Some study insights:
Hmmmm I learned so much this week I am not sure what to talk about. Jacob 5: 66, "For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard." We have to be willing to more fully forsake the world and court the Spirit in our lives if we desire to prepare ourselves and the world for the second coming. If we desire to establish Zion in our homes we truly have to purge ourselves of all ungodliness. Verses like this help me remember what is truly important in life. Please the Father by doing his will. It makes our choices pretty black and white.
Let's talk about Jim for a little bit. Jim Brown is the best. We see Jim about four times a week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday this week actually. He has been reading from the children's Book of Mormon every day and we are hoping to help him be prepared to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. We brought that up on Monday and he expressed some feelings of inadequacy and doesn't think he is qualified to hold the priesthood. We read in the Book of Mormon about the enabling power of the Atonement in the story of the Amlicites. They were able to defeat their enemies because God strengthened them. Jim was able to relate this to himself and has been focusing on morning and night prayers to prepare himself for the priesthood.
On Wednesday we had dinner with the Bracketts. A while back when Elder Limon first got here we went over to their house and made a plan with them of how we were going to help their less active daughter and non-member daughter take the missionary discussions. The Brackett's lives were super busy so it was taking forever to happen but we were able to have dinner with all of them as planned. At dinner we were able to tell them that we had been praying about them for almost the past 4 months in hopes of helping them because the Spirit was always bringing them to our mind during planning sessions and such. The daughter's name is Sierra and her husbands name is Charles. Sierra expressed that she has been praying for guidance and has a desire to come back to church but she does not want to force Charles or pressure him because his family is very against the LDS church. We promised that this path would bring lasting happiness and they committed to take the discussions from us. Our next appointment is tonight!
Later that night we had an appointment with Ivan Martineze. I'm not sure if I told you guys how we have been teaching these lessons but it has been quite interesting. We just make sure that we have a Spanish speaker there with us and they translate for us as we teach. Very different than a normal lesson but it is working. Ivan has been reading and praying everyday and is very prepared for the Priesthood. He was interview on Sunday by the Bishop and should be passing the sacrament in two weeks! I just hope I can hear him bless the sacrament in Spanish before I leave!
Friday night we had an appointment fall through and Brother Boekweg was out with us. (We feel bad because every time he is out with us our appointments fall through) But we went over to another part member families home, Sister Mojica. Sister Mojica was baptized just over a year ago and she has two non-member daughters that are high school age. She has three daughters total, Cassandra (11), Ericka (14), and Valerie (15). Cassandra and Ericka were there but unfortunately Valerie was not. We taught them a brief lesson and invited Ericka to take the lessons and she accepted. They attended girls camp last year and will again be attending this year in a few weeks! Apparently last year they bore their testimony at girls camp so it seems like perfect timing to help them gain a testimony of the Restored gospel!
Elder Limon, Elder Blake, Georgette, Elder Kelly
Saturday night was the Baptism of Georgette!! Her daughter Tay was baptized in March so now they are both working towards the temple. Georgette's mother was also able to come to the baptism so there were three generations of that family in attendance. That was kind of cool. Georgette asked me to perform the baptism and what a great experience. I have now had the opportunity to perform a baptism twice and it is a very humbling thing to do. I always kind of realize the sacredness of what is taking place and then feel so grateful to have the priesthood restored to the earth so we can help others progress towards Eternal Salvation. I know that priesthood authority and power is real. Georgette's mother is active in another church but while I was getting dressed we were able to have the restoration taught. We invited her to church after the baptism and she kindly declined but it was a good seed planted.
So last week we taught the fellow named Emmanuel but unfortunately we were not able to meet this Saturday as planned. But he did come to church!! He showed up wearing his nice clothes from Africa. It was so sweet! Very bright orange colors. It reminded me of some of the people I met in Swaziland.
Ericka also came to church on Sunday!
Ok last thing. Sunday night we had a great trip out to the Liberty Jail. We had planned on meeting Tay and Georgette out there and we also invited Jim. We were looking for a ride with little success. We decided to ask Mike Fremont and he accepted! So we had a less active and three recent converts at the Liberty Jail all at the same time. To say the least we were pumped about it. The same sister from last time took us through the tour and it was so good again. All the same information but the lesson taught was completely different. I don't think i have seen anybody teach that well to someone's needs. It was seriously impressive. One of the scriptures that was shared was one I had never before heard! Job 23:10 "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." If we will turn to God at all times all things will be for our good. We truly shall come forth as gold!!!
Singing at Brookdale again
I testify that the Lord is leading and guiding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because it is truly His church. I know that we can receive real strength and be forgiven through Christ's atonement if we will but ask and act. God desires to know us and we need to seek after the opportunity to know Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.