Wow...what a crazy week. Crazily AMAZING that is! The two investigators we have
that got married not too long ago have now set a baptismal date and are working
hard to achieve it. They're so excited and it has been so, SO amazing to see
their progression and change as they've applied to principles of the Gospel to
their lives. Currituck now has a senior missionary couple in the branch and we
are so excited to have them. Senior missionaries are such an amazing addition
to the work and they're contributions are immeasurable. If you're in your
"more mature" years I would highly encourage you to look into
missionary service. It's a prayerful process but know that your contributions
will help improve the lives of many. The Lord is hastening His work and is
calling for more laborers. All who have willing hearts and working hands are
duty bound to help lift a fellow brother or sister.
So, remember that story a while back where I was with a group of missionaries
in a restaurant and a man had been listening to us speak and wrote on a napkin
desiring to learn more? Well, it happened again! It didn't happen with a napkin
this time, but I was with some fellow missionaries at lunch and when our meal
arrived we each said our own silent prayers. Well, we weren't aware that a man
in a booth directly across from us had been observing and listening to us and
as we began our meal he made some very complimentary comments and asked us who
we were. We explained who we were and what we did and he began telling us how
he has some Mormon friends and has always been impressed by them. After talking
some more we gave him a Mormon.org pass-along card and invited him to check it
out. Luckily, he had a nifty smart phone and started immediately to investigate
the website. After some time, he bade us farewell and thanked us for the card
and said he would be looking into it a little more. Again, might I stress the
importance of incorporating the Gospel into your life to where it becomes who
you are at all times. People are very observant creatures and as you "let
your light so shine" before them, they will will desire that light.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to
give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope
that is in you with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:15) It's really a
lot of fun to share the gospel. Give it a shot.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. Repentance isn't something to be feared
but something to look at with joy and excitement! There is a way provided for
us to clean up our past! To wipe the slate clean and start over again! Isn't
that great? I don't know about you but I'm definitely not perfect and I make
stupid decisions and mistakes every day...and I've made some big ones in the
past. However, the Lord has promised, "though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be
as wool." (Isaiah 1:18) I have experienced the joy and repentance and
having a burden lifted from off my conscience. Peace of mind and heart, knowing
that I don't have to worry about my past, is such a wonderful blessing. And now
to those who know of that wonderful feeling of which I am describing, "And
now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of
heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would
ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma
5: 26) Remember that great and wonderful feeling? Don't you want that for your
friend? Don't you want that for your neighbor? Or perhaps, don't you want that
for a family member? It's up to you to act and start sharing that feeling. This
was made possible through the suffering of one who loves more than we are able,
"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst,
and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for
behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the
wickedness and the abominations of his people." (Mosiah 3:7) Don't forget
the sacrifice made for you. If you haven't felt this song of redeeming love,
it's available to you! Just take the first step and that is getting on your knees.
He loves each of you.
NO...I did not see "Elder Smith" while in Virginia, even though, I was only
20 minutes from where he was "evacuated" during
Hurricane Sandy...Yes, Garvin and I were there during that time! (smile) In fact,
"Elder Smith" was evacuated to his brother, Caleb's, ward he
had MOVED FROM... People WE have gotten to know who
are in that WARD "Elder Smith" stayed in, were with US for Caleb's newborn son's
blessing...so I believe they missed him, unless,
they saw "Elder Smith" before he was sent back to his area...
FUN, isn't it? (smile)
Now, for Elder Smith's email after HURRICANE SANDY:
WRITTEN: 30 October 2012
Hello hello! Well, this was an eventful week! But before I get
into that, yesterday was a very...long...day... Due to a "hurricane" my
companion and I got evacuated out of my area up to Virginia on Saturday,
and have been staying with the Elders in Great Bridge ever since.
Yesterday, due to the storm, we had to be indoors...all...day. We
couldn't go outside for any reason, so we were all stuck inside the
apartment literally all day. It feels good to stretch the legs once
again. All we really had was a bunch of rainy, cold weather.
However, now I've got good news! Two of our investigators got
married last Thursday! WOOT! They were so excited and have now set their
sights on baptism and the temple. Sharing the gospel is the greatest?
Honestly, watching other people exercise great faith to make and keep
commitments is so worth any sacrifice.
I just want to invite everyone to pick up the book, "A Marvelous Work
and a Wonder" by Legrand Richards and start reading it. For members who
may have a basic understanding of the Church, or perhaps even no
understanding of it, it will help make the Restoration of the Gospel
more clear, expand your knowledge of the importance of the Prophet
Joseph Smith, how being a member of the Church makes us a "peculiar
people", and will deepen your faith in Christ. For those who have an
expansive understanding of the Church and its doctrine and who have a
firm testimony in the Lord, I invite you to read it (again if necessary)
to help you understand how to teach the truth simply and promptly to
friends and neighbors you have a desire to bring to the truth. You don't
need to get into focused discussions on what many consider "deep"
doctrine. There is the principle of milk before meat and reading this
will help you to give out more milk than meat. Finally, for those who
are preparing to serve a full-time mission, this will do for you what
has described to the last two groups. You need all the preparation you
can get before you head out for 1 1/2-2 years. I promise you that you
will be nervous the first few weeks of your mission but the Lord has
promised that if you are prepared, you shall not fear.
This is a great cause that we are involved in. The Lord is hastening
His work. Prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes! "Behold,
and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and
send unto them. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." (D&C 88:72-73) Isn't that what was preached in General Conference? Just a little food for thought.