Monday, April 20, 2015

The Light, Life and Hope of this missionary

An Empty Mailbox: Hint, hint
Hi guys! I can't believe another week has flown by. Time is the strangest thing as a missionary. The days feel like weeks, and the weeks fly on by like days. I am grateful for each precious day in the Lord's service, in this amazingly beautiful and sacred work.

Lauren, Ellen and Sister Ure
We had a neat experience this week with Ellen. We knew in order for us to accompany her to the temple we had to help her find a family file name she could take to the temple. We had done a little bit of her family history together and miraculously found that many of the members of her family have had their temple work done already. This created a slight challenge in helping her find a name she could take to the temple.  I am no family history expert, and if you want the honest truth I really have no idea what I'm doing, but the following day we went over to help her find a name. I prayed that Heavenly Father would guide my fingers as I searched on the computer for one of her ancestors who had been waiting for her work to be done.  Within moments we found a great great great grandmother named Mary and when we came across her name the Spirit completely filled the room. It was as if sweet Mary was there with us, and saying reverently to us, "I have been waiting for you." Ellen was able to take her name to the temple and provide the sacred ordinance of baptism for her deceased ancestor.

I love the temple. There is nothing like it. It is where earth and Heaven meet and we are able to feel a portion of what Heaven is like. It is full of peace and purity, it truly is the House of the Lord. We were so fortunate to have 4 recent converts from the Newark ward together in the temple. Seeing them dressed in white and glowing brought so much joy to my soul and I can't even imagine how happy our Heavenly Father, and also their ancestors must have felt in that moment for them. Two of the recent converts commented after the temple that being there was the best night of their lives. If you have not been to the temple I would strongly recommend that you set goals to get there. Allow the atonement to come into your life and do everything you can to be temple worthy. There are so many blessings that come from going to the temple.

Dakota is doing so so well. The other day we went over for a lesson and he was outside playing with a neighborhood friend. He went up and tapped his friend on the shoulder and then stood there and paused shyly for a minute. He then said with all the excitement of a 10 year old boy..."ummm this Saturday the 25th I'm getting baptized, and you're invited. Will you come?" He continues to teach me how easy and simple it can be to share the gospel. He was eager to pay his tithing on Sunday after our tithing lesson and is a true follower of Jesus Christ. I love him and the strides his family is making together.
The Newark Temple Group

I had the opportunity to finish the Book of Mormon again this last week and finish the challenge we had as a mission to read the Book of Mormon and highlight names and personal pronouns in reference to the Savior. Our Savior Jesus Christ, and His titles and personal pronouns appear over 5,000 times in the Book of Mormon. I believe not just because of this literal evidence, but because of the spiritual evidence I have received that the Book Of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Savior and His teaching fill literally almost every page. I have read this divine book 8 times on my mission. I do not say that to boast or to brag I say that because each and every time I have read it, I have desperately needed it. Each time I have read it, I have felt one step closer to my Savior and my Heavenly Father. They know us, they love us, and they are willing to do anything for us if we will only allow them to come into our lives and follow their council.  There is nothing more powerful in missionary work then your testimony of the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ combined with the Spirit.

My understanding of the atonement as I read it this time around deepened. I have recognized how enabling it is as I have prayed and allowed Christ's beautiful sacrifice to come into my life. I realized the atonement doesn't just cover sin, it covers any imperfection or shortcoming. It covers anger, frustration, or even pain. It covers heartache, disappointment or loneliness. It covers what I feel at the end of a long day when I question if I have done enough. Often times as I was reading and highlighting His words I felt as if He was talking directly to me. Our loving Savior emulatesplain humility. He was prepared and willing for the great and daunting task. He was and is a leader full of light, love, intelligence, grace, and perfect faith. He is meek, courageous, and obedient. He listened and continues to listen to the will of the Father and was diligent in following all of His commandments. He demonstrated in the most humble of ways great power and strength. He is honest, pure, a true leader, teacher, minister, brother, and example. He is beautiful and glorious and His radiant countenance "smiles" upon the righteous. He is constant, never changing, full of promise and perfect faith. He rose above all temptation and became a determined conqueror of truth. He is clothed in a white robe, and on His palms we are engraved never to be removed. I cannot fully express the deep and abiding love I have for my older brother.  I add my testimony to that of the apostles,We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.
Sister Ure's Birthday

My invitation for all of you remains the same, continue to find Him, to truly come  to know Him, to discover how personal His atonement and His teaching can be to you. I promise you it will bring everlasting happiness.

I love you guys!

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