Thursday, March 1, 2012

Living it, Loving it, Preaching it!

Buenas Tardes mis amados padres y amigos!   27Feb 2012
Beautiful Cedar Sunset!!
  Well I still am surprised by how fast the weeks are really going by here on my mission. I guess that is what happens when you just thrust in your sickle and try to lose yourself in the work. It feels like just yesterday that I was emailing home, but here I am again.

Being FED Well!  YUMMMM!
This week was pretty solid for the most part. We did have our ups and downs, but we are really striving to be the best that we can be. We have been blessed with some really spiritual lessons this last week. That is one thing that has been pretty constant with Elder Pedersen and I, our lessons. Everything else seems pretty up and down every week, but we continue to teach with power and authority as did the sons of Mosiah. I will tell you about some of the lessons we had this week to give you a little bit of insight on what I am doing here in Cedar. Well the first lesson was with a new family that we found this week. Well technically we met them last week, but didn’t get to see them until this one. They really haven’t talked to missionaries much, so we just started from the beginning and it really worked out well. We taught the Restoration, and it was really good, but the lesson made a huge turn when we started to talk about Joseph Smith. As I quoted the First Vision, we used the picture of it in one of the pamphlets that we have and I think that made a huge difference. As I was quoting it, you could just feel the Spirit come into the room stronger, you could see the family just relax and they were at peace, and they were really paying attention. I am just so grateful for the Spirit and the power that it has to soften hearts of others. It would be impossible to help anyone be converted if we did have the Holy Ghost to back us up. Well the family is doing really well still, we haven’t been able to be a baptismal date with them, but we are still working on it. They are reading from the Book of Mormon, so that should produce some good results.
      Another lesson we had was with this 18 year old kid named Carlos. So some background on Carlos is that he just came up here from El Salvador to live with his mom and step-dad. His mom and step-dad are both members of the Church, so that is a good basis for us. He is really interested in learning, but he just is caught up with things that he was taught in El Salvador. We had a lesson that was completely by the Spirit. We didn’t know what to teach him or how to help him, so we started to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the 5 steps that He taught us that we need to do to return to live with Him and Heavenly Father. The steps are faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We taught him each of these steps to his understanding. You could really tell that Carlos was really thinking and paying attention to what we are teaching him. He is really progressing and really wants to follow the right path. We just need him to receive that answer that this is the path that God wants him to follow. He did come to church this week as well and he really enjoyed it, so that will help him in his process.
     The last lesson I will tell you about is a lesson we had with a guy named Jose Luis. He has really had a problem to go to church. That is the one thing that he has left between him and baptism. His problem is that he works 6 days a week and works 12 hour days, so the only day that he doesn’t have to work is Sunday, so he usually spends that in St. George with his wife and son. We have really been working hard with him to get him to church. He is really sincere about everything and kept trying to find a way to still have that time in St. George and the time to go to church, so we told him that there is only one way to find out what church is really like. I kind of felt guilty asking him to give up his only time that he has with his family, but in the end it isn’t the missionaries that are asking him to go to church; it is God. So I learned a good lesson about the commandments. Commandments are something that God has given us to help us follow in the right path. He sets the commandments and the regulations for them and we can’t change them. The only thing we can do is either follow them or not follow them. It is black and white between those choices. In John 14:15 we read: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." So it comes down to the questions on whether we love God or not, because if we do, we will keep His commandments to the best of our abilities. But if we don’t keep His commandments, this is showing that we don’t love God as much as those other things.
       We are still waiting on the whole marriage situation of Selene and Omar, so Selene and Jocelyn can get baptized. I think it is starting to frustrate us all and it just needs to happen so they can get baptized and continue to progress in the gospel and then we can start to work on Omar. 
       I was pretty stressed as a zone leader this week. There are areas in the zone that are just not performing like they should be. They have some great potential in their areas, but they just don’t achieve it because of laziness or problems in their companionships. So I have been having to pray a lot for charity and to understand how to help these areas better. I guess sometimes the Lord just puts obstacles in our way to help us learn and grow. Obviously sometimes these obstacles are not wanted, but they do help us in a way. I know that we are having a lot of obstacles in our path right now, not only in our personal area, but with the zone as well. 
       NEWS FROM HOME - The Mom spoke to the primary children about her conversion.  She used a dish with one warm fuzzy and filled it with others as the gospel grew.  Mom, I really did enjoy your story about the fuzzy balls and how one righteous choice lead to numerous others. It made me think a lot about the lesson that we taught Cris a while back. How Abinadi helped one person to be converted and then it just kept spreading and spreading and spreading. I mean in your case you were baptized and then you helped others to become converted and they are helping others as well. Then you had your family that was raised in righteousness, and now I am here paying this forward as well. I am also a little alarmed to know that I am the next missionary to go home in the ward. That is a scary fact to know. But you are right, I am not going to dwell on that, but I am going to continue to work hard and not think about going home in 6 months. The time would go by way too slow if I just thought about home all day, and besides I am not here to think about home, I am here to convert others to the TRUE Church that is here on the earth today.
       I am also glad to hear of the anonymous donations to my mission fund. I know it has been a struggle for you to continually pay for my mission, but there are people that are conscious of this situation, mainly the Lord. (We have been blessed with regular donations from the Anderson's and Harvey's, but found out others have been donating to Chad's mission fund as well.  Wow!)  He always provides a way to accomplish these righteous things. Serving a mission is a commandment, and He will provide the way to accomplish these commandments. (1 Nephi 3:7). I am so grateful for your love and support. I know I am here for a reason and my mission is the greatest thing I have done in my life. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church here upon the earth and I am here in Utah doing His work!
Live it, Love it, Preach it!     ELDER D

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