Monday, 11 January 2016

Back to normal

      We had a good week! The last few weeks have been tough in YSA because of the holidays and school. Yesterday we had a lot of members back at church because school starts this week so we're grateful to have some member support in our area now! It's going to be great! :)
      We have a new Ward mission leader in one of our wards. His name is Albert Hidalgo, and he's a convert of only one year and he's already a Ward mission leader! He's really solid and he wants to help us out as much as possible. Sometimes in YSA wards everyone gets content with how the Ward is because they like to isolate themselves with just their little social group, but Albert told us he wants to light the Ward on fire so we are excited to work with him. These next few weeks should be interesting because two of the four wards we cover are getting new Bishoprics soon! I'm excited to see who the new leadership is and I'm stoked to meet them!
      My companion and I gave talks in two of our wards yesterday. I focused my talk around President Monson's talk from last conference. I love what President Monson states during his address: "Recently, as I have been reading and pondering the scriptures, two passages in particular have stayed with me. Both are familiar to us. The first is from the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
     The second scripture is one which came to my mind as I pondered the meaning of the first. It is from the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to Timothy: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in
conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I believe the second scripture President Monson shared can accurately explain how we can accomplish the first. We become examples of the believers by living the gospel of Jesus Christ constantly. We can live the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. As we do so, our lights will shine brighter for others to see. Other people will be attracted to our faith because they will notice that we are different, in a good way.
     I testify that the light of Christ is real. The simple truth that the light of Christ exists in all men is evidence to me that God is real, and he loves us. The Bible Dictionary describes the Light of Christ as
being: "just what the words imply: enlightenment, knowledge, and an uplifting, ennobling, persevering influence that comes upon mankind because of Jesus Christ. … The light of Christ should not be confused with the personage of the Holy Ghost, for the light of Christ is not a personage at all. Its influence is preliminary to and preparatory to one’s receiving the Holy Ghost. The light of Christ will lead the honest soul who ‘hearkeneth to the voice’ to find the true gospel and the true Church and thereby receive the Holy Ghost." As we follow the example of the Savior and live as He lived and as He taught, that light will burn within us and will light the way for others to get on the path so they can return to live with our Father in heaven again.
     Without the light of Christ, the work I do everyday would be in vain. I know that as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ daily, our lights will shine bright for the world to see. I think the best way we can share the gospel is by being excellent examples for the world. If we live the way Christ lived, then we will find joy in this life and in the life to come. Other people will notice us as well, which in turn will bring lasting conversion for them and for us.
      Doctrine and Covenants 50:22: Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. I know that as we share the gospel with our examples but also as we open our mouths, that the Lord will bless us for our efforts. No effort is ever wasted when we invite. The success we see in building up the church is not always found in the number of converts, or reactivating members, but it is always found in the invitation we extend to others. As we extend invitations for others to come unto Christ, we will feel lasting conversion.
       I don't have any pictures this week! Sorry about that one, but I will try to send some next week!
       Hey dad- Wow that's crazy the way the game ended! Hahah Seattle always gets the lucky breaks honestly, hahaha it's like they are destined to go to Carolina this week and beat the Panthers... Hahaha. I hope all of the road teams win again, I'm sick of the Broncos and Patriots in the AFC. I'm picking the Chiefs to win the AFC, and I'm picking Seattle to win the NFC. But honestly, those picks are based on what I want. What I actually think is going to happen is a little sad for us, but honestly I think the Arizona Cardinals are going to win the Super Bowl. I hope your Packers can take them down, but they're tough. I would love for a NFC championship rematch but that'll be tough, I honestly think that Seattle can beat Carolina this weekend though. Sounds like you had a good week.
       Elder Strate

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