Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 70: "To Do and To Become" (:

Hello everybody!(: This week has been amazing. I feel like I say that about every week haha. But it's true, even with the hard things that happen, every week is so full of miracles and blessings that I can't even begin to explain. But I'll try and tell you about a few!
The Beck's are so amazing. Brother Beck has had 20 sets of missionaries. Yes, you heard me right, 20. He is such a sweet man, and Sister Beck is great too. We went over this week with a member in our Ward and had a very powerful lesson on the blessings of living a pure life. After we had said the closing prayer, the Spirit prompted me so strongly to invite him to be baptized. When I did he said, "You know, it's a possibility,". What followed was so awesome, because it was a moment where I felt the Holy Ghost really testify through me. I was able to bear witness that setting a day to be baptized is showing God his commitment, and that he really does want to follow him, and that he will receive more blessings and answers as he acts on his faith. After a moment of silence, he said, "Well, let's do it! Let's set the date!". Sister Jenks and I were jumping up and down when we left the house! The Spirit is so amazing, it would be impossible to do this work without Him(: The Beck's came to church and brought their grandkids, and it was wonderful. We are so excited to see them continue to grow!
Another amazing teaching moment was with the Matechak's. Sister Matechak is a member, and Brother Matechak is not. He's had awesome experiences with missionaries and members serving him and his wife, and he really loves the standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We taught them the Restoration, and it was a very spiritual experience. At the end of the lesson, we spoke about baptism, and he said, "I'm going to convert eventually, I'm just lazy right now,". Sister Jenks bore an awesome testimony of the fact that we can come to know these things are true for ourselves if we just have pure intent. Then, the Spirit made it really clear that we needed to make the urgency and importance of these things known to him. In 2 Nephi 32 verse 8, it talks about how "the evil spirit teacheth a man not to pray,". The evil spirit also teaches a man that these spiritual things aren't as important as our day to day hobbies and activities. Satan uses time against us, always trying to convince us that it's okay to put off the most important things for the things that bring us immediate and very temporary gratification. To enjoy is temporary, but to have joy is eternal(: As I bore my testimony of the urgency and importance of living the gospel now, Brother Matechak's eyes didn't leave mine. It was a pretty intense moment, but he agreed to read in Moroni and pray for himself to know if this is the path God wants him on(: It was one of the coolest experiences of my mission.
We also had a really great lesson with the Carpenter's. Brother Dyer came with us, and honestly he is such a good example of the kind of missionary I want to be when I go home. He has a genuine love for the people that we teach and he cares about them on a personal level, not just because he wants them to show up at church on Sunday. Sister Carpenter is so amazing and she's seeing the blessings of the gospel in her life. She has showed a lot of faith by coming back to church and letting us come over and share the gospel with her. I know that she'll continue to grow in the best ways as she stays on this path toward eternal life with her family(:
So I've been reading a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks from the November 2000 Ensign. It's called "The Challenge To Become,", and it is honestly one of the greatest things I have ever read. The Holy Ghost has taught me so much as I've pondered and prayed about his words. Something that really stuck out to me is what he said about Simon Peter. He talked about how "this man, who had followed Jesus for three years, who had been given the authority of the holy apostleship, who had been a valiant teacher and testifier of the Christian gospel, and whose testimony had caused the Master to declare him blessed, still had to be converted,". We all are on an ongoing path of conversion. It doesn't end once we've received a witness that these things are true. That's just the beginning! Elder Oaks goes on to say, "Jesus' challenge shows that the conversion He required for those who would enter the kingdom of heaven was far more than just being converted to testify to the truthfulness of the gospel. To testify is to know and to declare. The gospel challenges us to be converted, which requires us to do and to become. If any of us relies solely upon our knowledge and testimony of the gospel, we are in the same position as the blessed but still unfinished Apostles whom Jesus challenged to be converted,".
We are all unfinished people. Jesus Christ has invited every single person on this earth to come unto Him, to change, to grow, to learn, and to become. This pattern never ends. This gospel is a gospel of progress and deepening spirituality. And I am so grateful for that(: I hope that we can all do a little bit more to become a little better this week, so that we can be more converted and be more like Jesus Christ(:
I love you all! Sorry, my iPad is messed up, so no pictures this week!
Sister Allen(: