Monday, February 9, 2015

2/9/2015 - 23rd LETTER FROM DUNCAN

It's getting close to the 6 month mark, can you believe it?!?  He's spent his entire time in Duncan and transfers are in a week and a half.  The clock might be winding down for this area, we'll know soon.

The following is an account of a missionary's awesome week in Duncan, BC associated with a spiritual uplift.  If you don't like feeling happy, good, or hopeful, you might not like this post.  Reader discretion is advised.

What is happening, everyone?! Firstly, I hope you are all doing well. And I'd like to thank all of you for your support.  I feel it every morning I wake up and drop to my knees, pleading with the Lord to help me each and every day, to help Him hasten His work here. Your prayers are felt, and they buoy me up. So keep it up! You're all awesome.

This week in Duncan has been nothing short of amazing.  Miracles have not ceased.  The Lord lives, and He prepares the way for all of us to return to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Our Father in Heaven has such an intense love for all of us...I've seen that first hand out here, and it's pretty great.  So, last week, we got the awesome news from President Burt that Will's approved for baptism!

Sister and President Burt, Elder Stock, Will, Elder Hancock
And ever since then, miracles have poured out upon us. We dropped by some investigators from our area book, which was an interesting experience...some people are "formered" for very good reasons.  Yikes...But it was fun, as usual!  We taught a lot of lessons this week. The people we've been able to reach out to and help and teach are so incredible, and I've made some great friendships out here, ones that I hope will last a lifetime.  I made a huge tray of Texas Hash this week, so that was good!  We got to take the youth in our ward out for some lessons, and they loved it.
The biggest news is that this Saturday, President Burt came up to Duncan to interview Will for the last time, and it was an amazing experience!  Will's getting baptized on SATURDAY, the 14!!! Will's testimony is so strong, and I'm so happy to have been able to teach him, to have the pleasure of being his friend.  I'm so excited for Saturday. Right after the interview, President Burt told us to take Will and get him a white shirt and tie. We happily obliged, and now he looks like a legit member.

It's so awesome. We planned the baptismal program with him and a woman named Heather who the sister missionaries in our ward have been teaching, and they are both getting baptized on the same day: Valentine's Day!  What better way to show love for the Lord than by being baptized, eh? :D

I've been thinking a lot, too, about testimony and conversion, the first presidency message this month.  Last night, I was able to teach with Will and Elder Hancock about that message, and to me, I changed the words to knowledge and action.  The Lord gives us our testimonies. For me, my testimony of this restored gospel is my greatest treasure.  But what good is it to have that testimony if we don't ACT on it? Once we do, then we begin the process of being converted.  None of us are done with our conversion process.  We won't be for a LONG time, after this life.  So we need to make sure that we are acting on our testimonies, and then we will not only grow in our knowledge and conviction of the gospel, but we will help others do so as well.  We will become the tools in the Lord's hands that He wants to use, the ones that will help Him hasten His work.  
In the world, we hear a lot about how "progressive" everything's getting.  How "forward" we are moving, etc.  But to where?  What's the end goal here, people?  Progress is movement...but if you don't have a goal, or a destination, you will be lead astray quicker than you can blink.  It's like having faith.  We can't just have faith...that's a trust and a hope for something we can't see, but in what?  We need to center our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Then, we can start moving somewhere.  Through Him, we can reach our destination: the kingdom of God! The same is with our progression. We need to be progressing toward eternal life.  As we make our steps back to our Father, He will see our efforts and bless us, or help us come closer to Him.  Conversion is a gradual process.  It happens as we do the daily, small and simple things consistently and build our foundation of faith.  So get up and read the scriptures, pray fervently, and seek personal revelations in your lives! As you do so, you will be blessed and you will be able to feel the direction of your Heavenly Father, and become more converted unto the Lord. I know that this is true, because I've seen it in my own life.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is real.  It changes peoples lives every day, and helps them to access His Atonement, to access His healing.  I know this to be true.  I've seen it.  I've felt it.  The witness born to us by the Holy Ghost should be what we seek each day.  So do it! It will bless your lives so much.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Stock

Is Elder Stock ready to have his own cooking show?!?
 Texas Hash!
 I have nothing to say about the next four photos.....
except that they are teenagers!  ;-)

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