April 18, 2016 – Week 80

None Were With Him

I’m pretty excited to be able to talk to y’all in a few more weeks and this time it is going to be for the last time! It’s crazy how time goes by and I can’t believe that this past Tuesday Jordan turned 18! I remember when I turned 18, it was actually pretty crappy because my girlfriend that I had at the time had just broke up with me and I was pretty bummed out. But I’m actually glad it happened!

Anyways Jordan happy birthday to ya! That’s pretty sweet that you turned 18 this past week! I can’t believe you’re a cheerleader as well. I hope you still surf and skate too, but I have no idea how you follow with that.
The mission life is pretty hard. This week we have received nothing but PURE REJECTION. We also got to talk with another Jehovas Witness, but she rejected the Book of Mormon when I asked if she would like to have one. She said she wouldnt even read it, but I respect her agency, becasue that same book I ended up giving it out to someone who really wanted it and who was so anxieous to read it. We found an older girl knocking on doors and she just left and quit drugs about 4 months ago, and then we were able to teach her. She said she was looking for something (religion wise) that would just fill her, and that she felt like what we have shared with her is that very thing.  I told her that the feeling she was feeling was coming from the spirit, I had given her the Book of Mormon and she was really excited to read it and to go to church. But other than that this WHOLE ENTIRE WEEK, we have just been rejected.
I dont want to spit out any apostacy or witchcraft, but I guess this is what I need to feel so I can understand what Jesus Christ had went through. There is a cool conference talk about that, and I think it is by Jeffrey R. Holland, and its called ¨And none were with him¨ because honestly just about everyone was against Jesus Christ, and really today as well, just about everyone had rejected him. It’s really not me that they are rejecting, but it is Christ because I am just his servant. But I am trying and working the best I can to be able to take Christ to all of his people.  I have never been more upset and worried about the salvation of someone else, ever before. Today I really felt that way when we went to go visit our investigator V******.  He had been doing really well, but unfortunately after 1 whole month without drinkning he started up again, and he didn’t get drunk which was good but he did drink like 6 beers, and I honestly felt really bad for him because he had spent a lot of money on it and he felt bad becasue he drank.
When he started feeling bad, I started to feel bad with him. I never once in my life really understood the stripture of our baptismal covenants in Mosiah 18:9-10, when it says mourn with those that mourn. I really felt sad with him as he told us what he had did. The love of God is absolutely great, when we are sad he is sad, and when we are happy, he is happy. I feel the same with my investigators as well, especially with the example of V******. I had really developed love for the guy – an actual charity. And through me and him, I have felt the love of God. I’m starting to understand the scriptures more fully as I teach my investigators and as I contact other people and knock on doors. Christ felt the same way, for he had a perfect love towards all men. He even loved the people that left him and betrayed him, he loved the people who killed him as well. We know this because he said, “forgive them father, for they know not what they do.”
I’m starting to develop charity for all people and especially for those who I teach, and I’m starting to develop more of a understanding of how Christ felt when none were with him. It’s a hard feeling but it is necesary for our salvation.
I love all of you. Hope you have a great week! (:
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Venid a Cristo, y perfeccionados en el

¨Venid a Cristo, y perfeccionados en él¨

Por el Elder G. Darin Wilkes

Nefi declaró, ¨Yo Nefi, nací de Buenos padres…por tanto…habiendo conocido muchas aflicciones durante el curso de mi vida¨

Luego Nefi escribió sobre sus hermanos, ¨Y yo Nefi, afligido por la dureza de sus corazones. ¨

Y otra vez con el relato de Nefi cuando fue mandado del Señor de construir un barco, ¨Y así murmuraron mis hermanos contra mí, y no quisieron trabajar. ¨

