April 6, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

The beginning of last month we started our Dallas, TX Ex-Mormon Meetup Group.
The Dallas, TX Ex-Mormon Meetup Group (First Meetup)
Please check our site out, particularly our Message Board which has quite a popular and interesting thread called, “Is Christianity any more believable than Mormonism?” When we all met up at a Starbucks in a Barnes and Noble, initially there were four ex-Mormon people besides Tara, my fiancée, her daughter, and myself. All were Christians except one. We had a good time sharing stories of how each left the cult of Mormonism. One of the members was Brian Mackert, who was raised in a fundamentalist LDS family. Right before we were to adjourn for the evening, Brian started talking about a new DVD that was coming out the end of March. I then pulled out a DVD and asked, “Is this what you’re talking about?” It was the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD,
The Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD
and Brian was actually in it. We all laughed as I gave them out to everyone.

As this was going on, two other ex-LDS guys showed up. We started talking with them, and it became apparent that these guys wanted to argue their skepticism. So some of us stuck around to try and persuade them of their need for Christ. We ended up arguing with them for two and a half hours until the Barnes and Noble closed. I found out afterwards that one of them got a little personal with his attacks on Tara. This was quite upsetting to her, and she began questioning whether she could even be involved in witnessing like that again. I on the other hand was very impressed by how Tara handled herself throughout the evening, and with these two antagonists in particular.

The next day we went to our church, and our pastor gave a sermon that we both really needed. It was on being courageous in our witnessing, and taking the heat for Christ. It was probably one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard. Tara and I were so encouraged by it that we went down afterwards to thank him. As we were telling him what had happened the night before, another lady named Debi came up to help our pastor with all the people who want to talk with him. She told us that she has a real burden for Mormons as well, and that she has friends who just left the LDS Church and are now going to a Baptist church. Debi later sent me a list of about 60 LDS addresses from her friends for us to put the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD on their doors.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and financial help in making this DVD distribution a success.
Part of the Dallas, TX DVD Distribution Team
In about 3 weeks, we raised a little over $5000. With that we purchased 375 DVDs for the Longview, TX area, 6000 for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and 3750 for southern CA. One of the members of our Ex-Mormon Meetup Group gave us a current LDS ward directory of over 200 addresses in our local community. Someone else also sent me close to 900 addresses for the state of TX, and close to 21000 for the state of CA. Our team would place the DVD on those specific LDS addresses, and then also on the immediate neighbors’ homes of these addresses.
Distributing DVDs Door to Door
We also hit the neighborhoods around LDS wards, and even distributed them to local Christian churches so they would be inoculated. I am still involved in distributing these DVDs. In fact, if you would like to order a DVD, please indicate that with your financial contribution.

As for my time speaking and recruiting at Dallas Theological Seminary, it really turned out surprisingly well. Although no one showed up for my event since there was only one advertisement the hour before in chapel, something better happened. John (my friend who is a student there and who organized the event), Tara, and I went around campus passing out copies of the DVD. We ended up meeting a student named Ben Williamson, who has done ministry to LDS before. He was excited about what we were doing and asked me if I would like to speak in his evangelism class after lunch. He said he knew the professor would like to do this, since he’s done it with others before. Right after that the professor, Dr. Lopez, just happened to come by. Ben introduced me to him, and Dr. Lopez looked at me funny when he heard my name. I said, “I bet you know my distant relatives who are missionaries in Guatemala.” He said, “Yes indeed, and they are good friends of mine.” So anyway, Dr. Lopez gave me about 10 minutes to talk to the class of 30 students and distribute DVDs to them. Then they all prayed for me and the project.

In addition to updated News & Info and Links on MormonInfo.org, Matt Vessey (treasurer of Courageous Christians United) has added a couple of new film reviews: Mormonism: Has Anything Changed? and Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith. We also have quite a number of new videos that have been added.

For updated material on CourageousChristiansUnited.org, please see a blog entry I wrote on John Morehead and the 'Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith' DVD.

The yearly Manti, UT pageant is coming up again this June, and I need your help in getting up there. This time I would also like to purchase a bullhorn to save my voice while I preach. I would also like to rent a moving truck so I could move all my stuff in storage up there down to Dallas. Would you please consider praying and/or financially helping me with this?

