Monday, November 28, 2016

Opportunities to Serve

Missionaries have lots of opportunities to serve. For instance, we held a baptismal service yesterday for a young man who we've been teaching this month. Another example of the week was when we pulled a drunk unconscious out of the street so he wouldn't get hit by a car. The possibilities are endless! As Christ taught, even as we do it unto one of the least of our brethren, we do it unto him. I think that has more significance than the simplest interpretation- that as Sons of God, He'll be happy as we strengthen our brothers and sisters. I think it has something to do with the Atonement. 

We know that Christ literally felt every pain and consequence of sin this world suffered. For instance, if someone had depression and resorted to drug abuse, Christ would have to feel the consequences. If a friend took the time to support that person and help him find other means of alleviation beforehand, Christ would not need to feel the consequences of the actions untaken. Therefore, by serving our fellow man, we can literally take off a minute portion of our Savior`s sufferings. However small that portion may be, I am thankful for the opportunity God gives us to help his Son in such a real way. 

The Church has done something cool for this Christmas on called Light the World ( I think- it's Ilumina el Mundo in Spanish) where each day of December is offered a way to serve like the Savior, with three application ideas, a short message, and a video. I think it`s a neat way to make the season one of service. 

Until next week, I hope you enjoy the end of your November!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Why Do We Fall?

This week we set up two youth to be baptized by the end of November- one this next Saturday and one the following week, a couple days before my companion goes back home to Mexico. We're excited to get them completely ready with the time we have left. 

I've been thinking this week about our particular doctrine on the necessity of the Fall of Adam to kickstart God's Plan of Salvation. I think it's best summed up in a favorite Batman quote- "Why do we fall?  So we can learn to pick ourselves up!"  The entire purpose of being here is to learn and progress, and the only way to achieve such a goal is to fall. In the case of the Gospel, the manner in which we pick ourselves up is by being willing to lift up our hand and let Christ pull us up to our feet. We fell so we can learn by experience to have faith (lifting up our hand) and to repent (gripping His hand and struggling to get up). When Christ told us, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," He was telling us that one day we would stand up like them, having attained perfection by struggling throughout this life. 

I'm grateful that He loved us enough to send us here, then save us. I'm thankful that as a missionary, I can share His message with those in my area.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Work is Divine

This week we prepared for the baptism of one of our investigators. Everything was going well... until he called us two days before to tell us, on second thought, he was taking things far too quickly and he'd like to postpone it. I was fairly panicked the following night, mind racing with possible reasons he might have and possible answers we might provide. The following day, we had our make-it-or-break-it lesson with him. It was an intensely spiritual lesson where we tried not to tug him so much as explain why we thought he was ready. I felt the Spirit guide the process, telling me, point for point, the direction I ought to go. It worked, and he changed his mind. I felt utterly exhausted afterward, and could hardly think. I am very thankful the work is divine. I felt so incompetent as I realized no emotion or reason I could express was sufficient to 'convince' him. In the end, he was baptized the following day. He's an awesome kid with personality- I've seen the light in his eyes come a couple times to demonstrate his individuality. For instance, I saw it when he closed his sincere, peaceful baptismal testimony with a random Winston Churchill quote. Ah, it reminded me of something I would do. 

I know the church is true, and that in the end everything's going to be all right. Also, here are some pictures!

"This is of me and the young man I baptized.
My plaque is behind his shoulder, I promise!"

"This is our good friend in the area who helps us out with everything.
He's preparing for a mission, and he's the bomb."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Finding Truth

This week was wonderful. We had so many investigators miraculously want to be baptized. Of course, there are always more obstacles along the way, but we're off to a good start and what I feel will be my most successful month of the mission thus far. It's doubled in happiness because I really love this area and the people here. 

We have one boy who will be baptized this week. His progress was slow until...he looked up on the internet rumors on Joseph Smith. The anti-Mormon material is so strident. We braced ourselves up for our next lesson with him, and he was completely at peace. He said he'd read parts of the Book of Mormon and realized for himself rumors were usually just rumors, and there's a reason for most things. He said he felt more at peace in his life now, and began to progress dramatically. He downloaded all of our pamphlets before we got to him, and explained to us all the doctrine. 

I know when we search answers for ourselves and follow through on our feelings, we'll find the truth. God rewards the seeker.