Monday, January 4, 2016

So Great a Cause!

Area: Leon Valley/9th Ward
Companion: Sister Nicholette Scott

Dear family and friends,

What does it mean to live the gospel? To answer that question allow me to pose another question. What is the gospel? We could rack our minds for the perfect definition of the gospel of Jesus Christ and make it flowery and poetic. But the gospel is very simple. So simple that a young child could comprehend it. It is this: Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

This doctrine is stated again and again in the scriptures.

"...I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism--yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
"...He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."
(2 Nephi 31:13, 15)

To endure to the end means to continually exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, renew our covenants, and choose to receive the Holy Ghost. This has become very real to me this past week. Especially the past couple days. To live the gospel means to endure to the end. As I have been studying and learning this principle for myself, it was a glorious experience to partake of the sacrament yesterday. The renewal I felt was beyond description. I now know what it means to live the gospel. And I love it.

Our purpose as missionaries is to preach the gospel! Which is what has been stated above. While we were sitting outside the pharmacy a couple days ago waiting for a pharmacist to show up, a woman approached and was also waiting. We were updating some digital records at the time, but I could sense that she was curious about who we were. I was distinctly aware that she was watching us. I turned to her and began a casual conversation. I simply asked if she had had a happy new year. She smiled and said that she did. I told her we did as well and explained that we were on church missions. I went on to explain that on a mission we have the opportunity to serve people everyday and teach about Jesus Christ. She seemed sincerely touched and said, "Oh, that is very good!". I asked her if she had a faith in Christ. She replied that she did and that she was raised with a faith in him. That eventually led to us inviting her to come to church. We had a wonderful conversation with her and ended up writing the address to the church down and giving it to her. For that brief moment in the store, we were able to preach the gospel to someone "by the way". Meaning, wherever we're at and whatever people come into our path. It was so simple. There are times when it might not be appropriate to approach someone and begin teaching them the entire first lesson, but we can be friendly, lift them where they are, and invite them to come unto Christ. Such was this experience.

Last Monday we met a less active member who is going through a lot. We were without a car for the time being, so we walked. We stopped by several people but none were home. Finally we got to {A}'s home. She is an older woman who has a lot on her plate right now. Shortly after we had arrived she received a phone call of sad news from her sister, who's health is failing. She hung up the phone and began to cry. We were there to comfort her. We bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon, and the solace it brings to the storms of life. We gently discussed that more important than temporal welfare is spiritual welfare. She agreed. We boldly invited her to come back to the fold of God and attend church with us the following Sunday. Again, she agreed. It was touching to see the light grow in her eyes as the fire of the restoration burned deep in our own. It is my hope that others will always be able to warm theirs hands by my bonfire. To help illustrate the message of the Book of Mormon, we shared a video of the testimony of a special witness of Jesus Christ. It is stirring to hear this apostle, Jeffery R. Holland testify of the living reality of this book. Which is indeed the very word of God. The Book of Mormon is true and is the tool by which God is gathering his people. I have been gathered and will never turn back. Now it is my duty to assist in gathering others.

Testimony from an Apostle of Jesus Christ

May we remember the words of the prophet Joseph Smith who said,

"shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage brethren [and sisters]; and on, on to victory! Let your hearts rejoice and be exceedingly glad... For the prisoners shall go free." (D&C 128:22)

I am ready to preach the gospel!

Sister Record


This was a very cold night. I think the chill is beginning to set in here in Texas. :)
I feel so blessed to have been invited to attend MLC. It was incredible to discuss our vision as a mission. Even though I don't have the same kind of stewardship that I did before, it was neat to see how everything still applies.

The "quadpanionship". Previous south zone leadership. Let me tell you, this was a powerful team! Unbelievable miracles happened when we all were together. Interestingly enough, all four of us were unassigned. I think President Slaughter is  trying to teach us something important... (Left to right: Elder MacDonald, Elder  Evans, Sister Risenmay, Sister Record)

Sister Pito and I

The Sister's at MLC! Sister Risenmay and I got to be companions again. :)