As this week drew to a close, I was caused to reflect on just the sheer amount of miracles that the Lord has performed on my mission so far, and for the privilege that I have had to witness them and to participate in them. And for the first time in my life, I feel as though I am starting to realize the raw power and authority of this calling. Of being a full-time missionary, and of being a son of God. We are so privileged. We have been given freely, and so we too must give. Freely.
In Preach My Gospel, we are reminded that as missionaries we have the authority to preach His gospel. We are literally set apart from the world. To a higher plane of thought and activity. These blessings, including the right and the privilege to represent the Lord, are given to us freely. We signed up, we got on the plane, we put on the name tag. And yet just because we are here, just because we have all of these amazing tools and resources to work miracles, just because we are set apart, doesn't automatically make us good missionaries.
In addition to this authority, we need spiritual power as we teach. For just as Moroni has promised that, "by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things," (Moroni 10:5), we are reminded that "spiritual power is a gift that makes it possible for [us] to do [this] work more effectively" (Preach My Gospel, 4).
If God works through power, then how do we access that power? Just as a leafblower needs to be in good working order for anything to happen, and for electricity to flow through it, so do we need to be in "good working order" in order for our Heavenly Father to work through us. We need to be pure, clean, and worthy to be able to have His power flow through us, in our words, actions, and thoughts. That is why we must consecrate ourselves to Him. But the power we seek cannot come from within us. As Ammon declares to his brethren, "I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles" (Alma 26:12).
As long as we seek His power, His help, and we are clean and worthy enough to accept it, then we can see His power work through us. It happens in different ways. Maybe our testimony will be confirmed by the Spirit, maybe we will be guided to say something to someone at exactly the right time, and the Spirit will carry our words and their truthfulness unto their hearts, and maybe we will just be able to express the love we have for others. Anything we do that is of God demonstrates the power that He has working through us.
This week, I have been privileged to have been able to teach some amazing lessons and to go on exchange with some amazing missionaries. Two of our friends whom we are helping to prepare for their baptisms this next Sunday, Angela and Kristian, are doing so well. Kristian had the flu this week, and so we gave him a blessing. Since he's deaf, I got to bless him and Elder Robinson translated it in the basic sign language that we have been learning from him. It was amazing, and the Spirit was so strong. The power of the priesthood that you could feel in that room was immense, and the authority we hold, if exercised worthily, becomes that great power.
Our friends Michael and Stephanie, two amazing investigators who are trying so hard to be baptized in August, are doing so well. They love this restored gospel, and all that it can give to us in our lives. They even wrote us a card, thanking us for the teaching so far, and at the end of the note, it said, "We are Mormons in our heart already"... Now THAT is awesome! We got to meet a man on the street the other day that described a vision he had and a memory he had of his life before earth, and described the pre-earth life in a perfectly sound, doctrinal manner. We proceeded to whip out some Plan of Salvation pamphlets and explained to him that the memories he has are true. Heavenly Father prepares His children for the gospel!
We met a mother and her daughter in New West last night who were astonished to hear about the Book of Mormon, and accepted our invitation to be baptized on the 15th of August. We'll be meeting with them on Wednesday. They are so amazing! Miracles literally abound all around us. Heavenly Father is reaching out in love to His children right now. Because this is His Hastening. And we have the utter privilege of being apart of it, and of feeling the power of God work through us.
I am so grateful to be here. To be serving the Lord in this capacity. It's an honor. And on top of the miracles, I get to enjoy just being in British Columbia, and the people here. Bubble tea is also super good, so that's a plus...(picture will be included). But guess what! We are all disciples of Jesus Christ! No one said that following Christ would be easy. But everyone has said that it is worth it. We will all face hard time, but we will all have the opportunity to face the joy and the happiness that this life can bring. And so put your seat belt on, and get ready to go. Because the roller-coaster of discipleship is leaving. It's Hastening. And it isn't waiting for anyone. Now is the time. So pray for opportunities to serve others and to share the gospel with others. Because He will give unto you plenty of them.
I hope that you all have a great week!
Elder Colton Stock
Taro with Coconut Jellies
And Elder Murray exchange review. Aw yeah
Bubble tea selfie to reflect the astonishment of this nectar of the gods.
Elder Robinson decides to try a new approach to preaching the gospel... We'll go back to being Preach My Gospel missionaries ;)