Monday, March 24, 2014

"He has called us all as His servants/representatives to work day and night to bring forth the fruit of the restoration"

Hola familia!

So this week's letter is a little short because we practically spent the whole week helping a bishop in Wellington finish building his casa! It was wayyyyyyyy fun! We spent Mondayplaying basketball then a lesson with Sister Trina. 
Then Tuesday Wednesday, and Friday we spent 9am-4pm helping the bishop with the house! I attached some pictures it was super fun!! We had like 4 different sets of elders and a pair of sisters. Such a beautiful home too! They are going to have a slide that goes from the mid floor to the basement!! :D I called dibs on first to use it haha They are rushing because the appraisal is this upcoming thursday. Ahhhhh! So we were wroking super hard. Plus side is though the Sister Hobbes, his wife, is so eccentric and lively she made it way fun. She blasted Disney music the whole time and made us sing along. (like she had to make us, right haha) She was super happy when I told her I worked at Disney and I gave her the info because she wants her kids to do the internship! Super fun! You will see a pitcure of a puppy! One of our investigators dogs had them this week and I wanted to take one home :( I miss my puppies! haha Other than that we saw many great miracles! 2 I want to mention is with Nathan Curtis. We had 2 lessons with him this week and we chastized his mum and his gma for not taking him to church when his baptism is the 29th. -_- I've noticed i've been getting better with being bold with people. Super nice because they sometimes need that extra push to make them understand the importance. So the whole family came and sat with us at stake conference!!! I mean...I bribed the other kids with treats, but hey...gotta do what you gotta do haha 
Next is Daniel! Daniel Meyer if you remember is the tradition catholic that believes LDS beliefs but wants to stay catholic. So0o0o0o0o0o in our last lesson I was just like, Daniel...that's not what catholics believe, you know it, I know it, and i'm sure your pastor will surely tell you the same thing. He acknowledged it and said he'd pray about it, ANDDDDDD he was at stake conference!! :DD So0o0o i'll send his baptism pictures next week ;) haha it's truly wonderful how as a missionary you truly are the guide for people to seek Heavenly Father for their answers. If we can just encourage them enough to act, and they do so, the whole world can be baptized. :P 
So at stake conference President Clark of the mission presidency called my companion and I up! :O I was like, oh nooooo...he talked a bit about us and said how happy he was with us being there and made us recite the standard of truth. Luckilyyyyy, it's a mission scripture mastery haha but that's what I wanted to share today. Stake conference focused on hastening the work, as you could imagine, and really emphasized Joseph Smith's words. "The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent, til it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, til the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say, the work is done" I turn your attention to Jacob chapter 5 where he gives us the allegory of the Lord's vineyard quoting Zenos. I know that this will be the last time the Lord will visit and work in His vineyard to establish His glory. He has called us all as His servants/representatives to work day and night to bring forth the fruit of the restoration. May we work diligently and do our part, I pray, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

"May we always turn outward with charity and remember our baptismal covenants..."

Okay maybe not that bad haha...but I can say that it has been the most spiritually draining week since i've been out. Not as busy, but definitely the most tiring. So we will go straight into it!

Monday: P-day of course! whu whuhh. Typical shopping day. Some elders were missing so like 6 of us went to our apartment and played a game of risk. We played for 5 hours and we didn't finish o.O Crazy, huh? It was my first time ever playing so it was pretty interesting haha other than that we just had a big lunch together then proselyted the rest of the night. Super good lesson with sister Trina! We introduced our favorite family(Pendrays) to her family for fellowshipping and support. It went super well! Sister Pendray is so friendly and loving that she made friends right away. We focused the lesson on turning to our Heavenly Father for the biggest support. Great spirit was felt as sister Trina shared her concerns and we addressed them.

