Monday, April 28, 2014
My brothers and sisters... my dear friends,
How are you today??? It's sticky here in Conyers today! The humidity is rolling in!!!
I really don't know what to write about this week... was the most incredible day. I was so humbled to be able to see the Bordley family sealed in the temple and I was able to have a small reunion with my former companion who I love dearly and am ever indebited to... and then that same night we had a baptism! There really are no words to describe what I felt and experienced that day so I won't even try!
I will say this though... it's all worth it. It's worth it! Every opportunity that you have to share the gospel... to share your testimony... and then INVITE... INVITE someone to come to the Savior through the restored gospel (come to church, read the Book of Mormon, check outmormon.org, meet the missionaries, come to an activity, etc.)... every opportunity that you have... take it! I know that as you do so, in full faith and trust in the Lord... that miracles WILL happen. Lives will be changed for forever... your life... your families life... and certainly the lives of those families that you reach out to in love. Your actions will echo in the eternities. No matter the result... only good will come from sharing the restored gospel (to members and non-members alike!) and inviting them to receive more... more of Gods' love, more of the fullness of the happiness that is available to them... more of all things good, peaceful and loving. I testify that there is no greater work... as we make our work the work and the glory of our Heavenly Father... which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man... by doing our part and sharing His gospel... you will find no greater happiness, fulfillment and joy in your lives.
Here is my invitation: If you have not yet gotten yourself a copy of Preach my Gospel and began to study from it DAILY... then in the words of Elder Bednar, "I invite each of you to reconsider your posistion and repent.". Will each of you do that? Get a copy of Preach my Gospel for yourself and then begin to study from it daily. I promise with all my heart and soul that not only will learn and grow from doing so... but that you'll become a more capable and finely honed instrument in the Lords' hand in completing His great and glorious work. You will find no great happiness. This is the book given to us from God to help us to recieve more of His love in our lives!
One short experience...
Actually, just kidding! Next week! I only have a few seconds left haha. I love you! Have a blessed week!
Monday, April 21, 2014
Happy Easter! If you haven't already, go to mormon.org/becauseofhim and watch that video! Isn't it amazing? It's all because of what He has done for us... and continues to do! He is our Lord and Savior... our Redeemer... and beacause of Him, everything is possible for us!
Ok... so... down to business. Who has a Preach my Gospel? Here is my invitation... everyone go out an buy themselves a Preach my Gospel if you don't have one already... and then study it! Everyday! Elder Ballard invited us (each of us) to have a copy of this incredible and very inspired book... and to begin to study it diligently. Then, I would like to ask each of you to follow his guidance and share with someone in your family (especially with those serving a mission) at least 1 thing you learned from your studies... every week! Will each of you do that??? I can promise that as you follow Elder Ballards invitiation to do so that a new understanding of the gospel will come into your lives. That you'll become strengthened, edified and enlightened... and as you do so, you will be better able to reach out and share that light with others... and there is no greater joy than that! Especially within the walls of your own home... is there anything better than sharing the gospel with family? And we are ALL family in the end... so lets do this! Study, ponder, pray and share. It's because of families we have love and love is everything! It's the ultimate of all things. It's the reason for all things. So let us show our love for the Lord by accpeting the invitiation from one of His chosen servants... and then reach out and show our love for others. Will you do that? Wonderful!
Easter was great here in Conyers. So many miracles. Just to share an experience from Easter ...
We've been teaching a man named Bruce for several weeks now and he has been coming to church for some time.... Bruce is AMAZING. We found Bruce when we went over to a members home for dinner and during our lesson to the member (that we taught from Preach my Gospel!) he came over and sat in on the discussion. That small window in which he heard about the gospel... the Restortation... the Book of Mormon... it changed his life (and mine) for forever more. From that time on, we started meeting with him and teaching him. As he read the Book of Mormon, he said this "My soul has hungered for too long... and now it's being fed". Coming back to Easter ... Bruce is sitting with us... and eventually he turns to my companion and I after the meetings conclude and says with a beaming smile on his face "So... what do I have to do to be baptized?". Bruce is to be baptized ! And to think... all of this came from him hearing about the restored gospel after a long day of work for about the span of 3 minutes. We never know who is ready and who the Lord has prepared! But as we keep searching... as we keep praying to find those families that are in need and that the Lord has prepared for this message... He will lead them to us and us to them.... and there is no greater joy than to assit our Heavenly Father in His work. Missionary work is the pinnacle of the Gospel. Even within the family, sharing the gospel is the most important thing.
I tesitfy that the Savior lives. Because of Him we all too will live again... and we can live with our families for forever. This is His church. The Book of Mormon is true... and I add my testimony of these things to Elder Hollands... that I know these things to be true more so than I know that I am sitting here typing this email right now! The gospel is true. I know it with all my heart. I love each of you... the Savior loves you... and our Father in Heaven loves you. As you turn your hearts to them and to others... you will find more happiness than imaginable. Have a blessed day!
