Sunday, October 12, 2014

Letter Dated October 6, 2014 - Butler Rocks

Well friends and family,
I love my mission! Words can't express the joy that I feel that comes through missionary work! Didn't you just love that story that Elder Bednar told yesterday about his sons? I loved how perfectly it described the way we want to share the gospel.  Just like the little boy who found relief and comfort through his older brother cleansing his owies, applying ointment, and protection with bandages, we too find relief and comfort in the gospel.    And once we feel that joy of the gospel, and the effects it has on us, we desire to share that with others, we desire for others to feel the redeeming effects of the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Or to use Elder Bednar's example, we desire to share our bandages and ointment with all of our friends. :) The gospel is true my friends! and the joy that truly is felt as we become more converted is very real, and life changing! I know this church is true, and we are lead today by very inspired men, called of God. They truly are our Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.  How awesome was that to be so uplifted through General Conference this past weekend. :) we truly are so blessed!
So, some very exciting news going on here in the Butler ward....we're going to have a baptism! :) Remember a while ago the story that I shared with all of you about the man, T is what we called him, that just broke down during one of our lessons and we finally discovered his concern? Well, T is getting baptized! We had some very awesome lessons with him, and he shared with us that he's finally receiving answers to his questions that he's had for such a long time. 
We had a lesson with him last Saturday (so the Saturday before conference) and during the lesson he told us he was going to be baptized, so Sister Jones and I asked him when.  And he mentioned he wanted to do it soon, because he knew transfers would be here sooner, rather than later, and wanted to be baptized before Sister Jones and I left.  He made sure to let us know, that he always knew that the church was true, he was just waiting for the right two missionaries to come along. :)  but he also had many other awesome missionaries that helped him in the process of softening his heart to be prepared for this time...and for that I am sooooo grateful! But he told us that he would tell us when he was ready, so we mentioned if he wanted to be baptized before the transfer, all the things he would need to accomplish and the lessons we'd need to complete. We told him that we'd need to be meeting twice a week, and not just on Saturdays, his response to that was that he likes to learn on Saturday and then think about what he taught on that just wouldn't work.  We told him that he would need a little help with additional commandments, and he told us he'd live them when he was ready to live in short...T wanted to be baptized, but wasn't quite ready to make the commitment of doing the things it took to get there in the time he wanted to.  Which was okay, we didn't want to be shoving T into the baptismal font kicking and screaming :) haha We know how important it is, and that baptism is a covenant we make with Heavenly Father that we commit to live, and keep forever, so it is very important that they truly desire to be baptized and make the steps it takes to get there according to THEIR desire. So, we left it at that, though we still had an awesome lesson with him. 
The next day after church, we got a call from his wife asking us to please come down as soon as we can, that there is an emergency and T would really like us to be there. So as soon as we were able, we were at their house. We were told that T had a very sacred, special experience that night after we left, that had given him a total change of heart. And Sunday morning he had received a blessing from his father-in-law and close family friend, and was told to step it up, and be prepared to enter into the covenant of baptism. This time when we got there, he told us when he was going to be baptized, rather than us asking him.  It was probably one of the neatest experiences I've had on my mission, to see the change that was made in this man's life. He had told us he wants to meet twice a week now, and he wants to be living the commandments that he hadn't been.  He truly wanted to make that change, and has been going strong and working hard to get there! 
I know, whithout a shadow of a doubt that this gospel changes lives. And we truly are able to see modern day miracles.  There is truth of this written in the scriptures in Moroni chapter 7-
 33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
 34 And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.
 35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
 36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men...
Miracles truly have not cased, and how amazing it was to see that T had the faith necessary to receive a change of heart and witness a modern day miracle in his life. Since then we have had the opportunity to meet with T twice a week, and have very awesome spiritual lessons.  We even got to watch a session of General Conference with him and his wife. :) it has been wonderful! I wish I could send through email the joy in my heart, because I don't think that words do justice the feelings I have in my heart. But know, that I have a burning testimony that this gospel is true! and that we find guidance and testimony through the scriptures, prayer, attending church, and personal revelation.  Applying the principles of the gospel in our lives truly brings forth a mighty change.
Other than the good news of T, it has still been a wonderful week! We have a new investigator that we have begun teaching.  We'll call her Shay-Shay. We had a lesson with her on Saturday night, and her mother kept coming in and hearing portions of the lesson.  We taught the Plan of Salvation, and I was so overwhelmed by the spirit when we were talking about the Pre-Earth Life, and as we were talking about it with her, and as I was testifying to her, I could just feel so strongly that Shay-Shay was a diligent spirit before she came to earth, and that she embraced the plan our Heavenly Father had for us. at the end of the lesson her mom wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon, and we gave them a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation....we ran out of time and we didn't get to finish.  But it really was an awesome lesson! :)
We also had MLC on Friday, and as always it was AWESOME!! I love MLC! It is by far my favorite meeting! President Johnson is an AMAZING Mission President, and has already done so much for the mission! If I could grow up to be like him and his wife...then I've definitely succeeded and will totally get a ticket straight to the Celestial Kingdom! ;) haha no, but they really are so awesome! We got to go on a morning hike for our exercise with President and Sister Johnson, and the Missionary Leadership Council, so all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders, and it was wansn't much of a "hike" it was more of a nature walk...because there are NO "mountains" here by the definition of Utahans :) just hills.  But it was still very beautiful! There were awesome leaves that had changed, and the weather was beautiful! :) super awesome! 
Missions are great! we also got to see 30 minutes of "Meet the Mormons" and it was AWESOME! I totally could feel the spirit so strong! Even when they were playing football! :) We get to see the movie as a zone this wednesday, and I can't wait! You all should see it! :) I'll let you know what more I think about it next week!
I love you all! I hope all is well! 
And always remember, happiness is a choice! a quote I heard this week that I loved was this, "We can choose to laugh our way through life, or to cry.  I choose to laugh because crying gives me a headache."  I'm not even going to say that it was a word for word quote...because I couldn't find it...or who said it, if you find out exactly who it was and what was said, let me know. :) But, regardless, I still loved it! :) 
Sister Thomas