Monday, June 13, 2016

6/13/16 - 8th LETTER FROM VERNON


“All right, well we’ve got a dinner appointment out there in Armstrong, so maybe we can just tract on some roads on the way out there?” Elder Stock brainstormed with his companion, Elder Meline as they loaded up their scriptures into the Nissan Rogue.

Elder Meline grabbed the map, and pointed to a street. “What about this one?” he asked, pointing to a road out in Armstrong.

“Um…sure, if you’re feeling it.” The two started the drive out to Armstrong, and drove to the street they had picked. Looking around, there was nobody outside the very few houses. “Well, here we are,” Elder Stock sighed.

Elder Meline smiled. “We’re going to find the reason why we were sent here,” he said, and they both walked onto the empty street. After talking to a few people at their door with no luck, they began to wonder if this really was a smart idea to come out on this random street. And then, they saw someone walking their dog along the sidewalk, and immediately came over to her and started talking to her.

Her name was Irene, and she had been going through some hard times with the deaths of some loved ones, and had a lot of questions weighing on her about the life after this one. We were able to testify of the plan of happiness and of the Restoration of Christ’s gospel that allows us to see our loved ones again and to live with them in Heavenly Father’s presence. While she was hesitant to believe in a modern-day prophet, she accepted the invitation to learn more and really wants to know if what we are teaching is true. She’s going to meet with us this week, and as we left her that day, we couldn’t help but realize that that was the reason why God sent us out to Armstrong. He leads His work. He knows His children. We, as His missionaries, are His spiritual search and rescue team.

I’ve learned a lot this week about true charity, and how to really develop that gift from God within ourselves, how to really have a Christ-like love for the people around us. As a missionary, it’s so key. Because the only way to do the Lord’s work is to do it in His way. With love, patience and faith. As a companionship, we have really been focusing this week on giving our hearts to the Lord, and being so exactly obedient, that we receive the blessings of having more people to teach the gospel to. It’s worked. Because it’s a law of heaven. Obey His commandments, and you receive His blessings.

It’s an absolute honor and thrill to teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ. A certain scripture we’ve all heard comes to life when you do. As King Benjamin taught that, “the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man”. I see that as people accept our message and begin to repent and to change their view of God and of themselves and of the world, and truly “becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19). I know that this is true. That the gospel of Jesus Christ will change us. He can heal us and redeem us and strengthen us in ways that we didn’t even know were possible.

He lives. I know it. And He wants us to come unto Him. Every day, every hour, just forever… He loves us and will do anything for us, and has done everything for us. This is His Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is at the helm of it, and leads through His prophet, Thomas S. Monson. The Book of Mormon testifies of Him and is the only way that we can truly come to know Him and to know that His kingdom has been restored. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a great week!
Elder Stock
My “deep-in-thought-writing-emails” face…

That’s what you get when I neglect my camera for a week.

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