"For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come" (Helaman 16:4). Wow. Talk about Book of Mormon heroes. I just imagine Nephi, running everywhere, talking to everyone, doing everything that he could to invite other to come unto Christ. He was finding, teaching, and baptizing. That's what I want to do. And it's fun to do! Very little will you see missionaries on the street corners, crying, "Repent ye! Repent ye! Or else ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God!" BUT, you always see missionaries talking to everyone, and telling them that this message of the restored gospel that we have to share will change their lives.
We cry repentance as missionaries, as representatives and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of the gospel is to cleanse us of our sins, and to help change us to become the person that our Heavenly Father knows we can become. This is a gospel of change, because repentance is just changing our natures. Changing our will and aligning it with God's. While reading the Book of Mormon, it is impossible not to notice the repetition of the simple word: repent. That book of scripture is the book of repentance, basically. Us as humans always make mistakes. We are flawed. We're designed that way. This life is a "time for men to prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32)
That's the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, the commandments, everything! They help us repent, or change, and by so doing we are prepared to meet God after this life. We are then comfortable to be in His presence. And that's our job as missionaries. To cry repentance.
Just yesterday, I was on exchange with one of the assistants, Elder Rolfson. We were fasting from Fast Sunday, and before our dinner appointment, we were going to go and teach someone. But the lesson fell through, thus opening up a long time for us to go finding. We stared out at Kingsway, a long stretch of road by the Metro Town Mall, and start running. Talking to everyone, helping people out, teaching the gospel, etc. It was epic! It was an unusually hot day, and we were sweating so much, but it was awesome to just go out and serve, working so hard for those 4 hours. And then when the dinner appointment came, it was heaven.
This week, a lot of stuff (i.e. our plans, people, etc) fell through. It was crazy! So we had to kind of go back to the drawing board. But as we did, the Lord blessed us with strength and helped us find those whom He has prepared. We were able to cry repentance to everyone, and felt so much joy from doing so. I know that this Work is the Lord's Work. Otherwise, I probably would have died early on out here, because we work crazy hard. But Christ sustains us.
This week was really good. Just last P-day, Elder Marchand and I went to the Vancouver Aquarium to check out the place right after emailing. It was pretty awesome! African penguins, beluga whales, dophins, etc. You name it. And plus, they had this sweet exhibit called Sea Monsters Revealed (no, kaiju were not a part of this exhibition, unfortunately...) where they cut open all of these sharks and stuff and put them on display. It was pretty sweet. Think Body World, but with sharks and eels and stuff.
I went on exchange with both Korean areas this week. Back to back, Anjun-hassee-yo! I loved it. Super fun. I felt like I was on my mission in Korea. Elder Okamoto is a stud. We went out and did work! He taught me some cool Korean lines to use on the street. I am so white it's not even funny. But I'm trying to expand my culture out here... I went with Elder Kim into the heart of downtown Vancouver. Holy cow! Literally talked to so many people. It was a blast! I had a quality gospel conversation with a Japanese lady about Godzilla. Only on the mish! It was sick! Everything is going so well up here. Seriously, I'm loving it, and I love the support that you all give to me. I feel the prayers! So keep that up, please!
I know that this gospel is true and life-changing, that repentance is the way to unlock the mercy of Christ, the only way back to our Heavenly Father. We are all Jesus' disciples. So go and do as He would do. Share the light of the gospel, and bless lives!
Sincerely, Elder Stock
Fatburger in Canada! Aw yeah!
Shark...on the inside!
Not gonna lie...just seeing the words Sea Monsters got me pretty excited ;)
A sting ray...on the inside!
Another shark...on the INSIDE!!!
An Orca's skul...they're pretty thickheaded. Bah-dum-ch...
A vertebrae of a blue whale's spine! Holy!!! Now THAT's a kaiju!
That penguin, tho!
Elder Okamoto studying. Diligent Koreans these days...