Monday, October 12, 2015

God Invites and Entices Us

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

My dearest family and friends,

What a delight it is to serve God! He lives! The Spirit is very much at work in this part of the Lords vineyard. There are miracles happening left and right, every moment of every day.

The other day we were going to visit a less active couple. Bishop asked us to go see them a couple weeks ago but we were unable to access their neighborhood until we had passes to get in. Sister Risenmay and I got the passes and finally went by. As we were looking up the address she looked at me and said that there was a woman named {C} that she taught at the beginning of her mission who got baptized. And she married a man with the last name we were looking at. They moved, but no one rally knew where. Come to find out when we arrived, it was them! This woman was one of Sister Risenmay's first recent converts. They were so happy to see each other. They ran and gave each other a big hug. The power of the original missionary is real. What a tender mercy for Sister Risenmay to be here to help {C} regain that spark for the gospel again.

One night we were driving with a young couple in the ward because we are saving on miles for our car, and they came with us to {SR}'s home. They have been investigating for a long time, and would be baptized by now if it weren't for something they're working towards. We haven't seen them in a while, and decided to at least try and set up a return appointment. Luckily, the couple who came out with us have been fellowshipping {SR}. They're pretty good friends. When we knocked on their door, no one was home. So we wrote a note on a sticky note. As I was about to finish the note, they pulled up. It was perfect timing. They had been gone all day, and {S} just felt like they needed to go check up on the house. Rudy was initially resisting, but {S} kept thinking about it, so they came and we were their. They let us right in and we had a great lesson. {S} offered the opening prayer and said something to the effect of, "Thank you for sending the Watsons and the missionaries. I find it strange that the Watson's came and I've been thinking about them. I've been thinking about the Book of Mormon and want to get back..." Etc... Talk about a miracle!! First of all, we asked the Watsons two hours in advance if they could come, and they did. Two of our appointments fell through that evening, and the timing was perfect for us to be there right when they pulled up. And they both want to be more diligent in learning and accepting the gospel! Amazing! The miracles have been countless this week. There has been so much progress in such a short amount of time.

This is right after MLC. We have a lot of Sister training leaders this transfer. :)

We also had the wonderful opportunity to attend MLC and learn from our leaders. We talked a lot about creating the culture of the mission. The culture that has been established by leaders before us and the culture we are striving to nurture and grow is that of steadiness, obedience, and love for God. In one word, consecration. This transfer Sister Risenmay and I are focused on helping our sisters establish that culture not just now for the mission, but for the rest of their lives. We have come in contact with too many return missionaries who forget the message that they once bore, and rather than trusting God, put their trust in the arm of flesh, and completely set aside what they once knew. It does not matter how far along we are on the straight and narrow path. Once we lose sight of the tree of life, which is Christ, we are no longer clinging to the rod of Iron., but lost in darkness. We want our sisters to understand the great importance of being obedient, steady and loving God forever. While remaining focused on our purpose here, there is also a greater purpose as to why we are here. A mission prepares us for life. We want our sisters to start thinking about life, and choose now whom they will serve. With all that is going on in this world, they cannot afford to forget who they serve.

To love God above man is true humility. When the time comes for me to find my own eternal companion, he must love God above me and above all things. For example, quite some time before I came on a mission I was reading a book that I was very drawn into. It was an exciting fantasy novel. I couldn't put it down. When I realized that I wanted to read that book more than my gospel study of the scriptures I knew immediately that it wasn't of God. Everything that is of God invites and entices us to love and serve him. Well, this book was actually drawing me away from studying the scriptures. Therefore, it was drawing me away from Christ. So I sent it back to the library without finishing it. The spirit taught me a powerful lesson from that experience that I will never forget.

Moroni 7:13
"But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God."

It brings me great comfort to know that as we rely on Christ and we are sound in his doctrine, we can have a perfect knowledge between good and evil. That is the righteous use of agency. Ultimate freedom comes from keeping Gods commandments and living in such a way that we have perfect agency. Or, perfect freedom to act for ourselves and not be acted upon. When we choose to sin rather then obey, we are actually limiting our own agency. That is abuse of the gift God has given us.

2 Nephi 10:23-24
"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves--to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved."

We have the power to choose. I choose Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sister Record

All in! Now, and forever. :)

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