Friday, August 19, 2016

There's a First Time for Everything (9/21/15)

While teaching the Restoration, we tend to ask how Jesus might feel about the lamb he's holding in his arms in the picture on the front of the Restoration pamphlet. We usually get answers like, "love, concern, protection, how he feels about us." But we got a new answer this week while teaching on the street: "Hungry, like he wants some lamb chops for dinner." That guy was a gem, and that answer was a first!

Another first... I may or may not have had a run-in with law enforcement... for the first time... on my mission. Of all places. I got pulled over!! But no fear, I just accidentally had my brights on, and that kind officer just gave me a warning. But that doesn't mean I wasn't shakin like a 9 on the Richter Scale. Sweatin like a sinner in church, ya might say. Well, what can ya do, some people are just a little dumb (me).

Other firsts I've experienced on my mission thus far: 1) I have never EVER been so consistently exhausted - physically, mentally, emotionally. 2) I have never had so many feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and disappointment. 3) I have never felt so lonely.  4) I have never felt so close to God.  5) I have never found such pure joy out of studying the gospel.  6) I have NEVER felt such a purpose for my life and such a confirmation that I'm where I need to be. 7) I have never felt so much joy or so much love - both that I'm sending out and that I'm receiving.

And that my friends, is missionary work. The most grueling of work, and the most intense spiritual rewards. But please don't wait for an experience like a mission to claim those spiritual blessings! You can start now! You can delve into the gospel NOW. You can serve with all your heart NOW. There's no better day than today.

And now, I've saved the best for last... Brother Joe got baptized and confirmed this week! I'm so proud of him and feel so immensely blessed to have witnessed this change take place in his life. I've seen the gospel change him. He is a completely new person. And he's so so happy. I don't know what else to say other than this: This church is true. Only the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can fill every hole in our lives, in our souls. If you're not sharing it, start. Those blessings that you've received demand to be shared. I promise you that as you reach outside your comfort zone and pray for opportunities and courage to share the gospel, your conviction will grow, you will see blessings in your life, and you will find immeasurable joy in giving others this irreplaceable gift.

I love y'all so much! Make no mistake about it, I desperately need your prayers and appreciate them immensely.

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