Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"The Root of Christian Doctrine"

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

I hope that all goes well for everyone, and that you've all had a decent week. The missionary work continues to go forth in this part of the world, like a rough stone rolling! I was looking at the Singapore Mission statistics ending November 2007. It showed that out of the 359 million people that live in our mission boundaries, only 9021 are members! Though the mission has shrunk drastically since the mission split, there are still millions of people who are waiting to listen to this marvelous gospel, we have a lot to do!

We had a relatively quiet week, what with our star investigator moving back to Myanmar, and people preparing for Chinese New Year. We were able to meet up with Angelina, the wife of a less-active member a couple of times this week. She is a wonderful lady who has been diligent in studying the Book of Mormon, and asking revel ant questions to gain a deeper understanding of it's teachings. She still has many doubts, but she is willing to learn, and bit by bit, we're helping her to see that those doubts are unfounded. Last night, she accepted a baptism date for March 15! It's been great to see how she has progressed these past couple of weeks. It was a little humorous to see her calculating somehow to see if that date was auspicious for her to be baptized. In Chinese culture, when someone is making a big step in their lives, such as marriage, they consult the Chinese calender to see if it is a good day. Interesting concept really.

Anyhow, we met up with two new investigators on Monday, Steven from Singapore, and Dildeyal from Myanmar. They are both great guys whom we look forward to teaching. Steven is a man in his mid-forties who has had some rough patches in life, and, is unfortunately going through that right now, with not-so-savory characters trying to get him to pay them the debts that he owes them. But, he has been turning to the Lord to give him strength and direction. We can't provide any physical protection or what not, but it was great to see how he absorbed the message of the Restoration, and said that he would read The Book of Mormon and pray about it. It's good to see that people still put God first even in tough times. Dildeyal was a man that we met on the MRT, and who is working in Singapore. We brought him over to Pheonix's home, and taught him about the Restoration also. He is Buddhist/Hindu, but is willing to learn about another religion. He's a humble man and will be wonderful to teach, so we're looking forward to that.

Well, Chinese New Year's Eve is coming up this Sunday. The Stake Presidency issued a directive that Church could be shortened to two hours to accommodate the reunion dinners. I've never heard of that happening before, and I'm a little perplexed by it, but, I guess it's been approved.

Hope that you all have a great week ahead of you! To close, I read a really great article in a BYU Magazine, about The Root of Christian Doctrine. The author talked about hoe the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central message of all Christian teachings, and how we each have to apply it in all that we teach and do. He quoted President Boyd. K. Packer as saying that:

"The Atonement of Christ] is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them."

I thought it very simple but profound. I hope that we can all keep that thought in our minds and hearts, and do read the article if you have time. I'll post the link up here. Take care and God bless!

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