Monday, October 26, 2015

With his stripes we are healed.

Howdy from Texas! This has been a very humbling week for me and I am so very thankful for the gospel in my life. As I have pondered my ponderize scripture through out this past week, I have felt of my Savior's love in so many ways. I know that he is the way, the truth, and the life. This scripture led me to ponderize Isaiah 53:3-5 for this next week. It is:

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I know that through the saviors infinite and eternal sacrifice, we can be forgiven of our sins and enjoy the blessings of the gospel in this life and to live with our Heavenly Father again someday. He truly knows all our pains and weaknesses and desires us to come unto him and to put our trust and faith in him. I am so very thankful for his tender mercies in my life.

Elder Christensen and I had an awesome opportunity to do a companionship exchange with our zone leaders this past Tuesday! I went with Elder McDonald and Elder Christensen went with Elder Evans.  Companionship exchanges are where we change companions for 24 hours and learn from each other in our different areas. It was cool being able to go with Elder McDonald and see the investigators that he had and to meet some of the members in the Las Palmas ward too. Our zone leaders are awesome! I have learned so much from them and have been incredibly blessed with their service in the south zone.

We continue to work a lot with the less active members and strive to help them be more active in church. We have been doing really well with planning out our days and on how we will use our time most effectively. We haven't had too many appointments this past week with our current investigators because of this assignment but we have been getting a lot of new investigators through our findings with the less actives. There is so much to do! I love it though, it is nice to keep busy and to progress in the work of the Lord.

We have still been going by Brian and Greg. Greg was on the fence a few weeks ago about being baptized and said he wasn't quite ready yet. We still want to keep in touch with him and to help him all that we can. Brian has been progressing a lot! We were able to teach him a few times this past week and has accepted a baptismal date for the 7th of November! I am so very excited to be able to see him get baptized and to experience the blessings of living the gospel.

The weather here has been pretty rainy! We were caught in a huge rain storm on our bikes coming back from one of our areas! Ha ha we enjoyed the rain while it lasted. It is starting to cool down a bit but occasionally gets up to the 90's. I heard the winters here are pretty chilly because of the humidity so I am enjoying the warmth while it lasts.

Yesterday was a very spiritual day for me. I had the opportunity to bless the bread in sacrament meeting. Being able to do that helped  strengthen my testimony of the savior and his Atonement. As I have been out on my mission, I have gained so much strength in partaking of the sacrament by being spiritually renewed and fortified for the coming week. I know as we partake of the sacrament, we will be able draw closer to our savior and increase our love for him. We will gain a greater reverence for his infinite atonement.

Thanks for all the pictures mom! It's great being able to see familiar faces back home. :) thanks for all the emails and for being able to hear back from home. Thanks grandma for the pictures! Everything is going good in south Texas :) Have an awesome week!

Love you all!!!

Elder Munro

 Elder Christensen, Elder Hansen, Elder Nielsen, Elder McDonald, Elder Munro, Elder Evans - 10th Ward District

Monday, October 19, 2015

I am the way, the truth, and the life...

Howdy from Texas! This past week has been a pretty uplifting and humbling week for me. I have strengthened my testimony of the Savior's atonement tremendously and I am so very thankful for his tender mercies in my life.

My Ponderize scripture for this next week will be John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. This scripture means so much to me. I know that the only way back to our Heavenly Father is through our Savior's atonement and grace. He is the way to eternal life and is the source of all truth. Through the power of his atonement, we can receive everlasting life and be able to experience the joys of living in our Heavenly Father's presence again someday.

This past Tuesday we had the chance to have our zone meeting with President Slaughter. It was amazing! Many of the speakers were from our zone and talked about many different things that would benefit us in becoming better missionaries. The topic that President Slaughter shared during our meeting was Blessings and Healings. He talked about how the healing that we receive through blessings are predicated upon our faith and trust in the Lord's healing power and will for us. One of the sisters in our zone talked about having enduring conversion in and after our missions. One of the biggest things that I have focused on here in my mission is being truly converted to the gospel. I am so very thankful that I have this opportunity to learn and progress in the gospel and to be able to continue developing my testimony and love for the gospel. One of our zone leaders had a really spiritual message as well. He talked about the characteristic of being consecrated. He talked about how sacrifice is a major part in being consecrated. To be consecrated is to dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose. As missionaries, we dedicate these two years to the Lord and consecrate our actions to how he would act if he were here. I know as I live a more consecrated life here in the mission field, I will be able to see blessings and miracles all around me. I want to continue to live a consecrated life after my mission.

This past week has been a little different than the previous weeks before. We put a lot of focus on the less active / member families and extended invitations through being more active in the gospel and receiving temple blessings. We also got a new investigator this past week who is Brian. He was introduced to us by the zone leaders at church while they were attending the Spanish ward. The funny thing is he doesn't speak Spanish! Haha he goes with a family who he is living with and has the oldest roughly translate for him. Because we are the English elders in our area, we were able to start giving him the missionary lessons. We taught him the restoration this past Tuesday and he says he is ready to be baptized! We are really excited to continue teaching him and to see him progress and develop his testimony. We want to continue to help him prepare for baptism this next week.

