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Second Baptism

Well another week down, and another baptism! One of our investigators has decided to make that covenant with God. We are so excited for her-- she has such a wonderful spirit and a good testimony.

Well, the work is picking up. We are tracting, and tracting, and tracting, but we are also teaching. We have several new investigators, and we are looking forward to those new opportunities to preach the gospel to all those that we can.

Here's an insight into the life of a missionary: we do everything by revelation and inspiration. At the close of each day, we plan for the next day. This involves prayer-- applying D&C 75 verse 27:
Let them ask and they shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto them, and be made know from on high, even by the Comforter, whither they shall go.
When we receive revelation about where to go, miracles occur. We find new investigators and run into circumstances that just can't be coincidental. It truly is wonderful to see the hand of the Lord in the lives of those we meet, as well as in our own.

I'm grateful for the Gospel we have received. It's sometimes shocking to see the contrast between the worldly theologies and the message we bear. We tracted into a guy who did not hesitate in bashing with us. It all came because we said that "God is fair and looks on the heart and loves all His children."

Well, apparently He doesn't. This guy brought up the theory of predestination (I though that went essentially extinct decades ago), and said that God is not fair and everyone does not and will not have the chance to accept Him-- only those whom God has chosen to be saved will have the chance to hear the word. If you accept it, it's because God chose you to accept it. If not (whether by choice or inability), it's because God has not chosen you, and you must therefore be condemned. All our actions and our eventual placement in heaven or hell is conditioned on God's whims and arbitrary selection of those few of His children that He would like to not burn in hell. We are miserable slime that God detests, and though we are His "children," he despises us and may perhaps save a few of us so we can worship Him in the afterlife.

Contrast: We believe that all those billions of people who don't/didn't have the opportunity to hear the message of Jesus Christ in this life will have that opportunity to hear it in the next, and to make the same decision of accepting or rejecting it that we have had, that God loves all His children. Though he knows what path we will choose, he allows us to exercise our gifts of agency and will to bring to pass our own futures and the choose our own destinies-- will we try our best to learn of Him and to do His will, or will we repeatedly turn away from Him? We believe that when we make bad choices, God is grieved, because He loves us and wants us to return to Him, and when we do good, He is pleased for that same reason.

I know that this Church is true. how marvelous and beautiful is the message of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love this, His Church. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

May you all have a wonderful week.

Springtime Snow

What better way to welcome in the Spring with an inch of snow and freezing temperatures in mid-May! So glad to hear that NC is resting in the 80s and AZ in the 90s while we folks in Colorado are having fun in the 30s.

So what's new? Not much. Our investigators are... investigating, and our upcoming baptism is... upcoming.

The mission is getting ready (albeit with some sadness) to bid farewell to President and Sister Christison at the end of their 3-year "volunteer" assignment as the fantastic leaders of the Colorado Denver South Mission. We are excited to meet Pres. Maynes and his wife in early July, but I would be amiss is I were to say that we aren't going to miss Pres. Christison and all he and his wife do for us. They truly lead in the spirit of power and authority, with a generous splash of Christlike love.

I have been learning a lot these past few weeks about watching not just how much work you do, but how you do it. I used to think that if you are willing to follow the Spirit, put your shoulder to the wheel, and expend all your energies, you would find success, but I'm realizing that, just as any good earthly parent (and I have two really good ones), our Heavenly Father won't let us just work and find miracles-- yes, we must work our tails off, but we also have to keep monitoring the quality of the work. If we don't watch how we work, then the work becomes fruitless, and pretty soon a hundred hours of tracting will get you only one investigator. I really need to work on learning how to work effectively.

Still, my testimony is undaunted. I know this Church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith is His Prophet, and that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God, and that it came forth the way He said it came forth-- a further witness and testimony to the Bible that our Savior lives and speaks today-- confirming the testimonies of ancient and modern prophets who have gone on before. I love this Gospel, and I love this work. I just wish that time could just slow down a bit so I can cherish these two years more. I bear my own witness that this work is God's work, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tracting Fun

No update today-- just pictures of having fun while tracting and no one is home...