Tuesday: My companion was out again with a migraine so I joined the Wellington elders and did our appointments with them  Amazing lesson with Daniel! We were able to use his neighbor's(bro. kellor) home for the lesson and bro. kellor and his wife were there. We answered questions about the Plan of Salvation and then addressed other concerns he had about things his mormon friends have told him.  Michael Hunter! I don't know if I have mentioned him but he is a 14 year old boy we are teaching.  He even taught US the Plan of Salvation after learning about it. He is such a wonderful kid and I can't wait until he enters the waters of baptism and makes his first covenant with our Heavenly Father. If his learning has progressed so much now, I can't imagine how far he will be able to go with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Super Exciting!!! :D

Wednesday: Super good lessons Wednesday but I want to focus on Cord. To remind you, he just got married to a super active lady in one of our wards and has been investigating the church for quite some time. He says he enjoys how the BoM tells of Christ and is similar to the bible, but can't wrap his mind around modern day prophets. He has prayed a lot, but has not been asking the right questions. He prays for understanding, and he is definitely getting it! He is so knowledgeable! This week we had a lesson on recognizing the spirit and asking direct questions for direct answers. We invited him to keep reading and to pray if the BoM is true. If he can get an answer to that, he can gain a testimony of the convincing evidence that Jesus is the Christ...that it was brought forth through Joseph Smith, and that every prophet called since him has been called of God. I am so excited to see his progression!!

Thursday: The whole day consisted our Zone Conference in Richfield. We left at 6 in the morning to get there at 8. It ended at 3, we stayed for dinner, then headed back at 4. Got home at 6 and finished our night with proselyting. Super long day though...I felt so lethargic o.O haha it was fun though. Our leaders are truly inspired and receive much revelation for the mission.

Friday: Nothing too exciting here. We did have a potential investigator attend a ward party and he had a blast! We were able to set up an appointment for this upcoming week and he went to church on Sunday!!! Ahhhhhhh! Okay...almost lost my cooolll thereee. 

Saturday: Super fun but long day! We did service for our investigator Jarett! Remember him? Fresh outt, waiting for baptism...pretty much the coolest person ever? Yeah, him. Okay...his mum may be cooler than him. That may just be because she gives us food though haha kidding! She is SOOOO nice! She treats us so well. But we went over and we helped clean up and shampoo the carpet and paint the garage. I got to wear jeans and a t-shirt!! = Super Happy 3 hours haha Then we had a super good shrimp dinner with the Oveson family from the spanish branch. Ahhhh. Super good! Then Michael Hunter again. Can I just say how much I love this kid? He remembered everything we taught him and has been looking over the diagrams I drew and copied for him. How awesome is He?

Sunday: We literally were running from place to place. Haha We went to the 1st ward with Michael Hunter, then to his class where we taught the Plan of Salvation. Guess who was prepared? Mikey of course! then we rushed to a meeting with the Daily Dose couple at 1045, then rushed to the 4th ward because my companion and I were assigned to speak. I was assigned to speak on the hastening of the work, but mostly chastise this ward for not doing their member missionary work. I wanted to come off bold, but loving; and I feel I did. A sister pulled me aside afterwards crying saying she had to apologize because she wasn't doing her part, and she gave us a referral! How awesome is that!? well the referral part...felt super bad that I made her feel bad :( 

So my message this week will continue the Hastening theme. I draw your attention to D&C 88:73-75 that reads: 
"73. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.
74. And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean. 
75. That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation..."

I've mentioned before what a difference it is to be an example as a follower of Christ. Here in my mission, many members take upon themselves the name of Christ, but take up actions that are contrary. If we follow Christ the closest as possible - He, himself, will testify unto the almighty God that we are true disciples. May we always turn outward with charity and remember our baptismal covenants; this I pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

"Member missionary work is the key to hastening the work. Are you doing your part?"

Hello my wonderful family!! :D

So it's been a super good, yet busy week...I guess as a missionary those 2 go hand in hand huh? haha But I decided to keep better track of my days so I started writing myself notes! So here we go!

Monday: Super good P-day. We had our NERF war again! Super fun cuz we got more people to join. Although the pains of diving around come the next day o.O haha But we did that then got back to our routine. We had an amazing Family Home Evening with a family whose pops is excommunicated. He is working so hard to regain status and it is just wonderful to see the love and support his wife and kids have in him. Ah! Then we met with Sister Trina. Inactive family.... She has a great desire to get back...

