Wednesday, January 28, 2009



I hope that you are all having a good week, and for those of you wonderful Chinese people, Xin Nian Quai Le! We've had a relatively slow week, since it's been Chinese New Year over here, and everyone's taking a break. The majority of shops were closed for three days, so there wasn't really anyone around to talk to. But, we persevered and the Lord blessed us. In the past two days, we've had eight new investigators! Aside from that, we've had a few lessons, and we have more set up for this week. We're waiting for supplies to come in, and we're getting rather anxious because we're almost our of The Restoration pamphlets, and we're completely out of planners for the missionaries, aside from a few in Malaysia that will go soon too.

Well, I wanted to focus more on what I've learned in personal study this past week. Elder Palfreyman has been wonderful in helping me to study harder and smarter, and it has made a huge difference.

I've been studying the Old Testament Study Manual, and I've been learning much. When I first started, I really wasn't getting much out of it, and I was really ready to give up on it. I was mentioning that to Elder Palfreyman. What he told me really changed my study perspective. He said that I could get so much more out of the manual if I could see how its teachings, and the teachings in the Old Testament could be applied in my life. I thought about that for awhile and decided to try it out, and, it works! Elder Palfreyman also helped me to see the beauty of Preach My Gospel. To be completely honest, for most of my mission, I have thought of the book as an overrated guide to what we teach, especially since we're counseled to teach by the Spirit. Thus, I never read it. But, Elder Palfreyman gave us a challenge to select a part of the book and study it. So, I decided to start of with the first chapter about my purpose as a missionary. Wow! The insights I gained and the knowledge I absorbed was amazing! It truly is a book that was put together by the Brethren through the inspiration and guidance of the Lord! I've been able to more firmly understand my purpose now. I strongly encourage anyone going on a mission to prayerfully study this wonderful guide.

This week, I studied the article that I mentioned last week, and, what I learned from it was amazing. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has become a lot more personal to me now. There is so much to do and learn in this life, there is so much in the gospel that is fascinating and exciting. There are doctrines to be discussed and histories to be studied. The Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith was essential for this last dispensation. The Plan of Salvation is a wonderful plan that a loving Heavenly Father has given us. But, one thing I learned: with out the Atonement of Jesus Christ, there would be no hope, no reason for us to live. But, because of this singular act of supreme selflessness and sacrifice, all that is wrong will be made right, all that is pain will be free. It is almost bewildering to start to understand the concept of the Atonement, but it happened. I know it did. All this happened because a very loving Father in Heaven wanted all His children to return to Him. It would cause Him much pain and suffering to see His only Begotten Son to go through this act, but it had to be done. A Father's love was what allowed this to happen. That love was what allowed a Son to sacrifice all He had for His brothers and sisters, whom he loves equally. As I have come to in a small sense comprehend this act, I have to come to understand the need for us to repent and do our best to not sin. One thing that never clicked in my mind is the fact that the only reason why sin is in this world, the only reason for sin is because man is disobedient to God's commandments. I never put that two and two together before. But now, it's as clear as day. Obedience is the first law of Heaven, because once you break that law, you have sinned. And so, I have now strengthened my resolve to be exactly obedient to the Lord's commandments, and in some measure be able to reap the blessings of that obedience. I also learned more about the importance of the sacrament. When Christ showed Himself to the people in the Americas, He wanted them to be in contact with the physical emblems of His suffering. Today, that contact is through the Sacrament, the symbols of His sacrifice. The word sacrament comes from the root word sacrare which is the act of consecrating. I then made the connection! When we consecrate our performances, and ourselves to the Lord, we're becoming one with Him! The word atonement comes from the root at-one! So, when we partake of the sacrament, we're supposed to remember the covenants to be "at one" with the Savior, whose supreme at was to unite us to Him, to unite soul and body together, in short, a reconciliation. And so, I am now going to really take the sacrament to heart.

Lastly, I was able to give District Training on Tuesday, using this article. A commitment that I gave was that each companionship should use the Atonement in everyone of their lessons, so we'll see how that helps!

Well, thanks for reading. Take care. I love and miss you all!


Liz Szilagyi said...

I miss missionary study. No matter how hard you try after the mission, it's never the same. I think it's because you don't have other people's needs as heavily on your mind.

I also miss Chinese New Year. I wished it to my husband, but there is no big to do about it here in the US.

Keep up the good work. I love hearing your updates.

LaMont's Blog said...

thank you for sharing your insights. It is a great feeling when you "see" things in a new light.