That's right folks, I'm out! It's time to say Adios to San Juan!
Yesterday we saw the close of yet another transfer. It's been a crazy one, for sure! Transfers seem to come and go like weeks. We got a call on Saturday night from Elder Austin, who was just called as a new Assistant. (Fun fact! He'll be serving with Elder Donovan who came out with me; and Elder Donovan's first name: Austin). We were told that Elder Baker will be staying and taking over the area, and that I'll be getting transferred. Also, One of the Sisters in the branch who has already been here for four transfers will be staying for ANOTHER one to train a new missionary. Being that there are only eight Spanish Elder areas, it's pretty easy to figure out what's going on at transfers. The two Denver areas are filled up, as is the branch in Grand Junction and the Carbondale branch. That leaves me with the options of Frisco, Vail, or Rifle. Whatever the case may be, I'm going to be cold. It's been nice spring weather here in Montrose lately (I don't know why!), but it looks like I'll be going to the mountains to finish out the winter! Oh, and Elder Smith got called as a Zone leader! I told him that would happen...
|Someone made us little clay missionaries!|
We taught a few good lessons to people on their doorsteps this week. It was on their doorstep because I forgot to teach Elder Baker about getting inside people's houses. And then when it happens again, I realize I still forgot. I hope I can get around to doing that sometime soon. Anyway, those lessons have been good!
On Saturday I got to be an English missionary again in the Spring Creek ward. It was a really good day! We started off by having a church tour with one of their investigators named John. He was a really hard guy to teach. I could get about one sentence in to his eight or nine. He had lots of ideas and philosophies. But overall it was a good tour and a good lesson. We also went and taught one of their recent converts, and afterwards had some great seafood chowder with another recent convert. We finished off that night by getting transfer calls. Also, our car has been refusing to start on and off, and the people at the shop said there's nothing wrong with it. We're just really hoping it's going to start tomorrow morning when we need to drive to transfers!
We had a couple of lessons with the Morenos this week, as per usual. On Wednesday, their two teenage girls came to the branch mutual activity! We played basketball at one of the buildings. They had a blast, and it was lots of fun! Other than that, we've had a pretty interesting development. Oscar seems to be growing in his interest in the gospel. He didn't seem to want to have to much to do with it when we first started teaching them, but something's changed! So that's really promising. We tried committing Pati to stop smoking. We told her we were going to eat nothing but brown rice and water until she stopped. But hey, I'm getting transferred, so... We'll see what happens. Well, I won't but Elder Baker will!
We've taught a lot of good lessons on faith this week. One of them was the most recent lesson we taught to the Morenos. Basically, Moroni says, "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; Iwould show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute notbecause ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6). Okay. Faith is something you hope for, that you can't see. Let's bring it down to an everyday level. I hope this door is going to open. But no matter how hard I hope, it's not going to open. That's where Moroni 7:40 comes in. "How is it thatye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?" We need to attain unto faith. It's not the same as hope. Hope precedes faith. The difference between the two is that faith is a principle of action. I have faith that this door is going to open, so I'm going to exert my energy to reach out my hand, grab to doorknob, turn it, and push the door open. And guess what? The door opens. (Good thing it wasn't locked, or that would have totally ruined my object lesson). As Moroni said, "ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." I now witness the open door, but I did not receive that witness until I had put forth effort to achieve the thing I had hoped for.
So great, now we know that we use faith to open doors. But how does it apply to salvation? Moroni says further in Moroni 7:40-41, "And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise."
So that's the hope. That's the hope that our faith is based on. Eternal life with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. At this point, we could just say, "I believe!! I've been saved!" And watch the door stand still, or we can do the things that Jesus taught, thus exercising our agency, and transforming our hope into active faith! Faith is a principle of action! And how do we act? We repent of our sins, strive to change and become more Christ-like, we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, then we endure to the end in being faithful to our covenants, which are instructions and commitments to help us along the way as we learn and grow. Faith, faith, faith! It all starts with faith. That's why it's the first principle of the gospel; because just like any other thing in this universe, nothing happens until we exercise faith. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "Faith [is] ...the principle of action in all intelligent beings” (Lectures on Faith , 1).
I hope you all liked my thoughts on faith. I wanted to share them because I think it's so cool! I hope you'll all act on your faith by living the principles and ordinances of the gospel, and by keeping your covenants! I love you! Make it a great week!!