What an assignment! Mom will give a great talk. I’ll send my thoughts at the end of the email of family history work and the temple.
What a week is has been indeed. Well to start once again I’ve been sick so that hasn’t been the best but it’s been okay. At the start of the week we’ve spent most of the time out finding and just talking to people. Elder Myers and I have been working on using the Book of Mormon more in our finding and sharing it with others. During all this though we have been waiting to hear about the new Sister trainee in the district. That’s right there is a trio of Sisters in the area. Well the Sister didn’t show up till yesterday. We all thought that she got lost or something. But it turns out the Provo mtc kept her there in Provo because she was super sick. Then she got stuck in France in the airport because her flight got cancelled. But all is well so we got 5 missionaries now in the Irvine ward which should be fun.
SO back to my week. Once again Elder Myers and I were out on the high street of Irvine just stopping people and chatting to them. The great thing about a mission is that you have every chance to teach the gospel every conversation is a teaching and learning experience. Well Elder Myers was chatting to someone and I noticed this woman walking with a pram and had a small kid so I go up and just starts very simple about asking her a question and we went on to chat a bit about families and how a belief in Christ can bring them closer together. Then she shared with me about she has been struggling with a few family issues and when she said it actually reminded me of something that I just read that morning in the Book of Mormon. So I opened to Mosiah chapter 2 verses 22-24. I went on to explain how during these times in our lives even when we feel far from God or any hope when we do our best to learn and live the commandments that He has given us. He will help us and bless us with the things that we need. It won’t always be easy but the promise is there. Then she was just staring at the verses that I gave to her, no idea what she was thinking. But she turned and said “I think I really need this”. Well I gave her the book and set a time to meet with her. Which should be tomorrow. Best time to study the scriptures is always at the start of the day cause at some point in the day you’ll need to use what you study that morning. We continued to speak to people on the street for the rest of the day. As the week went on we went around to visit some less active members and some other members. The visits were good but towards the end of the week I became ill, everything just became really blurry so I’ll do my best here to remember what else happened. Well Saturday came around and I had to travel to Paisley for a leadership meeting. The meeting was pretty good. It was long I know I like to talk but some missionaries love to talk for a long time. We spoke a lot about the Restoration and giving Joseph voice and what role the Book of Mormon has to play in all this. So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the miraculous gift that has been given to us in this day. It is a voice from the dust that rings with power and authority. I was thinking a lot about the men who gave their lives for this record and my mind went straight to chapter 8 of Mormon verse 1-8
“Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father. And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not. Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not. Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not. Behold, four hundred years have passed away since the coming of our Lord and Savior. And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more; and great has been their fall; yea, great and marvelous is the destruction of my people, the Nephites. And behold, it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it. And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.”
I think this also relates to family history. Many times we feel alone or lost in the dark and no way to see the end of the trials we are going through. But we have the examples and testimonies of those before us. It is important for us as well to preserve a record of our days for those to come long after we are gone so that they may look to how we came to believe in Christ. And we must look to the past to see the examples of those who went through so much so that we could be here today. Family History stirs our hearts to the remembrance of our fathers and sufferings that they went through. Even though Moroni saw the full destruction of his people, he held strong to his testimony “For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ. And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ” (Moroni 1:2-1). We are never alone in this journey of life. Even though many of the ones we love go on, their Spirit lives on and their teachings become eternal truths that are written upon our hearts. We must look to our fathers, as Moroni did to his, to hold strong to our testimonies. We then go to one place that has been prepared for us to remember them, the House of the Lord. This is where the convents and promises are made to aid our ancestors to receive these truths and enter into the presence of their God. We go to the temple to become more like the Savior. The Temple needs to become our focal point in life. When reading through the Book of Mormon I have found that many of the righteous kings and prophets have called the people to gather together at temples to not only be taught on high but to be directed in what they need to do. We go for the same reason to be taught and receive direction to any course we need to take in our daily lives. If we do not do our family history to help us to the temple then those that have died mourn for us. They need to be found. Without the continually light from the temple then we as the Lamanites fall and we lose sight of the purpose of this life and the work which have been called to do.
Just Saturday after the meeting we had to rush back to Irvine to help with a baptism for two young kids. I was able to interview them just a week before and found them worthy and happy to be baptized. Every time I have been able to see a baptism it reminds me of the work I have been called to do here. So should the temple be in the daily life of members. When we have gone through the temple for someone else we should be reminded of the work we have been asked to do.
The following day of course was Sunday we had a pretty good Sunday. The priesthood once again is speaking about home teaching. Very important and is a duty that should take a full month to do. Then in the Sunday school the teacher had my companion hold hymn books for the whole class. The books were representing sin and how at first it’s easy to hold but after a while they become more and heavier so we spoke about repentance! Then last of all was fast and testimony meeting. Which is always good. For the rest of the day we went to Sister Campbell’s for dinner. Followed by some chapping and we got a lot of people that invited us back so we’ll see how it goes.
Well I’ll see what I can do about skyping for the baptism and let you know. Talk you to next week.