Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"The Lord caused stones to shine in darkness" (September 4, 2017)

Happy September!! I can't believe summer is already over.

The temple was so lovely last week. I feel so blessed we have the St. Paul Temple just a half hour away and that we had the opportunity to go. Go to the temple! If not now, soon!
We taught Jesus the gospel of Jesus Christ, almost all the commandments, and prepared him for the baptismal interview this week. And he passed his interview today, so we are so excited for his baptism next Sunday! He doesn't say much, definitely more softspoken, but when he bears testimony of truth it is so powerful. I know he knows it, and that this is most definitely what he wants and has prayerfully come to a knowledge of for himself. 

We found this amazing woman last week, Liz. We were knocking doors, and thought it was a Hispanic family. Turns out she's not Hispanic, but she let us right in, and we explained our purpose as missionaries. She talked about how she is looking for ways to better teach her kids about Christ and raise them in religion and finding good resources to do that. We were able to explain a little about the church, and set a return appointment. Then this week we had a lesson with her and all her kids, and they know all the Bible stories about Christ, it was so cool to ask them why Jesus Christ is important to see all the knowledge these little kids have. She had a lot of stereotypes about Mormons in her mind, but we were able to answer a lot of her questions and establish the truth of what we believe, and she was really interested. She even asked us if she could read the Book of Mormon. And she has so many questions she hasn't been able to answer with other religions, and we were able to just touch on a few things, and she really understood and we could tell it was making sense to her and she was feeling the spirit. Sad news is though, because she doesn't speak Spanish we have to refer her to the Elders now...but it was amazing seeing how ready she is for the gospel. 
The other miracle this week was Alex got baptized! You remember Alex and Ana from West St. Paul? Well yep, he finally got baptized today and we got to go and it was so incredible. It was so happy seeing all the members from St. Paul again whom I love so so so much. And his baptism was incredible. By the time I to St. Paul, he had already made a lot of changes in his life to be ready for the gospel, but it was cool to get to hear him share a bit of his story and how the gospel has truly changed his heart. So happy for their family, and that we got to go!

Exciting news, our mission is getting Facebook! Mixed feelings about this, but we're excited about the new opportunities it will open up as we are able to contact more people and prevent people from slipping through the cracks. 

The Book of Ether is so amazing for so many reasons. It is an inspired message for our day, as a civilization is destroyed by their iniquity and refusal to repent, and as Moroni shares it with us as he has just witnessed the same thing occur to his people. And he exhorts us to have faith, and to remember Christ, because it is so easy to fall into the trappings of the world and forget what is truly important. This week also in reading about the Brother of Jared, I loved Ether 6:3 

"And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness" 
I am studying for patterns of light in the Book of Mormon right now, so this verse really stuck out to me. And the relation of this scripture and the story of the Brother of Jared to the Plan of Salvation. They had to cross the great waters to get to the promised land. There was no way around that. Just as this life is a very necessary, and critical part of our eternal experience. But in both cases, Heavenly Father did not want us to have to do it alone. To the Jaredites, he caused stones to shine in darkness to give light unto them. He took something ordinary, and made it divine. So many things in life that may otherwise appear ordinary are what lead us to God. Books of scripture written by the holy prophets to help us understand the gospel. Men called to be prophets, to speak with God and help us understand his will. And He sent his son, born in humble circumstances, who lived a life only in the service of his fellow men, and who may have appeared to just be an ordinary man, as any other stone might appear. But he atoned for our sins, and he died on the cross, and three days later he rose again, as no one else could. Not just a stone, but He is the cornerstone. He is the rock on which we must build, and where if we do, we shall never fall. He is our light, so that we need not "cross the great waters in darkness."

I LOVE the Book of Mormon so much. I LOVE being a missionary. I have found so much incomparable joy serving these people I love so much. There is no better work.

Thank you for the love and support! I love each of you with all of my heart ❤

We love to see the temple!
I got to see all my best friends from the YW in St. Paul again!
And Alex's baptism!

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