Throughout this past week we invited our investigators and less actives to the open house we had at the church this past Saturday. With all our efforts, not many were able to make it, but we all were still edified in continuing to share the gospel and to bring souls unto Christ.

The culture here is great! The people here are very nice and are always willing to help with whatever you need. The food here is amazing! The barbecue they have is to die for! Every time we bike through our area at night, we can always smell Texas barbecue.

Even though it is October, it still gets pretty hot and gets up to the high 90's. It has been a pretty hot change but its been really good.

This is kind of a short email but I am so thankful for all the emails that you guys send me. They have brought me a lot of happiness to know that all is well back at home. I have been having such an amazing experience and it has all been going by so fast! I want to be able to enjoy it as much as i can. It is truly a blessing to be a missionary.

Love you all!
Elder Munro

Monday, October 12, 2015

Finding the Lost Sheep

Howdy from Texas! This past week has been really great and I have been strengthening my testimony of the Savior and his work tremendously. I continue to develop a greater desire to help others come unto Christ and to experience the joy that I have in living the gospel. I strive to increase my teaching skills in every visit and to allow the spirit to be the ultimate teacher and to teach in the Lord's way. Even in the simplest conversations with others, I am starting to feel of the great blessing of having the gift of charity which is the pure love of Christ.

My ponderize scripture for this past week was Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." I really liked this scripture because of the need that we have to fully rely on our Heavenly Father and to trust In his strength, that we can overcome all things through him. I know that because we are weak, we are able to be humbled and brought low so that we can strengthen our faith in the enabling power of the Atonement. My ponderize scripture for this week will be D&C 19:23 "Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me". I love this scripture because of our need to increase our love for the Savior so that we are able to more fully follow him and to be true disciples. I know as we follow the Savior in all that we do, we will truly find greater ability to overcome challenges and trials and to have peace in this life and in the world to come.

We have been doing really good in this area! At times we don't have time to go tracting because of the overload of referrals we get! Right after conference we got an assignment called "Finding the lost sheep" where we go to less active members and help and invite them to receive temple recommends so that they can enjoy the blessings of the temple and to be more involved with the ward and the gospel. We have been doing pretty good with this assignment. At times many families are not home for us to see but we get to know a lot of people from the area who share similar beliefs.

This past Tuesday for our service we had the chance to help the workers at the food bank help prepare boxes for shipment to families in need. That was a pretty cool experience and I hope I will be able to go back a few more times in the coming weeks.

Throughout this past week we have been helping Greg Gallardo with preparing for his baptism this coming Saturday! He was a previous investigator that my companion had on his previous transfer in this area. Even though I didn't teach him much about the gospel, I am so excited to be able to be at his baptism and to support him. He has a strong desire to be a member and to join the rest of his immediate family who are members too.

For a few days this past week, we had the chance to teach Juan Alcorta. He is a really skilled painter and makes signs for companies and little businesses in our area. It's pretty interesting being able to see others views on religion and how they strengthen there faith in everyday life. Each visit that we go by him, he always says how much he feels strengthened in his beliefs and in his relationship with our Heavenly Father as we teach the doctrines and principles found in the gospel.

I feel so much joy in being able to preach the gospel and to help others come into the knowledge of the gospel and the joy and safety that it brings. Even in street contacting, I feel a great love for the people and desire them to treasure up the teachings of our Savior and His gospel. As I have been teaching through out this past week, I have gained a greater perspective on the importance of listening to others and listening to the spirit. I have felt of the great importance in bearing testimony of the gospel and for what we know to be true. I am so very thankful for my testimony and for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost so that i can continue to strengthen my testimony and to ultimately be converted to the Lord.

We also had the opportunity to have a meeting with all the missionary trainers and us trainees. We talked about the importance in learning the fundamentals of the church and that we need to learn how the church works in order to further build up the kingdom of God on the earth. We also talked about how through the enabling power of the atonement, we can overcome our weaknesses as missionaries. Through our faith and humility, weak things will become strong in our lives. Afterwards we talked about how to better set language goals as missionaries in order to be better teachers and to achieve greater success in our missions. At the end of our meetings, we talked about the amazing opportunity to serve a mission and how it will not only bless the lives of those we teach, but that through our desires, we will be able to return home truly converted to the Lord and His gospel. I desire with all my heart to be converted to the Lord and to keep the faith.

I am so very thankful for the opportunity that we had yesterday to attend church and to partake of the sacrament. Though I loved general conference last week, partaking of the sacrament meant so much to me this week because of the renewal of the covenants that I made at baptism. It means so much to me to be able to remember the atoning sacrifice of our Savior and to ponder his tender mercies in our lives. I loved the saying where we go to church not because we are perfect, but because we desire to be healed. I am so very thankful for my Savior and for his tender mercies in my life, he truly is the Savior and redeemer of the world. He is always there and His atonement is available to each of us.

Thank you for all the emails! I love getting them through out the week and hearing back from home! Pictures will be on the way! You all mean so much to me! Love you all!


