July 10, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

Tara, Madison, and Rob
Many exciting and important events happened last month. The most exciting and important of course was my marriage to Tara, and becoming a step-dad to Madison in Dana Point, CA on June 2nd. Not only was it a wonderful time for us, but a very important time to minister to Tara’s unsaved family and friends. We had quite a mixed audience of believers, Mormons, atheists, agnostics, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. My dad performed the ceremony, and did a fantastic job presenting the gospel. For all the pictures, including of our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, please see HERE.
At the Manti Pageant

Just over a week back from our honeymoon, I took off for the Manti, UT Pageant. Tara and Madison joined me a couple days later. I was very proud of Tara and Madison preaching, holding up signs, dialoguing, and passing tracts out. Christians were encouraging us by saying that God obviously knew what He was doing in forming our family. For more pictures of our pageant outreach, see our MormonInfo.org 2007 photo gallery. Please also see a few videos of this year’s outreach: HERE, HERE, and HERE.

On one day of the pageant, a new Christian named Sam approached me and encouraged me by saying my preaching the day before had encouraged him to live for the Lord. Sam had personally committed himself to the Lord from a Catholic background several days before.
Sam and Rob


On another occasion, Tara’s Mormon mother showed up to the pageant unbeknownst to us. I looked right next to me while I was dialoguing with some LDS guys, and there she was. I said hello, and left her to talk with Tara and Madison. I went to go preach to the crowd at the gate just before the pageant started. (By the way, I always stop for LDS to enjoy their pageant when it starts around 9:30 PM. Also, I reported in an earlier newsletter that I wanted to use a bullhorn. I brought one with me, but found out when I arrived that I needed to get a permit for it.) People are constantly trying to distract me while I preach. On this night, someone came up and started to persistently tug on my left shirt sleeve. I continued to preach for at least a couple minutes before I glanced out of the corner of my eye and saw that it was my mother-in-law! She wanted to know where Tara and Madison were. She invited Madison to watch the pageant with her, and Tara, to her mom’s surprise, said that she’d like to watch it too. That night Tara and I couldn’t believe how blatantly blasphemous the performance was. There’s one particular part, about an hour into it, where it claims that the “most important” thing is the exaltation of man into godhood. It is *not* the worship and adoration of God in advancing His kingdom.

On probably the first night I arrived, while I was walking back from the pageant, someone threw a water balloon at me. Fortunately it missed, and fortunately it was just a water balloon. On other occasions in years past, people have thrown coins and pebbles at me. I have been spit on, and almost run over by a car. One woman tapped my mouth with her hand. And several years ago, the cops dragged me off the public sidewalk (thank God they have been very nice to me since then)! There are relatively few mission trips, particularly in America, where you can be so persecuted for your faith. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).

Grandpa Honline (October 15, 1918 - June 20, 2007)
The day after I arrived in Utah, my Grandpa Honline passed away. He was one of my biggest fans, and continually prayed for me. I had the rare privilege of witnessing with my grandfather. On one occasion outside a store, Grandpa and I witnessed to a Jehovah’s Witness about who Jesus really was. I’ll never forget Grandpa preaching to this Jehovah’s Witness man that the book of Revelation is clear that Jesus is none other than Jehovah. I also remember both my grandparents witnessing with me to a Mormon lady right outside Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT. They preached to this girl that all she needed was eternal life found simply through faith in Christ. Grandpa fought the good fight, and his race is finally won! I look forward to spending eternity with him soon.

Our Dallas, TX Ex-Mormon meetup group is going well. Last month we had dinner at a restaurant with four ex-Mormons (including Tara). All were Christians except one of the husbands, who is understandably skeptical toward Christianity having given up on Mormonism just recently.

Finally, Tara and I ran into another Jehovah’s Witness at the local Farmer’s Market. He was passing out Watchtowers to the workers. He did it in front of us, so I told the Mexican woman that received it that she should be careful of it, since it teaches that Jesus is not God. The woman immediately gave it back to the man, and he became upset at us. We then got into a short discussion on the deity of Christ, and he ended up walking away from us.

Your financial contributions and prayers make this ministry possible. We need your continued support. Thank you so much for your concern and prayers for this ministry, and for those trapped by false religions and philosophies.

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

****MORE PRAYER REQUESTS****

1. For Tara's LDS family, and Jehovah's Witness friends Michelle and Jolee
2. For guidance in developing JWinfo.org
3. For Rob's continued doctoral studies at the University of Utah
4. For more salvations through this ministry
5. For our monthly ex-Mormon meetup group
6. For speaking venues
7. For Tara to finish her undergraduate studies soon
8. For our family to be able to move back to Utah soon

****MAILBAG****

i have recently been reading up on many different christian faiths.  i found the JW particularly messed up but when i stumbled upon your site only one thing came to mind...you guys are &*%# up!  full of piss and vinegar and hatred for your fellow man.  if there is one thing that i know for sure about the LDS faith is that they have always done good for their fellow man.  instead of trying positive actions all you do is heckle and mock.  after all didn't Jesus say love thy neighbor?  i'm still searching for where he said to go to their homes and heckle them.  live and let live or one day your own medicine will be fed to you i'm sure. God bless...even you i'm sure.
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Dude you were awesome this week! I was like wow this guy is sooo bold! Very cool meeting you
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Hey! It was good seeing you at pageant! Too bad we were not able to talk much! It is always uplifting to see fellow Christians working for the Kingdom though. God bless you, you and your ministry are in my prayers.
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Thanks man. That was a really amazing video [The Lost Book of Abraham]. The family at the end are very courageous. Their testimony brought tears to my eyes. I don't know or care much about Mormonism but it's great to know people like you are out there helping people steer out of it. Keep up the good work.
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...do you have any advice for former mormons like us who are searching for a new church to join? We feel most comfortable in the Baptist church right now. [My husband's] family is mostly baptists. We feel as though the Baptist denomination is conservative, structured, and follows the Bible closely. We have a hard time because it feels different being in churches that are MUCH more alive in their services. We are still feeling a bit like fish out of water. We hear people telling us to just let God lead us to whatever church is right for us but we are so cautious because mormonism has jaded us. Christian churches are similar but we definitely disagree with certain denominations such as the catholics and apiscopalians. People have told us that the presbyterians have a good doctrinal approach to the Bible but then they turn around and say that we must just listen for how the teachers preach and leave that church if it varies from exact biblical truth. Right now, we are honestly still searching for what we feel is exact biblical truths. Humans make mistakes even while preaching, so we find ourselves in between whether or not to go by the preacher or by the church covenant. There are many viewpoints about Baptism, drinking alcohol, taking the sacrament. We'll probably stick with the baptists for awhile but we just want to do the best thing for ourselves and our children. Any advice?

[I responded:] My advice is not to worry about it, and enjoy the adventure of checking out various churches. Even if you find one that is comfortable to you, keep in mind that it may not be comfortable to you later on, and then it may be time for another one, or you may need to tough it out, and grow through it. Also, keep in mind that there is no denomination that is perfect since it is filled with imperfect people. Tara, my ex-Mo wife, thinks that it's just important to get plugged into somewhere you feel comfortable, and to remember that the people won't be perfect but you'll trust the Lord to use those relationships to spur you on in your relationship with Him. She also said that the longer you hang around, you'll get used to the more alive churches in time. We also think that visiting our ex-Mo support group will be helpful for you.

[She responded:]
Thank you so much for your words of advice and experience. We'll keep moving forward in our faith in Christ. We'd love to go to the meetup. Summertime is full of vacations, camping, and such as I know you understand. We'll keep checking for your meeting group dates and get ourselves there. We need that support!

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