Monday, March 2, 2015

Waste and wear out your lives in the service of God

 Hey everyone! Things continue to be amazing here in Tomball! The Lord is hastening his work. This week we were able to set 3 baptismal dates, as well as we have two of our recent converts who are committed and actively working towards getting to the temple to do baptisms at the end of the month. What better work could we be involved in! 

 I have said it so many times, but this gospel truly is such a blessing. I just think of the miracles that we were able to see this week, and again how the Lord places those who are prepared and searching in our path. We were able to teach one of our investigators that we found last week. Her name is Anca, and we were able to go to the park and walk around with her on Wednesday. She had so many sincere questions about the Book of Mormon, and about the plan of Salvation. And she just mentioned how excited she is to continue to learn. 

She originally is from Romania, and is going to be moving to Canada in a few months. She was going to leave sooner, but she is waiting for a couple of things to be finished before she leaves. So we will have the opportunity to continue meeting with her. We also invited her to a baptism in our zone this week and to church, and she was about to come but she had something come up last minute. But she said she would love to come in these coming weeks!

We were also able to teach one of our new investigators named Matt about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of Christ's church. And once he was taught about prophets he was so excited and he said how it made so much sense that there should be prophets on the earth today. And he said at the end of the lesson how he feels as if God has been leading him to the church. The Spirit was strong and we were able to leave him with a soft baptismal commitment and he accepted.  We will be hopefully seeing him this coming week. 

One of the other big miracles we saw this week was with our investigator named Brenda. I talked about her a little bit last week. She has come to church 3 weeks in a row and she is continuing to learn and progress. When we met with her yesterday she said she had been reading from the Book of Mormon and has felt as though she is becoming a better person by reading it. We talked to her about if she has had a chance to pray about it yet, and she said she wants to do it when she can go to a quiet place and ponder and really ask God if it is true. I wish I could explain it the way that she did, but she was so sincere in her response. Again you can see how she is a sincere seeker of truth. 

  Well she was keeping her commitment to read so we were able to move on to the plan of salvation. And we were able to teach it powerfully to her. She was able to answer the questions and you could just see her countenance lift as she began to understand the plan of salvation and how it relates to her. And at the end of the lesson we were able to talk about the Celestial Kingdom and how we have lives with our families eternally there. And then at the end of the lesson we invited her to set the goal to live in the Celestial Kingdom and explained how we can get on the path that leads back to our Father in Heaven. 

We read through John 3:5. We discussed how Christ taught us the way to enter on to this path. And we discussed how it is through baptism that we are able to start on that path. Once she read that it totally clicked for her! And we then let the spirit testify to her of the truthfulness of that. And then after a few moments, I looked at her and said, " Brenda, do you now see why we invited you to be baptized last time we met?" And she just was quiet for a second and replied how it made sense to her now. 

The spirit was strong and we invited to her to prepare to be baptized one March 28th. We explained how baptism was just a short term goal, and is ultimately not the end. The end goal is to return home and live with God again. But as we follow Christs example through baptism we put ourselves on the path and can prepare our self for returning to live with God. She accepted and is ready and excited to meet again. We will be able to meet with her tomorrow to continue to help her be prepared for her baptism. 

The Lord is providing! It again just makes me think of the scripture in D&C  18:10-11

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
 11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
The Lord wants all of his children to return home and live with him again! And EVERY soul is great in the sight of God. 

 13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
 14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.
 17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

I know that as we follow this council in D&C 123 that we shall have great joy as we bring souls unto Christ! And that the Lord will be able to use us as instruments in his hand in bringing much good to his Children! I know this to be true and testify of is as one of His called representatives. 

I would just invite you to ponder upon other things you can do this week to help someone closer to Christ. I would also invite you to pray specifically as families for missionary opportunities, and I promise you will be given them. 

Well I hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

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