Monday, April 14, 2014
How are you today? Today is the first real day of the heat AND humidty here in Conyers for this year... and I'm excited :) It's an experience to be here in Georgia for the summer... can't wait for another one! Miracles are happening everywhere... and God is certainly "here and there" :)
What to share this week? I had one of the most incredible experiences of my service thus far this last Sunday.... Elder Zwick (who many of you may remember from his talk at general conference) and Elder Giddens of the 70 came and provided some leadership training for us... and it was amazing. I sat literally 2 feet away from Elder Zwick as he taught us... and I felt like he was sent there just for me. So many answers to so many prayers... it was incredible. I wish I could share the experience with each of you and how I felt in that meeting... but in the end, I'll say and ask each of you this... where is your heart? I've learned so much about the importance of ones' heart lately... and what I've come to find out is that true happiness and joy comes from COMPLETELY turning our hearts over to the Lord. Every doubt, fear, pain, etc... but also every dream, desire and good thing... as we completely align ourselves with the Lord, our hearts will become purified and sanctified and we will feel a new light in our lives. Others will see it and feel it... they'll see it in your eyes and in your actions... and they'll feel it as you reach out and love them as the Savior would. That love that you can give comes as you allow your will to become His will. There is no greater joy than this. The more willing and quickly we're able to change ourselves to align with His example... the stronger and more pure the spirit will reside with us. I'd invite each of you to kneel in prayer each night and ask the Lord "Will thou accept my best from this day? And how can improve to better serve thee with all my heart?". As you do so, and as you commit yourself to change and to act upon those prayers... I promise that you will be filled with a new light and love that you've never felt before.
One quick experience.... a few months ago, I talked to a lady at a family dollar store as we were checking out. I simply talked with her and taught her a little about the restored gospel and then invited her to learn more. She agreed, I collected her information and later on I sent it to the missionaries serving in the area where she lived. Fast forward to at the leadership training and I'm approached by a Sister asking me if I remembered talking to a women at a family dollar store months ago... it turns out that this women accpeted the invitation to meet with the Sisters... she accpeted to be taught more about the restored gospel... and now she has accpeted to be baptized and follow the example of our Savior. She will be baptized . I know that as we continue to reach out... and just find the one... the one who is in need... no matter where we are or what we're doing... as long as we just find the one... that's really what matters.
There are many "ones" out there to be found that are in need... and I know the Lord has placed you where you are to help Him find them and INVITE them to come unto Him through the restored Gospel. I know that He loves you and ALL of His children... I so testify of His love... and that He lives... in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.
Monday, April 7, 2014
How are you doing today? It always seem to be stormy after conference... I'm pretty convinced that no matter where I go in the world, if conference is ending then it's going to storm! It's raining and there's been a few flashes of thunder and lightning (which I always enjoy) but it's a beautiful day. Hopefully y'all enjoyed conference as much (if not more) than I did!
So what to talk about? It's always so funny... I always have so many things to say and experiences to share but in the end, my mind goes blank and I'm forced to just start typing... hoping that whatever comes out makes some sort of sense.
I just want to testify of the importance of being a friend. There are many experiences in my life that could testify to this... but one that I want to share very briefly is of the experience one of our investigators had when they came to church. Rewind things back to about two weeks ago... and my companion and I are just walking into to teach an appointment when we half casually and perhaps even jokingly call out to a women who is just getting into her car "Hey, how are you? Do you go to church? You should come to ours! It's literally just down the street... ! Will you come with us ??" She politely declined, but we invited her again with some more smiles and waves and laughs... she finally responded with a half-hearted "ok, one day I'll come". Fast forward one week and lo and behold... the women walks into sacrament meeting and sits down by herself in the row in front of us. Completely shocked, my companion and don't even realize who she is for several minutes... but once we do... well, lets just say we smiled for some time :)
Long story short though... this lady was swarmed by some of the members of the ward... and they welcomed her in as a good friend. She loved the experience so much that the next time we met with her she told us that this is the church she wanted her and her family to join.
Now, keep in mind... this was without any knowledge of the Book of Mormon, the restoration, etc... she simply felt the love and friendship of those saints who reached out to her at church and that was enough to her. What a powerful and great opportunity we have to be friends to others... to be the Lords hands... to help others feel of His love. I promise that as each of you reach out in friendship and love towards others... and INVITE them to come and experience the joy that we have and know... I promise that not only their lives will change for the best, but so shall yours. I testify that the Savior lives and this is His work. I love you!
Will each of you pray to find someone who needs a friend this week?