Thursday, November 18, 2010

Obedient to His Commandments

Hey everyone.  I apologize if I gave you a bit of a scare last week.  I was just kind of in a melt-down mode for not being able to say goodbye to any of those people, and it had just happened a few hours earlier, and I was just still coping with everything.  I´m doing better.  Still kinda sad that I had to leave especially without goodbyes, but I figure that I would have had to leave at some point anyway which I knew was going to be hard.  I´ll get to see them when Dad comes to pick me up anyways, so that will be a big blessing for me.  I wrote a letter to the ward today to explain what happened and apologize for not saying goodbye and to tell them all how much I love and appreciated them, so that kinda bummed me out again and made me think about it, but I´ll be just fine.  I always am.

Here in Barrio Obrero is very different.  It´s completely city, there´s not any open fields or hardly any trees or anything.  Kind of reminds me of downtown Reno with rock-paved streets lol (side note fun fact: "Reno" is actually the spanish word for "reindeer".  Who woulda thought?).  The people here are much more closed off and indifferent.  They are not nearly as kind as the people from the campo.  Everybody had always told me that people are much nicer in the campo - it´s true.  Obviously there´s a lot of good people here as well, we have some good investigators and a few people with baptism dates, but in terms of talking to people on the street and finding new people it´s definitely a lot harder.  The good thing is that we have some excellent members here too.  They´re exceptional.  I gave a talk on Sunday about missionary work to kind of see how they responded and everything, and it went well.  We had branch council meeting Sunday night and it was great.  We should have some great success here.

I don´t remember if I mentioned this or not, but Elder Bradley Foster and his wife came last week to our zone conference.  He is one of the counselors in the Area Presidency.  Wow, it was amazing.  We learned a lot, it was really cool.  He was still learning spanish, so we had to help him all the time hah.  But it was good.

I´ll tell you a quick story about one of our investigators here.  His name is Jose, but everyone calls him Coco.  He´s about 50 or so, and he´s a really nice guy.  They had been teaching him for about 2 months, and he has come to church 5 or 6 times now.  We went to visit him last week and challenged him to be baptized this Saturday.  He said that he would pray about it, and he did.  He has a friend of 40 years named Oswaldo who we´re also teaching.  Oswaldo is the brother of the first counselor in the branch presidency here.  Coco told us that he wants to get baptized very badly, but he has this idea that he won´t do it until Oswaldo does because he wants it to be on the same day and everything like that.  He thinks that was the answer to his prayer.  We explained to him that Oswaldo isn´t ready yet because we just barely started teaching him, but he is ready.  We showed him a couple scriptures like from Alma 34:33 about don´t delay the day of your repentance.  We used the example of a sickness.  If you are sick, you go to the doctor and he gives you medicine that cures you.  If you know this sickness, though now harmless, can kill you if left untreated, are you going to wait to take the medicine or are you going to do it right away?  Obviously you´re going to do it before it gets worse.  Well, sin is a sickness in a way, and the gospel is the cure.  Are you going to wait to apply the healing power of baptism until it gets worse?  He just wouldn´t budge.  It was a really strong lesson, but the guy just wouldn´t budge.  We did everything we could, and he just wasn´t gonna change and said that if God wanted him to be baptized in this church than He would make this idea happen and he´s convinced of that and he´s not changing it.  We testified as powerfully as we could, said a prayer, and left.  We were both just really down and bummed out after that lesson.  I was thinking about why we didn´t have any effect on him and the Spirit didn´t help soften his heart.  The phrase came into my head like this " `Coco, you´re putting your own desires before the will of the Lord´ Why did you not bring the Spirit with you?  Because you do the exact same thing."

When we disobey the commandments of the Lord and go against what we know to be right, we are putting our will ahead of the will of the Lord.  God has established His desires through modern-day prophets, through ancient prophets and scriptures, and especially for me through mission rules.  That is what He has clearly stated that He wants me to do.  Every time I break a rule, I am saying that I know what God wants, but I want to do this anyway.  I am putting my own desires ahead of the established and known will of God.  I am doing what I want whenever I disobey, and that is exactly what drives the Spirit away faster than anything.  We need to put our own wants and wills aside and put the Lord first.  It is the only way to have the Spirit and to be truly, sincerely happy in this life.  If you don´t believe me, try it.  If you think that a loving God would never impose His will on us in such a way, you misunderstand.  He will never force us to do His or anybody´s will.  But God is just, and He can only bless us if we are obedient to His commandments.  He knows better than I do what makes me happy, and that´s why He gives me commandments.  They´ll help me do things that will truly make me happy.  Put it to the test, and I promise that you´ll find out that it´s true every single time.  If you think your own will is the way to go, best of luck.  Sooner or later, you´ll have to believe in God, because you´ll get to a point where you have nothing else.

I love and miss you all.  Keep up the good work.

-Elder Moore

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