Sept. 10, 2012Salutations from Sandy
Hello once again Friends and Family!
I've now been out in the field for over a month, and things are going great!
This week we had the opportunity to listen to a member of the quorum of the 70, Elder Perkins, speak to us in a special "Mission Tour." He truly is a man called of God to serve in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He began by teaching us about how we should be praying; praying with questions. If we are not asking questions in our prayers, or searching for greater knowledge, than how can we ever progress? He then challenged us to write down a question regarding one of our investigators, and then to write down a personal question, and to listen to see if those, deep, personal, questions were answered. What an amazing experience, both of my questions were answered! All we need to do to learn more is to have questions prepared.
One other major factor that I learned from Elder Perkins, is how we ask for things. If we simply ask "Please heal this person and make them get better... please fix this... please ____..." It's hard for God to answer our prayers when they are so vague. We need to exercise faith, but then apply our works as well. Joseph Smith, when inquiring which church was true, not only had that question in his heart, but his words were "Which Church should I join." He was already prepared to make the action of, if he received an answer to which was true, he would then join that church. With the action, or way that he was going to act upon his answer already in mind, he was able to receive the wonderful first vision in which the church was then restored. It's interesting how God gives us these intelligent minds to be used to "act and not be acted upon" (meaning, find a way to do it and be self-sufficient). When you tell Heavenly Father how you're going to fix your own problem, sometimes you find the answer of how you're going to go about doing that during your prayer! I always have an action prepared with my desire, and my prayer is to ask for the ability needed to follow through with my plan, or with other divine assistance that I might never know about.
We started teaching a lady this week named Betsebet. She's been having a very, very difficult time in her life right now. Due to an addiction to the filthy substance of alcohol, combined with a neurological offset of bipolar-ism, she has tried to take her own life many times. Because of this, the government forbade her from any contact with her children; (Ages 19 and 30), in the fear that their lives would be placed in danger if these suicidal or perhaps murderous tendencies rise up again. This is the state in which we found her; alone in her dark house, pretending to find comfort in a bottle. As we've been teaching her about the Atonement, her "good-side" appears and the lessons go well. As soon as we mention anything involving a trial or challenge in our lives or hers, her "dark-side" comes out and she begins to mourn for her loss of her children and many threats toward the government. This is the first time I've prayed so hard for Christ to enter in, and help, the life of someone. We've taught her the Plan of Happiness, or the Plan of Salvation, but I’m not sure to which personality we taught it to. When it comes down to it, she needs to humble herself and pray to know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, to which only God can answer.
Anyway, on a more positive note, it was great to read about Peter and his same experiences in the MTC that I've had. The MTC can only prepare you so much for the real deal, but thankfully we always have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to aid us in this challenging, but most rewarding, work.
During my personal study, I've come across lots of scriptures regarding the importance of our bodies, and how they really are a gift. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is one of my favorites, were Peter the Apostle is teaching and he exclaims: "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?" Reading that an Apostle had a face-palm moment is awesome, saying in a way: "what... how could you not know this... oh great... well I’d better teach you then." He goes on to say in verse 20: "For ye are bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" Think about that the next time you put a big-mac into your mouth, eh? I wouldn't want to glorify God by drawing all over my body, enlarging it to an unhealthy way (in spanish Engordarse), or inserting things that just shouldn't belong there. I posted scriptures regarding the importance of our bodies all around our kitchen, so that when I’m tempted to snack, I've got a little divine assistance to keep me from gaining the average 60-80 lbs in this mission. So far I’m staying at 173! I'm fine with +2 lbs. in 3 months :) (I'm working on losing 10 lbs. so that I can up my hops and dunk in basketball, watch out Kobe!).
I'm surprised to hear that there is no rain in Seattle! I hope you all aren't drying up to a crisp, that's what I've been doing here in Utah.
I hope the Olympics went well. I was sad to realize I’d miss the summer Olympics, I love watching the pro-parkour (aka gymnastics), and of course Michael Phelps. Anyway, I don't have time to think about those things, too much work to do for the Lord!
I love this work, I love the Lord, I know that he atoned for our sins and that through his grace and our works, we can once again return to live with our Heavenly Father and him, Jesus Christ. This work is true, and that is why I am sharing it with the people of Sandy, Utah.
Best of wishes, and you're in my prayers.