" I asked. "When I know a little more yes." "What do you want to know?" "Everything." We started in on the plan of salvation and he already knew it... He told us he had been trying to tell his friends about levels of heaven for forever... We wound up teaching him all the lessons in 45 minutes... That has to be some kind of record. We even went over the baptismal interview questions with him... He has one or two hold ups, but I would say that this is a pretty darn good start... Not only this, he made us home made apple pie and beef stew. He wrote us a note yesterday and signed it "Future member, Ramon Cuzara." It was absolutely unreal. Craziest lesson of my mission by far. He came to church again, and even came to watch the Christmas Devotional last night. This guy is awesome...

We had a new move in named Will in the branch and he brought his 14 year old son Will with him. He is such a sweet kid. He loves football and wrestling and is built like a lineman. He asked us how he could get a quad and wanted to meet with us. We met with him Friday and had a great lesson! That kid is sharp as a tack. He is excited to learn more and agreed to be baptized!! 

Yesterday, a less active family came and brought a friend who was interested. We taught her the Restoration in the second hour and it went so great... She understood all of it, and absolutely loved church. She felt this "warm and comfortable" feeling the whole time and is really looking forward to having us teach her. My goodness!!!

We had an appointment fall through on Friday so we decided to head up north early. We were about 10 miles out of Houghton Lake when we get a call from our "Michigan mom" in the branch. I have never met a family quite like theirs. They are definitely one of my favorites. They go through a ton... She calls us and asks if we had left Houghton Lake yet, and we said yes. She said sobbing, "Ok nevermind." I had a very powerful impression to stop and turn around. We called her and said, "We will be there in ten minutes." She broke down and said, "THANK YOU!" We found out that her body, her marriage, and her life were falling apart. She was contemplating doing something very unwise at that moment. In desperation, she fell to her knees in prayer, and cried out for help. She immediately was prompted to call us. Thank goodness we turned around. We were able to just listen to her and calm her down. She came to church Sunday despite all the pain and brought her non member grandkids with her. Her 9 year old granddaughter shouted, "IVE NEVER BEEN TO A FUN CHURCH LIKE THIS BEFORE!" afterwards. It was the cutest thing!

Last night we get a call from Elizabeth. She calls us crying, telling us that after we taught her the law of chastity, she called her "significant other" and told him to pack up tomorrow and move out. He asked why, and she said,"Because its God's law." We were shocked. She said that neither of them could survive financially on their own. This is NOT what we expected or wanted to happen. The spirit was with us in that phone call. We were able to listen and work things out with her. "I have never seen so great faith, no not in Israel." Man is she the sweetest thing. We get to be financial advisers and relationship counselors this week as well as missionaries. I should start my resume now. May the Lord ever bless Elizabeth for everything that she is. She may understand as a child, but great shall be her reward.

It has been a very full week for us to say the least. My joy has been close to bursting at the undeserved and unearned miracles that are coming to this area. We, as well as every missionary who has ever served here, have spent days in prayer and fasting for this area, and our cries are being heard. I rejoice that the Lord in his mercy sees fit to work with us in this area. I feel so inadequate to recieve what the Lord is giving us, but I am grateful that he makes us strong, even in our weakness. He lives and he loves. I know he does, because of what I have seen him do in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, and especially in Houghton Lake! 

With all the love that I possess, 
Elder Wheat

Ramon's teaching record

Selfie with the Tree the branch president got us!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful, inspiring post, Elder Joe! Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiration with's a special time to be serving the Lord in Houghton Lake. May the Lord bless you with a very successful December and a Merry Merry Christmas from the Burrs!