"Well i hope everything is going great back in the states because it is going really well here. People are crazily obsessed with the World Cup here but i am loving it! Everyone dogs on the U.S. saying that they arent very good but it seems like we have been holding our own right now. Last week we watched the Brasil vs. Mexico game and it was a tie, 0-0. It was a super exciting game, but at the end a bummer because no one scored.
Anyways, on to missionary work. This last week we had our mission president's farewell. It was a sad moment,to know that the president and his wife are leaving, who have cared so well for us and put the mission at the center of their focus for 3 years. We get a new mission president on the 28th from the Washington, President Lundgrim. It will certainly bring new changes to the mission and to our lives as missionaries but i really do look forward to this change.
This week has been a great one. We have been looking for new investigators so we can mix up the investigator pool a little. New investigators means you have to talk to everyone about the gospel. This has been an eye opener for my companion and I because we realize that everyone says they follow Christ, but in the moment of truth, they are few who TRULY follow Christ. We learned this last night as we visited a less active member who was baptized 7 months ago. We discovered that she doesnt have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. This is a difficulty considering that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. She has many questions or doubts that she wants to be explained by logic and proof, rather than searching by faith. We read with her and her two daughters (who are active members) Lehi's vision of the tree of life, 1 NE 8. We pointed out the difference between the two people who arrived at the tree. Group 1:
"24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed. "
and group 2:
"30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.... 33 And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not. "
The difference between the two groups is 1., group 2 Continually held fast to the rod, and 2. heeded them not. We have the chance to meet many many people each day, to help them come to know Christ, truly know Him, but there are few who accept this invitation. As my companion and i talked about this lesson on the walk home, we understand more fully that no one can earn our salvation for us. We have to hold to the iron rod with all of our strength. We have to use the word of God to help us in our daily lives. "I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? -Elder Jeffery R. Holland Missionary Work and the Atonement " The path we have chosen to follow when we entered into the waters of baptism is meant to turn us into disciples of Jesus Christ if we endure to the end. Not that the path was ever easy, but that it will be of eternal worth to us when we finish this journey. Everything will be required of us so that Christ can truly turn us into a masterpiece, that in the master's hands we can become His greatest work. I love you and have a great week.!"