Cuando la familia de Lehi estaban viajando a la tierra prometida otra vez leemos, ¨Yo, Nefi, empecé a hablarles seriamente; pero he aquí, se irritaron contra mí, diciendo: No queremos que nuestro hermano mayor nos gobierne. Y aconteció que Lamán y Lemuel me tomaron y me ataron con unas cuerdas, y me maltrataron mucho. ¨

Más adelante en el libro de mormón Alma escribió sobre el Profeta Abinadí diciendo, ¨Y sucedió que se lo llevaron y lo ataron; y torturaron su carne con brasas, sí, hasta la muerte… ¡Oh Dios recibe mi alma!, Cuando Abinadí hubo dicho esas palabras, cayó, habiendo padecido la muerte por fuego; sí, habiéndosele ejecutado porque no quiso negar los mandamientos de Dios, habiendo sellado la verdad de sus palabras con su muerte. ¨

El profeta Alma fue echado de la ciudad de Ammoníah. Moroni batalló contra miles de lamanitas para proteger su libertad religiosa y por sus familias. Helemán fue mandado del Señor de tomar 2000 jóvenes y defender su patria. El profeta Moroni escribió sobre la dificultad de escribir en las planchas diciendo, ¨He aquí, no nos has hecho fuertes en escribir… cuando escribimos, vemos nuestra debilidad, y tropezamos por la manera de colocar nuestras palabras. ¨

Luego el Profeta Mormón y su hijo Moroni sufrieron de la destrucción de una civilización completa.

Las palabras, ¨sufrir, atado, afligido, dificultad, muerte¨ son las palabras de los profetas que nunca fue fácil de seguir los mandatos del Señor. Pero ninguna vez escuchamos que ellos murmuraban contra Dios, sino fueron rápidos de prestar atención en los mandamientos.

De hoy en día hay un relato más sobre las aflicciones de los hijos de Dios. Los que fueron los primeros santos de este iglesia, los pioneros, y el querido profeta José Smith.

José y los santos fueron mandados de construir un Templo en Nauvoo, y lo hicieron. Tomaban mucho sacrificio. Luego José fue perseguido después de tantas aflicciones incluso enterrando 5 de sus propios hijos muertos en la tierra, y siendo rechazado de su hogar en Norte. Luego tenía que ir a Carthage, Missouri, sabiendo que iba a morir. Olvídense que sus esposas van a quedar viudas y sus hijos quedarán sin padre, y que luego teniendo que cruzar las llanuras por casi dos mil kilómetros con todos los santos que fueron creyente, también sufriendo de lo mismo y perdiendo sus vidas en camino.

De los relatos de primeros santos, José Smith, y los del libro de mormón. Todos tienen algo en común. Lo que el Señor les ha mandado, ellos lo hicieron, sin murmurar. Cada uno fue ¨altamente favorecido de Dios¨ ¿ustedes mismos se sienten altamente favorecidos de Dios? Si la respuesta es no, hay que cambiar y obedecer los mandamientos de Dios a fin de que pueden ser sinceramente altamente favorecido de Dios, como a Nefi. Por como dice el autor de proverbios, Salomón ¨por Dios oye la oración de los justos¨

Cada uno de ustedes quiere las bendiciones del Señor. Pero realmente, ¿Qué están haciendo para recibir las bendiciones que necesitan? Por muchos la respuesta es nada. Ni si quieren, lean su libro de mormón.

Todas las cosas que necesitamos se encuentran el este libro sagrado. Les invito a todos de Leer el libro de mormón, ¡por es la palabra de Dios! Y no hay nada en ahí que no sea buena por nuestra salvación. Por Nefi declaró, ¨no ocupen estas planchas con cosas que no sean de valor para los hijos de los hombres.¨

Mi testimonio del libro de mormón es siempre tan fuerte, porque es de Dios. Dios sabía que nosotros tendremos problemas, por eso, mandó a Lehi y a Nefi de escribir en unas planchas de metal sobre las aflicciones de su pueblo y como es que lograban tanta felicidad. Nefi dijo, ¨Y aconteció que vivimos en una manera feliz.¨

Si quieren lograr la felicidad eterna, lean el libro de mormón y prestan atención a sus enseñanzas.

