Friday, January 1, 2016

12/28/15 - 20th LETTER FROM LANGLEY


A white board. Once used to record the names and progress of investigators in the Langley zone with a baptismal leaned against the wall on Christmas Eve. A lonely piece of paper, with a Crayon drawn Christmas tree splayed across it is taped to the the upper center. Accompanied by a painting of the Master Teacher, the Center of Christmas, the Son of God directly above it. Very indicative of a missionary's decorative touch.... Underneath the makeshift tree are about ten cards and packages of various shapes, sized and values. Three representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ gather around it. And count their many blessings. That night in their prayers, they remember the birth, life and sacrifice of their Savior. They remember their missions, and the incredible experiences they have had. The suffering and regret of the past now washed clean by the sweet warmth of the Spirit, reassuring them of the worthiness of their service, of the value of their work. Merry Christmas, Langley Tri-SA. Merry Christmas, indeed.

It's a special time of year, Christmas is, and I hope that each of you were able to take a few moments as I did to reflect. To reflect on the simple joy that a Savior is born. That He has the power to help us, to redeem us, to lift us. And it's a joy to be able to serve Him as one of His missionaries at this time. I am grateful for it. I am grateful for all you, too! And for your support, it really makes a difference. Thank you.

This week, even though it was Christmas week, was nothing short of busy and miracle-filled. We had an incredible YSA activity on Tuesday where some members of the branch sang Christmas carols at a sky train station while us missionaries proselyted and handed out "A Savior is Born" cards. It was incredible. We also found a handful of new investigators. One of them is from Uganda. His name is A and he is incredible. We were able to teach him about the Restoration of the gospel and specifically the Book of Mormon. He loved it and when we read 3 Nephi 11 with him, the Spirit was so strong.

I've learned a lot about the power of the Spirit in conversion, and what it really means. The Holy Ghost is here to teach us truth and to confirm it, yes, but it also does much more than that. The Holy Ghost nourishes our desire to follow the Savior, engenders a love for God and our fellow man, helps us feel of the love that our Father in Heaven has for us, and is the only pathway to conversion. I am grateful for the Spirit in my life, and to be able to improve and work on teaching more by the Spirit.

We had a couple of dinner appointments this Christmas season, and were able to enjoy some good home-cooked food for once in the YSA. Tender mercies, it was a great Christmas. I enjoyed some awesome Skype calls with the family, and I am so grateful for them and for their support and encouragement in me serving a mission. Thank you, mom and dad! You are awesome.

Christmas 2015 will go down in history as the most missionary-centered Christmas of my life. It's been awesome. I am honored to be here in the Canada Vancouver Mission. It's a mission on fire, in case you didn't hear on the streets. I am honored to be a missionary, in the first place. And to know that my Redeemer lives. To know Him. To know that He is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. I know that He leads His Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. His prophets and apostles are inspired of God. He is the light and the life of the world. He loves us all infinitely and at the same time personally. He knows who we are and what we can become. And if we trust Him, follow Him, and serve Him, we will feel the most joy and happiness in this life and in the life to come. I know it is true and I know this from the power of the Holy Ghost. Who testifies of Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Stock

The Tri at Christmas
 Another way of looking at it

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