June 12, 2012

The "Killing," June 11, 2012

Hello!  Elder Guzman got the package and when he realized it was for him, he got a huge smile on his face.  And then when he saw it had a Bears shirt, he was pretty excited!  So, he thanks you!  Also, thanks Chelz for the letter!  I´m trying to do this thing where if I get a letter, I respond to it ASAP.  like, the following week.  So, I´m going to do that.

The Killing.  It has a double meaning.  1) Mission lingo.  You´re "born" in the mission when you start, and your trainer is your "dad." the other missionaries your dad trains are your brothers, and there is the trainer of your trainer who´s your grandpa, etc. (subtle geneology hint? no sé), and when you end your mission, your last comp "kills" you.  Elder Guzmán leaves next Tuesday (19th), and so all the final mission things-- going to the temple, having the "last supper" as they call it with the mission president and all those going home things, final interview next Monday, he´s writing his end-of-mission-report right now, etc-- are happening within these next 8 days.  So this week, I´ll be "killing" my comp.  2) Elder Guzman is from a town/part of Buenos Aires called "La Matanza," or, translated, "The Killing."  Fun Fact.

This is part of what I sent to President today:
"It looks like the ward is starting to respond a bit.  We had 6 or 11 retention," (55% is HUGE) "1 investigator, and 2 Permaneced in the chapel.  And the ward talked to them and made them feel welcome.  The high priest group leader also said that the Bishop was approving the home teaching companionships and would have the list next Sunday, and we just felt Good in the chapel.  With that I think they will start responding positively to our asking them to accompany us and give us references.  We have another Ward activity coming up, and it seemed to help the animo when we did it last month.  I don´t know if this is coincidence or not, but I took the last 2-3 weeks of studdies to study a lot about and write a talk for PME Maestro on "Patience."  I learned way more that what I put into the talk.  I´m pretty sure that helped me."

It´s been pretty cool to study a topic and go with it.  I´m still reading the Libro de Mormon cover to cover, really trying to get what it´s saying to ME personally.  and what I need to apply to my life, to the sector, to specific members or investigators, etc.  Pretty neat stuff.  This week, I read Alma 58:40.  It´s talking about the Stripling Warriors.  After they were all saved and fought with the strength of God, and they all lived, in a different battle, every single one was wounded, and even 200 fainted from loss of blood-- but not a single one died.

What was their perspective?  "But behold, they have received many wounds; nevertheless they stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has made them free; and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgements, and his commandments continually; and their faith is strong in the prophecies concerning that which is to come."

This applies to us today.  We will receive many wounds.  We will sin.  We will  have many trials.  We will think life is hard.  We will say at some point, "Oh God, where art Thou?"  How can we keep our head up high?  1) Stand fast in your liberty-- Use your agency to choose to follow the will of God, and thus be made free.  2) Remember the Lord daily-- This comes in personal prayer, family prayer, counting blessings, studying the scriptures, repenting-- all daily.  3) Consistently keep the commandments-- Basically, get converted (I´ll explain that below).  4) Have faith in the prophecies found in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets-- including the prophecy and promise that those who press forward with a steadfastness in Christ will reach eternal life (2 Nephi 31:20).  I like that verse.

This week we received the initiative for the mission for the Month of June.  It had to do with "Conversion."  In the Guide to the Study of the Scriptures (GEE in Spanish), is says (translated) "Conversion: Changing beliefs, feelings, and life to accept the will of God and do it.  Conversion implies the conscious decision to renounce (or abandon) the old form of being and to change to become a disciple of Christ.  Repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and continual faith in the Lord Jesus Christ make conversion complete..." 

Marion G Romney explained, "In one who is really wholly converted, desire for things contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ has actually died.  And substituted therefore is a love of God, with a fixed and controlling determination to keep his commandments... Membership in the Church and conversion are not necessarily synonymous.  Being converted and having a testimony are not necessarily the same thing either.  A testimony comes when the Holy Ghost gives the earnest seeker a witness of the truth.  A moving testimony vitalizes faith.  That is, it induces repentance and obedience to the commandments.  Conversion is the fruit or reward for repentance and obedience."

Elder Richard G. Scott continues, "Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience."  I like the word consistent.  It is consistency, not perfection.  We need not be perfect to be converted; but in order to reach exaltation, or ultimate perfection, we must needs be converted.  This also shows the need for the divine gift of repentance, which is made possible through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  I know He lives.  I invite all to read the article by Elder Scott, analyze it, and look for the changes we need to make in our life to become fully converted.  I, too, will work to become fully converted.  and I know that if it truly is our desire to become converted, that is, to have sufficient faith to repent, thereby strengthening our capacity to consistently obey, God will help us.  God is always willing to help us, but we must let him.  May we start today.


Elder Cole Moffat