Lately, President Toombs has been really emphasizing the need to pray for and find 1) families to teach, and 2) Men to teach and become future leaders of the church (future Melchizedek Priesthood holders). So Elder Young and I have recently been praying for families to teach, and the ward has been doing a 40 day fast, so things were bound to happen. My very finite and forgetful mind always seems to not see the end from the beginning and sometimes I seem to lose hope. But once again, a loving Heavenly Father allows me to receive even more witnesses of the fruits of faith and the power of prayer and fasting! So on Tuesday morning I received a call from a man named Rich Johnson. He's a ward mission leader in a ward in Fort Collins. He called me and told me that he had a referral for us, the Broadlands ward. He told me that he works from home, but one of his co-workers (who also works from home) whom he's had lots of contact with since they've worked together has showed a lot of interest in the church. He said the lady's name was Tara. She has 3 kids: Michael (12), Lauren (5), and Ashley (15 mo.). Recently they had a death of a little boy who is close to their family, and the kids have been asking Tara questions. She told Rich she better start looking into religion, and if she was doing that, she better look into the Mormon faith. She asked him if he could send some guys to teach her about it! So she gave him her address, home phone, cell phone, and times in the next few days she was open to meet. I was so excited! So I called her later that day, and set up a time the next day to meet with her. So we did, and she is awesome! The young boy that died goes to the same day care as her daughter, and her daughter knew the boy. Lauren asked her mom, "Mom, when is God going to bring this little boy back?" At that point, when Tara couldn't answer that question, she knew she needed to learn more of God, and grow closer to him. So we taught her the restoration, and we testified, and she committed to be baptized once she knew it was true! Awesome! Then, 2 days later, we set up a time to give her and her family a tour of the church. So, we set up a time that the Rennakers (Mom, the lady who sent you that pic of me in green St. Patty's day stuff) and us could give Tara and the kids a church tour. It was awesome, and the Rennakers are perfect for Tara. They invited her to come to a picnic with them yesterday and to watch General Conference, and she went! While at the church, we talked about how much the Gospel would bless her family, and we testified of it. Then we invited her and Michael, her son, to prepare to be baptized on May 4th. Tara turned to Michael and he said yeah, and she said she would prepare to be baptized that day as well! What a miracle. I love them so much, and I know God is blessing the ward for their righteous desires and sacrifice. What a blessing!I don't have a ton more time, but I want to leave with my testimony. I know the Lord knows us. He loves us. He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts, and he grants them to us. In our hours of despair or darkness or confusion, He is the light of the world. I will echo the words of the Psalmist who wrote, "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures...yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me...my cup runneth over." Truly, the Lord has been my shepherd, through good and bad. At times in my life, I have been the lost sheep for which He left the ninety and nine and found me. At times I still feel like that. But now, as I have tasted of the goodness of the gospel, and have eaten of the fruit most desirable above all other fruits, He--the Prince of Peace, the Good Shepherd--has trained me, taught me, prepared me to be a shepherd as well. I have been instructed, edified, trained, taught, chastened, and brought low to become a better shepherd than I was before. It is my turn. He has allowed me to leave the ninety and nine; He has given me the experiences, trials, and challenges to become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and now I can strengthen the feeble knees, and lift the hands that hang down. I LOVE the Gospel. It is the peace promised, it is the comfort prophesied of, it is the kingdom restored to the earth. What a marvelous and awesome blessing to be a representative of Christ. I love Him.
Love,Elder Logan Bryan