February 9, 2015
Well this week was crazy and weird. We get a call from President Tuesday morning right before we are about to leave and he is like we are going to white wash your area and move the zone leaders in since they live in the middle of nowhere and need to be more central and there area is not productive. I was like oh well that sounds about right. Every time I get an area going I just get shipped off to one that has nothing and then have to slave away for the next 3 to 4 months and then do it all over again. Heavenly Father loves doing that to me. I really wasn't all that bothered though. I'm pretty used to moving. Elder Thompson though was devastated since he wanted to die here. (When a missionary goes home it is refer to as dying). He was the one talking to President Millar and I was in the back just trying to keep him from complaining and just being a man about it. I could barely get an okay out of him after President would say something haha. Elder Gull and I will miss each other and always whine about me leaving him. Will miss a few of the members I got close with, but I'm excited for another adventure. Hopefully back to the Isle of Wight!
The sad news is that Manolito didn't get baptized... He wasn't able to quit smoking in time so we had to cancel it. The real sucky part is that he blames me for everything. We were suppose to meet with him, but one of the his flat mates text us saying he had to cancel so I asked him to ask Manolito if he hadn't smoke this week. Well he had so I told him to just let him know we would have to postpone the baptism and that we would come over the next day to talk about it. I even had Elder Thompson read over it to make sure it was nice cause sometimes I can be a little blunt and Elder Thompson is so loving haha. Well anyway He got really mad so we decided to just pop by that night and try and smooth things over to love and encourage him. Well he opened the door and said you sent that text that was not from Elder Thompson. You don't understand what you did to me. I asked if we could come in and share a scripture. I shared 1 Nephi 3:7 and talked about how the Lord will provide a way from him to keep his commandments and that baptism was not a matter of if, but when. Well he still wasn't happy with me and just looked at me and said everybody understands me, but you. You don't realize what you have done to me. I just said that it was both Elder Thompson and I that made the decision and that we did it because we love him and want him to be fully prepared and ready. He just said no, stared at me for a bit, then turned to Elder Thompson and said I love you to bits and you are now my guide. Well to say the least I just told him I loved him and that I was always there for him. He gave me a hug when we left so that was good. Man I don't know what it is about me, but people just take everything I say so hard. Oh well Jesus Christ was hated by many and many took his words to be hard so I guess I'm doing something right. Oh and don't worry Elder Thompson spoke to he just isn't very bold and basically just said that he loved Mano and is there for him. So I just took all the beating which I'm good with cause it would have killed Elder Thompson if he had said anything mean to him. He even felt bad for me and I was just like oh well. Once again I am just a heathen.
We spent most of the rest of the week preparing the area for the zone leaders and just trying to prepare everyone as much as possible. Had nice treat the last two days though. One of our less actives was devastated when I told her that I was leaving. She doesn't do that with anyone else though. So made me happy to know she loved me:) Plus one of the members (Taylor's) Just loved us to death gave us a cool present. They lived in Jerusalem for 15 years and she gave us a book mark that had a picture of Christ tomb that came from the exact spot! It was so cool! She said don't tell anyone cause I don't hand these out for fun. I just love her and her husband so much. She would only invite us over for dinner and not the other Elders. We would always just talk about the Old and New Testament and all the history she learned about while living there and then plus the deep doctrine my favorite:) I was surprised at home many members were really sad that I was leaving. I didn't realize I had made that much of an impact in just 3 months. They were probably the saddest ward to see me leave that I've been in. That was basically my week and it was crazy weird one as I said before!
Well I don't remember if I have ever shared this, but if I have oh well. Something cool that I love studying is being born again. A cool insight that I learned when I was about 9 months out is in John 3:3-5.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
In verse 3 you'll notice that it says "See the Kingdom of God" and in verse 5 it says "Inherit the Kingdom of God." So what does that mean? It means that? It means that we have to have a change of heart or be "born again" in order to realize that the Kingdom of God is on the earth again. Once we receive this witness which comes from the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:3-5) we then will want to be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost so we can enter God's kingdom. One might ask well do you have to receive that before you are baptized? The answered would be no, but it would be ideal if everyone had that born again experience before baptism. But like myself a lot of people receive it after baptism. The Scriptures are loaded with examples of people having this born again experience. Paul had it on his way to Damascus and after having it was baptized (Acts 9:18), The three thousand people Peter taught and baptized who were all pricked in their hearts and asked what should they do now?(Acts 2: 37-38,41) The Book of Mormon is loaded with people who had their born again experiences. The people of of King Benjamin (Mosiah 4-5), Alma the Older (Mosiah 23:9; 18:7-18), Alma the Younger (Alma 36), and of course the Sons of Mosiah and their mission among the Lamanites (Alma 17-26).
I would exhort all of you to search deep and truly see if you have been born of God? Alma 5 gives you all the questions you should ask yourself to see if you have been born of God. Now do not expect to have experiences like all the people in the scriptures. Theirs were so amazing that they were written down for scripture. For most of us being Born Again will come over time. But it first starts with having faith in Christ and desiring to have a burning testimony that the Book of Mormon is true which will lead one to know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true and living church on the face of the earth. We then over time will be changed and as Alma the Younger taught,
26 And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. (Mosiah 27:26)
I testify that all of us can become born again and be able to enjoy all the blessings that Heavenly Father has and wants to offer us. I have felt his love for me and though my journey of being born again has been rough and is still continuing I know that one day I will be able to be like Jesus Christ and rest with him in His Father's kingdom. There is no greater blessing then that of Eternal Life! I love this work and I love my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I know that it is only through him that I can be changed and to become who he wants me to be. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever" (Alma 26:12).
Hope you all have a great week and love you to shredzz!!
The amazing Braganza family. They have a son serving in India right now and there other son is only 17 too haha. And then Edward who was baptized over a year ago and is just so epic! He plans to go leave on a mission soon!
This ladies name is Pauline. Elder Allen and I found her my second transfer on the Isle of Wight. She had dropped us before I left, but they picked her back up the week I left haha. She got baptized this Sunday though and I even got to talk to her yesterday on the phone! SO EPIC!