Monday, 2 May 2016

Mommy's Day is coming !!!

            We had an amazing week this week! We found 3 new investigators and they all seem really solid so far! One of them we found last night, his name is Daniel and he is from Venezuela! We have been focusing our efforts on finding new people to teach through less active members and recent converts. It's very effective because it is a comfortable way for a less active or recent convert to let us in, and as they help us with missionary work, their testimonies too are strengthened. I've witnessed countless miracles because of this technique.
            We visited the Brito Family, also from Venezuela. We taught them last week and they told us that they had some friends coming from Venezuela soon. We talked to them about introducing the gospel to their friends through a visit from us. They agreed, and we met with them last night! It was amazing. We testified of the Savior and His Atonement as first lesson.
            I've noticed that there are a lot of people that will open up to you or listen to you if you start with Christ. Who He is, what He did, and what we can become as a result. It helps others recognize their divine nature as children of God and they always soften up as a result. The spirit that penetrates the hearts of others is incredible when we testify specifically of Christ and His mission. Daniel wants to go with us to temple square this week with the Brito family and learn more about the temple and the history of the church. He also has a wife, but we haven't met her yet! That was a miracle we saw last night! :) it was amazing! I'm so grateful to the Lord and how he effects the work every day.
            Yesterday was fast Sunday. I love fast Sunday. When I was younger it was hard for me to appreciate the chance to give up 2 meals or more but as I've matured in the gospel I have come to appreciate the chance to fast at least once per month. Yesterday I fasted for my understanding of the sacrament to be increased and for a specific finding opportunity in the evening after dinner. We were going to visit less actives that we had been teaching and I fasted that we might find someone new. The story I told before was a result. Now, my understanding of the sacrament was increased as I read this Hymn, in Spanish, after I had partaken of the bread and water.
            The hymn in English is called, "O God, the Eternal Father". I read the second verse and I had an amazing insight after doing so, which reads; "That Sacred, holy offering, By man least understood, To have our sins remitted And take his flesh and blood, That we may ever witness The suffering of thy Son, And always have his Spirit To make our hearts as one."
            During the sacrament we renew our covenants to follow the a Savior and keep His commandments. As we do so, we are promised the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  I love this song. I testify that the hymns we sing every Sunday at church are a form of us praying to our father in Heaven. In the verse that I shared we are taught that Christ's Atonement is "By man least understood" but the presence of the Spirit makes "our hearts as one".
            Even though the Atonement of Jesus Christ is something we can teach others and learn more about, it is something that we don't understand very well yet. I cannot even attempt to comprehend how the Savior could have possibly taken all of the sins, iniquities, anguish, sufferings, and pains of all mankind on His shoulders. But, what I can recognize is the influence of His Atonement. His Atonement binds us with Him as we partake of it each week at the sacrament table. The spirit that is there binds us together as a congregation or ward family. That insight inspired me. It inspired me because I realized that completely understanding a principle or doctrine is not the reason we have the gospel. The reason we have the gospel is to know where to go, what to do, and who to ask for help when we feel pain, anguish, and sorrow. Christ provides a source of peace, comfort, and love during these hard times. The spirit that brings us together each week during the sacrament provides another source of support during those tough times. I know that is God's truth.
            Doctrine and Covenants 25:11-12 reads: "And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."           
            I know that the doctrine taught here is true. I want all of you to think about that the next time you are singing at your local congregation. I think the hymns will have a greater significance of we recognize that the words we are saying are praises to our Father in Heaven.
            I'm so excited to see my family this week! I promise that I am not trunky! You can even ask my companion on Sunday if you want! Hahaha we are having a lot of fun together, it's been a blast serving with Elder Lemmon.
            Have a great week! I hope everything is going well for all you! Thank you for all of the love and support. Today for p-day we are going to play softball and have a Mexican barbecue. Elder Lemmon and I are the Mexican chefs for the zone hahaha we made some salsa, Mexican drinks, and we are going to barbecue some meat today and show the zone what real food tastes like. It's gonna be sweet! I haven't hit a ball in almost 2 years, I can't wait to play today.
            Have a great week! Love you all and thanks for the constant support through your prayers and letters.
                        Elder Strate

                                    Mothers Day is coming! I'm so excited to see my mommy!!!! :)

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