Your financial contributions and prayers make this ministry possible. We need your continued support. Please see our "Invest" page on either MormonInfo.org or here at CourageousChristiansUnited.org for how you can get involved. I also need your help in getting myself into your church to share about the cults. This allows increased growth to our financial support base in introducing new potential contributors to this ministry. 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
5. For our monthly ex-Mormon meetup group
6. For people to be receptive of the DVDs

****MAILBAG****

dear rob[,] i don't know why you spend so much time and effort to destroy some thing that is still growing and will keep growing. and i know that you don't care but hey didn't we fight so hard for freedom of religion in this country[?] any way go use your time more efficiently then try to make something good seem bad. any way if you really know so much then you would have realize[d] that this church makes people want to be better and what[‘s] wrong with that[?] it[‘s] not pressing any beliefs on any one. it just ask[s you] to do the right thing and as far as i[‘m] concern, then how can something that ask you to be a better person to you and the ones around you be so bad, and obesity don't have a very open mind cuz then you wouldn't only be bugging us but also all the other religions like Buddhism, Hindi, Catholics which they have way more secret stuff then we do.... look it up. Cause if we are so bad look at some of the other religion[s]. What did we as a church do to you[?] nothing. i have never meet you, but i won't say some one hasn't offend you cause i don't know you or why your hate gos so deep into the church all i know is that i feel sorry for you because you carry so much hate to something that you aren't having any real effect. eventally you will get tried and we well will keep growing as church and as people who are TRYING to be better person[s] every day. I hope one day you can forgive that person or even me if I have in any way offended you. yes, i know you will probably gets some laughs out of this, but just know i only stumble on your web site and remember how you waste time instant of going and help i don't know may the people in Africa who are dieing of hungry then stand out side with a sign just for a job. sad anyway good night. I just want to say that without getting in an argument and you or the other guy. Have a nice life. Remember try to look happy if you want people to come to you. I hope you can some how get a new obsession. –from a girl without a sign toward any other church just info.
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Dear Rob, Hello. Well you have really inspired me to pursue ministry to Mormons. The Lord has primarily used you and an Introduction to Evangelism class I just took to emphasize that I need to teach them of the true Jesus Christ. I believe that God gives his people certain desires of ministry and for me that has been to Mormons. In the past I've specifically tracked down LDS missionaries to talk to them but not in a stocking kind of way. I even gave them a ride home one night when I saw a pair of them out walking at the time of their curfew. This desire is what led me to Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics where I met you.

I then put away these desires because I though about other people groups around the world that didn't even have the Bible. There was a greater need but my heart was not really in that direction. Now after taking that course and checking out the media on your Mormon Info website, I'm fired up again. I'm now moving forward with it and not intending on turning aside unless directed by the Lord.

One part of that is that I recently started going to an LDS chapel on Sunday mornings while still going with my wife to a Baptist church on Saturday nights. I look and act LDS just like the rest of them with my suit & standard works. Everyone who came up to me thought I was LDS until I told them otherwise. I say that I'm not Mormon but I want to learn about the LDS faith from the inside. This started initially for a fellow soldier who is a faithful Mormon. Also I am most motivated to search the Scriptures when I'm his with LDS doctrine.

Anyway there's more to it but the main reason I'm emailing you is to ask for your phone number. Some things come up at the LDS chapel that I'd like to talk to you about and know your insight. Hey, I have a quote of yours on my email signature. So true.

Your brother and fellow heir in Jesus Christ,
Darren
--
"If you can talk to a Mormon, you can basically talk to anybody."
-Rob Sivulka-
www.mormoninfo.org/index.php?id=207
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Good Evening. Just wanted to say thank you for the DVD that your group is pushing on people. Everytime somthing like this happens, the LDS church gets more people wondering about the church and shure enough they join. With Mitt running as presidential hopefull and the press that the church is getting, I am seeing a interesting positive shift in peoples thoughts about the church. Just look at any news paper concering Mitt and the comments he gets. People see there is a small vocal group that hates the church. This small vocal group plus DVD's is only going to put a seed in one's mind, and guess what? they start asking questions. Everytime the local church down the street here in seaside California put their banner up called "learn about the mormons" the local lds church got people coming over asking all sorts of questions about us. About 50% of them joined. Not a bad percentage. The local church that use to have that banner stopped doing it becasue they were loosing people to us. Take care,
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Is Jehovah's witnesses False?? Is Roman Catholic False?? Is the baptist Church False?? Is the Mormon False? YOUR BRANCH is False too! RESPECT DIFFERENT CHURCH. You are like baby! You are inspired by the Satan. Different bibles are not true. Jesus Christ is the person, is TRUE. I dont talk negative about different churches. God self will judge everyone.

