Monday, April 5, 2010

This is really the Lord's Church

Monday, April 5, 2010
Well after two conferences I think I can safely say that I have received enough training for the transfer haha. In all honesty, both with the zone conference and general conference have been some of the best conferences that I have ever been in. I've learned so much and I'm so thankful that I received this opportunity to serve.

So after the 4 flat tires from this past week and Elder Isaacson's mishap with his brakes we thought that this week would be different. We ended up being wrong. Monday our phone, somehow, was dropped from the system so when we tried to make a phone call it connected us to a collect call network. The worst part wasn't that, it was that we hadn't gotten in contact with our dinner appointment for the day - and let me tell you there is nothing more awkward than going to someone's house and there is no food prepared. For reals. All the problems don't end there sadly, we ended up getting locked out of our apartment (my fault) once again. Yeah luckily life moves on. Haha. Tuesday was a little but more calm. We decided to meet with Paul Yost, a former investigator, and see how he was doing. Turns out he knows it's true! But he doesn't want to commit to anything. Lame sauce. Anyways the rest of the week after that we didn't really work too much because of all the conferences we had, BUT once again the Lord blessed us for our diligent and obedient work. On friday as we were knocking doors we decided to knock on a door we had knocked before. The people who we had talked to before ended not being there but we talked to some other people in the house. Again that didn't really to much so we decided to tract the rest of the street. No one was interested and/or home but as we walked back towards our bikes (passing by the house we had knocked before) the people we had talked with the previous week drove up and they told us to come over. We started talking and they said they wanted to come to church (which literally never happens). Then the most amazing part happened, everyone in the house started coming out to listen to what we were sharing with the rest of the family. It was so amazing, it was so evident that the Lord was truly touching them and us with the spirit. I know that the Lord does have His hand in this work and that was only strengthened during that experience.

Since we didn't get that much time to actually work in our own areas, the other investigators that we are working with didn't really progress. They came to church for general conference so that was good. Anyways, during our zone conference it mostly a training on how to become better but I would like to share something that Sister Blackburn shared with us that really showed me how to love everyone with charity. She read the verse in 1 Corinthians about charity and expressed the importance and the responsibility that we have as missionaries so show Christ-like love. She then proceeded to take apart the verse and went through every characteristic of charity. These are some of the impressions I got:
Charity...
  1. Suffereth long: having patience while enduring & asking what can I learn from this experience instead of asking why.
  2. is Kind: small and simple acts of kindness can make great things of kindness.
  3. Envieth not: being selfless.
  4. Vaunteth not: being humble.
  5. Not Puffed Up: not saying "I" but "we."
  6. Doth not Behave Unseemly: obtaining quiet dignity.
  7. Seeketh not Her Own: sacrifice.
  8. Not Easily Provoked: being peaceful during turbulent times.
  9. Thinketh no Evil: becoming what we think.
  10. Rejoiceth not in Iniquity: being temple worthy.
  11. Beareth All Things: trust.
  12. Hopeth All Things: faithful.
  13. Endureth All Things: "I think I can, I think I can..."
  14. Charity Never Faileth: just as the Savior will not.

Isn't charity amazing? I think that the interesting part is that they go back to one common characteristic: trust, which is something that the Prophet spoke of this last general conference. When we trust, we have no fear of the opposition. When we have no fear, we run away from temptation and we live up to the standards of the Lord. Interesting huh? As missionaries we try our hardest to be like He was, we try our hardest to be His hands, His eyes, His instrument because that is our gospel. During this last general conference, Elder Uchtdorf said that our church's symbol is not tangible but instead is our faith. As we know faith is our actions because it leads to it. Without action comes no progress; therefore, comes no knowledge, which influences our agency. This has come to lead me to believe that this Church is true. The Book of Mormon is also true because I know that it is the word of God. A friend fo mine gave me this article so I thought I would share it with all of you.

The Challenge the Book of Mormon Makes to The World

  1. Write a history of ancient people covering a period from 2200 B.C. to 400 A.D.
  2. Include the history of two distinct, separate nations along with histories of different contemporary nations or groups of people.
  3. Describe their religious, economic, social and political cultures and institutions.
  4. Weave into their history the story of Jesus Christ and the pattern of Christian religion.
  5. Consider yourself 23 years of age and without formal school education.
  6. Write this record on about 520 pages, with 500 words per page.
  7. You must never make any absurd, impossible or contradiction statements.
  8. You must finish this record within 90 days and make no changes in the text. The first edition must last forever.
  9. You must proclaim that this narrative is not fiction but true sacred history.
  10. You must invite the ablest scholars and experts to examine the text with care, to expose any flaws.
  11. You must write this history on the basis of what you now know.
  12. You must publish it in every nation, to every kindred, tongue and people, declaring it to be the word of God.
  13. You must include within the record a marvelous and unique promise; a way to prove the truthfulness of the book. (Moroni 10:4)
  14. This record must fulfill bible prophecies; even to the exact manner in which it shall come forth, to whom it shall be given and its purpose and accomplishments.
  15. The cultures of these peoples are not known when you bring forth the record.
  16. Many of the facts, ideas and statements given as true in you record must be entirely inconsistent and in direct opposition to the prevailing beliefs of the world.
  17. Through investigation, scientific evidence and archeological discoveries for the next 150 years must verify its claims and prove its truthfulness even to the most minute detail.
  18. After 150 years of extensive analysis, no claim or statement in the book is disproven, but all are vindicated. All theories and ideas opposing it's origin rise only to fall, leaving your own claim as the only possible or plausible one.
  19. Internal and external evidence and prophecies must be confirmed and fulfilled during the next 150 years.
  20. Fair, honest and credible witness must testify to the whole world that an angel from heaven appeared to them and showed them the records. That they handled the records and felt the engravings thereon.
  21. You must cause the voice of the Redeemer to call out from Heaven to declare to these men that the record is true and for them to declare its truthfulness and message to the world, and cause these witnesses to do it.
  22. They must bear this testimony, not for personal gain, but at great personal sacrifice and though persecution, even to death.
  23. Thousands of great scholars and intellectuals must subscribe discipleship to this record and its movements even to the point of laying down their lives.
  24. Millions must bear testimony that it is true because they have put the promise to the test and received a testimony to its truthfulness. (Moroni 10:4).
  25. After 20 years of revilement and persecution, you must then be ready to give your own life as a testimony that the record is divine and true, and that its message of truth is from God.

Best wishes,

Elder Leavell

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