Friday, October 2, 2009

September 21st 2009

Dear Family,

Last week was another great week! We had a baptism. It was AMAZING. Everyone who participated in the baptism program were in priesthood quorums (even the chorister!) and a lot of ward members came out to support him. My companion and I felt very accomplished.

The few weeks before his baptism, I was a little worried because his conversion process was so QUICK—would the ward fellowship him enough to ensure that he continued to come to church and use his priesthood? I was reading in the end of 3rd Nephi when the Savior quotes Isaiah, and I was so confused about what he was talking about and I did some cross referencing. I still don't know if I understand what that reference was about, but I came across a scripture in D&C about “the Lord's vineyard.” It says, “44. A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive-trees; 45. And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.”

The servants started to build the tower, but became lazy and decided not to do it. Then, “53. And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive-trees. 54. Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil? 55. Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?”

I don't know what the original purpose of this scripture is, but to me, the servants are missionaries and the watchmen are ward members (home teachers, quorum presidencies, etc.) As missionaries, we NEED to make sure that there are watchmen to look out for our converts because we can't be there for them forever. If we don't build the towers and make sure the watchmen are there, our works will be destroyed. So Sister Stevenson and I did everything in our power to make sure there were numerous watchmen for Robert, and for the time being, it seems that we have done our job. I'm practically overflowing with joy.

Also, on Sunday we had a little miracle. We were greeting people at the front doors when a lady we had never seen before asked us if visitors were welcome in our church. We said “Yes!!” and took her inside and explained our church services to her. She said she was looking for a new church, and drove by and saw people coming inside our chapel and wanted to check it out. During sacrament meeting, she told me she wanted to learn more about the church. She said, “I don't know why, but when everyone was singing tears started to come out of my eyes.” She came to all three meetings and loved it. She's coming back next week and we'll start teaching her the lessons. I felt like I was on a spiritual high the rest of the day.

Finally, I wanted to share my exciting scripture reading from this week. I just started reading the book of Ether and it is now my favorite book in the Book of Mormon. I love the way Moroni writes. I wish he could've had more time and room to write more! The events surrounding the brother of Jared were intense, and Moroni contains them in such few words, making them very powerful. From my reading today, I found some new favorite scripture verses:
(Chapter 3) 19. And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting. 20. Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.

(Chapter 6) After they had built the barges that were “tight like unto a dish,” they sailed for 344 days with fierce winds and terrible tempests, being submerged under the water for much of the journey. If they didn't build the barges in the manner taught by the Lord, there's no way they could've survived. My favorite verse in this chapter is:
8 And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.

I like this because if we live our lives in the manner taught by the Lord, we'll be able to survive the winds and trials in our lives—and it will never cease to “blow towards the promised land,” or bring us closer to our eternal goal.

Well, my time is about up. Sorry this is such a long email, but it was a week filled with spiritual enlightenment. I can't keep it to myself—I've never been this excited about the scriptures or the gospel before in my LIFE! It's a good feeling. :)

I love you all and miss you and miss getting letters from you *cough* *cough*


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