Elder Munro

Monday, October 5, 2015

I made it!

October 5, 2015

Yeehaaahh! I made it to San Antonio Texas and back to the United States!

This past week has been such an amazing week and I am so very thankful for this time in my life that I have to be able to serve a mission. I have already seen the blessings come into my life and I know that it is because I am serving a mission.

As we got off the plane in the San Antonio airport, we were able to meet President Slaughter and a few of the missionaries that came to greet us. It was really amazing being able to see the other missionaries at the airport and feeling the excitement build up as we were ready to serve the Lord.

After we got back to the mission office and had lunch, we were able to go to the Alamo and pass out Book of Mormons to those who were there. It was an awesome experience being able to follow the spirit and to share the knowledge of the gospel and the importance of the Book of Mormon. It was exciting to be able to pass out the Book of Mormons because of the love that I feel towards the gospel and the testimony that I have of my Savior.

Afterwards we had the chance to go to the mission home and have dinner with the president and his wife. They are true disciples of the Lord and have a strong desire to serve Him. I am so very thankful to receive counsel and direction from them and to work alongside them. After dinner we talked about some of the fundamentals to greeting and approaching others and how to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. We got to learn more about the president and his wife and their desires in serving in the Texas San Antonio area.

After that first day, I had felt such an excitement and joy and I knew that I was going to have an amazing mission experience and that it would change my life forever. On Thursday, we were able to get our new companions as well as our new areas were we will be serving for the next 6 weeks. After we got our supplies we were able to meet in the chapel and hear all the secretaries and the presidency of the mission bear their testimonies of the gospel and missionary work.

Soon afterwards they started to call out our companions and the areas we would be serving in. My companion and trainer is Elder Christensen and we both will be serving in the San Antonio South area for the next 6 weeks. I am so very thankful for my companion because of the example he is to me in living the gospel and being a servant of the Lord. He's been out for around 11 months and loves sports and the outdoors.

As soon as the meeting ended, we packed up and headed over to our new area. After we got our stuff unloaded at our apartment, we started to bike to our progressing investigators that my companion had before our current transfer. I was able to meet Joseph Mejia who we talked about prophets and the importance of having priesthood authority on the earth with. We also talked to him about General Conference that was coming up and the opportunity we have to hear counsel from our prophet and apostles. Afterwards we were able to bike around the area to our other contacts and investigators. Though it was nice being in a new culture at the Mexico MTC, I am so glad to be back in the U.S!

It has felt like every time I have been able to find someone on the street or to see someone outside their house and just say hello and see how they are doing it brings joy to my soul and I feel of the importance of my calling and how important this work truly is. On our bike ride home that night, I couldn't stop thinking about how thankful I was to my Heavenly Father for this amazing life changing opportunity to be serving a mission. I want to be able to use the time that I have on my mission to strengthen others and to help others come unto Christ and to feel of the peace and joy that comes from the gospel. I am so very thankful for the opportunity that we have had these past few days to be able to watch General conference and to hear from our prophet and our apostles. I really enjoyed how many of the talks have counsel in finding safety in the gospel and standing firm in our beliefs. I know there is safety in the gospel and as we live it, we will be blessed to face the challenges and trials that we have in our lives.

Yesterday after conference we were able to stop by a home that we had received as a referral to give them a message. As we gave a lesson on the Restoration, I could feel of the spirit and knew that He was there testifying of our message. When it came to my turn to share a few points of the lesson, I felt as though Heavenly Father was guiding me and helping me to know what words I needed to say just like the scripture in D&C 84:85. I am so thankful for the influence of the spirit in my life and for the help that it gives us in our teaching abilities. I am so very thankful for this gospel. I am also thankful for the time that we have to be able to study and to increase our testimonies as we are out in the field. As I continue to preach the gospel every day, I gain more and more an understanding of the purpose of why we are out here and how sacred this calling is to me.

Mom, thank you for the awesome package you got me!! I love the picture!! That scripture means a lot to me and I know as I live worthy of the spirit in my life, I will be able to help others feel of that same spirit as well as the love of Christ. I hope all is well back home and I hope you know how much I love you. I continue to increase my love for you guys and I am so very thankful for the strength that you give me. There is so much that I want to say but words cannot express how happy I am to be out here. I want you all to know how thankful I am to have an eternal family so that we can live together for eternity. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers and know that my Heavenly Father is watching over me. Continue to treasure the gospel and the light of Jesus Christ, he will never lead us astray. Love you all!!

Elder Munro

Mom: My p-day will be on Mondays. I will be able to read emails throughout the week but I can't send any until my next p day. Love you!!

Safe Arrival!

September 30, 2015
(From President Slaughter)

Just a quick note to tell you that we are excited to have received your missionary safe and sound to the great Texas San Antonio Mission.  They are off to the Alamo to learn why Texans love Texas and then to do a little street contacting.  We will then have an authentic Texas BBQ back at the mission home.  Tomorrow, after a good night's sleep, everyone will learn of their new area and meet their companions.  We will update you more later.

James E Slaughter
President, Texas San Antonio Mission