September 8, 2014
This is going to probably be a quick one seeing as I spent more time writing to my mission president and sending pictures and reading other emails from home. Oh well! Hopefully it’ll still be good and filled with the Spirit! 🙂
First: Thank you for the birthday wishes! I haven’t received any testimonies in the mail yet, so I look forward to getting some soon (hint, hint). I still want them even though it won’t be my birthday after today! Fun Fact: Did you know that sharing your testimony strengthens your own as well as those listening/reading? It sure does and I testify of that! ;D
Second: I think the most exciting news we have this week is all about the Smith’s! We taught them three lessons and all went well! Saturday’s and Sunday’s lessons were pretty eventful. On Saturday morning, we found out that the district leaders wanted to interview Sam on Sunday rather than a week from now…. YIKES! So we had to squish a couple lessons together and teach the law of tithing, law of fasting, word of wisdom and the law of chastity all in one day. Without any advance notice to them! So we sit down and just before we start we tell Sue (the mom) “By the way, we found out this morning that we have to teach them the Law of Chastity today, so we’ll do that last and give you time to prepare.” Luckily, she wasn’t upset or anything. And let me tell you, teaching a 9 and 11 year old the law of chastity when you have no clue how much they know about it is so weird. I was just thankful to have their mom there to help us out. And thankfully, they understood and it wasn’t too awkward or anything. But the exciting news from Saturday was that Nick got his answer! He said “Um, I was praying the other day and I heard a voice. It wasn’t anyone else talking, just like a voice in my head. It told me that it might not be a bad idea to get baptized. So I think I’m going to do it!” Oh my goodness! Sister Crook and I were so excited! We helped him see that it was the Holy Ghost telling him, not just his own thoughts, and let him know that it’s a good thing to do. So we’ll set a date on Tuesday. We wanted to yesterday at church, but he ended up staying home with his dad, who was sick. After church, Sam had her baptismal interview. She was SO nervous, but Elder Warner did a good job helping her see it wasn’t anything to be afraid of. She passed with flying colors, so we can go ahead with the baptism on the 20th! YIPPEE!!!!! 😀 Oh! It was also fast and testimony meeting (meaning we got to bear our testimonies during church if we wanted). You would think we set it up to be just for Sue and Sam. Almost every single testimony given was about Baptism, the Holy Ghost, or missionary work. We did NOT set it up. The Spirit was definitely there and I was grateful to have the opportunity to bear my testimony, too, about how happy I am because of the Gospel! Their lesson that evening was the best lesson I think we’ve had with them. The Chapman’s (who are both just AMAZING) invited us and them over for dinner after church and so we had a birthday celebration for me and a wonderful lesson about the Priesthood and service for them. Brother Chapman is in the bishopric and he did an amazing job helping us explain the Priesthood to Sam and Sue. They understood pretty well, about what the Priesthood is and why we need it (it’s Heavenly Father’s power and we need it in order to perform sacred ordinances like baptism, the sacrament, etc and to give blessings of healing and of comfort/counsel, among other things). At the end of the lesson, Brother Chapman offered to give them both blessings. Sam said no at first, but Sue said yes. Oh boy. After Sue’s blessing, Sam had one, too. Both blessings… They were beautiful! I felt the Spirit strongly as Heavenly Father conveyed His love for both of them through Brother Chapman. That’s a lot of love! It was amazing!
Third: Here are some thoughts from my studies this past week:
Mosiah 4:16-27. It’s talking basically about charity, how we have no right to judge/condemn others for things they’ve done because we’re no better than they are. Verse 19-20 says: “For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy…”
We are all sinners. We all have need to repent and rely on Christ. If we are turning to Christ to redeem us from our sins, how is it that we can turn around and condemn others for what they’ve done, even if it’s not something they did to us? Especially if they’re trying to overcome it! The way I see it: This is the golden rule, with a little extra added – Treat others the way you want to be treated by God.
Will each of you do that this week? Think of what Christ would do to you if YOU had done what you’re judging others for doing. How would He react? How can you make the situation better for them in that it will bring them AND you closer to Christ?
Along with that, there’s a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants 38:24 that says: “And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practice virtue and holiness before me.” If you want to be virtuous, study Mosiah 4:16-27 (What I just barely talked about) and apply it! Do you want to be virtuous?
I had some thoughts on 2 Nephi 25 and 26, but I left my notebook at home, so I’ll try to remember to do that next week.
My final thoughts for this week come from Alma 30:34-35. This is when Alma, a missionary and prophet is talking to Korihor, who is an Anti-Christ. Korihor has brought many of Christ’s people away from the church and is continuing to deceive many with false teachings and prophesyings. Alma talks to him and shows him that there IS a God. These verses are words I want to say, too. They say:
“And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren? Then why sayest thou that we preach unto this people to get gain, when thou, of thyself, knowest that we receive no gain? And now, believest thou that we deceive this people, that causes such joy in their hearts?”
To all of you, I want to say that I don’t do the Lord’s work for anything other than joy in knowing that this IS indeed His work. I take a lot of joy knowing that I’m helping others come unto Christ and I take joy knowing that the only thing I get from it is seeing how happy it makes them. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t actually want to know truth. Why would you like lies? Why do people try so hard to stop them if they don’t like truth? Truth brings joy and happiness. That’s why I’m so happy. That’s why others that I teach are happy – they’re finding truth! If all good things come from God, how can happiness – TRUE happiness – be deception? The answer is that it can’t. I don’t preach to get gain. I don’t WANT any gain. All I want is to be happy, to live with God again, and to see my brothers and sisters with me in His Kingdom.
I know this church is 100% true because it is directed by Jesus Christ. God doesn’t lie, nor does He want us to be sad. Therefore, all He gives us is truth – things that will make us happy. I’m grateful for this knowledge and I challenge each of you to search for truth continually. There’s always more to be found. 🙂
Have a fabulous week!