Friday, December 9, 2016
This week we knocked on someone's door and talked to him about Christ. He didn't believe, and he didn't want to believe. We left his doorstep in tears thinking about how tragic it would be to not know you have a Savior. All he knows is the craziness of the holiday season and a world that is cruel, unforgiving, and unfair.
Christmas isn't about toys, bonuses, wish-lists, or time-off. It's a celebration of the most important event in the history of the world! Christmas is a time to think about the birth of Jesus Christ.
This event was so important that every prophet in the Bible and the Book of Mormon testified of his coming and his mission. One of my favorite prophesies of His birth is in Nephi's vision:
"And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the son of the Eternal Father!"
Alma said: "For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all--for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people." -Alma 7:7
So why is this the most important event of them all? Because of the life that Jesus lived. He was born so that he could live, and then die, for us all.
"Yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who SHALL COME. Yea, remember that He shall come to redeem the world."
When Christ was on the earth he taught, lead, healed, and loved the people. And then, he died for them...and for us...and for every person who has ever lived or will live. He felt every pain, and suffered every sadness. But, I know, that this wasn't the end. He overcame death and was resurrected! HE LIVES. He lives so that he can teach us, lead us, heal us, and love us. He is our Savior. He really did come to redeem the world. HE is the WAY. He is everything.
"Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me. Behold I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin. Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved." -Jesus Christ (3 Ne 14, 21-22)
The invitation to COME is for all of us. He has given us a gift of peace, hope, and healing that is free for the taking. All we have to do is COME.
So how do we COME?
-It all starts with faith. We get faith through the scriptures, prayer, and attending His church to be nourished.
-Then we repent. Repentance isn't bad, or hard. The word "repentance" could be replaced with "Seeking Christ's love", "Running to His arms", "Becoming more like God", or "Coming to Him". It is an action that we do to show Christ that we want to feel the power of his atonement. We want to come to him.
-We also witness and testify of Christ through our baptismal coveneants. Whether it is the fist act of being baptized or partaking of the sacrament each week, all is an opportunity to come closer to him.
-Then we recieve, honor, and protect the gift of the Holy Ghost, who tells us all things that Christ would have us do.
-And finally, we endure by continuing to come to him through faith and repentance.
This season is a time we have to think about the miracle of Christ's birth. If he wasn't born we would have nobody to run to, nobody would understand us, nobody would be able to make us clean, and at the last day nobody would be there to be our advocate to the Father.
My invitation to my family is to not spend this season as the sad man who we met on his doorstep. Don't forget the reality of Christ. Don't forget His birth. And, don't forget to COME.
"Come, my bretheren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
Behold, my beloved bretheren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice."
Monday, December 5, 2016
Update on the Mission
The elders got bikes instead of a car because their area is small. We called them to check in on them half way through their first day and they had been working on their bikes ALL day. I figured out that they didn't know a whole lot about bikes. So we went over there and I was able to use the knowledge I got from B smith and my dad and fix their bikes. Seriously dad you would be proud. I patched their tubes AND replaced some tires AND fixed the chain and brakes. Anyway...thanks dad and Braden.
So here's the good part. I'm telling the elder's that my buddy Braden taught me how to mtn bike and he said, "Elder Smith?". Sutton and Braden were friends in the CCM! Small world.
Because of all of the changes we got some of our mileage allowance taken away. So we've been on foot which isn't super convenient because we live a good 30 minute walk outside of our area. So to even start working we have to walk 30 minutes down the highway in sagebrush and thorns. HAHA I actually love it. And we have had some great experiences from it!
As we have been walking more we have been trying to talk to everybody we come in contact with. Suprisingly most people we talk to agree to meet the missionaries wherever they live!a buch of guys in a truck stopped and wanted our numbers so Hermana Thompson shouted "YOU CAN HAVE IT IF YOU WANT TO HEAR ABOUT JESUS!"
The Assist x 2!
About 3 weeks ago Hermana T and I were walking and there were some guys way ahead of us up the road. I started yelling to flag them down and one of them came over to us while the other walked away. Turns out he lives like 30 min outside our area so we told him what we do and told him we would send the missionaries to his house. Guess what...HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED!
That's all about that. I'm just excited. The church is so true. And all of this is so worth it.
Who Said Church Is Boring?
This week at church was probably the best day of church of my life! All three of our investigators showed up! (ya don't judge that we only have 3...we are working on it haha) But still, that is %100! One of them sat with a member that has been coming to his lessons and the rest sat with us. It was testimony meeting and during the sacrament I explained to G that he should just pray and feel the spirit. While he was doing that I was praying my guts out that he would feel the spirit and that the right people would get up and share the right things. All of the young men went up, tons of really strong women and men went up,and even a little boy who just got baptized went up! They all bore simple, clear testimonies about KNOWING that the Savior lives, the Book of Mormon is true, and that this is the true church. The spirit was as strong as I have ever felt it. After church we went and visited G and told him that he can know for himself too. He can feel the same that all of the other young men felt. The spirit was so strong as we testified to him and then after he texted us and thanked us for a beautiful day:)
We have actually learned a really powerful lesson in only having 3 people to teach. Sometimes the Lord tears us down to build us up stronger. His plan is perfect.
Thanks for all of the love, prayers, and support! I hope you are all having an awesome holiday season!!! <3