Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 5, 2015 Wonderful Joy in People's Lives

     Now we’re finding ourselves in October perhaps wondering where September went. Now Spring comes here to the city of eternal spring while Fall settles in for yet another cooler season back in the states. September was a month full of miracles here in Casa Grande as the Lord prepared the way for the R___ family and G___ to more fully follow him, to really start the path toward discipleship having their minds firmly planted in eternal goals. This work has a lot of joy and there may be joyous experiences along with some challenging ones to build our faith. This past week has been of the faith building ones. We’ve had to walk a little further and look a little harder as some things fell through. However, as we’ve gotten to work through a harder week, it’s been a great opportunity to simply smile and take that next step forward. Perhaps that’s one of the lessons we learn as missionaries. That as always in life trials come, but our attitude makes all the difference between faith building diligence and depilating discouragement. We have to keep moving “onward as we glory in his name.”
     On Monday I once again headed to Trujillo, this time to accompany Elder Parkinson so he could purchase a camera since he would no longer be able to use the one he brought with him. We had a fun time with some electronics department people who clearly didn’t give 2 gringo missionaries the highest priority. However, we eventually purchased it and then dropped by the mission office and then back to Casa Grande. We were then blessed to have a great little family home evening with the Y__ family. We were able to share and testify of the divinity of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Church of Jesus Christ. This is always a special thing to do, especially with some recent converts that have strong resolves to push forward within the Restored Gospel. The Y__ family is going strong and they are faithfully reading and praying each day and they still pass through challenges, but they are forming the sure foundation, which is Christ, upon which they cannot fail.
     We have been working heavily with investigators in the past few months teaching about 15 lessons a week with investigators. During that time, the Lord has blessed us to do our small part in helping many come unto him. A truly unforgettable experience in watching the Lord work great miracles as we simply did what we were able to do, our small part. As Ammon said, “I know that I am nothing, as to my own strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things.” I’m not Ammon, but I know that in the Lord’s strength we can do all things. Now it is after this success that the Lord has caused that we have really struggled to find and teach investigators, while it’s been rather easy to teach our recent converts. As I pondered this I fully realized that we have a considerable number of recent converts to strengthen and help to continue firm in the Gospel. Even Ammon was called by the Spirit back to the land of Ishmael to “exhort (his converts). Surely, with all diligence…and they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God.” Perhaps like Ammon, the Lord has been trying to remind us of the need to improve our effort in exhorting our converts in their righteous goals. Now this doesn’t mean that’s all we will be doing, Ammon still baptized after his success in Ishmael, however I feel that the Lord tried our faith a little to remind us of the importance to belter balance our work of finding, teaching, baptizing, and retaining at the same time. So that’s what we’ll do a little better.
     We did see immense progress with the inactive son of my former Pensionista. D__ has been inactive for many years but we felt prompted to talk to him this past week and he happily accepted the offer( we have gotten fairly acquainted over the past few months). He started reading the Book of Mormon faithfully each day at 6:30 a.m. and just finished 1st Nephi for the first time in his life. He expressed how he has been wanting to listen to the missionary discussions, but simply didn’t have the confidence to ask.  He’s been listening very intently showing many true desires to come again unto Christ. He has been hungry to better understand and live the Gospel. It has been absolute joy to see a person I hold as a friend receives the Gospel back into his life with such excitement.
     The conference was a historic one that I hope we won’t be quick to forget. Three prepared men were called by the living seer, revelator, and prophet to the apostolic calling in which they’ll serve as special witness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a marvelous occurrences clearly demonstrating the veracity of modern day revelation under apostolic and prophetic authority. I was also impressed by the simple truths shared by many.  Simply explaining that loving obedience within the Gospel of Jesus Christ will allow us the company of the Holy Ghost always and help qualify ourselves to return to the presence of our Eternal Father. It was something that I heard repeated many times in different ways by many people.
     I hope you all have a great week and make the best of every moment to grow each day through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank you all for your love and support.

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