Monday, 18 April 2016

Great week!

            Elder Lemmon and I had another fantastic week. We taught a lot of lessons and found more people to teach! The members here are very missionary minded and they love helping us out with lessons, but also with providing activities for the Ward. On Sunday we had a mingle or linger longer after church and it was a really good way for us to get to know the members better and see them in a comfortable environment.
            We had a lot of less active members attend church yesterday! That made us another very happy.
            I got a wedding invitation in the male this week! Picture is attached below. It's from my cousin, Cameron Williams, and he is getting married in May! Thanks for the invitation Cameron! I know the wedding is somewhat close to me but I don't think I will be able to go, but the invitation was really nice! I'm so happy for you and your fiancé.
            I'm sure things will be great! I have been trying to study the New Testament more lately. I also have been focusing on how I can find strength through the Savior's Atonement and help others find that strength as well. I read something really interesting this morning. Matthew 11:28–30: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall  find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
            I express my appreciation for the infinite and eternal sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Atonement is not only for people who have made mistakes and are trying to be good. It is for good people who are trying to become better and serve faithfully and who desire an ongoing and mighty change of heart. I know that Christ's Atonement can help us maintain a mighty change of heart everyday. The things we do everyday will influence who we become. Our purpose in this life is to become like the Savior. The enabling power or grace that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us accomplish this purpose.
            Another scripture that comes to mind as I think about this concept is Mosiah 3:19 in the Book of Mormon. "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
            As we yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, put off the natural man, and become a saint through the Savior's Atonement, I know that we can develop submissiveness, meekness, humility, patience, and charity. Our redeemer has promised us that His grace is sufficient. I know that it is. I have felt his grace change me and enable me to become a powerful missionary. I have truly felt his influence everyday, and I'm so grateful for the love that he has for me. Christ loves and knows each of us perfectly. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Words solely cannot accurately express my gratitude for the Savior. Without him I am nothing, but with him and his grace I can become something meaningful and become an instrument in his hands. May we discover what the Lord's will is for us, and follow it. He loves us so much, and I promise you that as you follow the plan he has for you, that you will become a better person and an amazing disciple of Christ. You will become more than you can become on your own.
            A cool experience that I have been having this week is actually a combination of the little things going on in the area. A lot of less active members of the church or non-members around here are very bitter. They usually have the attitude that they have heard it all before and there is nothing that we can share with them that will change their minds. Elder Lemmon and I pray a lot as a companionship throughout our day. Every time we pray, we ask the Lord to give us strength to become powerful teachers and we ask that the hearts of those around us may be softened. We ask that those around us may be willing to listen. During my time in this area I have seen so many people let us in and simply give us a shot. That to me is a miracle. Our prayers and fasting has been paying off. I have seen the Lord's influence in our area because he is preparing the hearts of those around us. It's been really neat to see that.
            I know that the Lord has his timing for each and every one of his children. All we can do is invite those around us to partake of His Atonement. An invitation to come into Christ never hurts because you never know what truly is going on in their life. It might be a perfect time to invite them depending on how the Lord is working with them through challenges and the influences of mortality. I believe that this phrase so frequently used in the church, "the Lord is preparing his children to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and we must find the elect. We must find those that he is preparing", can be commonly misinterpreted. Lots of people believe that we must solely look for the elect. The trick is that we don't know how ready someone is or if they are elect until we invite them. An invitation for a friend to attend mutual could change their life. An invitation to a ward activity, or a friend's baptism, or a party can change the life of someone you know and love. Please think and pray about someone you can invite to come unto Christ. There are so many different ways to invite, and so many different opportunities we have to invite. The most important thing we can do as disciples of Christ is invite our fellow men to return to the fold of God. I have seen that in my area.
            I have seen that in my other areas. I have seen that throughout my entire life. Invitations bring a chance for change. Keeping covenants or promises we have made bring opportunities for sincere repentance and progression in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and know that he lives.
            Have a great week! I hope my message has inspired and edified you today. Thank you for your support. I can feel your prayers on my behalf and I sincerely thank you for them.
            Elder Strate

Wedding Invitation and picture from Cameron! :)

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