Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fasting and My Calling

Alright, well we had another great week. Last Sunday, we were both fasting to find a new family to teach and guess what? We found one this week. I cannot stress the power that comes from fasting. I know this is a true principle and, because of that, I fast very frequently. I like food, but I love the miracles that the Lord pours out upon us as we are faithful and pay a generous fast offering. Some people have forgotten the true order of a proper fast. 1. Always start with a prayer. If not, you are just starving yourself; 2. Skip two consecutive meals or go 24 hours without food or drink; and 3. Always pay a generous fast offering. If we do these things we are promised that the Lord will "Open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10. I am aware that this is applying to the law of the tithe, but if you look closely in verse 8 it is talking about tithes AND offerings. These are not just temporal blessings, but rather spiritual as well.  In my opinion, the spiritual outweighs the temporal. If we understood this, we would be crazy not to fast.

This past Tuesday, it was getting late but we still had like 10 minutes before it was 9 so we were like, "Let's go by someone." We scanned the new member list and went by the Smiths. For some reason, their name really stood out as I scanned down the list. This was odd because she was the head of the household on the paper, meaning there most likely was not a male there. We were just going by to introduce ourselves and say hi. We weren't planning on going in. Sister Smith answered the door and was like, "Hey Elders! Come in!" We asked if a male was there and she opened the door up a little more and there her husband Mark stood. We came in and talked for a few minutes and then asked if we could come back the next day. They said yes! 

Wednesday, after dinner with the Beans, my boy Lofton and I went back over there and Elder Myers went to see the Saenz family with Brother Douglas. We went in and came to find out that Mark was a non-member and none of her children were baptized. She has three children and they are awesome. We taught about the Book of Mormon and the importance of this holy book of scripture. The lesson went well and we scheduled a return appointment for Friday. When we came back, they hadn't read and I literally wanted to cry. We were planning to teach the Restoration, but we didn't dare teach if they hadn't read. We told them what our plan was, "but that because you haven't read, we are not going to share that message and we will read with you today instead." Yes, I am that bold. I don't mess around anymore. People need to know how serious this really is. When we read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon we know that this really is the Lord's church and can then be baptized by proper priesthood authority and be liberated from our sins. Page 2 of Preach My Gospel states, "You are called to represent Jesus Christ in helping people become clean from their sins." I am just now realizing how sacred my calling is. I am just now becoming a good teacher. I am just now having the best studies of my entire life. I am just now starting to understand how the Spirit works. The Lord does something to us. Right when we are feeling like we got it down, it's almost time to go home. My Mamma was quick to let me know that she received a call from our mission office in regards to my return home and my flight information. Oh my gosh. Don't even talk to me about that! I still have so much to do. I made a commitment last night to have 5 more baptisms before I go home. I will achieve it or die trying! 

Some people are just not prepared right now and that is okay. I am here to find the elect. For example, Horace from Tomball drove ALL the way out here to Conroe to take us to lunch this past week and I did literally everything in my power to set a baptismal date with him and he would not budge. I literally debunked all of his concerns and he just would not set a baptismal date. It is a real thing when Nephi said, "There are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught." 2 Nephi 33:2. I didn't even eat my lunch because I was talking the entire time and going to different scriptures. I had to get a to-go box because everyone was done eating and I hadn't even touched my food. That's another thing. Food is good, but the gospel is the best. I was running a little late to one of my studies this past week, so I hurried and showered and got dressed and skipped breakfast because I didn't want to be late to my studies. Those of you that know me well, you know how I like my food. There is always a good, better, and a best. The gospel is always the best. Period! 

Sundays are the best. That is where the rubber meets the road or in more spiritual terms, that is where everything that we do as missionaries comes together. Last Sunday, we had zero investigators in sacrament meeting and this week we had four. That is a huge improvement. Raj came and stayed all three hours. He is the 11 year old that only likes to stay for Sacrament. I may or may not have bought him a Reese's candy bar if he stayed the whole time. Let's focus on what matters more. HE STAYED!! :) The Smiths came as well and they too stayed for all of church and then we went to the temple ground tours that night with them. 

You guys, the Lord is blessing us so much and I always wonder why He does this to me. Why does He let me be a part in this? I stand all amazed as Elder Rasband would say. Just this morning I contacted a referral Brother Martinez gave us last night and I talked to her old landlord and he told me that he was thinking about joining your church. Are you kidding me!?! Investigators are popping up like a bunch of hermit crabs. The Lord is just dropping them into our hands. We are going over there tonight to at least meet him, but I'm gonna talk about the Book of Mormon too. :) My testimony of the Book of Mormon is so strong. I could literally go on and on about how this book has literally changed my life. I wish you could join our companionship studies and I could share the insight that comes to me each and every day. I have a mini composition book that I keep with me when I study. It is called Elder DeLuca's Book of Revelation. There is so much in the Book of Mormon. I absolutely love it! If anyone claims to have read, pondered and prayed about the Book of Mormon and says that it is not true, I'd love to talk to them. There is absolutely no way this book was made up by one who had an inferior 3rd grade level education. People have tried to prove that this book if false for over 180 years, and it still stands today. I know that this is a holy scripture just as the Bible is. I love the Bible and I know that it is the word of God. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as well and they, together, open our minds and in lies the fullness of the gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

There were two cameras, but I was looking at mine! This is the Smiths at the temple!! 

Here is Horace when we had lunch! I did my best! 

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