Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Faith Obedience"

Well, we've certainly had an eventful week. There were definitely a few days that stood out more than others. Before I dive into the week, I wanted to talk about "faith obedience," which I mentioned last week but did not have the time to write about. I was reading an article in the New Era a couple weeks ago, and one of the mentioned a statement by President Packer, who said, "Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God... We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see." I believe that statement, and have come to learn just how true it in on my mission. When you look at the world around us today, you see the chaos and turmoil. But, as we look towards the commandments that the Lord has given us, we then see what He has taught us in His infinite wisdom, and how "Obedience in Exactness" can help us to accomplish the things the Lord requires of us, and receive the promised blessings.

Anyhow, we have been trying to get a fresh pool of investigators, because we have been stuck with a stagnant pool these past couple of weeks that we haven't been able to do much with. We spent the first couple of days after preparation day last week making calls to people whom we previously got numbers from. We were able to get a few new investigators from those numbers, so that definitely helped a bit. On Friday, we spent the evening with the Young Men in the ward. Their leaders all had other things to attend to, and so we created a sort or gospel jeopardy game for them, which turned out to be really fun and informative for them, so that definitely was a highlight of the week. We also played some ball games with them after that.

We spent the weekend watching General Conference. On Saturday, we stayed for all the sessions. On Sunday, we watched the first session at Church then went over to the Lai's for lunch, and to watch the final session of Conference. General Conference was amazing! I loved Elder Perry's talk on looking at the simpler things in life, and not being caught up in the ways of the world, always wanting more material things, but nothing of the spiritual. I thought that it paired well with Sister Dalton's talk on members of the church needing to be an ensign to the nations. I was talking to Brother Petersen about the current economic crisis, and he mentioned that this might be the best time to talk to people about the gospel of Jesus Christ. As sad as it sounds, it is only in times of great need that many people turn to God for comfort and reason. But, the world is as such, humility is so scare in this world. But, we press forward, and we hope to be able to take this "opportunity in opposition" and spread the gospel of peace, the gospel of joy, and what truly brings us happiness in this life, aside from the shallow, materialistic things of this world. As duly ordained missions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we hope to be able to share this message with the world.

We are now teaching Yalie, an investigator from France who is Asian by blood, but who is completely French. She is a model in Singapore, but very different from the stereotype of most models. For one thing, she is a mother, and takes her son everywhere around. She's been very nice and willing to listen to the gospel, so we are hoping to be able to help her see the plan that the Lord has for us. It is really interesting to be able to meet people from different parts of the world. Speaking of meeting people from different parts of the world, while we were with Yalie, a man from Hong Kong approached me, and stared at my tag. I started to talk to him. When I asked him why he was here, he said that he was here to commit suicide. I was shocked! Elder Pace came up and joined in the conversation, and we agreed to talk to him about his problems. When we met up with him, we found a member who could speak Cantonese, who was with the Mandarin Elders, who decided to join us too. It turns out that this 40 year old man, Eddie, has wanted for years to fulfill his dream of studying in Australia. Unfortunately, he does not have the finances, and so, is here to find a benefactor. If not, he said, there would be no point to his life. He said that he had a life insurance on himself, and that he would be able to pay whoever lent him the money back within ten years. If not, he would kill himself and pay back double the money he had borrowed. So, we talked to him about how he did have a purpose in life, about how we all have different goals, and how we just can't reach them sometimes. We also showed him the "Finding Happiness" DVD, talked with him for a bit more, gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon. We then had him to pray, and sent him on his way. I hope all works out for him. I guess the lesson that I learned was that some people in this life are so focused on something that they want, that they don't realize why they really are here on this Earth, or they do not realize that there are different alternatives and solutions to different problems.

We are now teaching a man named Moses who found the Woodlands Elders' name card on the floor, and called. We happened to pick up their phone and found out that he is in our area. We've been able to teach him a couple of times now. It seems that he has been having "bad" and "dirty" thoughts in his mind for the last twenty or so years, and has been taking medication, but to no avail. So, we are teaching him about how the Savior can help him, and we are preparing him and helping him to build enough faith in the Lord and his restored Church so that we can give him a priesthood blessing, and have him healed. He is a very humble man and we like him a lot so we'll have to see how it goes. He speaks Mandarin a lot more than English, so I have been able to use my Mandarin! We are also teaching Linda again, our former investigator from China. I was on exchanges yesterday with Elder Madsen, and we taught her about faith. The problem, she said, is that she needs to see before she can believe, so we're going to have to try and help her to work around that.

Lastly, Aravin is getting baptized on Saturday so we are really happy! The only thing is that I haven't been asked to participate in any way even though I've been teaching him since the beginning, for the last four months. Elder Pace is giving a talk though. I guess I'm just sad and disappointed that they didn't ask me to do anything. I guess it really doesn't matter because I played my part in bringing him to the waters of baptism, and that is all that really matters, to bring one of Heavenly Father's children back to him. But I can't help but feel sad that they didn't deem what I have done important enough to play a part that I put so much time and effort into. It would have been nice.

Oh well, I guess that I can find my joy in laboring, as it says in D&C 18:15, "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one a soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" I have been able to do that, and I am learning that that is all that really matters.

Well that sums up the week, and my reflections, take care and God Bless!

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