email from 2-11-13
Congratulations Mom in your calling and Dad in your skills competition!!
How is everyone going? Things here are moving along. The other week, we were approached by Susanna and her family. They are the ones that live in the take in building and live on the 12th floor. For those who don´t know or remember what a take in building is, it´s a building that isn´t finished and people live there for a lower price. There is not an elevator, so we climb 12 floors everyday. It´s a good work out. We are working hard with them. They didn´t go to church again this sunday, because they slept in. We did everything we knew how to to help them: daily contact, reminding them every appointment, doing practices, asking ¨what if¨ questions, and have as many members as possible involved. They still didn´t go to church. We stood knocking for a good 20 minutes. We identified some reasons as to why they didn´t come and we are going to work on them this week.
Other than this family, we don´t have any investigators. The search still goes on. I can´t help but encourage and invite all who read this to pray for a missionary experience. If it´s because of fear or timidness, you can pray for courage and strength to accomplish it. Moroni 7:33 says¨ And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.¨ Now some might think to themselves: ¨It´s easy for you, you´re a missionary.¨ The thing that has been the hardest for me to do in the mission is the thing I need to do every moment of every day: opening my mouth. Few know the kind of struggles and experiences I have had to go through to become who I am today. I have come to know the scriptures and my Savior in a way I never knew possible. I have felt His love as well as my Father´s love; not only for myself but for all of His children. I have gone into the depths of despair and have seen His hand in every part of my life. We cannot feel joy if we do not know what sorrow is. That is what Adam and Eve came to understand. Is it hard? Yes. Is is possible? Absolutely. Is it Heavenly Father´s will? Definitely. He wants His children to come home. The only way for them to come home is through ordinances. The first is baptism, the second is the sacrament, the priesthood (if you are male), and then the ordinances of the temple. Heavenly Father has told us His plan and Christ has shown us the way. Not only has He shown us the way, He is the only one that makes it possible. We often don´t completely understand or apply the Atonement. We know that He suffered for our sins. We know that He took upon Himself our pains and our sorrows. Yet how often do we really apply that. The Atonement means that we are never alone. There is someone who understands our hardships and heartaches. There is someone with the power to comfort us spiritually and emotionally. As we have our own experiences with the Atonement we will want to share that joy and freedom with those closest to us. Alma and his friends understood that. They had tasted the sweetness that comes from repenting and feeling the love of God in their lives. As our testimonies grow from our own spiritual experiences, we gain the desire and testimony necessary to share the Gospel. We do not need a lot of knowledge. That is not what converts people. I believe President Brigham Young´s experience helps us understand that. President Brigham Young (1801–77) said he knew the gospel was true when he “saw a man without eloquence, or talents for public speaking, who could only say, ‘I know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord.’” President Young said when he heard that humble testimony, “The Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminate[d] my understanding, and light, glory, and immortality [were] before me.” It is the Holy Ghost that touches hearts and converts people, and He will only do so as you bear a sincere testimony.
The Gospel is a joyous thing. God wants us to be happy, not just for the moment with temporal joys and indulgences, but genuinely happy. Remember that His work and His glory is to bring to pass the inmortality and eternal life of man. Eternal life is when we come to know our Heavenly Father and what our relationship is to Him. Don´t forget the bascis: obedience is the first law under heaven; ¨Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.¨; search, ponder, and pray; and finally go to church. The Lord does not ask us to be perfect to go to His home. He asks that we do our best. The healthy don´t need a physician. We don´t need Christ if we are perfect, but we are not perfect and we do need Christ. That is His entire purpose, go to Him. Let Him heal you. It´s hard when someone offends you at church, but you aren´t there for them. You need the sacrament; you need the Holy Ghost. You can only receive those two things as you attend church every sunday. Satan´s most effective lie is that you can wait until next time, or tomorrow; that you can be casual. It is a lie. Four months ago, we heard a prophet of the Lord call on the younger generation to step forward and become missionaries to spread the Gospel to all the earth. The Lord is quickening His work and we can either be a part of it or fall behind. There isn´t much time. ¨It´s getting late¨ (Elder Holland General Conference April 2012). This is the time for men to prepare to meet God. He will never ask us at the final judgement: ¨What did others do to you? or What happened to you?¨, but ¨What did you do for others and What choices did you make?¨.
In 8 weeks our mission will receive 81 new missionaries. There are about 200 missionaries in our mission and, on average, we normally receive 10 new missionaries every transfer. I imagine that it is the same in just about every mission now. As members and missionaries, we need to be prepared to receive them and forward the work according to the vision that Heavenly Father has for each area. It is not a short range vision. The stone cut out of the mountain without hands is rolling forward and covering the whole earth.
As missionaries, we have very little time to write. I try to follow the Spirit to know what you need to hear. I know that I am not perfect, but I pray that the words I do feel to write will touch your hearts. You are all wonderful and amazing people and I love you soooo much. Keep moving forward. It´s possible and it´s worth it.