August 10, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Welcome back to Utah!
Praise the Lord! We have closed on our home in West Jordan, UT and are moved in! It took us a week longer than we thought it would, but we are so thankful for God finally making this a reality. We have a lot of work to do in replacing many of the things that broke during the move, and fixing our place up.

We surprising live among many Catholics even though I’ve met some LDS neighbors. In addition to putting our home in order, I’ve already been able to pray with a Catholic neighbor who’s going through a divorce, and I also spent an evening in front of Temple Square with my buddy Aaron Shafovaloff from Mormonism Research Ministry. Several days after our arrival in Zion, my car driver’s side window got spat on, and later that evening we got flipped off. This is obviously due to my car’s bumper stickers, which among others are "MormonInfo.org," "CourageousChristiansUnited.org," and a license plate holder that says, “Don’t Go To Hell, Live for Jesus.” So LDS simply assume I must be some crazy anti-Mormon! I love the persecution, but it’s going to take some getting used to for my wife.

Tara has 3 sisters and their husbands who have been quite helpful to us. They have really made us feel welcome. We look forward to sharing life with them, praying for them, and hopefully seeing them come to live for the Lord. Please continue to pray for them, as well as the rest of Tara and Maddy’s family. Tara’s grandpa thinks I’m doing ministry simply for the money! According to the pre-1990 temple ceremony, he was indoctrinated to believe that I am actually paid by Satan himself! If I wanted to make money, I certainly wouldn’t be in this ministry! Perhaps televangelism pays, but certainly not a ministry to Mormons and other cults.

We are going to a great church that is just down the street from us. Lifeline Community Church is very supportive of street evangelists. Several of these friends of mine go to this church. Pastor Brian Hurlbutt is a Dallas Theological Seminary grad, and is now working on his doctorate at my alma mater, Talbot School of Theology. His sermons are like I’m back in seminary—always full of food for thought. It’s a small church (100 to 200 people), and quite an adjustment for Tara and Maddy. They’ve been raised in a Dallas mega-church. Pray especially for Maddy to make some good friends here.

Rob with Brandon
Just prior to our move to Salt Lake, I received an email from Brandon—a former Mormon, who is now living for the Lord. He initially contacted me as a Mormon through my MySpace page over 3 years ago. Please see our email correspondence below in our Mailbag section. We met at Lifeline the first Sunday we moved back to Utah.

Would you please take some time to seek the Lord on how you can best invest in this ministry? I’m now a first-time homeowner, and have to pay down a home loan. For those of you led to financially partner with us, please send in a tax-deductible investment today. The standard way is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United. But we also have a secure electronic funds transfers program available if you are interested in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp. Finally, if you are interested in taking advantage of tax-free stock donations (e.g., an IRA rollover to CCU), we can also help you with that. This will help lessen your capital gains taxes. Please see our "Invest" page for all the details of how you can partner with us financially.

Yours for the lost,

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
Rob@CourageousChristiansUnited.org
MormonInfo.org
JWInfo.org

****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For my book I’m writing
2. For Brandon’s spiritual growth
3. For God to use our ministry story in an upcoming edition of our church news

****MAILBAG****

Dear Tara,

I hope you remember me from last year when we corresponded with each other concerning our Mormon roots and the fact that I left the Church. You asked politely to see if I would like to share my testimony on your site. As time can tell, I have developed enough courage and more knowledge regarding the fallacies of the Mormon Church thanks to support groups that you set up on Facebook as well as enlightening Youtube videos, that I am more than willing to do it! So, I hope you can still be open enough to accept my offer! Moreover, this past year God has truly opened my eyes through personal experiences that I have realized that it is not a religion that saves you but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And, I truly appreciate your testimony on Youtube as well as some of the videos you and your husband (Rob Sivulka) have posted – they really are eye opening. I am sure that more Mormons are coming to Christ because of you guys. Also, may God continue to bless you in Utah! Love in Christ,
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I wanted to thank you for your ministry. I stumbled across the material on your website tonight quite by mistake, but I really find it valuable. I look forward to exploring it some more.

