Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Miracle Street

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

Dearest family and friends,

I know I say his every week, but this week has been spiritually edifying and full of miracles! We had another lesson with the {C} family in which we showed "A Savior is Born" and taught the plan of salvation. We decided to go over it again with Brother {C} present because he was on call the last time. It went incredibly well! The spirit was so strong in that room as the message of Gods plan for them rang true to their hearts. Throughout the lesson, we mentioned the need for baptism by proper authority. As we taught them about inheriting the Celestial kingdom we explained that this is where our families can live together forever with God. I think everyone's heart was pounding as we extended the baptismal invitation. It seemed as though eternity stood still as the words, "Will you be baptized as a family?" left the mouth a representative of Jesus Christ. I felt a chill in my bones at the thought that these words were coming out of my mouth, but was a unified invitation from both my companion and I. We turned to Brother {C}, as the patriarch of the home, for the answer. He turned to his wife, who's eyes welled up with tears. He took her hand and quietly asked, "What do you think?" There was a moment of powerful silence. Sister {C} whispered, "I want to be forever... We have to be forever." She cried even more. He lovingly put his hand on her cheek. Then they hugged. That was perhaps one of the most tender moments on my mission. As I reflect on this moment, I can feel all the same emotions that we did when we were there. He turned back to us and nodded his head. He said yes, and that he wanted this for his family.

I was also touched by the tenderness my companion showed towards them. She choked up as she described the love she has for her family, and how we have come here on our missions to help other families become eternal. Amen! I love Sister Risenmay dearly.

They came to church the very next day and were welcomed by the ward. They have already changed so much since we first met them. I am eternally grateful for the ward members reaching out to them. Investigators and less active members are often very fragile when they first start coming to church, so it is essential that they are properly cared for. The ward is doing a wonderful job at taking them under their wing.

We had the privilege of hearing from one of the Lords anointed, Elder Rafael E. Pino. He's of the quorum of the seventy and is one of Christ's special witnesses. I will never be same. He did a conference for the missionaries here in San Antonio and on the border, then another one for those in Austin. We also had a special leadership conference for the MLC to attend. It was a delight! He does speak English, but he chose to speak Spanish the entire time and have one of the elders interpret for him. In the San Antonio mission conference I was deeply impressed by the interpreting. Elder Piño was so patient and masterful at teaching us and his interpreter. The spirit taught me much as I watched the two of them. Elder Piño told us in English, "He is my voice. Direct your comments and questions to me." He told his interpreter to stand by him side by side, and say everything he says. He repeated the phrase "he is my voice" several times throughout.

Likewise, I am the voice of Christ. As are all who have entered into the covenant of baptism. We are not perfect at mimicking him. In fact, sometimes we translate wrong. But as we align ourselves with him, watch him carefully, and learn his ways, we become more and more like him. He can then trust us to really be his voice. Let's hope that we are living to the light we've been given so as not to misuse the opportunity to be the voice of Christ.

He says, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
(John 10:14, 27)

Do we know who our shepherd is? Do we truly follow him? Or do we just say that we follow him. What is a true follower of Christ? The answer is simple. Those who are are filled with charity, the pure love of Christ.

"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
"...pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ..."
(Moroni 7:45-48, emphasis added)

I know for myself that charity never fails. I have seen that again and again. It has turned stone hearts into soft clay. It has dispelled contention, and brought seemingly opposite personalities together in love and unity. Not only that, but it changes lives. I have felt him "fill me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh." (2 Nephi 4:21). May I say again with all of my heart, I am, because of him! He is my shepherd and I will heed his voice as well as be his voice for all to come and see.

Sister Record

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