Monday, October 24, 2016
Week 62 - October 24, 2016
Wow, what an incredible and interesting week!
We had a great teaching week and found some great new people that we are going to start teaching.
The highlight of the week was the temple of course, and the Zone Leaders got to have lunch with the mission president for interviews and then he talked to us individually. So President got Elder Lake and me some good old Chick-fil-a after the temple and we had a great talk! However, the best was we had the opportunity to hear one of the general authority's speak. His name is Lynn G. Robbins. He is in the Presidency of the Seventy. The man blew all of our minds at our mission conference on Saturday and then he attended our stake conference and blew our minds again! I have never met a better teacher before - EVER.
For an hour straight, no notes, no nothing he got up being completely led by the Spirit and just expounded on things I have never even thought of thinking about. Seriously - the Church is true. After stake conference, I went to go ask him a question that I have been thinking a lot about lately and without hesitation, in like two or three sentences, he gave me the answer and I was just like... why didn't I think of that?!
I'll talk about some things I learned from him in his two... "inspirational gospel spiels."
Sister Randall, the mission president's wife, got up and said, "What we do determines who and what we become," and then she proceeded to talk about charity. President Randall got up and asked us if we were sleepwalking on the path of discipleship or are we seeking the kingdom of God, or maybe just looking around.
I studied this later and learned that seeking is to make an effort to obtain or achieve something which of course is being "active and doing" which in turn makes us "be," while looking is simply just gazing toward someone or something which is passive observance which in turns leads us to be acted upon and not acting. Which are you?
We talked about this concept of "Do - to - Be" for quite sometime. Are the things we are doing helping us become the manner of men/women we ought to be which is in 3 Nephi 27:27: "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." We are to be like Christ - Christlike! Be and Do are inseparable if you have the faith behind the Do's. The ancient Jews did the works of the law but never had the faith behind it, so it became a stumbling stone as mentioned in Romans 9:31-32: "But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;"
If we are ever "do" anything without a Christ-like attitude we will never "Be" or receive the promised blessing. If we "do" without "becoming" we turn into hypocrites and pretenders.
He discussed how the mission is the best university and will teach you more about life, marriage and being Christlike than Harvard, Yale and Stanford combined. We discussed how we need to love our hardships that we face as they are times of greatest growth. The difficult *specific trial* will enroll you in *Christ-like attribute* Class 505. As we face trials, it enrolls and allows us to be in a "class" of Christ where we can learn and develop.
Henry D Moyle about missionary service said: "I firmly believe and will go to my grave saying that a missionary never or rarely rises in life above the stature of what he comes out of in the mission field."
If we feel like we are out of love for others or even ourselves, we become acted upon by Satan - love is a choice. Kindness towards others is a behavior - which is a choice. You can choose to love others, choose to be kind, choose to do anything, happy, sad, upset, kind, loving etc.
The one I love most because I feel like I hear it everyday from others is that the second we justify, blame others, or transfer the blame, we lost control and Satan wins, we become acted upon instead of acting, we lose faith - Satan tries to take agency away from accountability when in all reality they cannot be separated.
The way he ended the mission conference was absolutely incredible - we were discussing about being an example towards others by the way we act and speak and do - he said "Christ's greatest sermon was his life" - Do our actions speak for us in a way that would be pleasing to our Savior?
In Stake Conference on Sunday, our Stake President, Vai Sikahema, talked about how we need to be simple people with simple lifes, living a simple gospel, doing the basics. He told us to do our best and let the Lord do the rest.
Lynn Robbins spoke again and his opening line: "Thank you for coming here today. Those who chose not to come and choose not to keep the commandments are selfish and put themselves and the things of the world before God. WHAT?! He threw this down to start his talk!
He proceeded to talk about how sacrifice and obedience are inseparable and how the first law of heaven is obedience which is tested through our sacrifices. He talked about how where our heart is, there will our time be also, and then he asked us to look at our calendars and asked where our heart was... deep.
He talked about how repentance is not the back up plan - it is the plan. Repentance is not for perfect people, it is for progressing people. The sacrament is to pick us back up from failing.
My personal favorite -- "OUR SUCCESS IN LIFE IS GOING FROM FAILURE TO FAILURE WITHOUT LOSING ENTHUSIASM" - Amen.
True happiness comes from forgetting yourself and serving others.
He said a lot more, but in essence I just generalized what he said and threw in a few scriptures and words of my own to spice it up.
This week we met Delia and Derek. Delia is really, really close to deaf and basically can only hear you if you're shouting - we almost broke down her door by knocking so loudly so she could hear (she was a Bible referral we were contacting). She lives with her 13 year old son. Delia is so sweet, she doesn't speak too well, but she's a great listener - which is much more important! We taught the wonderful message of the Restoration to her and she was reading our lips the whole time and whenever she had a question, she would sign language to her 13 year old son and he would reply.
Derek had to be one of the smartest 13 year olds I've ever met. At the end of the lesson, we invited them to be baptized and Derek said, "Yes," he wants to and Delia was like, "I've already been baptized," and Derek turns around to his mom and says to her: "Mom! Were you not listening. You weren't baptized by the correct authority so your baptism doesn't count. We both need to be baptized!" I was like.... well yes, he's right. We didn't want to say it like that though. They are amazing!
Another interesting thing that happened - we were suppose to go have a lesson with this new man, but he wasn't there - that's a first. Anyways, we were about to go get in the car when we felt that we should go knock just like five doors. The door after was this really nice lady, so we gave our introduction and she told us to come back at a certain time - she wasn't there the time she told us to come back so we were like umm ok, just let us know or we will drop by in the area. We remembered on Sunday that there was a Hispanic man that wanted a Book of Mormon that lived next to her so we brought a book to his home but they weren't home either. So we go and knock on that lady's house again and we get this incredible warm loud: "ELLLLLLDDDDEERRS, WELCOME TO OUR HOME!" Hahah It was this incredible hilarious Black family. They allowed us inside and as we were teaching a lesson, they told us: "We are members of the Church. We were baptized in 2002." Our jaw about dropped, we had no idea! They are wanting to come back and have four children that haven't been baptized. They also had a Shitzuh, so we got along great. The Lord works miracles in his own ways and in his own time! Didn't see that one coming. However, why didn't the lady at the door in the first place the very first time just tell us she was a member to begin with.
Well, I love this work so much. The gospel works. Our agnostic/atheist investigator who is now not agnostic/atheist told us that something not true couldn't bring him and his family this much happiness. He has seen the rewards and tasted the fruit! It's all true!
Well, I'll be 20 this week, that's weird. Going to the Philly Zoo today to celebrate :-)
We also have the baptism for Michelle Cass on Sunday. We are excited.
Love y'all :))