Monday, July 6, 2015

The Gospel is amazing!

Yet another amazing week in Greeley (which has become my home away from home).

Tuesday night we thought our ward had Ultimate Frisbee at this field
we usually play at, so we went and no one showed up! But luckily there
was an entire youth group from another church! We started playing with
them and we tore it up! Afterwards, the two youth pastor dudes started
asking us questions about what we do. Elder Board and the one kind of
split off from the group because he had some specific questions, so I
began to answer the entire youth group and their leader. I told them
about me but more importantly about the Gospel. I overheard Board was
teaching the other guy so I stalled for time. Henry, the jacked
ex-wrestler guy Board was teaching, invited us to his home on the 4th
to talk religion.  It was alright but most of his purpose in having us
over was so he could ensure we weren't preaching false doctrine to
those we teach. His big thing was that baptism isn't essential to
enter the kingdom of God. Although he isn't ready for our message, he
is an amazing person and does so much good where he stands. His
roommate Nick showed up halfway through and that guy is awesome. We
all encouraged each other to keep preaching and helping others.

Elder Board and I are really into working out so we bought this
preworkout called BULLNOX ANDRORUSH! It has this crazy picture of a
raging bull on it so we were like hey let's go hard in our workout. We
took it for two days, Thursday and Friday, and it left us feeling
weird afterwards. I hated the feeling and I read the word of wisdom
and it says, "Given for a principle with promise..." And I pondered if
the word of wisdom was rewritten today, would Bullnox be included in
the DO NOTs? For me, yes. So we aren't taking it anymore but it's all
good in the hood.

The 4th of July started bright and early for us, 5:30 to be exact. We
went to the church to shoot some hoops to warm up our legs for the Run
4 Greeley 5k! I've never run a 5k so it was new to me (and Board had
only run one!). We dislike running so much that our thoughts for
preparing for the race were "as much as it will stink running the race
without preparing, the preparation will stink more!" So we ran exactly
1 mile to prepare, and that was 9 days before the race. The race began
and we had a mixture of adrenalin and a downhill start. We finished
our first mile in 6:45 and still felt good. Then we had to run back up
that hill and things got hard. Near the end, Board felt this sharp
pain in his side rib so we walked for a few seconds. People were
passing us and then he tells me, " Go on without me!" So I take off
and finish and he comes in a minute later. I finished 90/652 with a
time of 23:08. With no preparation, I am satisfied with how I did. A
picture is worth a thousand words anyways.

The Sabbath Day, Sunday, is always the best day of the week. We taught
Angelle after church and it amazes me how ready she is. She is getting
baptized on the 18th and couldn't be more excited! We also met with
Walker and Cassie, who both showed up to support us at our race! Last
time we met, we invited him to pray about a day to be baptized and
this time he showed up and said, "let's do it on August 15th!" It has
been such a blessing to know these wonderful people and play a small
role in their conversion.

To end, I'll share something I was thinking about after the race. The
winner, an African man, won the race in 15:00. That was the best he
could do. I did the best I could do and came no where near his time.
Luckily our Father in Heaven judges His children based on their
individual capacities, not some general standard. Doing my best may be
more or less than someone else's, but if I'm doing the best I can do I
can lay my head down at night and feel peace. The Gospel is amazing!
Jesus Christ lives!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"God's standard will never change"

After 74 (approximately) weeks of doing essentially the same thing,
you'd think I would get tired of it. The cool thing is, I'm not! I
still love what I do and it has been simply amazing.

Only a few experiences stick out in my mind, so I'll share them!
- We met three times with Angelle who is SO ready to be baptized! She
didn't think her parents had any interest in supporting her decision
to be baptized and follow Christ but they did! Because of that, she
pushed her date back a week to July 18th so they could attend. She is
super ready though. Such a powerful testimony and she really has
repented of her past life. I didn't know her before but she seems
unshakeable now! Good ole girl from Louisiana :)

- We taught Walker Sunday night and it was glorious! We were sort of
off topic so E. Board tried to get us back on topic by sharing a simile
that compared the gospel to an equation and it worked. Walker likes
that kind of thing so whatever does the job! Anyways, he then talked
about the true points (or doctrines) of Christ's Church as for in the
Bible and invited Walker to study that more. At this point, I read the
story in John 6 where some of the disciples abandon Jesus because of
the hard (yet true) things he taught. He questions the rest of them,
"will Ye also go away?" And Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall
we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." I then straight up asked
Walker, "Where else would you go?" And he was like "no where. This is
home." And the Spirit was strong and we all testified of the truth and
then E. Board invited him to pray about being baptized on August 1st
and then I invited Cassie (his fiancé) to share her testimony and she
did and it was so powerful and she ended by telling him how much she
loved him and how she couldn't wait until they were sealed as an
eternal family and BAM the spirit was so strong! Run on sentence, but
you get the point :) and then to top it off, Cassie gets out Facebook
so she can invite us to their wedding next year. Amazing!

It always humbles me to see these amazingly prepared people learn
about the Gospel and embrace it. I play a small role and I'm so glad
it is small. My job is just to get out of the way and let the Holy
Spirit do his work. I ponder about why Heavenly Father needs me here,
because really He can do His own work. But if I think more about it,
what loving Father wouldn't want the success of His children? He
didn't create us all so He could have billions of spectators to
witness how powerful He is, but He created us so we could learn and
grow, and thus He experiences more joy in seeing His children succeed.
I'm humbled to be a tool in His hands to help my fellow brothers and
sisters along, and all the while I grow too. How marvelous?

To end, I want to share my grand desire in this life which is to be
happy and peaceful. That's all I sincerely want. I'm sure I'll lose
sight of that goal from time to time but I hope I can always remember
that. I'm excited to start a family after my mission. I'm not sure how
long that will take but I want to have a beautiful wife and beautiful
children. I want us all to be happy together and to return to live
with God again. With the world's pathetic attempts to redefine
success, failure, and even marriage, I know what God's standard is and
I know it will never change. I'm here on my mission to help others
find that true joy that comes from a happy family living the gospel in
the home.

"“The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be
within the walls of your own homes."
                       –President Harold B. Lee