Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014

Hey Everyone,
   This week was another good one. We found some new investigators and taught some really good lessons. Things are picking right back up and we are well underway to get some more baptisms this month. Another pretty cool that made my weak was that some people let me ride their tortoise. Yes, their tortoise. In exchange for helping them set up for a wedding reception they let us ride their two hundred pound desert tortoise. To be honest it's more like sitting on a log than riding an animal, but it made my day anyways.
   I still love seeing the Lord's hand in my life everyday. Especially when experiences happen where you can't deny that he had a part in it. Like on Friday, no one had signed up to feed us dinner. No matter how hard we tried we could not get anyone who was available to feed us that night. I'm not going to lie I was pretty disappointed. I'm a pretty big fan of not being hungry. After realizing we were most likely not going to be eating dinner that night, no matter how many times we prayed to ask for someone to be able to feed us, we decided to just keep on working till it was time to head in for the night.
   After we made this decision, we got out of the car and stepped into the 110 degree heat. We then proceeded to walk the area for the third time that day.as we were walking I noticed the house of a member that the bishop had asked us to stop by. We went and knocked on the door and were greeted by a man in his early thirties. He turned out to be the nonmember son of the member we came to see. We asked if she was there but he said she was busy. Nonetheless he ran and grabbed us some waters and sat outside in the shade with us and talked. As we talked, the conversation quickly turned into a lesson for us. We taught him about how Jesus Christ restored his original church through Joseph Smith and helped him to understand what that means for him. As we were in the middle of answering his questions, his mother came out and invited us in. She, the one we had been looking for in the first place, had been busy cooking while we were teaching her son. It is my testimony that The Lord will always provide if you follow his teachings and do what we would want you to do. She ended up feeding us salmon for dinner that night. Her son also agreed to let us come back for another lesson. The Lord will always provide if you let him.
   This week was also a good week for my personal learning. I was reading in the Book of Mormon, going through a story I know fairly well. It was in Alma chapter 24. In this chapter, it's about a group of people called the Lamanites. They are very wicked people and don't obey the commandments of God. They murder, steal, and commit all kinds of sin. There's also another group in this chapter called the Nephites. The Nephites are a righteous people. They keep God's commandments and are blessed because of it. A Nephite missionary named Ammon has visited the Lamanites and has taught them the gospel. Because of this, the group that has turned to Christ and has been baptized and joined the church now call themselves the Anti-Lehi-Nephites. I know, it's a mouthful.
   These Anti-Lehi-Nephites repent. They take all their weapons that they have used to murder the Nephites and they bury them, covenanting with God that they will never shed blood again. Because of this choice and the wickedness of the other Lamanites, The Lamanites decide to attack the Anti-Lehi-Nephites and they are met with a bunch of righteous people that choose to die rather then defend themselves and break their covenant with God.
   This time that I read it, for whatever reason, it made me think about what weapons I need to bury. It made me think about what weapons I need to covenant with God never to use again. Have I lied to someone in the past? Have I been doing something that I know I should be doing? If so, what is the cost of burying that weapon? And what will I gain?
   I like in verse 16 where it says, "if our brethren destroy us, behold we shall go to our God and be saved." I know that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and made it possible to repent and have those sins washed away and forgiven. But I think that sometimes it's hard to repent. Satan leads us to believe that we can do it on our own. He leads us to believe that it will be too hard to repent. He leads us to believe that "our brethren [will] destroy us" if we repent. That's not the case. We will find only that we are closer to God and to salvation than we ever could be without repenting.
   My favorite part however is in verse 19 where it says, "and thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried their weapons of war, for peace."
   That's the purpose of repentance. Peace. God commands us to bury our weapons of war, for peace. No consequence will be too bad to hinder the peace that comes from using the atoning gift of Jesus Christ. If you want peace in your life, if you want to feel more satisfied with your life, there's a solution. Repent. Repent and feel the peace that Christ is waiting to give you. The Lord will always provide if you let Him.

   Elder Earl

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