Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"The Nine Society"


Well, this week was wonderful, mainly because I learnt much about myself and about the gospel.

On Thursday, Elder Pace went down to the gym to work out, so I sat outside the door waiting for him. A couple of the security guards there asked me to move, but I really didn't want to. Elder Pace came out of the gym and we were pretty rude to them, though they let me stay where I was. As I was sitting there reading about the life of Christ, I realized just how un-Christlike our actions had been, so I went up to them and apologized. As Elder Pace and I were going back up to our apartment, we talked about how we were natural men, which immediately got me thinking about how, as King Benjamin said in the Book of Mosiah, that we have to be as children, submissive, meek, and humble. If not, we will not be able to enter into the Kingdom of God.

I was sick the most of last week, so we weren't able to go out much. But, we were able to teach one of the security guards in our complex. It seems to me that the Lord gives us opportunities to teach no matter what situation we are in.

Over the past week, I have had some differences with my companion, and have had some hard times. On Sunday, while sitting in Sacrament, I was brooding over my problems. I said a short prayer, and was still thinking when, in my own mind, I heard a voice saying "Why aren't you more obedient?" Oh, that was a huge wake-up call for me. I started thinking about all the things that had been doing on my mission, and I have come to realise how important obedience is. Our mission motto is "Obedience in Exactness," and I never really paid attention to it. Over the years in Church, I have heard over and over again how we have to be obedient, but I guess it's always bounced off my head. Only now have I come to understand that obedience is indeed "the first law of Heaven." If we aren't obedient, we cannot have the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion because the Spirit isn't going to be with someone who doesn't listen. The Lord expects us to be obedient so that he can bless us, and, as we see that, continue in that wonderful cycle of obeying the Lord's commandments and feeling of His Spirit and love for us.

An incident with one of our investigators taught me much this week. The first thing that I came to understand is how important and blessed we are to have families. Our parents love us so much, but at times, or, much of the time, we fail to see just how much they love us, and how much the Lord has blessed us to have parents who care for us and want us to grow to be good people. I have seen just how much my parents have sacrificed for me, and I am so grateful for their love and care for me over the years. The other thing that came to mind was how different a life can be if a person does not have the gospel in his or her life. Without the gospel, life can seem so meaningless. I was able to see firsthand how tough life can be without the gospel. Our investigator talked about how life was so hard. He said that the world was confusing and chaotic, and how it seemed that he was alone in this world. He talked of the disasters and wars in the world, and how he couldn't understand why this was happening. As I pondered on it later on, I realised that with the gospel, we know our purpose in life. We know that we are Children o9f our Heavenly Father who loves us. We know that man has his agency to choose between right and wrong. We know that as we trust in the Lord that all will be well. We know that as we place our hand on the arm of the Lord, that we can be guided. We know that this life is but a small moment in eternity, that as we strive to obey the commandments of the Lord and keep His covenants, that we can live with our families forever. Most of all, we know that the Lord is always watching over us, that He knows us and loves us, that nothing in this world matters as long as we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Yesterday was wonderful. In district meeting, we talked of gratitude. We read through the story of the ten lepers, and our distract leader mentioned something that John Bytheway had said about how there are two societies that we can be in. One is "The Nine Society" while the other is "The One." Ten of the lepers were healed. Nine never returned to thank the Lord, but the one did. How important it us to be grateful, especially to our parents and to the Lord, who have given us all that we have. I hope to always be in "The One," to always remember to thank the Lord for our blessings and knowledge of the gospel. Throughout the rest of the day, we were able to get much contacting done, and we went over to a member's home and teach her family, who are non-members. Our last appointment was with a referral from Salt Lake. The referral's name is Ming Lee. It turns out that he had been in Utah for five months for training. Over the course of those months, many of his co-workers, who were members of the Church, fellow shipped him. They showed him love and care, they shared their beliefs and taught him the gospel. He was able to watch the movie on Joseph Smith in the Legacy Theater. He said that he felt "nice" when he watched it. Member missionary work is so important, and by our examples, we can bring others to Christ.

I hope this didn't sound like a sermon. I will definitely try to include more on our daily activities next week. Please write! I would love to receive letters!

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