Thursday, July 24, 2008

"I Know That My Redeemer Lives"


Had a pretty decent week! It rained quite a number of days so that hindered our work. When it rains, no one is ever out. Well, I guess that is common sense. Anyhow, we aren't allowed to contact in shopping malls either so we were pretty tied down. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to something, and I broke out in hives right around my neck and my arms/hands, so we had to stay in for a couple of days. Never had an allergic reaction to anything before, and what with the whole episode last week, it's been a bit tougher. Well, I guess Satan's just trying his luck, or the Lord's letting me have some fun. Either way, I'm definitely far off from what Job had to go through. That reminds me, in district meeting last week, we talked about Job and the trials that he went through. The amazing thing is that Job never doubted the Lord, and I hope that I can come close to having that kind of faith someday. Even after losing all his property, and having his whole family killed, he said in Job 1:20-22, and I quote:
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
How often we blame the Lord for the misfortunes that fall upon us, when they really are for our own good, and how often we, well, I forget how much He has given me.

Well, spent a couple of hours this week, rehearsing for Zone Conference. I'm signing a beautiful arrangement of I Know That My Redeemer Lives by Michael R. Hicks. The music is so beautiful that I almost don't want to sing it, I might destroy the piece! Wish me luck!

We went over to the Bishop's home on Thursday. Bishop and his wife were and are still out of town, but his son and wife had us over. They also invited over a member and her boyfriend, Aravin. Aravin has been coming to Church for a few months now, but never had had the time to listen to a missionary discussion. We were able to teach him a lesson this time, and he was really receptive. His job is physically dangerous, as he works as an oil rig inspector. He talked of how he was still trying to find his place in this world, and what the purpose of life is. It was wonderful to be able to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. I am so grateful to know that we do indeed have a purpose in life on this Earth, that we are here because we followed Heavenly Father's Plan, and, if we live worthy of all that He teaches us, we can live with Him and our families forever. Eternal families! :D Life can be so hard and exhausting, especially when we have school and work. But, if we just give our lives to the Lord ands trust in Him, the blessings are endless! I love knowing that!

On Saturday, we had two child-of-record baptisms, which means they were baptized right at the age of accountability, at eight. It was great to see these two young girls put their faith and trust in the Lord. Both families had invited a bunch of non-member friends so we were able to teach a few of them. Also, Elder Pace and I were privileged to be invited to participate in their conformations, to confirm members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and give them the Holy Ghost. How wonderful it is to be able to hold the priesthood of God and exercise it. I hope that we soon get some convert baptisms as we work for them!

We went over to a part-member home for dinner. The wife, Sister Ai Lin, and her children are members, but Ronald, her husband is not. Her sister, Candy, also a member, came over with her husband and kids. Unfortunately, her husband also isn't a member. Anyhow, we still had a great time over there, and we were able to share a message on eternal families! Ah, I guess we keep teaching it, and I keep mentioning that concept because it is so amazing and true! They both have great conversion stories! It turns out that Candy's ex-colleague, who is a member of the Church, introduced her to it. She was converted, and after that, she too converted her sister. From one member's work, eight people came into the Church!

On Tuesday, we met again with Ming Lee, the referral from Salt Lake. We taught him a portion of the Plan of Savation. We'll review the resoration with him next time. I thought that we had a great lesson with him because I felt the Spirit so strongly. Sure, when we teach, it's great and all, but with the Hokt Spirit there, that is what really makes the difference. I think, and I sure hope that he felt that too. We, as missionaries, are only messengers from God. We share His message, but it is the Holy Spirit that testifies of the truthfulness of the gospel.

Bumped into one of my grade-school friends last week that I haven't seen in years. We are going to teach him, and hopefully something comes out of that. I have bumped into so many of my friends, so it can be pretty distracting at times, but I do my best to focus on the Lord's work. Sometimes, I definitely slack off on getting ready on time and all that, but I'm trying to do what the Lord would have me do, building dicipline, but most of all, developing and understanding what true obedience is.

Well, we had dinner another member's home last night. Brother and Sister Chiu are an awesome couple, with great kids. We had Elder and Sister Shute, our ward's senior couple with us too. Elder Shute left the spiritual message for the day, and he talked about an experience that he had when he was the mission president in Apia, Samoa, where Elder Packer, Elder Groberg and him had to ride very rough seas to get to the organization of a new stake of the Church. Elder Shute was called as a mission president at age 35! He is a wonderful man who has much experience and knoeledge. In short, he talked about how we need to follow the light of the gospel to guide us out of the rough seas of life so that we can return into the safe harbor of the Lord. You can read about it in his book, Under A Bright Samoan Sun. The just reminded me of how much we have to depend on the Lord and place our trust in Him.

Anyhow, we have our Zone Conference tomorrow! Had my interview with President Skelton today. He is an amazing man and a wonderful servant of the Lord. I have so much respectv and love for him. Today, we have an all-day preparation day! Going to take a nice nap soon! It's definitely a nice break, but we'll be contining on in the work of the Lord!

I just want to leave with you this week, my simple testimony that I do indeed know that my redeemer lives, that he died for our sins, that by Him, worlds without number were created. I know that he was resurected on the third day, and that we too can be resurrected because of his sacrifice. I know that he came down to this Earth, though He didn't have to, that as the Son of the Living Lord, he condecended Himself to be as man. I know that as we keep His commandments, and do as he would have us do, that we can "be encircled about eternally in the arms of his love" (2 Nephi 1:15).

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