Monday, July 19, 2010

My Faith and Dedication to the Lord

We don´t teach lessons, we teach people.

Hello there America!  Another week gone by.  Did you waste it?  We didn´t.  We worked hard and went out in the pouring rain for 10 hours in the rain.  We had very little success, but our spirits are high.  How lucky we are to be able to get rained on and rejected all day in the name of the Lord!  It´s not every day you have that kind of opportunity you know.  What a blessing to have the chance to show my faith and dedication to the Lord.  For the last 3 days, it rained non-stop all day.  My shoes - yes, the ones I just bought 6 weeks ago - have officially been destroyed.  They split right down the middle, just like the other ones did.  There was about an inch of space in the sole of my shoe where if I stepped in the water, it just flowed right in.  Needless to say, I couldn´t feel my feet for about 10 hours.  Kinda hurt haha.  But that´s the mission!  I bought new shoes today.  Boots actually.  They should work better, or hopefully at least last me until I get my Rockports in the mail that my wonderful mother sent me lol.

Elder Martinez is doing much better.  He´s getting accustomed to things fast.  The nights are still hard when we´re in the house and he´s got time to sit and think about it because we´re not out teaching, but he´s much better.  He is really smart.  For being new, he actually teaches really well.  And he´s got some good ideas that

we´re going to use on how to get more member activity and involvement with the investigators.  They need a little motivation lol.  It rained on Sunday, and because of that there were only 13 people in church yesterday, including us.  We both gave talks lol.  But he is fantastic and should continue to get better as long as he keeps focused.  I know he will, he´s a great missionary.  It´s kind of strange to be a new missionary trainer.  I forget to tell him little details sometimes that are just habit for me and so he´s always like "why are you doing that?" haha and I have to explain it to him.  We get along really well though, thankfully.  There are very little communication problems.  A few words he says that I don´t know and a few words I say that he doesn´t know.  It´s just like if you went to England, you wouldn´t understand 100% of the words and phrases there because the culture is different, even though we both speak English.  It´s the same with Paraguay spanish and Colombian spanish.  But we do well.  He´s got a lot of motivation and I know he´ll do really well in the mission once he gets over the new missionary slump.

Tomorrow, I´m going to Asuncion for a 3 day training event!  It will be so much fun.  All the zone leaders, district leaders, and trainers will be there.  We´re going to be learning 8 different lessons to help us both personally and as a mission.  I heard that it was a worldwide thing and not just a Paraguay thing, that it came straight from the Quorum of the Twelve.  That´s why we have to stay for 3 days, because there´s 8 lessons to learn and teach to our companions and districts.  And then in 2 months there will be another 2 day meeting, and then every 2 months after that there will be 1 day meetings.  It should be a blast.  Funny thing though, Mom in your last Dear Elder you said that you talked with Eli on facebook and she talked a bit about Elder Ganga.  You said you hope I don´t run into him again.  Funny enough, he just got changed into my zone and I will be travelling together with him to Asuncion tomorrow for the training haha.  I saw him in the terminal on Wednesday for changes though and it was just fine, we talked to each other for a bit and it was normal so I´m not worried about it thank goodness.  Speaking of Eli though, when does she leave for her mission?  I think you said that she´s going to the Uruguay Montevideo mission.  Tell her I said good luck, I miss her, and don´t be trunkie!

Ok, for my favorite part of the email.  Actually I have 2 things I want to talk about today.  The first one I learned when I was reading the Book of Mormon for personal study.  We know that parts of the Bible were either taken out or changed during the many translations it went through and in the compilation process (see 1 Nephi 13, specifically verses 24-29).  When we share this with people (if it happens to come up during a lesson), people don´t believe it.  They believe the Bible to be the complete word of God, or they say why would God take out parts of HIS scriptures?  Why would He let that happen?  The answer is both in the Bible and the Book of Mormon as to why God allowed these plain and precious parts to be taken from the Bible or changed.

The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 is the part of the answer that we find in the Bible.  A man who was to travel called his servants and divided his goods among them.  He gave 5 talents to one servant, 2 to another, and 1 to the third servant.  Through their diligence and skill, the two servants that received 5 and 2 talents doubled what they were given by their master and increased their substance that was given to them.  The master rewarded them accordingly by giving them even more.  The servant who received 1 talent, however, did not use it and hid it in the earth.  The lord of the house reprimanded him and took away the 1 talent that he had, saying (in verse 29): "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath".  How does this relate to parts being taken from the Bible?  The answer is shown and expounded upon in the Book of Mormon.

In 1 Nephi 28, a remarkable testimony of the Book of Mormon is given.  The Lord says in this chapter that in the last days the people shall reject the Book of Mormon, saying that "we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!" (verse 29).  A Bible!  A Bible!  We need no more Bible.  The Lord speaks through the Book of Mormon, explaining that like the principle in the parable of the talents, those who use not what they have shall be relieved of the little they started with and those that accept and utilize what they are given shall receive even more.  Verse 30 of 2 Nephi chapter 28 reads: "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little;  and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom;  for unto him that receiveth I will give more;  and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have."  Those who use not the talents they are given (the Bible) shall find that they shall be taken from them.  The people who do not accept line upon line, precept on precept shall lose what they have originally.  Those who accept not further precepts and doctrines, from what they have - the Bible - shall be taken away.  Those who do accept with willingness to learn and follow will be given even more - the Book of Mormon.  That is why parts were permitted to be removed and changed in the Bible.  A powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon is given by the Lord in the following chapter (2 Nephi 29), where God seals His testimony of the Book of Mormon and the truth thereof.  I invite all to read chapters 28 and 29 and to re-fortify (or start to gain) a testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon unto declaring the word of God.  It has the power to clarify the truth and light the pathway to the presence God.

Article of Faith number 4:  "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

First thing that I note: it says the FIRST principles and ordinances of the Gospel.  These are 4, but there are many more.  Second, there is a specific order in which the principles and ordinances are introduced.  This is for a reason.  You cannot master the second principle of the Gospel if you do not master the first.  You cannot repent if you don´t have the faith that God can make you clean.  Of faith I have written once before, and because of lack of time I won´t go into it this time.  Repentance can be simplified in 1 word: change.  Nobody is perfect, but that is no excuse or justification for sin.  Through repentance, we can recognize the sins we commit and be clean of them through the Atonement and godly sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  He is our advocate with the Father, and through sincere repentance we can be made whole and CHANGE the action the next time.  Baptism is a powerful ordinance which I cannot explain fully in one short email.  It is a symbolism of new life, and a complement to repentance.  Through baptism by immersion, the repentance process is solidified and we are made clean, promising God to follow Him.  It is important to note that we must be baptised by immersion and in the way the Lord Himself has shown us through His example.  However, a baptism is incomplete and essentially worthless without the reception of the Holy Ghost.  The scriptures tell us that it is through the Holy Ghost that repentance and baptism takes effect in our lives.  The Holy Ghost is a healer, a comforter, a messenger, a teacher, and a guide.  We must receive the Holy Ghost by the holy ordinance of confirmation by the laying on of hands as Christ taught.  Upon these 4 basic principles and ordinances are based ALL teachings, doctrines, and practices of the Church.  Without them, the priesthood would not be able to act for our benefit and all other Gospel principles are powerless and empty.  With these 4 cornerstones in place in our lives individually, we can build a firm foundation centered in the Lord Jesus Christ and begin to build our heavenly mansions through our obedience to the further laws and ordinances of the Gospel.  These 4 principles prepare us for eternal life.

Until next time - I love and miss you all.

-Elder Moore

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