Monday, 13 June 2016

Importance of Prayer

     We had a very interesting week! I went on three different exchanges this week because some missionaries in our zone needed some help. It's good that Elder Valladares is a good companion because I was in other people's area for almost half of the week, so he still did good work in our area while I was gone. 
     Our zone is doing good! We have seen a huge improvement this last week. Our zone put a lot of people on date for baptism last week and I'm so grateful to the Lord for helping us in this work. I have been trying to do the work more spiritually by involving more scripture study, prayer, fasting, and being open minded as I receive counsel from other people. I've come to realize in my mission that one of the most important things we can do in life is listen. As we listen intently to others we will be enabled to learn from them and from the Holy Ghost. I'm so grateful for that.
     Our area is doing well! We had stake conference yesterday and one of our recent converts got the Melchizedek priesthood. He is planning on going through the temple in Saturday for his endowments. We are so excited for that! His name is Salvador Chicas, he is a branch missionary and comes to lessons with us all of the time. He has family
members living with him that aren't members of the church yet and they came to Stake conference yesterday! We have been working with them and they are doing really well! We also have an investigator family that was in California for one week and they got home yesterday! They also brought more family members with them, so we are going to start teaching them. I know that God has a plan for everyone. I know that he puts specific people into our paths for specific reasons. We are hoping and praying that these people came from California prepared to receive the gospel.
     I want to congratulate my Great Uncle Sam and Aunt Mona for being called as temple presidents in Mexico! That's so awesome! I know they will do an amazing job. I had no idea that they were mission presidents before! That's super cool! My prayers are with them at this time as they are preparing to serve the Lord. I know that the temples are for our benefit and they will protect us from the adversary. Our covenants are for our protection, and I know as we keep them that we will not fall into temptation. 
     Transfers are next week! We will see what happens. I can't believe how fast my mission has gone. It's ridiculous. I'm going to work the hardest I have ever worked on my mission these last few months! I love the Lord and I am so grateful for all he has done for me. Words cannot adequately describe how grateful I am for my Savior and for His Atonement.
     Yesterday at stake conference our stake president talked about praying effectively. One of my favorite things he talked about was praying out loud and expressing our desires to the Lord in that way. I tried it yesterday and I found a lot of power in doing so. Sometimes when we pray in our hearts and minds it is easy to get distracted or wonder off into never never land, but when we pray out loud it is easier to stay focused. It is also and act of faith to do so. The Savior prayed vocally a variety of times, and usually he did it before critical events of His ministry. I think if you read the New Testament you will notice that! I testify that prayer is vital to our salvation. It's not simply something we do when we feel inadequate for life, but it's something that we should yearn to do everyday. I know that God the Father loves us, and he loves to listen to our prayers. 
     Speaking of prayers... Go Cavs! Haha hopefully Draymond Green being suspended will let LeBron do a little bit more offensively. He can also guard Steph Curry or Klay Thompson now so I think they can win tonight! Who knows, maybe they can get on a roll and win three straight! I have faith. Go Cavs!
     Have a great week! I love you all so much, thanks for all that you do!
           Elder Strate

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