Dear Family and Friends,
What a great week! It has been such a blessing working here in this area especially with my companion Elder Markman. The more that I strengthen my knowledge of the gospel, the more my desires have been to share it with others. It is such a blessing in helping others feel of the light of the Gospel and in the peace that comes through our Savior's mercy. One scripture that I enjoyed in my studies is in Alma 34:32 "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."
How do we prepare in this life to meet our Heavenly Father and to return to His presence? For me I have found that the simple things that we do everyday such as praying personally and with our families and scripture study builds upon our gospel foundation and strengthens our ability to endure to the end, and in many cases we should 'Enjoy' the gospel to the end. Attending church, going to the temple, family history work and fulfilling and magnifying our callings also brings us added power into our lives. As we do these things, we will truly be prepared to live in God's presence with a fulness of happiness and joy.
Monday, we had a great lesson with Salvador Nassari where we discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been such a blessing for me to see his interest in the Book of Mormon grow and for the light and understanding that he has been receiving. We extended a baptismal invitation to him but he said that he wants to pray about his decision and continue meeting with us in learning more about the restoration. I know as he prays sincerely with real intent, he will know of the truthfulness of the gospel. I am truly amazed for the love that he has for his faith and for his desire to grow in his love for the Lord and in his teachings.
On Tuesday, Elder White, one of our zone leaders and I were able to go on exchanges and we had a great time biking in our area and in contacting a few potential investigators. I was surprised at how much we biked that day. The weather has been cool but it has been starting to get hotter again. It was pretty hilarious the next morning we both had a tough time getting out of bed because of our bike ride. I am starting to love the bikes more and more and it is a very neat experience being able to converse more with others here in our area. It has been a great blessing for us to have such great leaders who are mindful of our areas and in helping us reach our potential and in achieving our goals.
Wednesday was amazing! We had our Zone conference and we were able to hear more council from President and Sister Polley as well as the assistants and lead sister training leaders. The Spirit was very strong and I continue to reflect on the great blessing of being a missionary and in the importance in sharing the gospel to those who will receive it. President Polley gave a wonderful training on our areas being similar to a garden. We should look for areas where we could beautify and nourish the activity and progress of our individual areas of missionary work. He further invited us to 'Walk the Garden' and find ways in which we can help those in our areas come to a better understanding of the gospel and of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Elder McDonald, one of the assistants, talked about how we can strengthen our vision of the gospel as we study from the resources of the church, emphasizing the inspiring manual, Preach My Gospel. I know as we utilize Preach My Gospel in our studies as well as in our callings, we will grow in our knowledge of the gospel and will strengthen our testimonies immensely. Sister Waite gave a great training as well about 'Seeing with new eyes' in the scriptures and in Preach My Gospel. We can always gain new insights and knowledge as we prayerfully study with the spirit. Throughout the whole conference, I truly thought about our purpose in missionary work and the great importance that it is to remain worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and to always heed his council. As we do so in our own lives, we will have the ability to endure trials at greater ease and with the help of our Heavenly Father.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about the importance of the Book of Mormon and its purpose in our lives. How amazing it is that we have more of God's word in our lives and that we have it so accessible in our world today. Book of Mormon prophets truly wrote to persuade us to believe in Christ and to live and apply his gospel. I love the spirit that comes through reading the title page and the introduction of the Book of Mormon. In the introduction, Joseph Smith said, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I know not only as we read from the Book of Mormon, but as we incorporate its teachings into our lives, we will see great changes in our lives and we will grow in our testimonies of our Savior and in His Atoning sacrifice. I would like to invite you all to ponder in your hearts the purpose of the Book of Mormon for you personally and for its impact that it has had on your life. I know that it is true. It was translated by a prophet of God and was given as a road map for us here on earth, to learn of our Heavenly Father and His ways and how we can return to His presence after this life. I know as you read, ponder, and pray about its message, you too will know that it is true.
Thank you for all of the prayers. I can't express how thankful I am for the great family and friends that I have. Hope you have an amazing summer!