This has been an exciting week for us here in our area and it has been an amazing blessing being able to work along side Elder Gardner. We have been learning many things from each other and have made quite a few memories here in the service of the Lord. It is such a blessing that we have to be able to share the gospel to all that are around us. Lately I have been developing a greater love for the scriptures as well as the words of latter-day prophets. It is truly amazing to find many hidden treasures of the gospel in the scriptures, especially in the Book of Mormon. The Savior extends to each of us an invitation: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39) How wonderful it is that we have the Book of Mormon which gives us another witness to the divinity and reality of our Savior, Jesus Christ: "And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good." (2 Nephi 33:10) Let us hearken unto the words of Christ and grow in the knowledge of his gospel. I know as we read from the Book of Mormon daily, we will have a greater light come into our lives and we will have the strength to endure our individual trials and challenges.
We have been making a lot of progress in finding less actives as well as people to teach through the active members here in this area. It has been a blessing being able to see the great faith of the members here and the fire that they have to share the message of the restoration of the gospel. It has been amazing being able to visit with the bishops from both wards in how we can further strengthen and uplift the wards here. One way in which we have been doing this is through teaching and giving service to the active members of the church. It has been pretty fun being able to help our Ward mission leader, Bro Chatland with building his patio in the back yard. It's pretty amazing the things you can learn on a mission. Not only do you learn many spiritual things but you can also learn many different skills in daily life. Being on a mission truly prepares you for life ahead.
On Friday, we had the opportunity to teach Ashley Nikolaus and read scriptures with her. It has been so amazing being able to see her read along with Bro. Nikolaus and to see the light of the gospel come into her life. Her testimony has grown immensely and we are praying that she will have the faith to make the decision to be baptized into the church. I know that the gospel is already blessing her life and the lives of those in her family. The truths of the gospel are here for all to be strengthened and to be guided on the path that leads us back to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
We were also able to visit James Nixon and talked about the importance of strengthening our seed of faith through reading the scriptures, praying, and attending church. I know as we do these things, we will strengthen and fortify our testimonies of the gospel. As we develop our testimonies upon the four cornerstones of faith: Jesus Christ, The Prophet Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon and the Restored church, our faith will become unshaken. We are praying that James will be able to exercise his faith and be able to come to church and experience the eternal blessings found in this church.
We also had the chance to visit with Lemoey Wiebush and talked about how we can be spiritually uplifted and fortified as we pray and fast together. We shared with him Helaman 3:35: "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." Our hearts are purified as we go to our Heavenly Father in humility and as we desire to align our will with his. We are able to feel of the influence of the spirit in greater abundance in our lives as we go to our Heavenly Father in prayer.
So far it has been an amazing birthday! It has been pretty special being able to share the gospel at this time in my life. I am so very thankful for the decision I made long ago to come on a mission. I am so very thankful for the testimony that I have and for the growth that I have made thus far. I know that this gospel is true. I know that my Redeemer lives. Joseph smith was called by our loving Heavenly Father to restore Christ's church again upon the earth. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and another testament of the divinity of our Savior. How blessed we are to be members of God's restored church here upon the earth.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes! I love you all so much. Hope you have a great week!