Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have attended the wakes of a few of our members' parents, and recently, just heard of yet another one. A day ago, I received news of a family friend also passing through the veil. Death is a very interesting concept. We are very much subject to it, in every possible way, and, to be honest, it has always frightened me. There is something about seeing a lifeless body that strikes at the heart of someone who wants to live, to see that there is nothing there. The person's spirit is gone. I suppose that I am afraid because I don't want it to happen to me, or to anyone I love anytime soon.
But, it is the message and knowledge of the gospel that brings peace to my heart, though that fear still lingers from time to time. Knowing that this life isn't all there is, is comforting in itself. To know that a loving Heavenly Father has a plan whereby families can be together forever is especially wonderful. I know that families can be together forever.
We've had a pretty decent week actually. Alvin passed his baptismal interview, so he'll be baptized next week! We're excited about that! We're still working on Leah. Unfortunately, she is having some employment issues, so we're working it out with the Bishop. She's supposed to be baptized next week, so we really hope that it works out.
Right, another bit of news. Elder Austin is being transferred to serve in Kota Kinabalu. My new companion, Elder Pulver, from Taylorsville, UT, will come in today.
Elder Austin and I gave talks in both of our wards last Sunday. I've been happy that my speech skills are getting better! Don't need to read from a paper, and no more shaking! I talked about the destiny of each of Heavenly Father's children, and likened it to each of the members, how they have to choose whether or not they want to fulfill their own destiny, since they have already chosen to come down to this Earth, and then to be members of the Church. As I was writing my talk, it really dawned on me that there is no middle ground, no "grey area", no "Sunday Christians." We have to do our best to be as the Savior each and every day of the week, to emulate His example. We also conducted a missionary workshop in Bedok Ward, showing them materials that they could use, showed them a video and a role play, which was really fun, and which I believe they very much enjoyed (judging from their laughs). It was fun.
We were watching a DVD this morning, which is put out by the Church. It helps missionaries to understand Preach My Gospel better and has good examples. What it is about are missionaries who were followed around as they did their work, and who exemplified Preach My Gospel missionaries. They were teaching a lady who was having doubts and who wasn't comfortable with being baptized just then, but as they worked together, she really has a mighty change of heart. It made me want so much to be a better missionary, to really be focusing always on teaching to help Heavenly Father's children return to him. As they proceeded on with her baptismal service, and the baptismal prayer was uttered, the words "commissioned of Jesus Christ" really stuck out in my mind. I thought deeply about that. I am "commissioned of Jesus Christ." It was a feeling that I really can't put down in words, but it made me want to be better, to be the best I can be.
Studying Preach My Gospel has been wonderful. I read and working on Chapter 8 today, "Using Time Wisely." It talked about planning well, being accountable to the Lord.
It went on to talk about really understanding our purpose as missionaries, only then will be have the desire and Spirit to know how to make effective use of our time to fulfill that purpose. It truly is measured, as is said, by an investigator's growing faith in the Savior, repenting, and "earnestly preparing' for baptism and confirmation." There is so much to learn, and as I grow in faith and testimony, I know that I will be able to feel of my Heavenly Father's love more and more.
Elder Tuckfield and I were talking about whether or not whether we should let what people think of us (as individuals) affect our emotions. I think I'm a little more sensitive, so, we talked about learning to be really emotionally independent. He too talked about his shortcomings in relation to that. Our conclusion was that we should really list down and come to know our strengths and weaknesses, know who we are, then just build from there. As such, I'm working on knowing that I truly am a I am a Son of God, and each day, I'm learning more and more about who I am.