I started leaving Mormonism between ages 12-14 (I'm 20 now) and became a Christian about 4 and a half years ago. I began to see the error in Mormonism from an early age, and it was people like you witnessing on the streets of Salt Lake at a General Conference in 2002 who made me realize that there is a world outside of Mormonism and that I shouldn't be afraid. Some people preach only against the lies of Mormonism, but others like yourself preach for the truth of Jesus Christ. Your witness is literally saving lives. Thank you. …I know God is blessing many through your ministry. Please keep it up!
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Hi Rob. I have spoken with you a couple of times at the manti pageant and in salt lake by the lds temple... Thanks for standing strong and firm in this culture!
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Rob and Tara, This group [our ex-Mormon Meetup], and the two of you, have been such a blessing to me. Thank you for all you do in your ministry! You are a great team, and I look forward to hearing all about life in UT. Tonight was great.....wonderful food and great friends. Can't wait to come and see you! Be safe traveling...you'll be in my prayers.
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May all go well for you as you move in. And may the Lord give you fruit for His glory that will remain. Love you, brother,
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Praise Yeshua for your move to UT! And thank you for your dedicated service for the Kingdom of God. Take care,
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Hey brother, welcome to Utah! I'm praying that you get settled into your new home with few problems. Thanks for loving these dear people here enough to live alongside them. They are truly wonderful people. And desperately burdened as well. Setting captives free is what Jesus does.
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I loved when it said that "the LDS church is losing steam". Ha. From the pictures that you posted, it appears the the only thing losing steam is your cause. And you want to know the best part? I'm Catholic and know that you're wrong. Learn to be tolerant. Have a nice day.

[I responded:] Thanks for your tolerance toward me! As a Catholic, I know you'd agree with me that there's no heavenly mother, that God could never have sinned, that we could never become gods of our own worlds and have our spirit kids worship us to the exclusion of the God of this world. Since LDS believe these things, LDS teach blasphemy, and if you had any concern for them, you'd try to help them.

[He or she responded:] Why am I defending the LDS church? Because they have defended me and my beliefs. Never once do I recall a leader of the Mormon church bad-mouthing my religion. It's never happened. Sure, we may not share the same beliefs on all issues, but that's fine. Most religions are false, but they make people try harder in life. They better society. So what if the LDS church is false? At least millions of people try harder because they are members and because they want to please God. At least they dont show up at my church with picket signs that claim that the Pope is a fake. No, that would be intolerant. There isn't a Mormon website that tries to draw people away from Catholicism. That would be inappropriate. They dont form little groups that try and undermine our teachings. That would be inconsiderate. And that is why I am sticking up for them. I guess that all three of us (you, the Mormons, and I) have different beliefs, but some day when we die, we'll find out who was right, now won't we? And at least the LDS church and I wont be accused of religious bigotry and intolerance. If you don't like the LDS influence, then by all means, move. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

[I responded:] Truth matters. And if you claim to follow Christ, that should be obvious to you as you read the New Testament. Read Matthew 23 for example where Jesus railed on the false religious leaders of His day. He and His apostles warned over and over again against false Christs and false prophets that would come in these last days. A lack of truth has consequences: see HERE. By the way, LDS scripture calls your church the whore of all the earth, and the church of the devil in 1 Nephi 14:10. Their founding prophet Joseph Smith said all other churches were wrong, all their creeds an abomination, and all their professors corrupt (Smith, History 1:19, Pearl of Great Price). As Christians, we are commanded to contend earnestly for our faith (Jude 3).

You are just as intolerant and bigotted against me and my faith as I am against LDS. So if you can do it, so can I. I love the heat, and that's why I moved back to UT. I love it when LDS spit on my car and flip me off. Very tolerant people, but I love them anyway and don't want to see them going to hell for breaking the 1st commandment and following a false god.

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It is very cool to hear that yet another milestone has been reached, and your arrival to Utah went without incident (unless you neglected to mention a tire blowout or getting picked up by a tornado along the way...) :)

I'll be praying for the next step, that all goes accordingly with getting to move in to your new place. And of course, I'll be praying that all the Mormons in that area of Utah who know who you are give you a giant "welcome back to Utah!" celebration of some kind... :) Mostly I'll be praying for God to open up their hearts to receive...
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March 9, 2006: I attempted to add an LDS guy named Brandon as one of my MySpace friends. He replied: “um you are against mormonism and you want to be my myspace friend why?”

March 27, 2006: He told me: “get a life”

January 18, 2007: In reference to my picture in front of the San Diego Temple where I’m standing next to a “Do Not Enter, Wrong Way” sign and holding my own MormonInfo.org sign, He said, “It basically says do not enter www.mormoninfo.org its the wrong way. why because its not a true mormon website. the best website to gain mormon truth is www.mormon.org and www.lds.org

so thanks for helping out from keeping people from going to that false website.”

[I responded:] May God give you eyes to see and ears to hear before it's too late.

2 Thes. 2:11

Rob Sivulka
www.JesusNotJoseph.com


[He responded:] Hey bro, Nice scripture. Please read the whole chapter. This is a problem I had with different churches before I joined Christ's true church.

