I am tired. That's a good thing. It's a sign that you did some work. And when you're physically tired but spiritually energized...that means you did some missionary work! Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not a passive, one-day a week deal. It's a binding, solemn, and epic covenant we make with out Heavenly Father at baptism that consumes our very lives and shapes our very natures. It is a promise of eternal life in the presence of our Creator. A promise that He will never break. It all comes down to us. Our commitment. Our desire to follow Him. To do as He commands. To really endure to the end by thriving on our covenant path and making the gospel of Jesus Christ, in its pure, beautiful form, a pattern of living.
I have seen in missionary work, on this short time that I have been out, that God is actively and anxiously engaged in His work. At this moment, as you are reading this, He is preparing His children, our brothers and sisters, to receive the message of His restored gospel. And as missionaries/members of Christ's Church, we have the privilege of listening to the Spirit and inviting these people to come unto Christ. And to prepare to return to live with their Father in Heaven. How great is our calling!
Our desire to share this gospel needs to be something that shapes what we do and how we interact with people. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ will bless everyone's lives, regardless of where they are spiritually, physically, emotionally. Our desire needs to be like that of Alma's, who declared, "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mind heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" (Alma 29:1).
If our desire is there, if our desire is really to help others to partake of salvation, then miracles will happen. Because we will have shown forth our faith, and God works miracles according to our faith (Ether 12:12). Now, with that being said...our desire shouldn't overrule God's direction and plan for us. Alma goes on to say that, "I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me...why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?" (Alma 29:3, 6).
All we have been called to do is to Invite and to Help...
This week was full of miracles and blessings from the Lord. We were able to teach our investigators and apply the counsel that we had received from the Lord during our planning sessions, because we have started planning more for our investigators and less for ourselves. I feel a new light come into our companionship and our area...and our zone, for that matter! We were able to show the video of the Restoration to our investigator S, and she finally understood the magnitude of Joseph Smith's life. Whoa! Testimony in modern-day prophets = yes. She's progessing so well, now! Who knew that if you focused on helping your investigator receive a testimony, that God would work that miracle...?
We also had a goal of helping our investigator R to live the word of wisdom. He's been smoking forever, and to live it takes a lot of courage from him. Finally, we sat down with him last night and really let the Spirit into our lesson.
We testified of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can bless us in all aspects of our lives, that Christ can help us overcome addictions. We then taught him how Satan wants to keep us down by giving us these chains of addictions. We read Helaman 5:12 with him and testified that we cannot fail when we build our foundation upon Christ. He burst into tears and literally gave us all of the substances that he had in his home to dispose of, and now he is living the word of wisdom and on track for baptism next month. Holy cow. It was the most intense and Spirit-driven lessons of my life. I testify to you that God is preparing and helping His children to live the gospel. We found some guy from Uganda names J....he is such a solid investigator! Teaching like angels has changed our mission and our areas specifically, I love it.
We have a new emphasis on driving safety in our mission due to some weird car crashes recently, and so President Burt has re-instituted park the car day in a big way. Our area covers, like, 4 cities...so....we were stressin', but then we realized that we have members that can give us rides! And so we did just that. And all day Saturday, we used 0 ks! Aw. Yeah. It was a feat to remember, and we couldn't have done it without our amazing members here in the YSA. Shout out to Ty and Adam!!!
My companion, Elder Gawrys, is great. He's super good at cleaning apartments...which is surprisingly a great skill to have in life and especially in missionary work. We're having a blast and always are on the go. YSA work is super fast faced and unstable...but it is fun haha.
I got to be reunited with some of my mission heroes/friends in Richmond this week for a meeting. It was fun being able to see them again and to talk about how the mission is changing a ton and how everyone's doing clear up north. It's a brotherhood of spiritual warriors around here.
I am having a blast up here. Been eating a lot of McDonald's because I ran out of money....oh, the hubris of Elder Stock, but it has been so fun to just go out and do the Lord's work. When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are truly only in the service of our God (Mosiah 2:17)
I testify to you that the gospel is true. The Work is God's work. And our Savior lives and loves us.
Have an awesome week!
The Articles of Faith...color coded to fit the missionary lessons. I love the mini-quad!
2 Nephi 31...marked up according to the lessons...what an epic chapter! Live that gospel, peeps!