March 26, 2012

Dear Family-

This week has been great! We’ve been able to start teaching a few new
people, which is always good. One family is in the
family ward. They’re active, but they are on the Focus on 15 program.
This program was designed by Elder L. Tom Perry, and it’s used to help
missionaries get in people’s homes. The High Priest’s Group, Relief
Society, and Elder’s Quorum each fast and pray about five people or
families that they feel could benefit from meeting with missionaries.
These are usually less-active and/or part-member families, but
sometimes the families that the Lord would have us visit are active.
The ward leaders then invite these people or families to meet with the
missionaries, and we take over from there. It’s incredible to see how
well revelation works, and how the Lord knows who is ready and
prepared for the missionaries.

We also started visiting a guy who is on the singles’
ward Focus on 15. He has been less active for years, but this January
he started faithfully coming to church. He’s very dedicated, and is
doing great! I’m glad that we get to start working with him. He’s a
really cool guy.

We visited an investigator in the singles’ ward too. She’s not
new, but it’s been a long time since we’ve taught her. This was my
first time meeting her. She’s very intellectual and asks some deep
questions. It feels like she’s sincerely interested though, so we’re
trying to help her shift her focus from random, obscure doctrine to
gaining a spiritual witness of the basics of the Gospel. She was
excited to hear about General Conference, so that should be great.

Another thing that’s been happening lately is that I’ve been finding a
lot of really cool scriptures about prayer. They all give very
concise, clear formulas for receiving answers. Here are some of them:

“Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?–If ye will
not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall
receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these
things shall be made known unto you” (1 Nephi 15:11).

“Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our
records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me:
Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall
receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it” (Enos 1:15).

“And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for
your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you
whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall
receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have
one to another” (Mosiah 4:21).

“And, as it is written–Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united
in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive” (D&C 29:6).

Finally, my favorite, “And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken
these words unto his disciples, he turned again unto the multitude and
said unto them: …And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name,
which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be
given unto you” (3 Nephi 18:17-20).

What I get out of these scriptures is that if we are humble, obedient,
and united; and if we ask in faith, believing that we shall receive;
all of our prayers will be answered as long as they align with the
will of the Lord.

One more line: “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God,
but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is
already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking
for them” (Bible Dictionary: Prayer).

I know that God answers prayers. He has answered so many of my
prayers, and I wonder how many other answers and blessings he would be
willing to give if I just followed the formulas in these scriptures.

Thanks for all of your support. I love you!

-Elder Emery

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