Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Preach My Gospel

It is always a little interesting to think that my mom is going to be with in the mission boundaries and it isn't against the rules because you aren't coming to visit me. Happy Anniversary Grandpa and Grandma De Mond!

We had a great zone activity last week. I didn't take any pictures because I left my camera in the car in Caldwell, from there we went to Nampa with the zone leaders. We all enjoyed the activity, especially because it was a good mix between Hispanic sports ( and American sports (i.e. baseball). It took a little while for the Hispanics to enjoy it because of some of the rules that there are from baseball, but in the end we all enjoyed ourselves and then we had a barbecue. I was the head chef for some reason, probably because I was the closest to the grill. I wasn't too worried about it because all that we had was hot dogs, lots and lots of hot dogs. The people who were making the assignments didn't do very good math, or those that were assigned didn't listen very closely, because there were about 20 more hot dogs then buns. But everything worked out in the end.

Elder Phelps and I are enjoying spring in Ontario. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and they are chirping because we are getting a little too close to our new neighbors. We noticed in the bush next to our house that we have a couple of new baby birds, and mom and dad don't like that we are taking pictures of them, they are always squawking whenever we are close to them, but so far they haven't attacked us. Hopefully we will be able to see our new friends grow and maybe even fly away.

We have been having a good time being a part of the Lord's work. Last night I was reading in Alma, the whole mission is reading the Book of Mormon before August 14th, and I just finished reading the great examples that Ammon and his brethren are for us all as missionaries. One verse stood out in particular to me. It is in verse 10 of chapter 29 and it reads as follows,
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
That is so very true (it better be, it is coming out of the Book of Mormon). Too often life we get to wrapped up in the things that are going on in our own lives, that we forget that we owe our lives to our Lord who's "merciful arm which he [extends] towards [us]." That is the joy of missionary work. We feel the joy of forgiveness, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, then, because of that joy, we want to share it with all of our neighbors (both figurative and literal, mom) and as we share the blessings we have so freely received, our neighbors will want to learn more and they will receive the same, or similar blessings that we have received. And then we start the whole process over again, because of the joy of helping others come unto Christ.

One thing that we have been doing a lot is inviting members to think of the many blessings of the Gospel. Then we ask them if they know anyone who could benefit from those same blessings. Then we invite them to pray for them by name, asking how they should go about sharing their feelings. When we approach missionary work this way it is more then pushing our religion on our friends or neighbors, we are sharing what makes us happy.
I will close with at quote taken from Preach My Gospel by, President George Albert Smith (1945–1951),
“That is your mission, my brethren and sisters of the Church, that is your responsibility. Freely you have received and our Heavenly Father will expect you freely to share with His other sons and daughters these glorious truths” (Nibley [1948], 213).
“We will attain our exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom only on the condition that we share with our Father’s other children the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and observe the commandments that will enrich our lives here and hereafter” (Sharing the Gospel with Others, sel. PrestonSharing the Gospel with Others, 190).
I look forward to hearing your reports on your success in sharing the gospel, Alma 26:27.

Elder Paxton

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