Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week #102 Winding Down

As my mission is winding down in Southern Africa, I recognize that Elder Lawson, the missionary, is not ending his mission in life, which is to bring others unto Christ, that they might have joy and eternal life.  With that being said, I want to take a moment to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon. 

The Botswana/Namibia Mission is doing a Book of Mormon challenge so that we can finish the Book of Mormon by Christmas day. I had just finished reading the Book of Mormon, again, when the challenge was extended.  I am now only about 30 pages in, but already I can feel its power. I read about 7 pages a day and on each page, I write at the top of the page something that the Spirit teaches me to do or change, or why I think that page was kept inside the book of Mormon.  Every time I read the Book of Mormon, my heart is filled with no crazy feeling, but just a mere comfort that I have the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Book of Mormon does in fact draw us more closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ than any other book.  I pray of its truth every single day and every day I grow in light and knowledge.  

I plead with everyone that is reading this email that you will feel the eternal power that flows from the pages of the Book of Mormon as you read it.  Those who read the Book of Mormon, like Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley says, will have a greater resolution to do good and grow nearer to the Son of God, the Savior of the world. 


Elder Lawson

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Week #101 Winding Down in Africa

Greeting Family and Friends Around the World!!!!

Not much for the blog today and I apologize. 

Just a few thoughts that I had this past week with MLC... We talked a lot about our Father in Heavens’  will and the agency that we are given to make the choice to follow the righteous path that leads to happiness and joy, or to follow an alternate path that while sometimes appears to lead to good times, ultimately leads us to enslavement, captivity, despair, restriction and unhappiness. 

All I could think about this week were the covenants that I had made in the temple.  I have promised the Lord that I would not give up.  I promised him that I would try every day to be just a little bit better than I was the day before.  Sometimes doing the Fathers will means us getting up and trying to be just a little bit better. This is called using the Atonement. 

I am so excited to be able to go to the Temple and be back in the Fathers house to commune with him and speak to him and more importantly listen to his instructions for me and my life.  I know that in the Temple that I will feel his love even more clearly and distinctly. 

Kenneth is doing awesome! He is completely on track for getting baptized on the Saturday before I leave.  We actually saw him at his office at the head of administration in education.... He has been telling all of his employees about us and getting them to come to church. He is just so powerful. I love this work and never will I ever get tired of teaching this gospel to others. 

I love you all back home and can’t wait to see everyone!!!  Please prepare yourselves:)  I didn’t get to see or hear conference… we will get to watch it in 2 weeks, right before I come home.  That also seems fitting to me as well……..

Love,

Elder Lawson



P.S.
My homecoming talk will be November the 15th at 11:00 at the Zion road LDS MeetingHouse building in Fayetteville, AR, 72703.  I would love to see as many people there as possible in attendance.  I promise that my talk will be uplifting and centered on my Mission and my experiences along with Christ’s mission when he was on the earth.  Mostly it will be about my love for the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, and His love for each one of us. 

If you have questions, please email my father @ aglawson@sbcglobal.net 

I know my Savior Lives!!
Read the Book of Mormon!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Week #100 The Home Stretch- and Sprinting to the finish.........

This past week was just a another great week. Things were a bit slow at the beginning because it is incredibly hot outside, and we weren’t driving all over the three countries that we cover and if people are home, they just want to sleep. 

I will tell you about one of the most incredible lessons that I have ever witnessed.  It happened last week with Brother Kenneth, the gentleman that is scheduled for baptism on October 23rd.  We met with him last night.  We had originally planned on teaching him about the gospel of Jesus Christ, as in the main parts that we focus on.  Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost and enduring to the end.  But as usual, he got really off topic, and the the Spirit just led us into a completely different direction.  At the time we were not sure why, but afterwards we knew that there was a good reason for it.  He was just explaining that he has been telling everyone of his workmates about the church he goes to.  Telling all of them about the book of mormon and even scriptures we shared with him about the post mortal world.  He is so good.  He takes in depth notes of our teachings and scriptures we leave with him.  So he basically just opened up and shared with us why he is so dead set on getting baptized.  Come to find out, he had opened up a massive church, which I had heard of many times before, called Revival Life Ministries. He and two other men were the head founders and "deacons".   After two years of running the church he had the biggest impression to leave the church.  And after acting on that prompting, a couple weeks went by and the church began to tear down due to arguments and fights within the "leadership" of the church.  He said it had to do with quarreling over money.  He said he spent months just sitting at his home spending Sundays reading the bible and watching "sermons" on tv.   He went on to tell us that he prayed and prayed for answers of what he should do and finally met the missionaries about two years ago and began the teaching process.   He ended up backing out of his baptism for some reasons and left the church and went to some other church in unit 15.  He, again, felt like he should sit back and read from home.  He did so for about two years or so. 

