Hello world. Please pardon that lame subject line. It gets hard to be creative after so many witty (or, rather, not-so-witty) subject lines.
Anyway, this week was pretty good. There was a special missionary broadcast from church headquarters, we went to lunch with a crazy member, pulled an entire jungle off of a member’s fence (for service), and we had exchanges (again)! I feel like I tell you I have exchanges every week… We kind of do, considering my companion is the District Leader and we have a massive district (we have seven exchanges this transfer).
No news on our investigators comes to mind today, though we did meet with Dave a bunch. Rebecca and Jasmine are still doing well.
If anything, I want to talk about exchanges. I stayed here in Clayton Valley with a new missionary in the district: Elder Changchum, from Thailand. I love to see that so many new (I’m talking straight out of the MTC) missionaries out here have a desire to work. Elder Changchum and I had an incredibly productive day of work.
I’m now realizing that I don’t have much to talk about from exchanges, after all. I guess I just love to see missionaries who have a desire to work, and see the blessings we receive from that demonstration of our faith.
Something that has been on my mind lately is the fact that the mission transforms you. Last night, Elder Forsyth and I were sharing a message with members after our dinner appointment, and I had a realization.
Before my mission, I never thought too hard about the gospel or about the message we teach. One thing that there was always a big emphasis on in primary, young men’s, and seminary, growing up, is the fact that the message we have is true. The fact that this church is Christ’s original church restored to the earth was always a focal point in everything I learned in church. Now, I never thought very hard about that. I just accepted it. But, as I said before, the mission transforms the missionary.
Now, I’m gonna lay that thought aside for a second now and talk about something else. As missionaries, we can throw words at people all day long and hope that they stick. Without the Spirit, we are powerless in our work. The Spirit needs to take our words and testify of the truthfulness of our message as we teach. The Spirit is what allows conversion to happen. It takes our words and drills them deep into the hearts of those willing to listen and those who “do not cast it out by [their] unbelief.” (Alma 32:28)
The fact that I am surrounded by the Spirit 24/7 and am talking about the gospel all the time has allowed the Spirit to drill the truthfulness of this gospel into my heart. We talk about how this is the one true church, and I never thought very hard about that. Until now. I’ve felt this gospel in my life, seen the power of the Atonement and the Priesthood transform many lives, and poured over the scriptures to fully understand the doctrine of Christ. There is no amount of debate, no amount of reasoning, no amount of bashing that can change what I have felt. I know that this is the one true church on the earth, and that this is the Lord’s work on the earth today. I can say that with complete conviction of my soul that the Spirit has testified of this to me.
Christ is our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. Joseph Smith did see God the Father, and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove and he was called as a prophet to restore these things. We are the literal spirit children of a loving Father in Heaven who loves us infinitely, beyond our understanding. All these things are true. This is why missionaries take two years of their life to serve the Lord. This message and work is the most important work in all the history of the earth and I do not doubt that. No, not even a little. This is my testimony and my witness, which I share in the name of our Savior, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
I hope all of you have a great week. Know that I love you all and pray for you daily.
This is the room we email in. The “P-Day Room”, if you will. These are all the missionaries in the Clayton Valley 1st, 2nd, and 3rd wards.