It wrenches my heart to here about Aunt Pete. I loved her very much and wish I could have said goodbye, but I know that she is at peace now. I am happy to hear that Grandma is doing better. I know that the Lord and his angels are watching out for her. Send all of my love to Grandpa this week. Tell him that I love him and I am praying for him.
This week I learned many valuable lessons. We had a worldwide training as missionaries this week. I prayed and prayed before the training that the Lord could answer my questions through his apostles. I feel that each one of those was answered and that I know now what the Lord would like me to do better. I loved a promise that we recieved from Elder Oaks that if we teach and can help our investigators to recognize their sins and feel the weight of them, our investigators will ASK to be baptised. I was reading in Alma this week and recognized that two of the greatest missionaries of the Book of Mormon did just this. In chapter 22, Aaron was teaching the king of the Lamanites and by teaching the plan of salvation and the Atonement of Christ, the king felt the weight of his sins and asked how he could be born of God and get rid of the bad spirit in his heart. Because he recognized his sins and felt the truthfulness of the Plan of Redemption, Aaron then, only had to explain the doctrine of repentance. Ammon as well taught, by example and through his words, so that Lamoni felt this weight of his sins and then asked him a very important question... if he was willing to listen. Many times, we invite the spirit and explain how they can search those feelings that he gives us, but we never ask if they are willing to search for those feelings to know if our message is true. I feel that by applying this question in my teachings and by being more direct and clear with the people about their need to repent, I can have more success in these next few months in helping my investigators to grow in faith unto repentance, baptism and the remission of their sins through the Holy Ghost and a continual obedience. What I am changing and learning to do is to teach the doctrine as a way to put into effect the Atonement in our lives, not simply as steps that we must take to go back home to God. I learned that the doctrine of Christ are not 5 steps, each one different from the other, but one big lesson that we must understand as one path to come unto Christ. I loved this verse that I read this week in Alma 22:
14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.
Without the sufferings of Christ, we could not recieve salvation or have hopes of a life after death, but through him, the sting of death is swallowed up in hopes of glory. Through out faith unto repentance and baptism and through recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, we become worthy of his merits. He broke the bonds of death so that we can live again. He broke the bonds of Satan, so that we can have hope of a better world. I am so thankful for His Atonement and for the hope that I have through Him and his doctrine. I know that this doctrine is true, that this church is the only true church of God here on the earth and that if we live by its principles we can have eternal life.
I dont have much more time to write, but just know that I love each and every one of you. I am praying for each one of you. I know these last few weeks have been hard, but I know that the Lord is with you. What a blessing it is to have the knowledge that we do! What a blessing it is to struggle and be tested so that we can prepare for a better world! I send my love and my best wishes for a better week this week. Take care!!!