But, one day, he had two LDS missionaries show up at his front gate, (Elder Hunt and Elder Lawson).  They told him that they were friends with a lady that lives in Thumbs and she referred the Missionaries to him.   He invited us in, we treated it as a regular referral until I realized that this was the man that I had seen in a picture that was stashed away in the closet of our flat downstairs.  Kenneth immediately took this as a sign from Heavenly Father that this is the path that he needs to take. He said, "there are no more questions.  This is now a must.  Baptism, responsibilities, and duties are no more an option. Obviously this is what God wants me to do, and who am I to not go with his path for me".   That moment was so powerful to hear this man finally admit that he has a testimony.  Just a powerful gentleman.   I received a call from him this morning and he asked if we could stop by his office and share a scripture with him.  He is just craving for truth.   Let us all be willing to follow the path that the Father has for us. 


I know my Savior Lives!!
Read the Book of Mormon!!

Week #99 Driving

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This week was been something else! Traveling from maftown, South Africa to Pretoria, 
Hello Everyone Back Home!!!

South Africa, and then back up to Gaborone, Botswana.  The next day we drive from Gaborone to Pretoria then back to Maftown all the while doing training and interviews with the other Missionaries that I have been so blessed to have served with.  The next day we drive up from Maftown to Francistown and return home again the next day.   To give you an idea of the size of the Mission, it is basically like driving from one end of Texas to the other end of Texas.  It is pretty exhausting I must say, but there is nothing that I would rather be doing.   

If they announced at General Conference that the Missions could be extended for an additional year, then I would want to be the first in live to make that happen.  But, even though we are traveling a lot, we do have time to have a few spiritual experiences.  When we were in Francistown, we did a finding activity with the elders there to try and find less actives that had been... MIA for quite a while.  It turned out to be a great success.  We found a lot  of people that had been missing church for a while and were able to bring back the spirit into their lives and had a sudden desire to come back to the church.  It was just another confirmation to me that the Lord truly favors those that love him but he will always love all of his children. 

Well, Miriam and Katlego won’t be able to make it for their baptism this coming Saturday due to the fact that WE HAVENT BEEN HOME EVER!   So, even though we were still able to stay in contact with the every day, we were not able to teach them and allowed to prepare them as we had planned.  But no worries because they will be baptized in October.  This is the Lords Church, and even though he wants nothing more than to have all of his children to be baptized, sometimes things happen for reasons that we at this time don’t completely understand.  Yet, in time, it will be revealed to us.  

I love the scriptures and the only time I have to read them for my personal self is right before I sleep. So every night when I lay in bed, I lay there with a head light because we often don't have electricity and read out of my Book of Mormon.  It is worth so much more than gold. I don't know what it is, but it just fills me with great faith. 

Just Read, And you will know for yourself!!
I know my Savior Lives!!
Read the Book of Mormon!!


Elder Lawson

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week #98 FInding and Goal Setting. The Final 6 Weeks Has Begun!!!

This week has been full of finding and goal setting.  Let the record be known, I have set a goal for my last transfer of my mission which has started today, to have 1,000 quality gospel conversations before I go home.  That means 24 a day.  Yes, some people may laugh at this goal, and the fact that I was prompted to set this as my goal.  But,  I am doing this on my own, and I know that if this is the number that I was told to set, then there is a purpose in my attaining and speaking to each and every person and I am determined to do it.  
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It honestly blows my mind at the fact I have six weeks left.  In our finding attempts this past week we sure did meet some interesting people and some miraculous people.  We tracted into a Sangoma, a traditional healer... basically a witch doctor.  Turns out she was taught before by missionaries and wants a clearer explanation of the Book of Mormon.  She said that the time we came wasn’t a good time because she just got done visiting her mothers grave who died a month ago.  We testified very clearly and boldly that being a traditional healer and witch doctor will never give her peace and comfort and solace in regards to the death of a loved one.  But, our message on the other hand will.  We said, "we don’t speak to unfamiliar spirits like you do, but we do speak to the God of miracles. and we know he can help you understand the truth about life after death”.  As those word were uttered from our mouths, the spirit was so powerful I could feel it against my skin pressing against my whole body!!! 

Brother Sizwe was confirmed this week. It was just an awesome moment to see him feel the spirit so much. In our different areas of tracting we met people who loved us, we met people who hated us, and we met people who didn't even know who we were. I have spent a lot of time this week speaking to Muslims. These are a great great people.  I want them to know that we are different.  And the ones that I have spoken to now know that we are. 

