This has been an awesome week. Just yesterday, when the week was winding down to a miracle-filled close, I looked around and kind of took it all in. I'm in the most beautiful place on earth. British Columbia is awesome! I'm surrounded by huge, towering trees, majestic mountains, and green. Everywhere. Better yet, I'm not just here on a two year vacation. I'm here as a representative of Jesus Christ, with real priesthood authority given to me to preach His gospel and minister to the children of God that we would be ministering to if He were here right now in my place. How awesome is that?! The authority us missionaries hold, as Elder Robinson and I remind ourselves, is greater than the kings of the earth. This really is the most important work to be a part of. I'm privileged to be here. I don't know why I entered into this weird, surreal state of reflection and gratitude, but I do know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
A lot of miracles happened this week. We are teaching some amazing people, and they are loving the restored gospel. Probably because it's true and is the only thing on this earth that can bring us true, lasting happiness and joy. I had the opportunity of going on exchange with some missionaries in my zone this week, and it was awesome! It's cool to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ can truly change our natures, even as missionaries. We aren't exempt from faith and repentance. We have to continually be converting ourselves if we want to help others to feel the joy of the gospel. And faith is so cool. Because through our faith in Jesus Christ, miracles can happen.
In the Book of Mormon, we read, "for if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them" (Ether 12:12). So as missionaries, if we have no faith, then....nothing happens. As I was reading some more, I discovered the secret to why the missionaries in the Book of Mormon are so good. Because we read in Helaman 5 about Nephi and Lehi, the sons of Helaman, and they baptized 8,000 Lamanites after just having been thrown into prison by them. Now, that's awesome! And why did that happen? "Behold, it was the FAITH of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost" (Ether 12:14).
It all comes down to faith. If we don't believe something can happen, then it won't. Because we aren't showing God that we are willing to work, to accept His Son's atoning sacrifice. If Nephi and Lehi had just gone out to the Lamanites' land, believing that maybe they would be able to help someone out somehow, maybe just do some lawn work for them, or just help them smile in their day, then they would have done that. And they would have probably been killed by the Lamanites. But, since they had incredible faith in the Work, they went out with the expectation that they would see miracles. And thus, they saw incredible success, and they saw their brethren come unto Christ and feel the joy of the gospel.
That's why we're here. That's what I want. To bring my brothers and sisters to the waters of baptism, so that they can truly obtain the fruits of eternal joy. Because I have seen it. I have seen my brothers and sisters, lost and alone, find Christ. Find hope. And that drives me to do this Work each and every day. A lot of people think that us missionaries are out here for ourselves. A bunch of religiously extreme salesman trying to get some baptismal statistics so that we get some plaudits or popularity. But that is false. We are here because this is it. This is the plan of salvation. And I am bearing my testimony on the line to help my brothers and sister, those that I love, to come unto Christ. To feel His love.
How great is my calling!
I feel like this mission is a world tour. I have met people from and had food from every corner of the world. Foods from India, Africa, the Philippines, China, Korea (kim-chi for life!), Japan, etc. The list goes on. I have discovered in my time here that I am not a curry fan...not even a little bit. But the people are awesome. Seriously. And the coolest thing is that Heavenly Father knows all of them, all of us, perfectly. And He loves us unconditionally. And that is why we're out here. "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).
I'm learning sign language and Korean right now. We're preparing a man named Kris for baptism at the end of the month, and he is deaf. It is awesome teaching him. And praying in sign language is amazing! Korean is fun...I work with the Korean elders a lot, and so it's fun to pick up new phrases to use when I'm talking to Koreans. Life is good. I love the mish. Literally the best time of my life. And I am excited to continue to share the gospel. Because it is the purest, simplest, and most powerful Work on earth.
Thanks for all of your support and for all that you do. Keep being strong, devoted, disciples of Christ, and pray for missionary opportunities. Because they will come.
Elder Ricks and I...on exchange. He was my MTC companion, but now he's an assistant! He's a boss. We had tons of fun tearing it up in Burnaby haha.
Elder Robinson studying like a mad fiend.