Wow that sounds like you guys have been having a pretty good time. I am glad to hear everything that is going on. Thanks for the email.
How does Jacob feel to be 11 years old? How do you feel to have all your children being older? :)
This was New Years
This week was a good week. We have been working with the ward and I feel like we are making progress. This has probably been one of the hardest times in my mission as far as finding people and having them progress... But we keep on working and things are going well. We have changes next week and I don’t want a new companion. Elder Gebs and I get a long really well.
We went on divisions this week and I went with the Bishop and a new convert who was just baptized a few weeks ago. I asked him about his story and how the missionaries found him and everything and it was great!! New converts have such a strong testimony and I feel like he is just burning with the spirit right now. We are going to take him out on some visits with us this week.
Well this week we went to an investigators house who likes to listen but really is not that interested to change her religion. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was all very clear and we invited to be baptized and she told us no... And we explained to her the Book of Mormon and everything and in the end she told us that she was born catholic and she was going to die catholic... Well it almost makes me mad or a little impatient I guess you could say. How could you learn all the stuff we teach and read the book of Mormon and still say no? To me it is hard to say no. All we do is ask them to ask God if the book of Mormon is true and then they go from an answer that God gives them! All we do is give them direction from God!! And they still say will if I receive an answer I will still not change... so I was thinking about that a lot this week. Why are people like that???
That was the first thing that I was thinking a lot about this week and well the second thing that I was thinking about are all the missionaries in our zone. We have really great missionaries and I love them all. But I feel like a lot of them do not really strive to be exactly obedient. And how some of them do not really work as hard as they could or they are just kind of going with the wind not really pushing themselves and just doing what is asked of them. Why are missionaries like that?
Well as I was thinking about the people we are teaching and also the Zone it came to me that a big part of it is the faith of people. So I want to share with you guys some of my studies and thoughts on faith. One of the phrases that I have read that has really made me think is that everyone knows that faith without works is dead... but what a lot of people don’t know is that works without faith is dead also!! You can do all the work and everything that God would have you do but if you do not do it with faith or if you do not know it is what the lord wants then it will be works without faith and all the work you do will not benefit you.
In true to the faith it talks a little about faith. It says " you can exercise faith in Christ when you have an assurance that he exists, a correct idea of his character, and a knowledge that you are striving to live according to his will." So there are three things that you have to know in order to exercise faith, at least at the biggest degree. I remember Nephi and his brothers when I think about this kind of faith. Nephi was always ready to go and do what his father had asked him while his brothers always complained and murmured about the things their father would ask of them. What do you think the difference is? I am sure that Laman and Lemuel believed in God. And I am also sure that they at least knew a little bit about his characteristics... But what they did not know is that their lives that they were doing were in accordance with what the lord wanted!! They did not have a testimony!! It is like we are members of the Church but we do not know if it is true or not. Or if we are missionaries but we do not know why we are here, what our purpose is, or if this really is what God wants us to be doing. If we do not know what we are doing is what they lord would want from us then it is hard when we do not have success. It is hard when door after door gets slammed in your face. You cannot have full confidence in the lord or yourself if you do not know what you’re doing is in accordance with what the lord wants.
Here is another Quote from Joseph Smith that had me thinking. "When a man works by faith he works by mental exertion instead of physical force. It is by word, Instead of exerting his physical powers, with every being works when he works by faith." So it is not by our physical works that we show our faith? This had me a little confused. But as thought about it all my days of football and wrestling came back to me. The words of Dad came back to me. He would always tell me how much potential I had and how I need to be confident. I remember my 6th grade year of wrestling. Being the only 6th grade kid on the team made me nervous and I did not think that I would be able to accomplish and win that often. I remember after a tournament being scolded by dad because he said that I was wrestling to not lose and not wrestling to win. Do you see the difference? It is in your mind. Once you get your mind right your heart will follow. If in your mind you do not know what you are doing is the lords will and you do those things it will benefit you nothing! ( Laman and Lemuel) But if you know that you are doing the things the lord would have you do than that is when you will have faith to move mountains. ( Nephi) Laman Lemuel and Nephi all did the same things but the results are magnificent. It is because Nephi had faith while his brothers did not. His works had faith.
I hope all of you have a faith to know that God lives and that he loves all of his. That he is perfect and glorified. That is the first kind of faith and the easy kind. I hope all of you can strive to obtain faith to move mountains. Faith that causes things to happen. Stay away from doubt. Doubt leads to discouragement. Discouragement leads to distraction. Distraction leads to lack of diligence. Lack of diligence leads to disobedient. Disobedience leads to disbelief. Always be studying the Scripture and the words of the living prophets so that you might have the spirit. Then pray to know the will of God. Makes plans to accomplish what the lord wants. Work with all diligence to accomplish all that the Lord commands. Once you have done what he has asked of you pray to give him thanks and then pray to know what to do next.
Well I hope you guys have liked my thought on faith this week. Sorry if it is a little long. Love you mom. Tell everyone that I love them.