Durante los 18 meses de mi misión día tras día tras día yo y mis compañeros hemos tenido muchas pruebas de nuestros testimonios sobre el libro de mormón y La Iglesia de Jesucristo. He sido atacado, ridiculizado, probado, negado, e invitado rechazar mis creencias sobre el libro de mormón.

José Smith y mis pioneros antepasados fueron ejemplos para mí, y hasta mis propios padres.

Permítanme de agregar un elemento más de mi propio testimonio del libro de mormón. José y su hermano Hyrum partieron a Carthage. Cuando estaba en la cárcel de Carthage, José el Profeta se volvió hacia los guardias que lo tenían cautivo y dio un poderoso testimonio de la autenticidad divina del Libro de Mormón8. Poco después, las pistolas y las balas acabarían con la vida de esos dos testadores.

Jeffrey R. Holland luego relato en un discurso en la conferencia general diciendo, ¨Olvídense por un momento de que las esposas de ellos están a punto de convertirse en viudas y sus hijos a punto de quedarse huérfanos; olvídense de que el pequeño grupo de sus seguidores quedarán “sin casa, sin hogares y sin amigos” y que sus hijos dejarán huellas de sangre sobre ríos congelados y desoladas praderas; olvídense que legiones perecerán y otras vivirán declarando en los cuatro cabos de la tierra que saben que el Libro de Mormón y la Iglesia que lo proclama son verdaderos. Descarten todo eso y díganme si en esta hora de muerte, ¿entrarían estos dos hombres en la presencia de su Juez Eterno, hallando solaz y citando un libro, el cual, si no fuera la mismísima palabra de Dios, los tildaría de impostores y charlatanes por la eternidad? ¡Ellos no harían eso! Estaban dispuestos a morir antes que negar el origen divino y la veracidad eterna del Libro de Mormón.¨

Mi coloco con el testimonio de mis antepasados, este libro es de Dios. Y les testifico que lo es. Tenemos la invitación de Moroni, ¨quisiera exhortaros a que preguntéis a Dios el Eterno Padre, en el nombre de Cristo, si no son verdaderas estas cosas; y si pedís con un corazón sincero, con verdadera intención, teniendo fe en Cristo, él os manifestará la verdad de ellas por el poder del Espíritu Santo¨

Hermanos y Hermanas les invito de venir a Cristo, perfeccionaos en él, y absteneos de toda impiedad. Les invito otra vez de leer las palabras de Cristo. En el libro de mormón se encuentra todo lo que necesitan para su salvación. Cuando llego a la barra de juicio quiero estar ante de Dios testificando que hice todo en mi propio poder de testificar del libro de mormón a los cuatro partes de la tierra. Mi testimonio es siempre tan fuerte de la veracidad del libro de mormón, y nadie me puede decir que no, porque Dios me había dicho de la misma veracidad.

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April 11, 2016 – Week 79

Hey Dad,

For a reponse about my toe issue, well they actually have several foot doctors here but I refuse going to them. My ingrown toenail came back already and I’m gonna take it out again probably later on tonight. Last time I took it out it was about an inch or a inch and a half grown inside my toe, it kinda sucks, but it doesnt affect my walking. I can walk fine, but the concrete and sidewalks and roads here are all garbage so I stub my feet a lot and that stuff HURTS! I’m gonna wait till I get home to get it removed like the last one I had, because I looked up the procedure here in Mexico and I don’t like how they do it. It takes way to long and too much pain. Better to get it done in 3 seconds by that sweet doctor down off of Baymeadows.

