As we consult once again, one with another.
Hello Friends and Family and people who creep on my blog and Facebook who read this (which is a good thing ;] ),
Many things came to pass this week, the most prevalent being transfers. Transfers are every 6 weeks, in which there is the chance that missionaries will be moved to a different area or switching companions. As expected, Elder Parks was moved away from our companionship, leaving Elder Gomez and me as a companionship! First time in the field without it being a trio. Elder Parks was moved to be district leader in another district of our zone, so I still get to see him every morning at morning exercise; but somehow I’m always against him during sports, and he's exceedingly fast (he says he'll try out for the BYU track team after the mission, I believe him!). At first I had some fear about being alone with Elder Gomez, but after 5 days with him alone, our companionship has never been better, and we're working more diligently and finding more success.
Success in the mission can be measured in two ways: Numbers of Baptisms/Lessons, or by the actual change you are making in people's lives. We've had the opportunity to visit many less active members, and have got them going back to church. There are many more who we're teaching who still haven't returned, but we're not going to give up on any of God's children, they all need to complete the last part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Endure till the End. Along with the less actives, as of right now we have 7 investigators; 4 of which we just found this week. Technically we have a wedding set up for this Friday so that two of our investigators can get baptized this Sunday, but there isn't quite 100% commitment from the "soon to be" wife; she really needs a testimony of the gospel before she can make this decision. As far as weddings go for investigators, we make it a small affair, with baptism in mind. One year after their baptism is when they can make big wedding plans, for after one year they have the ability to be married for all time and eternity in the temple. This is really what we want for everyone; to see them get baptized, follow the gospel, and receive the highest blessings heavenly Father has for us here on earth.
This Sunday was the dedication of the Brigham City Utah Temple, my first chance to see a temple dedication. President Packer presided, and Elder Perry conducted. I knew God accepted this house as his after the dedicatory prayer, the spirit was very strong.
This week was very productive on the area of personal study. I've realized now that I cannot fully understand Charity, until I understand humility and the elimination of pride. Through Preach My Gospel, and the scripture references that it contains, I was able to find out a very important principle that I knew of before, but it didn't sink in until now. Due to the fact that "Only by pride cometh contention" (Prov 13:10) we can eliminate all contention if we eliminate pride. Be wise and considerate when you listen to people, and be able to humble yourself when you're incorrect and admit it as well. I was sorely afflicted with this pride when I was young, and as a result my parents had to suffer many contentions by my hand because I heeded them not. I cannot take back what was done, but I can change for tomorrow, and that's what I plan to do.
During my studies of pride, I came across a gold mine. In 2 Timothy 3:1-4; Paul prophesies the contention of our day (which I might say is all true). I was very impressed with the accurate description Paul gives of today's society, and so I decided to read more. I ended up reading all of the book of 2 Timothy, and it is now my favorite book in the Bible. There are so many things in there that pertain to me in my current stage in life. I might have found my new favorite scripture as well; which can be found in the second chapter of the third verse: "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." I've never seen the phraseology of "soldier of Jesus Christ" but I love the wording and now I see my black name tag differently. Paul also teaches another fundamental truth in chapter 3:12, which says "Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Sorry, there are no outs, if you want to follow Christ the way you should, you will suffer persecution, and it's true! How many people get attacked for their beliefs, standards and values that follow Jesus Christ and his perfect example. I also took this scripture another way: If you aren't getting persecuted, you either did your job and converted every person you know to the gospel, or you're not following Christ the way you should. I have a whole mountain of scriptures that are worth studying, but all I will do as of now is exhort you all to read the words found in 2 Timothy, and ponder their meanings in today's world.
Today I found out how humbling lack of food makes a person. I have 10 cents left of my missionary funds for this month after grocery shopping. Funny how the only thing that can push me to buy only healthy food and not junk as well was a lack of funds! I guess now would be a great time to start my journey of losing 10 pounds to enhance my abilities in sports in the morning. It's humorous to see how much importance I place upon morning exercise now, but what can I say other than morning exercise brings joy to my soul! Today, Elder Gomez and I stopped by 24 Hour Fitness to see if we could afford a membership there to work out from 5:30-6:15 then go to morning exercise after, but sadly we cannot afford the 66$ membership for 2 months. Looks like push-ups will have to suffice.
Our mission now has the challenge of reading the Book of Mormon every day until the end of the year. This at first disappointed me because I was in 3 Nephi in my old challenge that I started in the mission field, and President Miller asked us all to stop our first challenge and start on this knew one. Then I realized I could just finish the old challenge during my free time, so that's what I've been doing. So far we should all be through 1 Nephi 11 on this new challenge. Elder Gomez reads allowed in Spanish a verse, then I read one in English and so forth. Reading allowed like this, we've seen a lot of relation between what Nephi and Lehi say, and things that we find in the Temple; it's amazing to see these connections! I hope you're all able to do this challenge, it's about 7~ pages each day; easy to do in about 15 minutes! Do it, I know the Lord will bless your lives.
It's so great to hear about all your successes and failures, and well, Life in general! Thank you all for your support and love. Keep sending me letters! Look for more pictures on my Blog/Facebook! (at least if that's where my mother places them..)