“ … And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.” - Alma 27:27
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Good Afternoon Everybody! I am so excited to share a few insights from this past week. I cannot believe how fast time is flying by, nor am I able to include everything I want/learned in a small email. I hope that these small messages and experiences help you feel the Spirit, change, and SMILE :) I love being a missionary!
This past week, as we were planning for zone meeting, we discussed the simple principle of diligence and work. We asked ourselves, "What if Christ had 'slacked off'? What if President Simmons decided he wanted to take a break? What if Heavenly Father didn't want to worry about His children anymore?" All of these questions were completely unfeasible. Impossible. I'm grateful that I know that my mission president is doing all he can to serve the Lord, and I know that the Lord is always there for us. When we understand that each one of us is called by God to do His work within our sphere of influence, we can be motivated to continually serve with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength, consistently and continuously. No calling is higher or greater. We are all His servants. Be agents to act, not objects to be acted upon.
This past week was filled with many miracles. First, I want to express my gratitude and thankfulness for Elder Lundahl-Wolford. He is a stellar missionary. We are different in more ways than one, but as I've been able to serve him, serve with him, and talk with him, we have learned to really love each other. There is no substitute for service. If we want to become more unified with someone, we simply need to serve them and listen. I pray that within our families we are encouraging and supporting each other in righteous ways rather than tearing each other down.
Taking it Back to Tawau circa October 2014 - Elders Reynolds and Warner
One of the miracles we experienced this week was meeting with a member for dinner, discussing their conversion story, then talking about the needs of the branch. As soon as he understood the vision that we had, he shared about a few less active children of God that have great potential. A couple days later, during sacrament meeting, he brought his less active cousin to church, and sat next to him for all three hours. By the end of church, all of the members were laughing and joking with the member that hadn't been for a long time. It was as if he never left. I was so grateful and surprised that a simple, spiritual conversation with an active member could lead to such an immediate, miraculous change. There was an energy in the branch. There were smiles. It felt like we were a family. This is the message of Christ's gospel!
While finding and teaching this past week, there were a few sad moments of rejection. One investigators who was so excited to learn, come to church, read, and find the truth became confused and lost as he delved deeper into some anti-mormon literature. It was astonishing to see someone who was so excited, so joyful, and so spiritual change into someone so hostile, so afraid, and so scared because of something that someone wrote on the internet. We read through many scriptures, bore testimony, and the Spirit was so strong, but in the end, he decided that we didn't believe in Christ and had no interest in further learning/reading.
I believe in Christ. I know He is my Savior, and I know that this is His Church. His Gospel. It is the only way back to Him and our Father in Heaven. I know that because the Spirit has spoken to my heart. I pray that I will always be humble and open to the promptings of the Spirit so that I can receive the blessings Heavenly Father wants me to enjoy.
Tawau and Elder Isberto - November 2014
The brightest miracle was Sunday afternoon. A few days earlier, we had a lesson on the Word of Wisdom with an incredibly willing, humble, and faithful progressing investigator. The very next day, after he had given up a few substances, he became very sick with a fever, headaches, stomach pains, and other afflictions. In addition, it was pouring rain as we biked to church, and our investigator normally takes the bus. I was doubtful if he would come, but when he walked in, sat down, and said, "I promised I'd come no matter what!" my heart burned. I know that when we have a desire to follow Heavenly Father, nothing can stop us. Any blessing, any joy, any happiness, and any mystery is within our reach if we choose to believe and choose to obey.
I love being a missionary. I love serving the Lord. I love inviting others to come unto Christ. My purpose is simple. I know that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer and Friend. I know that when we obey, we are blessed. No matter what point in life we are at, there is always hope through the Atonement of Christ. If we pray, read, obey, and WANT to experience the joy of Christ in our lives, we will remember, we will feel the Spirit, and we will always have enough of everything we need.