Brother Kenneth is still going super strong. He called us this week and told us to meet him at the church. We were freaking out because we thought that he was going to drop us for some reason. He gave us a... lump some of money and said, " Elders I want to tithe.  I just took out a loan of $$$$ and here is 10%".  We told him how much this means to the Lord and he was all smiles.  We taught him a wonderful restoration lesson last night and helped him come to the understanding that the Book of Mormon stands on its own.  No one will ever disprove it. He is still on track for the 24th of October. 

Brothers and Sisters, and whoever else that actually takes time to read this email  please know this one thing~~~~  Jesus Christ really did organize His church on the earth as a part of his earthly ministry. It really was perfect and after He, and His apostles were killed there really was an apostasy or a great falling away of the truth. This loss of truth, a loss of doctrine, and a loss of simplicity.  False practices came up like the baptism of infants, the meaning of faith, and even the truth of the nature of the Godhead.  Because God loves us, he brought back His truth and His church through the prophet Joseph Smith.  He was a prophet called of God.  The proof, if you are a seeker of fact instead of faith, the proof is within the lines and words of the Book of Mormon.  If you read it and pray to know it is true, you will know exactly what I mean.   This Book compliments the scriptures that we already have known as the Bible.  I love the Book of Mormon so much.  It prophesies of Christ, it teaches of Christ, it rejoiceseth in Christ.  It encourages all to follow his example, and do as he did, and love one another.  The beautiful part about this message is that you don't have to take my word about this message.  You can test it out for yourself.  And if you pray to know with a sincere heart, with real intent, you will know for yourself that the things that you have read in those pages are true, and you will want to continue to feast on his good word.

Again, Thanks everyone for your prayers and support back home.  I look forward to seeing everyone back home.  Please pray for my friends and family here in the  Botswana/Namibia mission.

With Love,


Elder Lawson

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week #97 Sep 7, 2015 One of my greatest friends goes into the waters of Baptism:)


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This week was awesome!! Mostly due to the fact that we got to see one of my greatest friends on my mission get baptized just yesterday.  Brother Sizwe Sibisi, a 32 year old great guy who is engaged to a member in Joburg now can get ready to enter into the temple of the Lord and join for covenant for time and all eternity on Sep 6th of 2016!   Words cannot describe the fullness in my heart to have been able to be a small part in an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  

And, in all thing righteous, I have been the one that has learned the most from my friendship with Sizwe.  He has taught me the true definition of humility.  Not in his words of instruction, but in his actions.  He has shown me what real priorities are and he shown me, yet again, that this is the true church of Christ.  

Because of Sizwe’s amazing example of faith and commitment, all of the investigators that attended the baptism were so moved by the overwhelming power of the spirit that was there.  One in particular, brother Kenneth. Kenneth is a Ghanaian man around 50 years old.  He lives at home with his wife.  Lets just say... they are well off.  He has investigated the church in the past, but wasn’t quite ready.  He had some pride issues that were preventing his progression.  He is incredibly knowledgable which is good and bad.  His tendency was to want to understand everything before he acted with faith.  Which, as we sat with him after the baptism at his home we talked about that exact issue.  And, I felt prompted for some reason to just talk to him about faith.  And that by waiting to understand everything in order to act is the right thing to do from a business perspective, it totally eliminates faith.  And, that we are always going to be asked to exercise faith in him.  

We had a lesson with him last night (Sunday) and was just outstanding.  Before the lesson started he offered us tea.  We said yes, but when he brought it to us I could smell that it wasn’t the regular herbal tea that we can drink, (Rooibos), but was actual tea called Five Roses, the liquid demon.  I was very quick to say Elder don't drink this, I’m pretty sure its five roses.  He comes back in the room and I ask and he says yes its five roses is that a problem?  I told him we don’t drink it and he was so surprised he then said, "Ah I will never give this up".  We responded, well you will if you want to get baptized!  After a lesson full of the spirit, answering concerns and bringing it all back to Christ, his whole attitude changed.  He began asking questions in regard to people receiving callings in the church.  He said that he wants a responsibility in the Branch.  He said that during the baptism, he felt a feeling that he had never felt before and couldn’t describe it.  He admitted to crying during the service because he couldn’t contain his emotions.  The spirit was so strong in the lesson everyone could sense it.  The next words out of his mouth were beyond belief to me.  He then said, "I do anything to be a member of this church!”  I said, "Anything?" , He replies, "Yes anything.".  I replied very seriously, "Like Naaman, sometimes we are asked to give up or do things that may not make sense in our minds, washing in the river 7 times.  Just like that, the Lord has commanded us to not drink tea or coffee.  Put up an argument if you may, but nevertheless the Lord has commanded it.  Are you willing to give this up to be a member of Christ's church?"  He replied so humbly, like I have never before heard him say, "Yes I will do it".  It just hit me that the Spirit will completely take control if we let it.  He will be my last baptism on my mission on the 24th of October.  The church is true!  But, the Spirit of God will have a greater impact of the hearts of Gods' children stronger than a manifestation of a celestial being. This is the truth. 