     Anyways time and life down here in the mission field are going really really good. It is extremely hard, and its probably something I wouldn’t have signed up to do knowing before hand the things I would have to go through, but I’m so glad I did and it has changed me eternally.
     This week I had a experience with someone from a different religion, he was from an apostolic church. He was a reference from a member from our ward, well we went to contact him and we just contacted him like everyone else and then he started asking a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and the prophets and Joseph Smith. He asked me who the twelve apostles were, and never before in my life have I had to name all the aspostles. Good thing I was able to do so! Then after that I didn’t know what else to tell him, he really didn’t want anything, but I was able to testify to him that the authority and power of the Priesthood is here on the earth once again. I also told him that we represent the only church with that power. He then asked me ¨so the Mormon church is the only true church on the earth?¨ Never before in my life have I been so sure of the response I had given him. I looked him in the eyes and told him YES. I don’t know why such a small experience had such a big impact on me. I even got up yesterday in sacrament meeting and shared my testimony on the power of the restored Priesthood. I knew the church was true and always knew of it. But in this moment I realized that the restored power is to bring the families together again and for forever. Unfortunately this man didn’t accept and was a little offended about the response I had given him. It makes me think of the people that like going to a church where they only hear the things that they want to hear.
But God tells it how it is, he doesn’t give us the answers we want to hear, sometimes he does. But God says what he says and we have to accept it or not. Nephi understood the concept, I will go and do which the lord hath commanded me to do. My testimony of the restoration was ever so increased at this moment.
Love every single one of you and hope the week goes well!!!
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March 28, 2016 – Week 77

Called Upon God

I have been thinking a lot today of what i would write in my email back home.

First I would like to give you guys an update on what’s happening here in my sector and the mission life and to answers Dad’s questions. Yes Dad, I do sleep well and I guess you can say I eat well or decent. I only eat once a day with the members. Sometimes it sucks, but there’s this phrase in Spanish ¨Ni modo¨ or oh well, so mostly I just have to suck it up till the next day and hope that I eat something better! and anyways a progress on my weight report- I have lost a total of 40lbs in my mission which is something really sweet! I really hope that I can drop another 20lbs more. Also I have been getting some major back problems, I’m sure I talked to you about them before, yep, they never went away, but now it’s worse, It hurts about 75 or 80% of the day. I’m probably going to go to the doctor this week to get it figured all out and after I talk to Hna. García, but I talked to her before and she said I have to do exercises. But I have a long time doing them and they haven’t really helped me for crap, so I’m going to get my back checked out later on this week. Also, I yanked out half of my ingrown toenail. It took a couple of minutes to take it out, but I would rather take it out myself than have the doctor here do it. I looked up the procedures they do here and I watched a little video then I got sick from watching it and I’m not having that done to my toe! I refuse to get my ingrown toenail out here in Mexico, so I’m still waiting to get the whole think out when I get back home.
      This week in our sector we have been able to put 8 baptismal dates with 8 different investigators! We were really excited to be able to do so. About the family with a lot of kids, we visited them and we put baptism dates with that family and some other people that live close by to her, but we were so excited for them to be able to come to church with us. Unfortunately when we went to go pass for them on Sunday there was no one there, it was pretty crappy, out of 12 people that we have committd to come to church there was only 1 person that came, it was really sucky and I felt really bad about it as well, but ni modo. I guess I have next week and this whole week to try to be able to do it again… I kinda feel bad that they didn’t come because it really is for thier OWN GOOD, but they aren’t really understanding I guess.  It’s really frustrating.
     This week on Sunday as well in the church, I don’t know what the Bishop was thinking but he decided to make the EASTER SUNDAY all about temples….. I was kinda upset about that as well because it’s like they forgot about the Atonement! How can you forget about it on Easter, out of all the other days of the year, it’s Easter Sunday and you don’t even talk about the Atonement in all of sacrament meeting! I was actually kinda mad about that one there. But oh well. Ni modo.
     I’m really getting excited for General Conference that is coming up and that we can hear the voice of the prophet! I really hope that I can have some investigadores attend. Especially V******. He came to church with us again the other day and he is really enjoying it.  I remember the fist time he ended up contacting us, I can’t remember if I told y’all or not, but he was drunk and he started drunk talking to us in English, which I did not understand him really at the point of time and he said he was with the Jehovahs Witness and they told them that there are no such thing as miracles and faith healing anymore, that it doesnt work and that it all went away with Jesus Christ. He asked us about our beliefs and he asked us to put our hands on his wife’s head like Peter and John and to bless her like they did, and we told him we have authority to do so. I don’t know how in the world he was able to ask that question to us, it was probably one of the most faith-inspired questions I have ever heard in my life, coming from someone that was first- drunk and second- no backround of so called ¨Mormonism¨ in his life. As soon as I heard that question, I knew that he was undertaken by the devil and powers of being drunk, but that he was looking to come out of it. As hearing the question and responding to it, I acted upon the spirit and I knew that they could be healed through a preisthood blessing and that the question he asked was a call upon God to get him out of his darken state. I think about Joesph Smith in this situation, that he was calling upon God right as satan waas trying to take control of the situation. Joseph was attacked becasue satan knew that God and Jesus Christ were about to appear to the young boy to start the Restoration. but in all of his might and will power he was able to make the call upon God, in which, he was promptly visited and the restoration took place. In despite of the attempts by our investigator to ¨call upon God¨ we were able to give him a blesing and shortly after his life long addiction to drinking alcohol was ended in just a short period of 1 week.  Satan knew his life was going to change as me and companion had visited his house, and to take him the very restoration of the gospel, this man’s life has changed forever in his call upon God. Even though he was drunk the spirit was so strong in that room, that he and his pain-striken wife were able to feel it and we as missionaries did as well.