[I responded:] Thanks for talking negative about me and our group. Thanks for judging us. If you can do it, then so can we. All groups that deny who God has revealed Himself as being are worshipping a false god. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets (Mt. 24:24), and told us to teach everything He taught (Mt. 28:19). There are a lot of cults out there, and if you love people, then you'd want to warn them about them.
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Need your help... So I opened my big mouth and told a friend of mine that it says no where in the Bible that Christians should kill Non-Christians (his point being comparing what it says in the Koran about Muslims killing the “infidels.” So he sends me this... Did I lose?

[I responded:] Christians can kill non-Christians in self-defense, and as agents of the government who act for justice. If we were living in the Old Testament law for God working through the nation of Israel, then we would still be killing false prophets, stoning witches, and rebellious sons. Under the New Testament we submit to the justice mediated through the government that rules us. Muslims are still living in the Old Covenant, and need the Mercy that triumphs over judgment.

[He responded:] Thanks man – my friend Johnny is an atheist and has been sending me stuff that seems so interesting – interesting in the fact it makes general sense. For instance this blog between Dennis Prager and Sam Harris seems to end in a stalemate then there’s Sam Harris's site. It’s to the point where I lean back on my personal faith story and even seeing God in nature but that doesn’t even influence him. This is a good friend of mine too...

[I responded:] Sam's delusional, and atheism is a joke. The burden of proof is on atheists since they are a small minority of the population. But if you're trying to persuade your friend, then you need ammunition: HERE and HERE. These are good starters.
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Just was checking in on your site, as I do every couple of months, to see what burdens you have unnecessarily and needlessly placed upon yourself. You certainly are an ambitious little Christian.

It sounds like you are engaged or married now, from what I can gather. Congratulations, sincerely, as that is certainly the best decision I have ever made. Having kids is a distant second, but that is only because my boys look like so much like me that they surely are guaranteed a life of disappointment. Pray that they grow to look more like their mother.

So how is the PhD. going? Hasn't God helped you get that thing done yet?? C'mon Rob, you must not be praying hard enough...of course, just ribbing you there. What is your dissertation on? I would love to be there for your defense, if you don't mind. …Hopefully someday I will be as dumb as you and go for that PhD, but with the kids, the house and bills, I might have to settle for being uneducated the rest of my life.

I heard a new video is coming out about a comparison of Jesus and Joe Smith...send me one so I can keep abreast of all your 'new' tactics, please. What fun is being brainwashed by my cult if I can't at least know how their doing it. I mean, they'll never tell me, right? :)

Like I said, just wanted to drop you a line and let you know I have been watching you. Keep up the good work you are doing because I honestly believe (I prayed about this and got confirmation about two minutes ago...he he) that you are a good man that is going to do so much good. In fact, you already have and that is a direct product of your dedication to your beliefs in the Savior. I honestly mean that, Rob, I am not being sarcastic at all as I know e-mail can be informal and impersonal.

By the way, yeah, I'm still Mormon. Nobody's perfect. Well...except for your Jesus since mine doesn't even exist. I know, I am horrible, but I wouldn't be me unless I took a potshot at you, right? Fire away!!!

Good to talk to you again. Happy fishing.
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Hi Rob and company,

I'll be putting your link up soon on my mormonism site! Thank you much for your great ministry for sharing Truth. Here is my mormonism site I started a few years back. I'm a cradle mormon, born and bred, and left the church by divine Providence in my search to God/Truth better - I stumbled upon the Ex-Mormons For Jesus center in Orange, CA. and there began my research and could no longer be a mormon - Its been a wonderful journey so far - [click HERE to see my site.]

…Thanks for all your help in the ministry! I plan sometime to polish up my mormonism website and would like to network with you guys. Ideas are appreciated!

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