Monday, February 25, 2013

"I will do as the Lord commands!"

     Wow!  It's been a week words cannot describe! 
     This week we have been working really, really hard. As a district we focused on getting investigators to church this week. We got 17 to church on Sunday which was the mark set last March so we really got on track this week. As a companionship we have 14 new investigators and have set the record as a district with 23 new investigators this week! We have three dates for baptism for March! 
     My birthday (Feb. 23) happened to be the best day of my life I think. Our companionship received a call from President Gelwix in the morning during companionship study.  Since it was the day of transfers we were all excited to see where we would be going. President Gelwix said that he was calling us out of love for the Lord has great things planned for us. Then he said, "Elder Aiken, son, what would you say if the Lord gave you an assignment that would be tough and would require your best efforts?" I said, "President, I will do as the Lord commands!" He then said, "Elder Aiken the Lord has called you to be District Leader in the Hanford, California zone."  That is two and a half hours south of Modesto. I am very excited for this new calling and look forward to being a leader and loving those around me!!
     I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Monday, February 18, 2013

Great to be back in the field!

President and Sister Gelwix
     Hello everyone! Well I can say it is nice to be back out in the field! This week has been truly humbling and life changing as I have seen some great things as the Lord is preparing His children to hear the gospel! 
     Before I start, I thought I would just say I have the best Mission President in the world! I know that he holds the keys to preside over this mission and help us missionaries do the things we must do to find those in search of the gospel. 

Elder Blake and Elder Mecham

   I have been assigned to the Modesto 12th ward which is about two hours outside of Fresno in the city of Modesto. In our mission each day we have two hours set aside for what is called "harvesting blessings" in which we knock doors and tell the people that we have been sent to their home to give their family and home a blessing. Our President has put this into our mission and has helped our baptisms tremendously. Our first day out tracting in Modesto we had been knocking for those two hours and with about ten minutes to go we had no one invite us in or at least give a blessing. We thought that we should head to another appointment and finish the last ten minutes at a later time. We all felt really impressed to kock this last door. We knocked and a woman opended the door her name was Esmerelda. We explained how we were representatives of Jesus Christ and how we have been sent to her home to give her a blessing on her family and home. She said yes with a kind of awkward look to her face. Elder Mecham offered the blessing and we told her to really ponder how she feels when we give the blessing. At the end of the blessing the woman was in tears saying, "I don't know what that was I just felt, but I have never felt that way before and I never cry in front of strangers". She was in shock at what had just happened and we testified to her that is was the power of the Holy Ghost testifying to her that we are representatives of Jesus Christ. She would have loved to hear more but on that exact day we came she was moving to France after a hard divorce and was going to go live with friends. We gave her the number for the Church and website to visit, then we were on our way. I had also never felt the Spirit touch me like the way it did during that blessing and has strengthned my testimony tremendously. 
     The following day Elder Blake and I were on an exchange with Elder Furness. We had a scheduled appointment for 11:00.  We went to that house and no one had answered. We were pretty bummed because she had been a very promising investigator and we really felt like we needed that lesson. We turned to return to the car and go to another neighborhood when we saw a man cooking outside his house for his son's birthday. We approached him and told him who we were and what our purpose was. He told us his name was Jose and told us a very interesting story of him in Mexico.  One night while living in Mexico, he was driving with his wife and it was really raining hard.  As he came down this road he saw two men dressed in white shirts and ties huddling under a tree to stay out of the rain. He pulled over and told them he could give them a ride and take them where they needed to go. They were missionaries and they told him about our message and how we are representatives of Jesus Christ and how our message can bless their lives. They left his car with a prayer and they left. Well he came to America and had been looking to find pople who belonged to that church but could not find them. I felt the spirit tell us this is his time to receive the gospel. We testified to him why we were there and that we were sent from God. We asked him to be baptized on March 16th and he accepted!! I was so thrilled and knew why we had been sent there that day! 
     I want to testify to you all that God lives, that He knows each and everyone of us personally. I know that He has a plan for us and leads, guides and directs our lives. I know that these two people were put into our path for a reason! Due to the shortness of time there was one other woman that I will have to talk about later who was also placed into our path! This week has been truly miraculous! Love you all!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back in the field!

     Elder Aiken was reassigned from the Mexico, Leon mission to the California, Fresno mission due to health reasons.  Elder Aiken was very sad to leave the people he grew to love in Mexico.  He and his family are all so grateful for all the prayers and support he received while he was home getting better. He arrived today in Fresno and emailed the following short message:

     "I have made it to the mission safely!  Wow - I love it already.  President Gelwix is great and it's a warm 60 degrees.  We're already getting out to tract.  It's really pretty here and I'm so excited to get started! I love you guys all so much and thank you for all the support and help over the last 4 weeks!" 

Love Elder Aiken!!