Monday, June 12, 2017

June 5 - It was sure a hot one this week!!!

Well it was a hot one this past week, but it was a really good one!  I want to start off with a scripture that president used in one of his emails that I really liked!  It says, "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." (1 Peter 3:13-17)  I love this scripture and think it is especially applicable to missionary work and being examples of the believers in all that we do!  I have truly come to find out on my mission that if we suffer of God's sake then we can be happy even when others are mocking us or think that what we are doing is of no worth or of little value. I was reading in the scriptures this morning and I was in Mosiah 27 today about the conversion of Alma the Younger. In verse 31 it says that in the future every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess before Him (God) at the last day, and that all people are going to know that His judgements are just . I think having that perspective has helped me a lot on my mission in realizing that even though many people do not realize it, they too are children of a loving Heavenly Father and that it is our job to tell them that. Even though not all people are going to accept that knowledge in this life, it is our job to give them every chance that we possibly can, because in a future day everyone is going to know that Jesus is the Christ and they are going to know if we gave them the chance to accept that or not in this life. I love sharing this knowledge with those around me and it makes me even happier when those around me come to accept it as truth.

It was a good week for us here in Buda. We were able to go on exchanges with the Elders from Pest. I was able to work with Elder Leavitt here in Buda and it went really great!  When we go on exchanges, we always like to pick points of focus to work on an we were able to focus on getting member involvement in the work (something you all are great examples of). We were able to discuss how one of the best ways to get to the hearts of members is through being an example to them and through showing them your love and dedication to the gospel and to the work of salvation. We were able to discuss how many of the members that actively participate in missionary work are the ones that are the most converted themselves (because once we receive this amazing gospel, the thing we want to do is share it with other people) and how when we go and visit members (to have dinner or introduce ourselves) our main goal should be to increase their faith in this amazing work and get them more actively involved in finding those that are ready. I have really seen this with one of the recent converts here in Buda.  She is doing the very best she can to share the gospel with absolutely everybody! She is talking to people on the trains, at her work place, and all over. It is so amazing to see because it is a true indicator to me that she is really becoming converted!  She has us over for dinner once a week and just tells us about all her missionary experiences!

We were able to have many great gospel discussions this past week.  We were able to teach about the Restoration to one individual and were able to really focus on Gospel Dispensations and that God calls a prophet, and then the people reject him, and then he calls another one (and how the exact same thing happened with Joseph Smith). I think he is really starting to grasp it. He is a really big thinker and likes to come up with his own opinions on certain things, however, he always tells us that he is feeling something that he loves and that all of this new information is really pleasing to him. We are meeting with him tonight and are going to speak more about Baptism and the Priesthood authority behind it.

We were able to check in on one particular family that had some sickness that prevented them from coming to church and were able to give them a spiritual note. They were so happy to see us and really want to meet this week but they have some work conflicts that they need to figure out. They are doing well though and area making progress. We were also able to meet with our investigator from China this week and were able to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She really liked it and said that she really wants to come to church this next week. She really feels good when we meet and loves learning about all of these things. We also met with some of our other investigators this week and they all seem to be doing very well.

I love this work and I love you all so much!  I want to finish with a quote from President that really stuck out to me this week.  He said that, "most often it is the bad habits in our lives that present the greatest obstacles to our progression!"  I really loved that and am so grateful for the chance I have to overcome my weaknesses and put off the natural man through the atonement!  I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Gentry Elder

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