When was the last time that we have really Called upon God and what does that even mean? 

     I can now see that in my mission and the history of the church and the Book of Mormon, that people’s lives are completly changed by calling upon the Lord to help them out of their afflictions. Everybody has sins, but we need to do better, and the only way that God can help us is if we can call upon his name. Heleman describes calling upon God the following way:
Helaman 3: 27-29

27 Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.

28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.

29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked.

     When was the last time that you have called upon God to help you in your problems?      

When I was talking with V******, he asked how could he overcome his addiction.  I promised him that his addictions will be cured through daily reading of the Book of Mormon and prayer. I know that as we call upon God and read the Book of Mormon, our problems will vanish, and we will not have the desire to do bad anymore.  There is a cool story in the book of Alma about the Anti-nephi-lehites when they burried thier weapons of war. They knew that the shedding of innocent blood was terrible, they knew it was a sin, but they covenanted with God, that they would bury their weapons of war as a testimony in the last day that they would rather die than to sin. I challenge you all to bury your weapons of war. Bury your sins, don’t do them anymore and call upon God to help you do so. I ever so promise that if you do so, you will come to be like the anti-nephi-lehites and that you would rather die than to sin. I really hope that I can become this way as well and I’m trying to do so myself!

There comes times that we forget or we don’t want to bury that one weapon.. and we sin again… satan makes us want to feel like it is the end of the world and wants us to feel miserable as unto himself. But it’s okay, for that very purpose Jesus Christ chose to die for us.  Just imagine, all of the pains of the word of everyone who has ever lived, everyone that will live, all paid for, every single one of their sins in their 70-100 year lives. It was paid for in the garden. He bled from every pore. He suffered so that we wouldn’t have to. He did that for you. And you can become clean by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Read the book of mormon, I can really promise that if you read the Book of Mormon before you sleep and when you wake up, you will never have the desire to sin again! It’s maravillosa! There was a reason God told Nephi to keep a record of thier family and to pass it along for generations and generations. There was a reason that Joseph was called to translate. It’s because 2616 years ago, God knew that you were going to be going through problems. He loves you and so do I, and he blesses the ones that read his word, the Book of Mormon.  Love you guys so much and hope you have a great week!

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