Monday, August 23, 2010

Even During Sickness, There Is No Place I'd Rather Be

Monday, August 23, 2010

Once again the reign of terror has come back to haunt me-meaning I'm sick again. I can't believe that I'm sick again, never before have I gotten sick so much, and what makes things worse is that I'm slowing down the work. Luckily we had all the training meetings, so we didn't loose too much time but either way I'm not at my 100% and it bothers me. I hope that all of you are doing well and that sickness is far from you, it's not fun. A little heads up, if this email doesn't make sense it's because I have a throbbing headache.

This past week we had to privilege to go through some trainings the entire week for hours a day. They were the same trainings that my companion and I went through last week, it was just our turn to teach everyone what we had learned. I'm so excited to start applying all these trainings, I feel like I have been upgraded to Elder Leavell 2.1 haha. The interesting thing is that not much has changed, actually nothing has changed, except a few things were "highlighted" per say from Preach My Gospel. To me it was exciting to see everyone else see, feel, and realize how it feels to be in the investigators shoes, having gone through that it comes naturally but helping others who were born in the church it was a little more difficult. One of the first things that we learned was that Doctrine of Christ has to be the in sync with our purpose, as missionaires.

21 And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.
22 And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.
23 Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.
24 And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:
25 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
26 And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.
27 And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.
28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.
31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.
32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.
Notice that the Lord says "my doctrine" eight times and then in the last verse it tells us, as missionaries, to "declare the words" that He has spoken. I love how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, admonishes us to follow this path, not just to members, but to everyone who has placed foot on the earth. To me there is no greater work, no greater gospel than the gospel that asks us to follow the of the Savior, with exactness and the blessings that await us will be countless. This reminds me of an experience that we had when we took the Morales family, including the daughter and son-in-law!, along with the Camacho family to the Visitor's Center. As we were there we were trying to figure out what we were going to do because we had gotten there an hour later than when we wanted to arrive, and we weren't going to be able to watch the Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration movie and have time to look around. The Sisters then told us that we could watch the Together Forever movie and have a testimony meeting of how through the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Holy Temple we can be sealed together for time and all eternity. The spirit was SOO strong. As we were all leaving we took pictures in front of the Chritus (huge statue of Jesus Christ) and walked out. It was nighttime by then, so all you could see was the temple-perfect. The son-in-law who had never been interested starting asking questions about the temple and how it works. We answered and then he said something that every missionary wants to hear, "I want to learn more about what I have to do to get sealed to my wife in their, come talk to me on Sunday." I was so happy that entire night it even helped me sleep even though I have had a nasty cough for the past month. I'm so excited for them that they can one day have the promise of being together forever, after all, that is what the church is all about-striving to become like the Savior in every way and building the family to become a forever family. I know that the temple is His house and that He has walked inside all those sacred buildings. There is no other blessing that I would want for any family because the fear of everyday life will disappear because you will know, not just believe that you will see all your loved ones forever. I, also, know that love is what drives us, as missionaries, to continue with His work, which is love for the people and love for the Savior and the only way we can come to find that love for everything we know to be true is prayer. We may see all these great evidences that prove otherwise, but I know that if we doubt not, but have faith, that our Heavenly Father will give an answer that if we respond to, will be the divine answer that all of us have been searching for.

So for the Missionary Newspaper (haha I made that up) there are some recent headline stories. The otherday, think it was Thursday there was a shooting on two major intersections around 4PM in the city of Wilmington . Now who in their right mind would do that? Come on, do you honestly think you'll be able to get away doing it there and at that time. Pshh, people these days. Anyways, I got to see my first white sheet over someone, it was pretty cool and pretty sad at the same time. I guess it's sad because I'm not that surprised because Wilmington is just a breeding ground for cholos with a moto of "If you're not Cholo or Chola now, you'll be one tomorrow." Haha it's funny.

Well I better be off to do some normal activities that are done on P-day. I love you all and wish you all the best. 10 more months!

Elder Leavell

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