Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Iron Rod

SAN DIEGO — These computers are so super slow! But hey at least we have them. So first let me just individually answer some questions/write you something. -->

I know it’s a bummer about when I come home. I only had 2 choices. December 29 or Jan 1. Since they are barely any different, I just thought I would make it easier on President. I love you so much! And time will go by so fast, can you believe its already September? I’m sprinting to the end, and also so excited to see you all. It’s a weird feeling, being on the downhill slope of a mission.

As for this week, what a week it has been! Sister Miller and I received a referral from the missionaries this week. Daniel has a friend that is a Mormon and introduced him to institute. He sat in on some of the classes and then begged the missionaries to teach him more.

That’s where we came in.

He lives in our area, so we met him at the temple for our first visit. It was amazing! He is such a nice guy, with the purest heart you can imagine. We taught him the Restoration and he felt the Spirit so strong. He used to go to another Christian church, but he felt that something was missing. As I was telling him that God has established His church and His teachings throughout history by giving a man that he trusts the priesthood authority to act in God's name for the salvation of His children, Daniel lit up. He kept saying, "I know its true. I know its true."

Overnight, he received an answer to the truth of the Book of Mormon. Our next lesson, we wanted to make sure that he understood why the priesthood even mattered. His eyes brightened up and he said, "Well, all I can relate it to was at my old church where they had a barbeque and then just dunked us in the pool. I know that didn’t have God's approval. I want to have my baptism have God's stamp of approval. "

We met him on Sunday for his first sacrament meeting. It was so neat. One of the hymns was "The Iron Rod". Sister Miller told him that soon he would reach the part in the Book of Mormon that talks about The Iron Rod. Yesterday we met him, and he was so excited because he started reading about Lehi's vision.

Just this morning, I decided to reread Lehi's Vision, and this time as I read, It wasn’t Lehi and his family I saw, but it was me. 

I was the one that followed "the man in the white robe" through the dark and dreary waste. (1 Nephi 8:5-7) The waste that I saw was the city of San Diego, the place I have been living in for over a year, but this time I really saw it. People running from place to place without direction, putting everything on the things of the world, the people were there, yet they weren’t. It was as though they were "past feeling". Kind of what you would imagine in a zombie town in a scary movie.   

As I continued to read in the scriptures, it was me that began to pray (1 Nephi 8:8) because I didn’t know how to help these people. I wanted them to be happy, and the darkness, the eeriness of the city to be gone. As I imagined myself praying, I saw the tree of life, and I knew that the fruit on the tree would change the souls of San Diego and would bring happiness to everyone around me. I wanted that fruit, and I wanted to grab a bucket, start picking it off the tree and handing it out to everyone I saw.  As I "cast my eyes round about" (1 Nephi 8:13) I discovered my family — not my family that I have left back home in Utah, but the brothers and sisters that I have helped find the Gospel. I saw HR and Todd, Oliver, Cameron, Casey, Ryan, Robert, and Daniel.... I begged them to follow me to the path that would get us to the tree. (1 Nephi 8:20-21). Some of them came with me, others walked away wandering through San Diego and were lost.

The story is still being told. We all have this life to prepare to meet God and to help others along the way. If we want to help others that are lost, we have to continually hold onto the iron rod. (Verse 30) Just clinging (verse 24) or briefly catching hold of the rod WILL NOT DO. The world is getting darker. 

Just take an inventory of your life. Are you one of the "Clingers"? Do you occasionally catch hold? Or do you continually hold onto the iron rod?

We are tools in God's hands. Just like a surgeon who uses precise tools to perform surgery, if His tool is acting up or being difficult, he may try for a while to use it, but eventually he will lay it aside and use a different one.

We are all instruments in God's hands. If we do not give our will to Him, he will lay us aside and use someone else.

Love you all! Let's run the Lord's errands!

Pray for Daniel! And Robert! And Ryan! And Jereon! They are so close!!!!

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