Monday night we had our weekly appointment with Jim Brown. He has been reading from the children's Book of Mormon everyday and expressed to us that the same thing happens over and over in the book. "They turn bad and then end up in jail or something and then the walls crumble and then they are good and then all starts over!" He is the best. The stories between the good and bad people are getting mixed up in his head it sounds like but he has changed a lot since his baptism. A lot more of his personality has come out it seems and it is so fun to teach him. When we taught him later in the week we taught him how to liken the scriptures unto himself using the classic "read it, find it, use it" tactic. Read the story, find the principle taught in the story, how does that apply to me? We read chapter forty in the Children's Book of Mormon about Samuel the Lamanite and we were able to help him draw 3 connections to his own life. There were many more. So grateful the scriptures help us learn how to follow Christ when we apply them.
Tuesday we had our last appointment with Mike Fremont. He is now officially moved. Thankfully Vegas is a hub of a lot of business conferences so he said he will be out there several times in the future. Fingers crossed we can link up again. He is a really awesome guy who has changed a lot over the last 4 months. All because he has listened to the Spirit that came from reading the Book of Mormon.
Wednesday during the day was our last MLC with president and sister Vest. :( We received some really great training on the Doctrine of Christ by the mission presidency and many other missionaries. As I have pondered about the Doctrine of Christ I had a realization about the restoration that we wrote up in our weekly ward email. It is below in italics. I will greatly miss President and Sister Vest. But I am sure President and Sister Love will be just as great.
MLC (Missionary Leader Council)
President Vest, Elder Kelly, Sister Vest
As missionaries we share the the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is easy to teach the restoration without even touching on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can talk about prophets, priesthood authority, Joseph Smith, and much more without even speaking of Christ and his atonement.
Christ taught his gospel in the Book of Mormon, "Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;"
We must not forget that the restoration was a restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The church is a means to give others the opportunity to live His gospel properly in their lives. Much of the world was and is in confusion about salvation and how to qualify for it. But because of the restoration we know that faith in Jesus Christ leads to repentance. As we repent we qualify to be baptized and confirmed by proper priesthood authority. As we continually prepare to renew our baptismal covenants through the sacrament we are able to endure to the end and will qualify for salvation.
Dallin H. Oaks said, "As we speak to others, we need to remember that an invitation to learn more about Jesus Christ and His gospel is preferable to an invitation to learn more about our Church. We want people to be converted to the gospel. That is the great role of the Book of Mormon. Feelings about our Church follow conversion to Jesus Christ; they do not precede it. Many who are suspicious of churches nevertheless have a love for the Savior. Put first things first."
We testify that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the center of everything The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does. We promise that if we are willing to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ then we will find great peace in his life because we will stand clean before God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Wednesday night we had splits again and this time I went to teach Ivan with a member named Marcos Chavez. On the way over to the appointment he shared mission stories from when he was on his mission down in Mexico. He received an assignment from his mission president to go find the missionaries that just disappeared in the field by their choice. Once he had to go find and elder he had actually gone to high school with. He was walking down town with his companion and it was getting late and they had not been able to find him. They went over to a private spot, prayed, and felt directed to knock a house after walking a little ways. The person who opened the door was brother Chavez's old school mate with his shirt off. Apparently he had gotten married in the Catholic Church. Haha thought that was a pretty crazy story. They stayed married and now are sealed in the temple apparently. Thought that was pretty crazy.
At the appointment Hermana Diaz brought out food and offered us some of it. I told her that I would like poqito considering I had just eaten 30 minutes earlier. Well turns out I ate a lot more than poqito by the time we were gone. My stomach was about to explode.
Friday we went out to dinner with Tay and Georgette. They took us out to a buffet and it was a pretty good time. Georgette is dying to have work off on Sundays officially. She hasn't been able to get it 100% off yet she is getting a little frustrated and is searching for work else where.
We were also able to meet with a new couple that moved into the ward. Jordan and his wife. I can't remember her name. They just got married in the singles ward and he was baptized in September. We get to finish up his new member lessons. He has a really sweet conversion story. His boss invited him to meet with the missionaries so he could change his life and here we are now 9 months later! I love the power of invitations coupled with a testimony.
Today elder Limon and I along with Kaw River Elders went out to Pepperjax grill for philly cheese steak sandwiches. They were delicious.
Elder Aparicio, Elder Booth, Elder Kelly, Elder Limon
Hope you all have a great week and that it is full of scripture study and prayer. That is what actually makes a good week. I know that the power of prayer is real. When we pray God is listening because he is our Heavenly Father. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Kelly :)
Here is another ward email I would like to share.
When a problem arises in these days often times the world's response is decorated with intricate solutions with ambiguous application or unrealistic expectations. As we seek to solve our problems with these answers we come to find that the desired result may only be short lived or only slightly solve the matter at hand.
The Lord teaches, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:36. We look unto Him when we search the scriptures daily, kneel in prayer, and worthily partake of the sacrament. As we allow these simple practices of faith to form our life we will find that our ability to bear the cross we carry is increased. We truly live in the strength of the Lord.
"I have observed that those who are deliberate about doing the “small and simple things”--obeying in seemingly little ways--are blessed with faith and strength that go far beyond the actual acts of obedience themselves and, in fact, may seem totally unrelated to them. It may seem hard to draw a connection between the basic daily acts of obedience and solutions to the big, complicated problems we face. But they are related. In my experience, getting the little daily habits of faith right is the single best way to fortify ourselves against the troubles of life, whatever they may be. Small acts of faith, even when they seem insignificant or entirely disconnected from the specific problems that vex us, bless us in all we do."
We too testify that if we will look unto the Lord in every thought we will have the capacity to over come our doubt and fear as we live in the strength of the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.