Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Missionary Work and the Atonement

This was a great week!  Filled with ups and downs and sideways and crisscrosses.  Actually it was just good.  I have had a cold for the past couple days so that makes life a little less fun but the work has been good!  It makes me grateful for how busy we are so we don't have to walk around much trying to stay busy; we can spend more time inside, sitting down, with water.  

Something cool that happened this week!  We have an investigator, Christina, who is getting baptized this Friday and she is sooooo excited.  Inviting everyone and anyone to come watch.  But she had some friends that fell onto some hard times (like losing their house and all their possessions....long story) and she has been helping them.  The wife is a member (very, very inactive) and her husband is agnostic.  Or was :)  They have been staying with Christina until they could find a place and we have been seeing Christina everyday so they have been sitting in on the lessons.  Well, through a series of events (not all unfortunate) they ended up coming to church to talk to the Bishop for some help.  They were able to find a house, get him a job, get some clothes and food for them and their two kids.  It was so wonderful!  AND they told us that since they have been sitting in on the lessons, they read the assignments we give to Christina every night as a family and have been praying together!!  Which is huge because when we first met them they, especially the husband, were super skeptical of the church, especially of missionaries, and didn't really believe in God.  Christina even got the husband to agree to pray at her baptism.  She tells everyone that she "missionaried him".  Super funny!  AND yesterday we were over there and he told us that he and his daughter (who just turned 9) want to be baptized!  Such a miracle; totally took us by surprise.  They don't live in our area anymore but we handed them over to the missionaries in Reno and they are on fire.  Hopefully we still see them though!  It was a really cool experience though.  Again, just that affirmation people can change and the gospel is for everyone.

The highlight of my week this week was Zone Conference.  Probably the best one I have had on my mission and I kind of wish I would have had it earlier!  But c'est la vie.  At least I got it now!  It was so great because it was ALL about the Atonement which is the most amazing thing in the world.  Literally.  It was based on the talk by Jeffrey R. Holland called Missionary Work and the Atonement.  You should read it.  While I was reading it, and while in conference, something really hit me about the Book of Mormon.  I have always known that it is a powerful book and that it is a miracle producing book but I have never really realized why that was.  I'm a bit slow but I finally realized it!!  The first thing we must have is faith in Jesus Christ.  When we have that (and continue to build that faith) it leads to action, mainly, a deep and lasting conversion.  Well, the Book of Mormon is nothing but prophets’ testimonies of our Savior!  What better way to build our faith then to read about Jesus Christ, His role as our Redeemer, and how He lived and what He did while on the earth?  The Bible of course talks about Him but the Book of Mormon mentions Him even more times than the New Testament and is that additional witness that He did live and did love us.  That's why we are told that the Book of Mormon is the capstone of our religion.  It holds everything together and encourages an abiding testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. One of my favorite quotes in the talk is:

"There are several reasons for bearing testimony. One is that when you declare the truth, it will bring an echo, a memory, even if it is an unconscious memory to the investigator, that they have heard this truth before and of course they have. A missionary’s testimony invokes agreat legacy of testimony dating back to the councils in heaven before this world was. There, in an earlier place, these same people heard this same plan outlined and heard there the role that Jesus Christ would play in their salvation."

Again, that is why the Book of Mormon is so crucial!  It's a compilation of testimonies from prophets who have actually seen the Savior and can testify with a sure knowledge of what He has done for us and the Plan that His acts fulfilled.  What's more powerful than that?? Don't know why it took me twenty-two years to figure that out but I'm glad it finally hit me!  I feel like that was kind of scattered so hopefully it makes sense.  I was just so excited when that light bulb went off!! :)

I hope everyone is well and enjoying the fall in the air and school and everything like that!  (p.s. Walmart is already bringing out their Halloween things, how depressing is that?!)  But anywho, have a great week and don't do anything I wouldn't do!


Sis. Rae

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