Just a little shout out for Ohio State who plays for the National Championship today!
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Hi Guys! There's a Mormon message we have been showing a lot lately that I love. It has to do with the new year, and moving on. It is called Look not Behind Thee and it focuses on the story of Lot from the bible. It is quite humorous, but the Moral of the story is to not look back, to trust God, and to believe that the plan He has for us is bigger and better than the plan we may have for ourselves. I love showing it to people and having them visualize where they want to be in this upcoming year. With that being said our bishop has come out with an inspired 5 step pattern in order for us as members and faith building Christians to strengthen ourselves spirituality. I will share it with you in hopes that you can join with me and my ward here and strengthen yourself spiritually.
The first part of this pattern is to pray daily. Prayer is such a simple, yet beautiful aspect of the gospel. Without prayer I would have no direction, and I know for certain I would not have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. The power of prayer is real. I have learned to rely on Him. In all reality, I cannot do anything without Him. Like Ammon said, "As to my strength I am weak" but with the power of the Lord we "can do all things!" Call upon Him. He is your Father and He longs to hear from you. I invite you all to get into the habit of daily prayer.
The second part is to read the scriptures daily. How grateful I am for the time we are given every day to study as missionaries. I have always had a copy of the Book Of Mormon and the bible in my life, but I regret not always taking advantage of them. I love the inspiration, and the comfort and peace I can receive from reading our Savior’s teachings. I have a testimony of the scriptures. I love the Book Of Mormon. Our teacher in church yesterday said in comparison to our world today "these scriptures keep getting everything right. We need to trust them."
The third part of this pattern is church attendance. I testify to you all of how real, cleansing, and vital the sacrament is. It is a beautiful opportunity to draw nearer to our Savior. I love the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that says, "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you." I know that church is one of the absolute best ways we can fulfill this promise.
Part number 4- pay tithing and fast offerings. In the book of Malachi there's a great scripture on tithing. It says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." If you do not have a testimony of tithing I encourage you to find it.
Last, but certainly not least, attend the temple regularly. The spirit in the temple is indescribable. The work that is performed inside is sacred and beautiful. Souls are being saved and many of them are our ancestors. As a missionary we don't get to go to the temple often, but after my mission I plan on attending weekly, I echo the words of the primary song "I love to see the temple."
Friends and Family! It is a goal of mine this year to strengthen my inner vessel. To prepare myself against the wiles of the world. In order to do that I need to build upon and strengthen my faith. I know through these 5 ways, we will be able to do so.
Our bishop played football in high school and one year he was playing for the state title. There was a point in the game where the game was on the line and he was prompted to call a timeout. He ignored that prompting and as a result they were unprepared and the opponents scored. Salvation is on the line, and there may be times in our lives when we need to call a spiritual time out, to be less casual with divinity, to read our scriptures, to pray. Do not miss out on the promptings of the spirit because the clock is winding down.
We had a neat missionary moment for the week. I was on exchanges in Zanesville and we went to contact a potential investigator. He was an older single man who seemed pretty depressed. We started talking to him, and found out his wife had recently passed away. He wasn't very interested, in fact he told us he would not like to know more about the church. Well the spirit prompted otherwise and after a much needed silence, I asked if he believed he would see his wife again. He looked at me as we made direct eye contact and as tears began to fill his eyes said. "I'd like to hope so." I then testified that I knew he could see his wife again, but it was dependent on his actions and his faith. The spirit touched his heart and he then let us into his home. He went from wanting us to get off of his porch, to having the light of Christ touch and soften his heart and he desired to know more. I am grateful for the subtle promptings of the spirit. I know if and when we follow them, the Lord can bring about great things.
I love the song Called to Serve. It was an answer to prayer to hear that song as I was praying about serving a mission. On Sunday we sang that song and I loved the line that said, "God our Strength Will Be." I testify HE is our strength, there to lift us up in the hard days. Turn to Him, rely on Him, and do everything in your power to grow that faith you have no matter how small or large it may be.
I love you guys! I am grateful to be a missionary. It was a harder week, but I came away learning things that I knew Heavenly Father wanted to teach me.
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