Monday, April 25, 2016

A new companion and thoughts on the last chapters of Alma...

Transfers have come and gone and everyone's glad to be settled in now.
Even though it was terrible rain, we managed to make it to Kingwood.
We got there, had lunch, and then went to transfer meeting. I am
staying in Fred but now I'm with Elder Rasband! He's not the Apostle
but he says he's distantly related to him. He's been out 21 months so
this is probably his last area. This will be my second transfer in
Fred. But what's really funny is where my last companion (Elder Scow)
went. He literally went 12 miles down the road to Lumberton. We're
still gonna see each other on pdays and such.

But to give y'all an update of what's happening in the promised land
of Fred, TX here's an overview:

We currently have two investigators on date for baptism. The first one
is scheduled for April 30th. She is really awesome and has been being
taught by the missionaries for about a year and a half. The only
setbacks is that since she's only 16 the missionaries needed
permission from her mom to start teaching her, for her to come to
church, etc. so currently all she needs to get baptized is her mom
needs to sign the baptismal record and we'll be good to go. We've been
praying that she will sign it! Our other investigator on date is a
little bit older, but she too has been being taught by the
missionaries for quite some time. Due to her health, she is constantly
moving to different places and moving close to doctors. So when the
missionaries first found her, she moved a couple weeks later and the
missionaries had to find her again (which they did, it was a miracle)
and when she moved to our area, the missionaries made sure we got her
address so she doesn't get lost again. She's practically been taught
everything, but that was almost 2 years ago. So our plan is to freshen
her memory and help her come to church and then get baptized. She's
been out of town so we're going to stop by again this week.

Besides investigators we have a few less active members we are working
with. I've mentioned one a couple of times in past emails, but
pretty much the only reason he's less active is because he works
graveyard shifts at the next town over, so when he gets home he has an
hour before church starts so he usually decides to sleep. But he loves
us coming over and talking to him. He knows he needs the gospel in his
life, and he has super spiritual goals (temple marriage, and to have
his sons go on missions etc.) so we've been helping him do this now to
prepare for those things. And one thing we discovered was that his
little sister is old enough to get baptized, so we are helping him
progress to eventually be able to baptized his little sister. It's an
wonderful experience.

Here's something cool I learned in my studies recently:

I recently read the last chapters of Alma. In Alma 62 the people have
now been through so much war and so much contention that now that
they've stopped going to war, they are so humbled because of their
afflictions that peace once again is throughout the land. And now we
come to verse 48:

"And the people of Nephi began to prosper again in the land, and began
to multiply and to wax exceedingly strong again in the land. And they
began to grow exceedingly rich."

Immediately it looks like the pride cycle is going to continue with
the people. Usually it only takes a few verses to show the people
going from humble to prideful. I was expecting something like Alma
46:8 a few lines later to show that they've gone prideful once again

"Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their
God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil
one." (Alma 46:8)

But to my surprise, I read Alma 62:49

"But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their
prosperity, they were not lifted up in the pride of their eyes;
neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did
humble themselves exceedingly before him."

And verse 50:

"Yea, they did remember how great things the Lord had done for them,
that he had delivered them from death, and from bonds, and from
prisons, and from all manner of afflictions, and he had delivered them
out of the hands of their enemies"

These Nephites and Lamanites were a righteous people. But I wanted to
know how they managed to stay sufficiently humble that amidst them
being so prosperous they wouldn't forget. The answer comes in verse

"...they did pray unto the Lord their God continually, insomuch that
the Lord did bless them, according to his word, so that they did wax
strong and prosper in the land." (Emphasis added)

Prayer is the answer. At first it seemed too simple. I mean, I know
that the time when we don't feeling like praying is the best time to
pray, but this really got the point across. Continual prayer is what
brought the blessings upon this entire nation of people. And the
blessing truly was being humble enough not to be lifted up in the
pride of their eyes. If prayer can bring blessings to a whole nation,
surely it can have the same effect upon our lives. In the name of
Jesus Christ, Amen.

Oh and I had my first crawfish boil on Saturday! It was awesome! It's
a fun activity

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