With Love,

Elder Lawson

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Note From Dad: Alan Lawson
PS.  This is a picture that was taken early in his mission in Francistown when he was companions with Elder Khalwale.  He loved all of his companions and learned so much from each of them.  I know that Francistown has a special place in his heart for some reason.  If anyone ever wonders if sending a son or a daughter on an LDS mission or supporting them is the right thing to do, all you have to do is look at the faces of these young men and women and the impact that they make on not only others lives, but their own lives are forever changed towards a lifetime of service towards others.  As a convert to the church at an older age, I can testify that there is nothing more important in a young mans life at this age than to learn who you are, where you came from, what your purpose is on this earth, and where your going when you leave life.  And, to learn to have joy and happiness in your life even through difficult times.  Elder Lawson has only 6 weeks left, therefore, I will be putting some final thoughts together at the end of each email.  The thoughts are not meant towards anyone in particular.  They are just a part of my vicarious mission that I have been serving with my son, Elder Lawson.  

For the past #90+ weeks I have arisen at 3am every Monday morning in order to receive and possibly email back and forth for a moment with my son.  While those moments have always been brief, I have always walked away with the feeling that I had talked to him.  How many Mondays have I missed and overslept?  Zero!!!!  I love Mondays!!!  Of Coarse I love Sundays too…. But, many Sundays have transitioned into Monday without sleep.  But, I would not trade those 2 or 3 emails for anything in the world.  Just to read his focus, and his love for the people that he is serving and his companions is all I could ask for.  I want everyone to know that is reading this that you receive this email not because your on a large email list that I just click and his email goes to.  I am prayerful about who to send his message to.  I know that the work that he is doing there impacts everyone and it is just my job to know who needs to hear his message.  So, if you have gotten his email every week, then you needed to hear his message every week:)  

But, thanks everyone for all of the prayers for Elder Lawson while he has been on his mission. And please continue to pray for him.  I ask that you might add to your heart Elder Nathan Jackson who is serving in Santiago Chili, Elder Bradford who will be serving in Taiwan, China ( I think), and Elder Nock who will be serving in Ecuador.  These are amazing young men that have chosen to put aside the things of the world for two years to serve the Lord.  My prayer is for all the missionaries throughout the world to be protected and to be led to those families that are in prepared to receive the fullness of the Gospel in to their lives.

Br. Lawson



Monday, August 31, 2015

Week #96 Week Full of Training, Travel, and Transfers

This week was, if you can believe it, full of “tt”, training and traveling.  We did however, have some amazing moments of the Lord's tender mercies throughout the week.  
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First off, on Saturday we had an open house for the church.  It was absolutely outstanding!  Well over 100 people showed up and even people came the next day to church and they loved it.  I had in interesting experience though.  There were some Muslims standing under a tree quite a distance from the chapel.  As soon as I noticed them, I had an impression to run over and speak to them and then I had a sudden jolt of energy and confidence to go and do it.  I walked over and just talked to them about the day.  We talked about Pakistan  where they were from and I talked about how much I really admire muslims and their way of life and beliefs.  One of them soon left, but, I stayed and talked to the other one. His name was Iqram, and was an incredibly nice man.  I told him about why our church was different than any other Christian church and how I felt he would really appreciate the message of families our church had to offer, after noticing a wedding ring on his hand.  I said with an insisting tone, "Why don't I take you inside for only 6 minutes to see what I mean?”  And to my astonishment, he agreed.  It made me so happy to see him come inside the church and really enjoy what he was hearing.  At the end of the tour he said... I would like a copy of that book of Mormon.  So there it was.  A really powerful experience all starting by one single footstep of faith toward and almost hopeless reaction of two muslims.  
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On other awesome news, Sizwe is getting baptized on Sunday!!! He is so awesome. His girlfriend came up this weekend and came to church and sizwe was just as happy as a man could be. By the way, we helped him set a goal to get sealed in the temple on Sep 6 2016. Thats what you call keeping the end in mind! The temple is what it is all about! Not baptism. Like nephi said, I would ask... is all done? I would say unto you... NAY. 
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Elder Lawson
I know my Savior Lives!!
Read the Book of Mormon!!


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