So transfer calls did not come in. Meaning: I get to stay in the Canterbury ward for another 6 weeks. It also means, I’m still in a trio because Sister Herrick did not get her visa yet. As much as I love both of my companions, I’m ready to just be with one companion. Oh well! We’ve made a TON of progress as far as comp unity goes,though – I want to recommend to everyone who is married (or has a roommate that they see a lot/too much of) to go ahead and do the companionship inventory from Preach My Gospel in Chapter 8 with your spouse every week. Seriously. It helps. Our companionship inventory this week helped me so much to see what I need to improve on. Both of my companions have said they’ve seen a lot of improvement with me since I came in. Which I’m happy about because it’s hard to see your own improvement. My goal for my mission is to be able to learn and grow in every transfer as much as I have with this one. If I can do that, man I’ll know a LOT about the Gospel, life and myself. It’ll be great!
Exciting news for this week: Ray came to church!!!!! I can’t tell you how ecstatic we were about that! And he was very happy to be there. And the talks were so perfect for him. We’ve been teaching him about prayer and it took a few lessons with him for him to at least start to understand how we pray and exactly why. There was a talk about prayer. Ray has a lot of questions about life and why things happen and what he needs to be doing. There was a talk about faith. An analogy that was used here about why some questions we have for God aren’t answered right away. Imagine a little kid (let’s say 7 years old) coming up to you and asking how you would write an algorithm (or other difficult math/engineering stuff). Is that something that you can explain to them in five minutes and have them understand so they can do it on their own later? Not really. What else do they need to learn first, in order to understand? A lot. So sometimes, we ask God those kinds of questions, and an answer won’t come for weeks, months or even years. We often get frustrated that we didn’t receive an answer. Really, God is just preparing us and teaching us so that when the answer comes, we’ll be able to comprehend, understand and internalize it for ourselves. I absolutely LOVED that analogy because it can apply to each and every one of us. 🙂 The last talk was about obedience and that was also wicked awesome (they like to say wicked here. It’s kind of fun). WOWEE!!! It was a pretty great sacrament meeting. One challenge I have for those of you who go to church (not just the LDS church, any church) on a regular basis and have problems focusing through it: Listen with new ears. Try to put yourself in an investigator’s shoes. How would they hear things? Would it be anything new or different from what they’ve learned before? How does it feel when prayers are being said, hymns are sung or the speaker is bearing their testimony? Think about how it would be to be completely new and not know exactly what this church teaches. You’ll be amazed at how much it can open your eyes to concepts we’ve been learning since we were learning how to walk (or at least for many years).
Something else I learned this week ( or it might have been last week), is how amazing the Book of Mormon really is. I mean, I already knew it was amazing, but it really can do so much for people. When we do street contacting, a lot of people will tell us that they don’t have time or they’re not interested, so we ask them if we can quickly share a message from the Book of Mormon with them. Most often, they say yes. So we share it. And then they’re like “Wow. That’s really interesting. Can I have a copy of that?” Or something along those lines. Or usually, we’ll share it, ask what they think of it and then we’ll say “We’d love to come visit you sometime. Would that be alright?” And they often say “Yeah, sure I would love that!” The teachings in the Book of Mormon go right along with the Bible. Seriously. It’s awesome. And it’s kind of funny how people seem to think it’s full of devilry until they hear part of it or start reading it themselves. So. My challenge to each of you this week: Start reading the Book of Mormon. It’s a difficult read, but so is the Bible. If you want a specific place to start, 3 Nephi is great. That’s when Christ comes to the Americas and teaches the people there. Or Mosiah. Or Moroni. Or just the whole thing. But really. Please take at least five minutes a day to read something from it. Start from the beginning. Start from the introduction page. Start from the end. Start from the middle. Wherever you start it, read it with a prayer in your heart that you’ll be able to understand and learn from it. Read it sincerely with a question in mind, a question you would want ask Heavenly Father. Either before or after you read (preferably both), pray to know and learn. Pray to the Lord and ask Him what you want to know, whether it be as simple as “Is this book from Thee? Is it true?” or if it’s a more personal question that has been weighing on your mind. Whatever question it is, if it’s a righteous and sincere desire to know, you will receive an answer. You’ll receive comfort, peace and love. And I testify to you, that when you feel joy, peace, comfort, love, or anything like it, that is the Holy Spirit testifying to you that what you are reading or doing is true and right and good. We learn from the scriptures that anything good comes from God and anything evil comes from the devil. I know that as you read the Book of Mormon, you’ll feel good and happy, and that tells you that it is from God. I know this because I’ve taken the time to do it. I’ve read and prayed to know and I have received an answer, actually, many answers. I know it with all my heart and soul and I want everyone else to know it, too.
I love each of you, and I’m happy that I know you and have you in my life. My life is a gift and I’m so grateful for it. The more I learn about myself and the Gospel, the more I wish I could alert the whole world of it right now and make sure each person knew it the way that I do. I love the Gospel because it makes me happy and because it brings me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him and I love my Heavenly Father. Without them, I would be lost and completely discouraged with how to get through life.
Enjoy the day, enjoy the week, enjoy your life. Think of something you’re grateful for when you wake up and when you go to bed. Be sure to tell God that you’re grateful for those things because He’s the one that gave them to you. Mosiah 2:23-25 says: “And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.” Ponder about that and remember: Everything, including your body, belongs to the Lord. So, what would He have you do? In earlier verses of the same chapter, He says: “Behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments…” I invite each of you to study this chapter. Actually, Mosiah 2-6. Those are wonderful chapters that basically tell you what you need to do in order to return to God. I love these chapters and I hope each of you takes the time to study, ponder and pray about them. 🙂
Stay happy and full of love! 🙂
PS: I forgot my camera cords this week…. I’m so bad at getting pictures out. 😛 SORRY!!! Also, I realize that I keep giving out the wrong scriptures when I talk about my personal study (the Mosiah ones today are not wrong. I had the Book of Mormon open to them. :D) Sorry about that, too. But know that I’m only a chapter or so off when I do that. 🙂