Monday, 4 July 2016

Lots of teaching

     We had an amazing week! Honestly one of the best ones of my entire mission. We found some amazing new people to teach! We found a family from Colombia, the Barrera family, and they are super open to the gospel. I am so grateful to the Lord for helping us find the elect.
     I'm also grateful to him for helping the members around us find the elect. We taught a lot of lessons this week! 35 and found 9 new investigators. We taught the restoration and the plan of salvation many times this week. The history of the restoration is one of my favorite things to teach. I love being able to testify without any doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God! I am amazed as I see people take the restoration into their hearts, ponder it, and pray about it to see if it is true. Every time they ask the Lord, he tells them that it is true through the Holy Ghost. I am amazed how the Lord knows each of His children perfectly. I say that because he always gives answers in a way that we can recognize it if we are truly searching. When we ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, and having faith in Christ, we can know all things. I notice that it talks about faith in Jesus Christ; not faith in Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, or the church. We have faith in an immortal being. Someone that is perfect and loves us dearly.
     I know that when we have faith in Christ that we will always find the truth. The honest seekers of truth and true disciples of Christ cannot deny the truth once they find it.
     We have 2 people on date for baptism for July 30th and we are trying to put a bunch of other people on date for that day too. It is my last Saturday. We will see what happens!
     Friday was Canada day! I hope you all had a fun time up there! Today is July 4th here so we are bound to have a fun day! I'm sure there will be lots of parties and fireworks around us! Hahahahaha.
     I have been trying to figure out a way to help investigators receive a better understanding of the necessity of baptism and confirmation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
     First, that's why I testified of the restoration. Without the priesthood that comes with that restoration we could not perform sacred ordinances such as baptism and confirmation. Also, we wouldn't be able to seal families for time and all eternity in the temple.
     We are told that baptism is the gate. We are also told that the gate is straight and the way is narrow. In a sense, baptism is essentially registration not graduation. It's the start of our covenant making and keeping with our Father in Heaven. It's also the first ordinance of salvation that we need to enter the Celestial Kingdom. I found a really cool quote the other day while I was studying the topic of baptism, and I wanted to share it with you;
     "The metaphor of the strait gate and narrow way is an interesting one. The word strait means narrow, but it also connotes another English word, straight. Not only is the gate strait (difficult), it is also
straight (undeviating). In fact, the same idea is also implied by the
word righteous, which comes from a similar root. In English, we still
say “Come right home” when we mean “Come straight home.” A righteous person is a person who comes straight home to God through the strait gate. I find it interesting that a gate in Christ’s time was often a place where people would cast garbage--just as we cast off our imperfections when entering the strait and narrow gate of baptism."
      - Arthur R. Bassett ("Floods, Winds, and the Gates of Hell", June 1991 Ensign)
      I love the last line in that quote. I think if the people we are teaching at the moment will realize that baptism opens a way for them to rid themselves of imperfections that they will choose to be baptized. Baptism opens a door to receive a remission of your sins constantly through the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost.

     Have a great week! Keep working hard! :)
           Elder Strate

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