I noticed pastors taking one scripture out of a chapter and taking it out of context while trying to teach their opinion of one scripture. You have to read the whole chapter to know whats going on before you know what the scripture means.

This scripture that you refered me to is talking about the unrightous not the rightous. We have not been given a lie, we have been given a truth and several ways to know the truth.

You can't send me anything that will shake my faith. My faith was shaken before I found the book of mormon. It is the book of mormon that is the foundation of my belief in Jesus Christ and it is a STRONG foundation. The strongest foundation that can be built in this world.

I no longer have to rely on false teachers and I no longer have to pay false teachers to support their own bills etc and etc. My tithing goes to God and to the Lords work and no ones pocket.

I now have blessings from the Lord in my life now that I have his FULL gospel in my life. I appreciate your concern, but your concern is of not of any importance to any Latter day Saint. We have very strong unshakable testimonies of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and of this church and of the Book of Mormon.

Thanks bro, I hope you will soften your heart and allow the Lord to speak to you through your spiritual ears with the Holy Ghost.

Brandon
www.mormon.org

January 19, 2007: He said, “Got any more one liners? I enjoy getting those from bible changer christians. Its fun to research that what they are trying to make a scripture say is totally false. SO send me more if you want.”

July 9, 2009: Hey Rob, You're not going to beleive this
A while back, on Jan 18, 2007, I wrote you an email laughing at your myspace picture and telling you you are wasting your time.

You wrote back. I'll paste in the conversation below. Anyway, I wrote you when I was a dumb mormon convert. I moved to Utah in 2007 and shortly fell away from the mormon church, so upset at God that I fell into atheism.

Well, Aaron Shaf's youtube ministry works. I was looking at some of Bill's videos on how mormonism contradicts or things, laughing and having a good time (still atheist). Then I came across an out of mormonism testimony [Zach Collier’s] and it touched me, it made me remember the relationship I had with God before I was ever mormon.

Anyway, I was at Aaron Shaf's house last night hanging out (we met at Manti) and we got to talking about websites and I said I remember one of those websites, a guy on myspace has a picture of a sign and I wrote him one day saying he was dumb and wasting his time. He typed in your name on myspace and when you popped up I was like THATS HIM. Anyway, I just wanted to write and say KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. Eventually some of us dumb brainwashed mormons will see the light that will guide us to the biblical Christ. Thanks for all you do.

Brandon
Ex-mormon
www.tellingyousomething.com
(trying to build a website of my testimony and experience, its nothing yet, but hopefully it will be one day)

[I responded:] Hi Brandon, Thanks for the encouragement! Ya, Zach and Aaron told me about you. I took that video of Zach Collier (actually both of them) that you watched! Praise God.

Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pt. 3:18). We're moving to West Jordan the end of the month, so we'll have to get together.


[He responded:] Awesome man, can't wait to meet you. All this evangelical stuff is so exciting. I'm like a dry sponge soaking it all in. And its really cool meeting people who are just totally in love with God and His word.

Add Comment
anne hughes says...
"Rob and Tara, We praise God with you for a safe move to Utah and everything working out for the sale of your place in Texas and closing of the new home. God is so good and faithful.

I loved the volley with the Catholic in your mailbag. I was Catholic before I graduated to worldliness. Their tolerance is hardly a thing to be proud of as it's the stone attached to the rope that yanks them into deep waters where they drown. I go through these same conversations with my Catholic niece and always come away scratching my head asking, "how can they not get it?" It's not about religious freedom. As you said, if we love and follow Jesus, we can't be quiet - we don't want them to burn in hell for eternity. It's like standing outside a burning building seeing them in the doorway refusing to get out no matter how much we plead while they tell us how intolerant we are to want them to leave their building. What part of that offends them? I rant. Sorry.

Love you guys and we're so glad you're finally getting settled. Praying for Maddy for sweet fellowship with gals her age and for Tara to find peace in the storm.

This is one storm that won't blow over dear ones, you are in the cyclone zone of your faith now. Stay fully suited up in the armor of God at all times, (Eph. 6), pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17) and remember where to cast your anxieties when it's all too much (1 Pe. 5:7).

Lord, be with Rob, Tara and Maddy as they make this tremendous transition to life in the trenches. Fill them with the perfect balance of divine meekness blended with holy boldness, overflowing love and mercy and hearts that beat continually for the lost and deceived. Thank You for the work You're doing in their lives and all they will reach with the precious good news of salvation through grace by faith. In Jesus matchless name we pray, amen.

In His love, by His grace,
anne
Circle of Grace" (8/11/09)