Tuesday: Super busy day running around giving blessings. It is such a privilege to be a worthy priesthood holder, and to be able to see the faith people have in asking for the use of it. It will be a joyful day when I can bless my own family with it! So I totally made an awesome breakfast...you will see pictures! Also, we met with Keith and Alisha for some service and they got a new dog! It is a Great Pyranese and its so big! It's almost as tall as me on 2 legs! Beautiful dog though!

Wednesday: We had such great lessons today. It is truly marvelous to see the power of the atonement slowly make their way into their lives. Repentance is very real, and with that comes sincere forgiveness. Most people dwell on insecurities and past transgressions and it is not healthy. Enos best describes it when he says, "and my soul hungered". As our spiritual strength diminishes we get issues with self-worth and depression. Are we doing everything we can to "feast" on the words of Christ? We also had an amazing lesson with Cord. If you don't remember him, he just got married to a very active sister. He loves how the book of mormon is similar to the bible in its teachings, enjoys the plan of salvation, but cannot get past the fact that he doesn't understand why the mormon church is the one he should join. We felt impressed that as he prays, he asks for knowledge and understanding...but not to know if it is true. Preach My Gospel encourages to ask direct questions for direct answers. Very important to be straightforward, after all, the gospel is centered on clarity.

Thursday: was a rough day! We had district meeting in the morning, lessons, then a mission conference for ward mission leaders in Wellington at night. Our mission president asked me to do the translation and oh boy, let me tell ya; an hour and a half of pure on the fly translation from english to spanish and the speakers did not take it slow :/ haha it was so hard! but I was able to go through it and I felt accomplished afterwards!

Friday: TOTALLY got  abox from home!! Super happy :D Also got letters from Sister Peterson which was like a double whammy of joy! :D 

Saturday: We had dinner with Pres. Perez, from the spanish branch and he is just awesome! It truly shows that he is a man called of God and inspired with true love to his area and all people. It was such a blessing to see a man that truly lives the gospel to the fullest. I say this because surprisingly enough, Utah mormons have been the dawn of a double standard. Much of what i've seen has been a creation of a culture that have imposed their own opinions into the doctrine of christ. It's truly sad when we visit a family and they just pour out these experiences of bad examples in the community. :(

Sunday: I gave a speech in one of our wards regarding missionary work, but mostly about the blessings we have seen through it. I definitely had much to say! :P  Then we had branch conference in spanish so they asked me to translate for that as well. Much easier this time because they gave me the scriptures they would use at least o.O haha super fun though. at the end of the day, we had root beer floats with the district and called it a night.

So that's my week! Hope i didn't bore y'all too much. This week I have more quotes for you! Neal A Maxwell states, "The Lord does not ask about our ability or inability, but only about our availability; and if we prove our dependability, the Lord will take care of our capability." Such a strong message. I pondered it and it made me think of the struggle Moses had in the Old Testament with leading his people. He tried every excuse to not deem himself worthy, and God answered that he would make up where he lacked. Same thing happens with us. Sometimes we are prompted or called to a position or situation in which we feel scared, or inadequate to fulfill. Let us remember who is calling us to the work. Not the spirit...not our bishop, president or other leaders....but our Heavenly Father. He is always on our side. This goes also to those young men who are contemplating a mission. Let it be a desire of your heart to serve...sadly there are many that are out for the wrong reasons. If the underlying desire to go out on a mission is to invite others to experience the same joy we have with the gospel...then you need not worry of your capability...God will help you. Elder Bruce R McConkie wrote about missionaries, but I feel it really relates to anyone who has knowledge of the gospel, "I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the Earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my master and he has chosen me to represent Him. To stand in his place, to say and do what he himself would say and do if he personally were ministering to the very people to whom he has sent me. My voice is His voice, and my acts are His Acts; My words are His words and my Doctrine is His Doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done. To say what He wants said. To be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work." We are each a living witness to the glory of God and his plan for us. Member missionary work is the key to hastening the work. Are you doing your part? May we open our mouths and allow them to be filled according to the Spirit of the Lord to spread the word to the four corners of the Earth; this I humbly pray, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love and miss you all. Choose the right!