Wow. Where to begin? Literally every facet of missionary work was accounted for in this marvelous week. Finding, teaching, and baptizing. All coming together to form an amazing spiritual fruit punch. Like, imagine if Lehi just started pickin' fruit off of the tree of life, put it in a blender, and now we're drinking it. That's an accurate description. Probably the most accurate description that I can fathom in the moment. In BC, it finally rained this weekend after a long time without a celestial downpour, and in more ways than one. Where physical drops of precipitation gathered in pools in the streets of Burnaby, so too did the blessings and miracles rain down from on high and gather here.
Yesterday, we were able to witness and be a part of the baptisms of Angela Rauma and Kristian Baron. Over the course of my mission, it never ceases to amaze me that the Spirit is SO strong as when someone is baptized. These covenants that they are making are truly sealed by the Spirit. This Work is undeniably real. We aren't just religious extremists running around selling a church so that we can assert dominance or change people's values or get gain. We are ministers of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we are here to invite others to come unto Him. The only way to do so, the only way to enter into the path that will lead us back to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, is baptism. We are here to help. We are here to help others be healed by Him. Because His ministry has not ended. He still heals the sick, restores the broken-hearted, and comforts the wounded souls of the world. His ministry did not end at his crucifixion, and it did not begin at his birth. He is the Christ, chosen and prepared before the world began to help us to return back to the presence of our Father in Heaven.
He loved us enough to do so, and because of this, He gave His life a ransom for many. He paid the price for our sins, our shortcomings, our inadequacies. And He has set the terms for how we can accept this payment. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth today. We can have faith in Him, repent, be baptized and keep these covenants, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. For "there shall be no name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17).
Everything that we teach as missionaries, as members of the Church, as disciples of Christ, comes down to just that. That Jesus is the very Christ. The Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer.
I've been thinking a lot about the Savior. About what true discipleship means. The apostles shortly after Christ's death went about teaching and preaching His gospel, testifying of Him to everyone they could see.
They were beaten, tortured, even killed for this. They were not liked by men. But they sought "to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). And when they were captured and tortured for what they had done, for inviting others to come unto Christ, they had no fear.
"And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name,
"And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:41-42).
I want that. I want that courage. Because we are on the Lord's side. We are His disciples. We are the only ones that are going to stand up and make a change, make a difference. The only ones that can guide people to Him, because we know Him. And He is with us. Look out at the world. Who believes in Christ? Who believes in a higher power in general?! Faith in Christ is at an all time low. And that is why we have the Book of Mormon. I testify that this sacred Book was given to us so that we could know Jesus Christ more fully. I have gained a personal relationship with him. I know what he has done for me. And I can't comprehend it. I know what He sees in me. And I cannot understand it. I know what He has in store for me. And I cannot even imagine it.
Please read the Book of Mormon. Every. Single. Day. Have a revelatory experience with it. Every day. It is "the most correct of any book on earth, . . . and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (Book of Mormon, Introduction).
Yes, we preach of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we guide to Christ. And the only way that you can truly do that. And I mean TRULY do that. The only way to TRULY know who Christ is, is through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. His word. In its fullness. Found in the Book of Mormon. I know that He lives. Because I have felt His presence. He has ministered to me personally. And I have no choice. No option. I must defend Him. I must help others feel of His love. Because He is real. He is there for us. He knows us! And He wants to heal us.
If you aren't building your faith in Christ every day, repenting every day, maintaining and remembereing your covenants every day, and following the Spirit and seeking its guidance more each day, then I would encourage you to do so. Live His gospel. And gain a testimony of it through your own experience.
This Work will never end. Because the Father and the Son will never end. Get out of Heavenly Father's way, and watch miracles happen! Because He is active in this Work.
I love you all! You are inspirations to me. I hope that I can continue to strive each day. I have discovered that when we get out of ourselves, true happiness comes into our lives. What a precious lesson. I love this mission. I love this Work. Miracles have not ceased. How grateful I am for that.
Have a great week!
Elder Robinson and I with Sammy "Hercules" Ebrahimi.
Strongest man in Burnaby.
Elder Orr and I with Elder Ringer at Mission Leader Council! My father!!!
Reunions are always the best.
Exchange with Elder Petersen. He's crazy for missionary work! ;)
Baptism of Angela Rauma and Kristian Baron!
Just Kristian this time. He is amazing! Taught me a good amount of ASL.
The elders of the Burnaby Zone.
Intensely good looking? Check.
On fire about the gospel? Double check.
Great at taking pictures together? Priceless.