Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Transfer 5 Week 3: A Call to Repentance--Conforming to the Gospel Principles

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 12:28 AM

Hello there, face here.  Okay, maybe I'm not face, but I liked that cartoon way back in the days.  It's just been another week in Jilong.  And a very interesting one at that.  We watched conference...had zone conference...we also need to head out to Taipei tomorrow for President's interviews, so we've gotten quite a lot of trips to Taipei

General Conference wasn't actually supposed to be a trip to Taipei for us, but on Saturday morning, they couldn't get the English working in Jilong, just Chinese, so we missed the morning session of conference and caught the next bus to Taipei, just to see the last 10 minutes of that session.  It ended up being alright though, because President's Assistant, Elder Gassin, burned us a copy of that session during the break, then for District meeting Monday we watched Saturday Mornings conference.  So now, we have watched all of conference.  I thought it was unique that such a great emphasis was love and service.  I realized in my own life, the problems that happen especially with family and friendship relationships, are mostly due to selfishness.  I think the average person forgets the importance of repenting daily.  I mean, I feel like a lot of people go on a mission, invite investigators to keep commitments, such as repenting daily, and at that time come to the realization that we also need to do such...but then, I think time passes and it's easy to forget what you taught them.  The habits developed become less of habits, we digress spiritually, become more like the natural man....then as conference is watched and speaker after speaker talk about putting off the natural man, it's easy to have a desire to change...while they speak, the spirit is strong, a fire is kindled within our hearts, but do we ultimately change?  Do we put it into action?  Do our family relationships become stronger?  Do we start to feel the power of the Holy Ghost's influence in our lives daily as we do the things that invite his presense into our lives? Do we become more active in considering how others feel and what we can do for others instead of feeling like we ourselves are wronged?  What do we do because of conference?  How do we take what President Monson said about taking these things and changing, and actually change?  Seriously.  I personally cannot remember a big step I took to change after conference in my life...I remember after conference this time, feeling a big desire to change and become better.  As a missionary this is what my life is about...but then I wondered, how will my family and friends do this.  I, myself, have to take great effort to change, and that is what my life is focused on. And it's hard! Seriously.  My whole life is becoming more converted so that my investigators can be more converted, since their level of conversion can only be as far is mine is...and yet it's a daily struggle.  I focus on it constantly.  So for you guys, how is conference going to change you?  I heard maybe 3 of you guys write me about conference and tell me about what you liked, but I'd much rather know, how are you going to take conference and CONFORM?  Change and become more like Christ?  Being on a mission had made me realize our family is not very good at conforming, but conforming is a gospel principle. I hope you don't take offense at this statement, but I honestly believe it to be true. My growing up experience was unique, and I cherish that in a lot of ways...but as I testify about how the gospel blesses families, I wish to see a change in my own family that really shows how this mission is helping you guys.  Heavenly Father is an unchanging God.  His laws and his principles will never change.  And so, in order to obtain His salvation, we need to put ourselves in line with His laws.  We need to develop His love (charity) and not worry about being unique or different.  Believe me, you are unique.  You don't even have to try to be.  So what I'm wondering, is what are you guys going to change because of conference?  How are you going to be more obedient to God's will?  A big reason I ask is because I personally am struggling with obedience.  I want to be a conformed and obedient missionary, but sometimes some of the stuff I do or say shock people.  I'm working on this through goal setting...and I hope you guys can too. 

So yeah! That's what they talked about at zone conference...they talked about obedience and goal setting.  It was a very fitting zone conference for me, because both are things that I'm not good at, but I'd like to be.  I seriously in the past have hated setting goals, because I'm scared of not measuring up to them, but goals are a way to see progress, so I'll have to get over my fears and be more specific in my's not very feasible to think you can just change over night...i've heard stories, but never actually just POOF changed...So, little by little.  You can't just go from not understanding how you listen to the Holy Ghost to feeling it constantly in your life.  This isn't how I teach my investigators, and it's not what I expect for myself either.  First you teach them what the Holy Ghost is.  Then you encourage them to do things that will invite the Holy Ghost into their lives, such as baptism, and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, prayer to recognize how he feels for you individually, being obedient so he can dwell with you, following his promptings so he stays...etc.  As I more understand righteous principles, I think I'll keep them more.  President shared Alma 32 with us about arousing your can't just have faith in something right away.  Not true and everlasting faith.  There are steps to do.  The start is getting the desire, arousing your yeah.  This is what my hope for you guys is....that as I do my best as a missionary to serve God and bless my family, you guys will also put faith into action...have weekly Family Home Evening, pray together, read together, strengthen your relationship, avoid things that draw you apart...change yourself for those around you...learn to love each other, more fully and more completely.  That is my hope...but I can't change anybody's agency...Only you can change, no matter how much others want you to.

In another experience, this week my companion and I had the..unique experience to have lunch with a member of a church that broke off of the LDS church, they read the Book of Mormon, but beliefs are much different than our own.  I know which church it is, but would prefer not to specify, as there are quite a few break off's of the LDS church.  Sufficeth it to say she had us come back with her to their church, one floor in a large building with many floors. 

4 minutes this story needs to be brief...anyways, we went back there, and it's really small since not many believers live in Taiwan, but they had copies of the Book of Mormon.  I picked one up and began to read the introduction.  As I was reading, the Holy Ghost came very strong to my heart that the intention of this book was completely wrong.  I felt sad for this lady, she has SO much truth, she has the Book of Mormon in her life, she has Moroni's promise, and yet, she doesn't have true authority.  The Holy Ghost just testified to me that this wasn't true and what I had in my bag was.  I'm glad for the Holy Ghost and our ability as members of this church to know truth for ourselves.  Her reason for not being with our church was the LDS churches past of polygamy.  It had nothing to do with her own feelings.  So how great that we have personal revelation.  Nobody can be forced to believe truth.  We feel it.  I know this church is true.  I felt it.  And I felt it that day, strongly.  I love that lady a lot, but I'm glad I was born into a church with correct authority.  To her, I would not say her church was wrong, I don't persecute others beliefs, but I stand strong to mine.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I loved Sunday Afternoon's talk.  25 seconds to send this! Bye!

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