Monday, March 18, 2013

Spiritually Settled

This week we had Teresa's confirmation, and she gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting.  She's not going inactive any time soon (really hopefully never, but you never know, I guess).  I performed the ordinance, and it went well.  We had a few of our investigators show up to the other ward that meets at 12, so that's good also.  Other than that, it was a slow week.  E. Timoteo is like many of my other companions in that he likes to waste a lot of time, so we didn't have much success this week.  I wish there was some way I could pound into every missionary's head just how important it is for us to do things exactly as the Lord has told us.  So many just don't get that, and I can see quite clearly how much it impedes the work. 
I had a cute experience yesterday with a little 6-year-old that lives with his grandparents.  Brother Maldonado (the grandparent) drove us home from church, and as we were leaving, Diego (the grandson) asked us if we could stop by and visit them.  I said sure, because Sister Maldonado is also battling spine cancer right now and they like the support from when we come over.  We got there, said a prayer to begin, and I pulled out my scriptures to share a message with them.  As I was opening them, Diego ran in with the children's New Testament story book and asked if I'd read him a story.  I decided that would probably be better than what I was going to share anyway, so we read about when Jesus was tempted because he likes how Jesus "corre a SatanĂ¡s" (drives out Satan).  After that, we were about to leave, but then he asked for another one.  I told him just one more, and then we had to go.  He picked the introduction that talks about the creation, the plan of salvation, and a quick summary of the Old Testament.  He just sat next to me and I read him the story.  I'm not quite sure why, but it was just a really special experience for me to feel a little bit like a dad for a few minutes.  I'm sure glad I'll have the chance to do that with my own children one day.  I hope they will have as much love for the gospel as I do.
It sounds like everyone's been pretty busy this week, though.  Mom, I sure wish everyone here had the same dedication to their callings that you have.  This ward would be a lot stronger if people just did their assignments and fulfilled their callings.  I can't believe Jonathan's already getting home.  That means it's just Ryan, then Paul, then me.  Time is sure going by quickly.  That's fun that Bri and Will are expecting.  I couldn't say pregnant there because really only Bri's pregnant.  I'm sure missing a lot with those grandkids, aren't I?  It's sure fun to hear about all the new things they're learning and doing. 
I guess nobody told you Trent's address.  I'm pretty sure his home phone number is 222-9074.  Do you think you could call them up and verify the address for me?  I'd really appreciate that.
Something I realized this week is the importance of being spiritually settled.  It's something Elder Maxwell talked about a lot in his talks, and I'm beginning to realize just how big of a deal it is that we are so settled.  If we haven't settled in our hearts that we're going to keep the commandments and be true disciples of Christ, then we're very susceptible to temptations and distractions.  Every single less-active member I've found in this area is less-active because they weren't settled and they let some bad experience with some members shake them.  I've decided to make a more concerted effort to settle in my heart that I will be a disciple of Christ.  I'd never leave the church over some bad experience with a member, but Satan knows very well our weaknesses, and he never lets up.  I think it's something we could all work on.  I would recommend "Settle This in Your Hearts" by Elder Maxwell to everyone who wants to do so.
I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ.  We have a fulness of the gospel as well as God's priesthood authority.  I testify that the Book of Mormon is true, and that it is a convincing witness that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that he restored Christ's church to the earth.  I know that President Monson is the living prophet today, and that he is authorized by God to direct His kingdom on the earth.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, the very center of Heavenly Father's plan for our happiness.  There is no other name nor way given under heaven whereby any man can be saved, only in and through Jesus Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.  I know that only as we access the Atonement by living His gospel can we attain to a full measure of happiness in the hereafter.  I know that doing so also brings the greatest joys that can be experienced in mortality.  Were it not for this sacred act of love, all of our life would lose its meaning, knowing that it all ends with the grave.  I testify that there is life beyond the death, and that if we live according to the new and everlasting covenant that Christ has once again revealed to man, we can be given the greatest of all the gifts of God, even eternal life, living in the presence of our Father, our Savior, and our family for eternity.  There is nothing worth trading those blessings for, and no sacrifice too big to make to obtain them.
Elder Facer

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