Sister Krause and I have had such a wonderful week! Heavenly Father is so gracious and has lead us to some investigators who are looking for peace and direction and understanding in their lives. I know that focusing on the Book of Mormon is exactly what we need to be doing as a mission.
One of the new investigators we were able to find just called and told us that she was reading the Book of Mormon, but wasn’t understanding all of it, so we invited her to keep reading but to pray for understanding and promised to read it with her at our appointment tomorrow. The Book of Mormon is the work of God and it will bring the honest seekers of truth closer to Him than any other book.
Sister Krause and I have seen the Lord work through us the past four and 1/2 days and we are so grateful! There is no way to work, but hard and effectively which is the Lord’s way. We are waking up at 6:15am and working out until 7 and we are using every minute of the day to find. My first transfer out here I did not take any breaks or naps or anything and the Lord blessed me to be able to do it (even though I was exhausted) and so I have decided that for the next 6 weeks that as I work my butt off especially when I’m tired, that He will strengthen me. I’ve never been more exhausted in my life, yet I’ve never felt more joy or fulfillment.
Let me share some insights that I have had and been pondering over the past few weeks…
The evening of the multi zone conference with Elder Zwick, I felt impressed to begin a journal of the nature and attributes and attitude of the Savior and His Apostles (ancient and modern) so that I can better serve those around me as I apply these things to my own life and how I treat others.
“Jesus was constantly loving and serving, his focus was on building others because he loved them because he loved God. How is this shown by the Savior’s prophets and apostles today? PE(personal experience): Elder Zwick came to speak to us today. Three things greatly impressed me about this general authority:
- He took the time with each person in the room to shake their hand and say their name while looking them in the eye and asking how they were doing. This is a pattern of how the Savior treated others and showed his love and God’s love for them.
- He taught boldly, confident and steadfast and testified of simple truths that touched our hearts. He taught by the spirit of the Lord and invited him to be there with us. This may be described as “dignity and presence”, which made evident, the moment he entered the room, that a servant/messenger of the Lord was among us.
- His humility, which is NOT talking negatively about yourself and highly of others, but giving credit, praise and thanks to God as well as recognizing that we are equal to our fellow man and God is far above us and His ways are best, that we must simply love Him and follow His ways. Elder Zwick told us personal experiences from interactions with members of the quorum of the twelve which opened my eyes to see that they are no better, no more special than I am. We are all children of God and He loves each of us the same, perfectly.
Another thought which came to me, from the spirit, was that I can become as close to my Savior as the twelve apostles and other General authorities are, even the prophet. The way I can do this is by consistently reading his words, communicating with him through prayer, practicing following promptings of the Holy Ghost and offering my heart to my Father in Heaven. Sanctification comes as we constantly, consistently and earnestly do the little things from day to day and little by little we become who our Father wants us to be, which is greater than we ever imagined or could do ourselves. I know that this is true. I have seen it happen in my own life, and in the lives of others. It begins with a seed, a desire, and it results in a tree, a magnificent life giving tree. ”
Also, this morning in my personal study, I was reading in 2 Ne. 15 and as I read the last line of verse 25, I remembered something my Dad taught me growing up. My dad would open the scriptures and teach us what they meant and apply them to our lives as well as talks and books and articles from church leaders. One of the things that my dad taught us was that Heavenly Father is bound by eternal law just as we are and that He would cease to be God if He broke those laws. This is the thought that I recorded in my journal about the nature of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and their disciples: “Heavenly Father is perfectly obedient to eternal laws, and the only way he could have become perfectly obedient is by practicing exact obedience. Heavenly Father must obey the laws of Eternity, or he would cease to be God. Even God cannot take away the consequences to our actions, but He can and does love us and reach out to us and offers to help us through those consequences.”
Obedience is a word that I always thought I understood, but the more I study it and practice it, the more my view of what it truly means changes. At the Friday evening session of Time Out For Women this weekend (where Sister Krause and I met a young lady, who is attending school in Georgia and is being taught by missionaries there, who was trying to receive an answer to whether she should get baptized or not) Brad Wilcox spoke about what it means to be true disciples of Jesus Christ. Brother Wilcox said, “Disciples of Christ actually live and do what they believe 24/7” and he shared an experience where he and his friends who were all members were consistent with what they professed to believe and it was noticed by nonmembers. “The weird thing about those Mormons is that they actually do what they say believe” was the comment that the nonmember teenagers made.
Brother Wilcox continued to explain that the word “sincere” means without wax because in earlier days, people would use wax to cover cracks and mistakes in pots that they would sell and so people came to ask if the pot was “sincere” before buying it. “Is it without wax?” This was so brilliant to me. I loved that he said that we feel peace when our behavior agrees with our beliefs after sharing Mathew 23:25 which is the Savior cursing the fig tree because it won’t bring forth fruit even though it has leaves, it is deceiving.
The next bit was neat too because he was speaking to a large group of women who constantly feel like they are not enough (like you talked about at transfers) so he explained that living the way we believe and standing for truth and righteousness is not always easy, and that we don’t have to be perfect, yet. “The light isn’t there because we’re perfect, the light comes because we’re honest. Worthiness is not flawlessness, it is striving and not giving up.”
What a treat it was to attend, and to meet and talk with so many nonmembers who were there. The young lady I mentioned earlier, decided to tell the missionaries back in Georgia that she wants to get baptized next Saturday after both Sister Krause and I tried to help her recognize the peace and joy she was feeling from reading the Book of Mormon (which she said she takes everywhere with her) and many other things as the answer the Lord was giving her. Both Sister Krause and I felt so grateful to have been able to help her and we can’t wait for her to get baptized!
There is much potential here, Sister Krause and I are here to love and serve, but our purpose is to find, teach, baptize and retain and that’s what we intend to do with the help of the ward and the Lord!
Love y’all so much,