It's been an awesome week serving the Lord. We had a lot of great successes this week and I really enjoyed being part of the teaching of so many of Heavenly Father's children. I have found that most of my joy as a missionary comes from teaching a powerful lessons to investigators and just seeing the Spirit fill the room as their faces shine with excitement and with the love of God.
We were able to experience that this week with a couple of investigators. The first is N. I've kept y'all well informed about her progression toward baptism. A few weeks ago she accepted a baptismal date and began preparing herself spiritually for that day. This past week we were able to complete the teaching process (for now) with her to be baptized. She's been super motivated, keeping commitments, and "one hundred percent" as she says. So we taught her a couple of lessons, set up a baptismal interview, and she PASSED with flying colors! I was able to sit in there during the interview to translate and she just blew me away. Elder Brown, the zone leader who was interviewing, thought I was faking the translation to him her answers were so good! She's definitely done her part in learning and studying the doctrine of the restored Gospel. So she will be baptized this Friday at 7 pm. I would love to see you all there!
We've also been meeting with M, our Jehovah's Witness friend. Lessons with him require a lot of patience just due to the nature of the situation. He's a missionary, and we're missionaries, so naturally we all just want to talk. The important part is that we make it a discussion, not him just reading out of his little books. We've gotten into a lot of good discussion about why their doctrine isn't correct and who God really is and it's opened my eyes to just how true the church is. I understand pretty well the JW doctrine (having studied it a little bit) and it just doesn't make sense at all. It's almost tragic how much it takes away from our potential as children of God. They claim that we don't have spirits, didn't exist before this life, cease to exist after we die until the resurrection, and that the purpose of God is to have us all living happily on a paradisaical earth forever and ever. Allow me to expound upon our doctrine a little bit.
We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father. We lived with Him before this life as spirits. We loved and honored our Heavenly Father and wanted to experience a fullness of joy just as He did. In order for us to do this, God presented a beautiful plan. In this Plan we would come down to Earth, obtain a physical body, make choices and experience trials and hardships, but also experience joy and happiness. God also knew that because we would be given the ability to make choices that we would make decisions that were not in harmony with His teachings. In other words, we would sin. He knew this from the beginning, so He provided for us a Savior, who would enable us to overcome the consequences of sin and overcome the world with would live in. Through our obedience and through accessing the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we would one day be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven with a fullness of joy, having gained experience enough to truly understand the meaning of happiness.
Doesn't that sound pretty good? We have a divine potential and it comes through our obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Part of the Great Apostasy was the removal of these plain and precious truths, which in turn, limits people's potential. Even just the simple knowledge that we are children of God and that we lived with Him before this life opens our eyes to the possibilities of our existence. Without it, we cannot even begin to comprehend who we really are and why God put us here. He just wants us to be HAPPY. We have to be here so that we can one day be eternally happy. That's it.
So now that I'm done rambling, just remember how blessed you are to have the restored Gospel in your life. Remember that because of it, you know where you came from, why you're here, and where you are going. That's a priceless blessing. I'm just hoping that we can help Monty see his true potential as a child of God. I'm sure we'll figure it out.
Thanks for listening.
-Elder Landon Carroll