I couldn't believe it when I first heard about it. Ah. I just can't.And Blackstar topped Adele's 25 on the charts?? That's unbelievable!! Is it a good album? I can't wait to hear it.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Jan. 18, 2016
This week was so much better than the last one. It was kind of a new start for Elder Jones and I. We did a lot of tracting and found a couple of really promising new investigators. Time is just going by so fast. I can't believe that I've been in the field for more than a month already. Anyway, we just keep working hard and the Lord is really blessing us. Perseverance is the key.
Monday, January 11, 2016
So.This was probably the hardest week of my mission so far. I don't want to be overly pessimistic, because I feel like I always make my mission sound like a horrible experience and it's really not. It's amazing, I can hardly describe how much I am learning. I feel like God is making me so much more every day. I'm learning to be a more fully realized, assertive person. If you want to learn 10+ years of life experience in 2 years, try going on a mission. The thing is, oftentimes you learn things kind of the hard way. (meaning from actual experience!) Nothing has ever been more worth it though.
Other things in the week were awesome, though. The members of the Sealy 1st branch (which is about 125 [active] members) are starting to get so into missionary work. Yesterday in the Gospel Principles class they just discussed activities they could do to help people learn about the LDS church and their ideas were just so good. It made me really excited. This week is a new start and I am really looking forward to what comes of this new attitude among the members. They're so awesome. I wish you all could meet them.
Anyway, on "anti-Mormon" "literature": Members of the Church have a pretty easy time dismissing the writings online as "all lies". And I do believe many things are lies that you can find on the internet. People who leave the Church are often really angry about it. They might have been offended by some teaching, or by how they were treated at church meetings. Or, they might just feel bitter because they feel like they've been lied to their whole lives. (Oftentimes that bitterness is what drives me away from anti-Mormon writings. They claim so often to be completely over it and yet when they speak about the Church all it seems they are able to do is mock it, or just degrade it in any way they can.)
But, do some people have concerns about Joseph Smith, the history of the Church, or the doctrines of the Church that are completely valid? Yes. And oftentimes, as they seek to learn all they can about those things, they (tragically) lose sight of The One Thing.
The Book of Mormon is that One Thing. It's why I went on a mission in the first place. I had questions - and knew things - that made me question the authenticity of Joseph Smith's prophethood and of the validity of "his" Church. But the more I learned about church history, from reading Joseph Smith's biography and things like that, the less sure I felt about things. I didn't know if I could come to find any kind of "yes" or "no" answer about it for myself.
I experienced that because I had lost sight of the One Thing - because a testimony of the Book of Mormon is necessary in order to know if the Church is true or not. It's because scholars can be wrong, but the spiritual witness you can receive regarding the Book of Mormon is real proof. I've heard a couple of people dismiss spiritual feelings as mere emotions - of course you believe that you are "saved" because the idea of having your sins washed away feels good! It's appealing to your mind! And that can be true. I think people get the Spirit and regular emotions mixed up pretty often, both within and without the LDS church.
But I know the Book of Mormon is true. The spiritual witness I have received of it - multiple times - is absolutely unmistakable. There is no feeling that exists like it. I know it is of God.
So yep. Here comes some super preachyness but it's my job. Read the Book of Mormon. The Lord has promised that He will reveal its truthfulness to you and He always keeps his promises (according to your sincerity and your motives, of course).
I hope you guys' lives are going awesome. I'm about out of time so, that's it. Sorry to everyone who I didn't have time to e-mail back. I'll try to fit it in next week, haha..
yep! I love you all.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Hey everyone. Sorry for missing a week of e-mails; the last P-Day was really busy because we had a lesson planned really early in the day so it kind of messed up our actual P-Day activities. But things here in Sealy have been great. Elder Jones and I just keep on going and we're getting some good work done, I think. The Lord is really paying attention to what we're doing. He has really blessed us in the work that we are doing.
I only have a few minutes left because the library here in Bellville limits your time on the computer. So, all I really have to say is that God is blessing us a lot. I'm trying to gain a spiritual conviction that Joseph Smith was a prophet, so that I can teach and testify more powerfully. I know the Book of Mormon is true, every time I read it I can feel it (which is really something else, just, it's so good.) but for some reason I just haven't made the connection to Joseph Smith yet. It's coming pretty slowly but I think that's a good thing. I don't want to just convince myself that it's true by repeating it over and over. Anyway, we have just been working really hard. There have been a few days where I felt really overwhelmed and stressed out because we just had to do so much. Then at sacrament meeting this week we had six investigators show up, which was more than we had expected. I just had a distinct impression that it had happened because Elder Jones and I had tried so hard to fulfill our duties and press forward despite the stress. We got three referrals in the past two days as well, which never happens. It all feels pretty miraculous.
There's so much more I want to tell all of you but I'm out of time. I know the gospel changes lives. I'm so excited to keep moving forward and to work hard and even to face the stress. I want to change lives and I can't wait to see what comes of all the work here in Sealy. It's not me, nor Elder Jones, who change lives, though. It's the investigators who change themselves and the Lord who gives them the ability to do it. All we are is messengers. It's pretty amazing.
I hope you all are doing well and that life is going your way. I love you all. (Please email me and keep me updated on life!)