Monday, October 26, 2015

10/26/15 - 12th LETTER FROM LANGLEY

A General Epistle-Update,

Bright colors!!! Deafening explosions! Book of Mormon heroes brawling it out with huge swords!!! Heavy bass!! Thick, almost tangible suspense in the air! If that's not intense, then I don't know what is. That's basically an abstract illustration of how this week went down. It was pretty incredible. So, we worked really hard. In fact, I am really tired right now as a result. And I will continue to be even more tired as these days go on. And that is a sign of doing something right! This work, this Church, is truly that stone cut without hands, barreling down the mountain.

The Old Ship Zion is primed, ready and locked and loaded. It's armed with cannons and has the power to smash through anything in sight. And that's what's going down. The Hastening is in full swing. The only limit to it is our faith. I'm not going to waste this e-mail going off on how important the Work is, but just know that I know who is at the helm. And He is the most powerful being in the universe.

This week, my studies have taken me to the Plan of Salvation. And the book of Alma, for the prophet Alma and his companion Amulek teach the Plan of Salvation SO well! On the mission, there is a new meaning to the promise of the Book of Mormon, that "a man would draw nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (Book of Mormon, Introduction), and that is because out here, I am living the Book of Mormon. Alma went and preached the word of God to everyone and anyone who would listen. And it drove him to his knees in prayer. He wanted to help these people so much that he, "[wrestled] with God in mighty prayer, that He would pour out His Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that He would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance" (Alma 8:10). Whoa. Sounds like a missionary prayer to me! As I have prayed for the people I am serving, and really had the Lord on my side, I have seen a difference not only in the success of my missionary service, but in the attitude I have toward it. There is a lot of opposition out there, for sure. And being a missionary doesn't mean that you are in an impenetrable bubble of the Spirit, but it does mean that you are a representative of Jesus Christ. That you have authority from God to preach His gospel to and teach His children more about Him and His love for them. That as you exercise that authority righteously, you unlock power from on high to invite the Spirit not only into your life, but into the lives of others.

I am grateful for my call to serve a mission. For what is means to me each and every day.

During this week, we had a lot of opportunities to teach and to invite. We taught our investigator S, and she is doing so well. She's faced a lot of opposition, for sure, but she is grounded in the Book of Mormon. And that is honestly what is going to pull her through to her baptism later this month.

J, one of our investigators, is doing so well. He came to church again this week with his girlfriend and everyone thought that he was a returned missionary. The branch presidency is convinced that he is a member. "So you grew up in the church?" they'll ask.

"Um...I am actually exploring, discovering the truth right now...and these guys are helping me..."

Solid! The biggest blessing of them all is being able to be a part of someone's conversion to the gospel. Luckily, it is the Spirit that does the work, but it is a blast to watch the truth change someone's life.

We also found a new investigator, K, who is a super fresh/fly/jivin'/cool/slick Filipino guy that just started university. He is awesome because he is so genuine as we teach him. I love how truth-seeking he is, which you can tell he is as he asks the most inspired questions ever. His desire to be baptized is founded on the belief he has now that the authority from God has truly been brought back to the earth.

We are also teaching another guy named H who is friends with a member. Member work is where it is at! I am grateful for my companion, Elder Gawrys. He is a huge help in the zone and in the area. Life is going well.  Funny experience: we were cooking REALLY quickly in our apartment before we had to head out to teach some people, and Elder Gawrys accidently put the plastic cutting board over the hot, metal frying pan while we were cooking chicken to keep the heat in. As we turned to grab the chicken, we pulled off the cutting board...and literally it was as if we were pulling out a slice of plastic pizza...we're talking strings of melted plastic oozing off of that board...and it melted a huge circular shape into the cutting board! Ha! It was a priceless "elders-trying-to-cook" moment...oh, and I tried to give Elder Gawrys a was so bad that people on the street laughed at him and he had to go and get it professionally cut to fix it...

I hope everyone has a great week! I'll keep you all in my prayers. And remember: life is awesome, the gospel is share it!

You Already Know,
Elder Stock

That haircut, though...XD
This is after the professional revisions had been made...
(oh.....I feel so bad for his companion!)

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