Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The power of the Book of Mormon

SAN DIEGO — WHOA!! I hardly have any time to write again! Time flies way too fast! There is so much going on and so many things to tell you. First of all, I had to print off your emails because I ran out of time to read them. I will answer your questions and everything next time and If I forget, just ask me again:).

I have never been so tired in my life. Sister Kennington and I literally lay down on our beds at night and within seconds are fast asleep. A tricky thing being a Mormon Battalion sister is we have the work to do in half the time. Having said that, Heavenly Father has helped us see miracles despite the little time we have had in our area this week. We were able to add seven new investigators this week, and three of our investigators now have a baptismal date for Jan. 7, 8, and 22!

Todd is a marine that has been totally prepared by Heavenly Father. We just met him this week. He has been stationed a lot of different places, but in each place, he finds the Mormon church and goes to the activities. He has never sat down and talked with the missionaries before, so this was his first time. We got to know him and introduced that central to our message is Jesus Christ.

As we were talking to him about how Heavenly Father has given us tangible evidence that we can hold in our hands as a testimony to the world that God has once again restored His church to the earth, I felt like we should ask him if he has read the Book of Mormon.

He said he had read parts of it. I felt again that I needed to ask him what his thoughts were about it. He looked up at me with a huge grin on his face and said, "Well, I know it's true!" We were able to explain to him that if the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith is a prophet, and if Joseph is a prophet, then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's church once again restored to the earth.

We committed him to set a baptismal date, and even before we could set him with a date, he set his own! He already had been thinking about it and wanted to get baptized. The power of the Book of Mormon is real. This man didn't even have the missionaries teaching him, he hasn't learned about the fulness of our message, yet just reading the passages from the Book of Mormon brought a mighty change upon him. 

Ashli is a Mormon Battalion referral. Sister Nelson took her on a tour and since August we have been trying to meet with her. Finally, three weeks ago we found her. We have only been able to meet with her three times because of schedules and things, but already she has read to the middle of 2 Nephi. We are meeting with her this week and committing her to baptism. She has already changed so much, I am so excited for her!

Tyler is also a Mormon Battalion referral that Sister Kennington took on a tour. He is 18 years old and into music and things. His dad is very less active, but wants to come back to church. Sister Kennington and I went over a few days ago and introduced our message and the Book of Mormon to him. Last night, Sister Kennington (we were on exchanges) met with him again and he accepted a baptismal date.

Charmaine: the missionaries have been working with her FOREVER! Even before I came. She went to the Christmas Devotional at our branch president's home, and felt the Spirit so strongly. I know that the Spirit touched her heart and reminded her of the divine potential she has.

She was so different when we met her. She kept saying, "everything clicks, I get it. I get it now"  You would have to know Charmaine, she is the most scatter-brained analytical, spastic teenager ever. From the world's view, she would never change, she would never want this. Yet from God's perspective, she is His daughter, and His love can change any soul.

I wanted to share with you a glimpse of these people's stories because it is a huge reminder of the power of the Book of Mormon, the power of the Holy Ghost, and the power of our Father. This Gospel is real, so much more real than I ever realized. Heavenly Father is closer than we know, and we have angels surrounding us here, now every day. Just as Heavenly Father has a great influence in our lives, so does Satan. Just as I have seen the power of Heavenly Father. I have seen how good Satan is at deceiving, at ruining and destroying peoples lives. He is sneaky and tricky and He thinks he knows what's up. He has no idea.

I want to leave you with an excerpt from my journal, and something that I have been thinking about a lot this week as we have had Zone Leader trainings, and Missionary Training Meetings.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"I have been pondering all week about some things that President Clayton talked to us about in Zone Leader Training. He read us the scripture about the Great Captain Moroni. 
"And it came to pass as the armies of the Lamanites had gathered together in the land, behold the armies of the Nephites were prepared to meet them in the land." 

I had the imagery of all of the followers of Christ being armed and ready to fight against Satan and his followers. Oh, how great this battle has become. I imagined us rushing forward to fight Satan, to defend our families, our friends and our neighbors from the awful grasp of the adversary. I feel so privileged to be God's warrior, to defend this world from the grasp of Satan.

As I read this scripture, I imagined Captain Moroni leading his army — Moroni was a mighty man, a man of God. He revolutionized the strategy of war. He made preparations, he prepared his warriors and he was always one step ahead of the Lamanites. It has hit me so strongly this week that Heavenly Father needs me to be like Moroni. I need to be one step ahead of Satan and predict where he is going to focus his battle. I read through Preach My Gospel this morning and made a list of where I think Satan is going to attack, and my plan to fight back. I know with God's help, I am going to make Satan one angry warrior. He will fail. He is not going to win. And I am going to be one of his worst enemies.

I think this is true in all of our lives. I would invite all of you to pick something that Satan keeps getting you at, and make a plan to fight back! Don't let him win! Just like it says in the scriptures,

"If all men were and had and were  and ever would be like unto Moroni, behold the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever yea the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. "

Let's shake the the powers of hell, shall we?!?! I feel like irritating Satan this week, Please help me out!!!

Love you all. You are the bestest ever. You can do hard things!!!! Don't freeze (those of you in Utah).

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