Monday, July 27, 2015

My Friends!

Well, this week didn't hold anything too out of the ordinary.   Just the normal missionary life - lots of preaching and teaching of the Word of God!  I LOVE IT!!!  The secret to missionary work really is to forget yourself.  A little while back, I was struggling with the thoughts of home and being with family and friends.  It can be hard to adjust to a new area.  But I learned from another Elder, don't think about things from before the mission or worry about how things will be after the mission, just focus on what you're doing Now!  An Elder in my district, Elder Harris, related being on the mission to being in a money booth.  We only get so much time here.  And too many people spend the time that they do have on the mission, looking off at other things, wishing they could be somewhere else (with their family or friends, in college, doing the sports and activities they did before the mission) and totally oblivious to the many blessings available to them now!!!  What crazy man would stand in a money booth, with money (or blessings) flying all around them and gaze off into the distance worrying about other things?  No!  Now is the time for each of us to Act with what we have, take advantage of our time on Earth, and Enjoy the blessings God has prepared for us!

I think that in our lives, we too, at times, get distracted from the ultimate purpose.  I was reading recently in Alma 37.  It says that the family of Lehi quit progressing at times because they didn't travel a DIRECT course.  That doesn't necessarily mean that they were doing nothing, they were still traveling some type of course, but it wasn't directly leading them to where they needed to go.  How often do we use our time and energy for things that dont have a a DIRECT purpose for our Eternal Happiness and Salvation?  Some things, like social media, videogames, watching television, etc. aren't necessarily bad, but it reminds me of the talk "Good, Better, Best".  We should fill our lives with the Best things!  The things of God!

Well, other news for this week.  We're having a baptism on Saturday for an hermana named Wendy.  I'll tell you more about her next week!  Also, we started teaching a pastor of a different faith.  And it all started with service - he got interested through free English classes that we teach every Saturday.  Don't forget the impact of Service!  Go and Serve!  I Love You All!


Elder Jarrett

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week of the Bible Bashing

Hello My Amigos!

        Well, the title pretty much describes this week in a nutshell.  Here in Mexico, there are three major religions: Christians (they are their own church with different beliefs than us) , Catholics (they all worship the virgin MarĂ­a Guadalupe and many different Saints. There are idols of Mary on all the streets.  They believe that Mary appeared to a man, Juan Diego, and told him "Worship Me". -- Interesting note, this is exactly what Satan told to Moses when he appeared to him), and then there are tons of Jehovah's Witnesses here.

        This week we got contacted by two different people on two different days that wanted to "learn more" or "talk with us".  Both were Jehovah's Witnesses.   With each of them, when we showed up to share a message, it turned out that they wanted to argue.  We tried not to attack their beliefs, but to defend our own.  And in the end, both left with questions that they didn't know and said they would check with their leaders to see if they knew the answer.
         On a different day, also taught a Catholic woman who got really mad when we taught about baptism.  We told her that we believe you must be old enough (8) to make the choice to be baptized. She started yelling that babies need to be baptized in case they die young.  We shared a scripture from the Bible that says children are precious to God and another that says we can't be saved for the acts of others and asked what happens to a baby if they die young and haven't been baptized.  She said they're saved either way, baptized or not, but that it's special if they've been baptized.  We left her thinking about things differently if nothing else.
          And finally, we taught an investigator of ours named Flavio.  He's never had an organized religion, but he's read part of the Bible.  In church, we were talking about the Word of Wisdom and he asked if we can eat pork or if we follow the Law of Moses in Dueteronomy.  We answered that pork is okay, but we shouldn't eat any meat in excess.  He told us he disagrees and doesn't think that's right.  We shared Acts 10 when the Lord says to eat meat, but he decided not to believe that chapter.  I never realized how odd the principles of our church are to other people, or how much stranger their ideas are.  I've never needed to know the Bible so well in all my life.

          Our purpose as missionaries is not to convince, that is the Holy Ghost's role.  Our purpose is to invite.  People can argue all they want, and we can share scripture after scripture to show why we believe the way we do, but in the end, they have to overcome the real problem - the wall of faith.  The only way to really believe in the Book of Mormon and everything our church teaches isn't to prove every other church wrong, the only way is by praying and receiving the answer through the Holy Ghost.  It's a simple invitation, a simple manner to know, and the only one.  But it's real and it works.

Well, there's my counsel for the week!  Until next week!

Elder Jarrett