Dearest Brothers, Parents, and outras pessoas,
The lilies of the fields of upstate New York are beginning to blossom. The "harshest winter of the century" has ended and the 65 degree weather has come. The little squirrels are abandoning their holes to feel the warmth of the spring sky. I too enjoy warmth.
At the start of the week we had a grand Zone Conference where we went over a BRAND NEW teaching method to better apply the principles taught in Preach my Gospel and become more powerful teachers. This new method, "How to Teach Preach my Gospel" is a bit of an experiment that the Missionary Department in Salt Lake has developed, and we are a pilot mission. The main idea was for the mission to follow more closely following up on page 200 of Preach My Gospel, in case you have a manual handy. It includes teaching from the pictures in the church pamphlets in bit sized lessons (20 minutes) every to every other day of the week. The results so far have been wonderful for Elder Hougaard and I. I plan on using this method the rest of my mission, unless I ever teach an investigator who is blind. I luv it.
It was perfect to learn about this teaching method right as we began teaching Ben Foote. We have all really felt the spirit during these lessons more than ever before. Ben said yes as I was inviting him to be baptized by proper authority at the end of our restoration lesson. It was a great interruption! Yesterday he really enjoyed our Easter program in Church and we met with him for a lesson afterwards. He had questions about the temple from Gospel Principles class, so we taught him the second half of the Plan of Salvation. He marvels to know that because of the very first Easter, we will all be ressurrected to proper frame. He told us that the message was very hopefully for him because of some very difficult events that have occurred in his life. It was a beautiful lesson, and I don't think I've felt the spirit more strongly in any lesson I've ever taught. He hasn't committed to a baptismal date yet, but he is excited to have his brother from Rochester to baptize him. I REALLY hope I am here for that day.
A couple of weeks ago, we and the sisters of our branch developed somewhat of an activity to inrease our member missionary efforts in the branch. Last week we passed out a bundle of cute little blue and pink flyers to members to give to their friends to invite to our Easter service yesterday, giving them several easy ideas of how to do it easily and creatively. It turned out to be a huge success! We had TONS of new faces in church yesterday of whom we are trying to get into contact with. Member missionary work is the best way! Don't be tempted to think otherwise!
Christian Pedro Yarleque exceeded his baptismal interview this week! With flying colors, too! Yesterday when we met with their family, they talked about being sealed as a family in the temple. It made me so much more excited! Maybe if I'm still in Albany New York in a year, I will get to see them as a newly sealed family! Joy! Just remember, oneastern time, angels will rejoice. Be part of it!
Yesterday was the best Easter I've ever celebrated in my short life! Sacrament meeting was fantastic, I just felt really close to the Savior, thinking of all the things he did for me, and all the huge things I wouldn't have if he never conquered death. Because of him, there is absolutely no reason to not be happy. Christ did everything for us, and the more we simply keep the commandments, the more we are blessed. We will always be is His debt.
Everyone needs to know that message. The restoration is now, and there is no better time to serve than now!
Elder Ja. Kunzler