Wow! Another week gone! And Christmas just keeps getting closer! And every missionary knows what that means. (note from mom - missionaries get to Skype with their family on Christmas instead of the normal weekly email.) But it's not quite here yet.
|Putting up Christmas lights! I forgot to take a picture went they were lit at night! next week!|
|The branch brought some Christmas decorations, too.|
This week has been fantastic! Yesterday, Sunday the 15th, we had church in Baguida for the first time! So instead of taking over 30 minutes of taxis and walking to get to church, we just walked down the stairs! Pretty convenient, but our Sunday schedule is completely different now. Church was great! We had 85 in attendance for our first Sunday with 25 investigators! It was interesting being the first Sunday in a new building, lacking some supplies, but the Spirit was still there testifying of the truth of the Church. I was asked to give a talk on repentance and I started by commenting to the members of Baguida how much a like they are to the first saints of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the pioneers. Meeting in our house like that really made it feel like the homes where they met in Kirtland, Ohio, one of the first settlements of the restored Church of Jesus Christ.
|Helping out a bit with the branch building cleaning on Friday|
Anyways, one of the high points of my week was how much I learned during my personal study each morning. Every morning this past week was just so edifying and was so enlightening. I truly felt the heavens opened to my mind as I learned and understood so many of the principles that I studied. One principle that I studied on Wednesday is found in Helaman Chapter 5, 3 Nephi 14:24-27, and Matthew 7:24-29. It is the principle of building our foundation upon the rock of our Redeemer and Savior Jesus-Christ.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon thearock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
This scripture hit me when I read it. Not that I haven't read it before, I have it memorized, but just because I'm in a much more different place now than I have been before when I've read it. I immediately began pondering a bit on the scripture and if I am really building my foundation upon the foundation of Christ. However, it was very interesting how the question came to my mind. It was not posed "am I building upon the foundation of Christ?" Rather, it came as "am I building my foundation fully upon he rock of Christ?" I thought that this was very interesting, and I immediately thought to several houses I had seen just last week at the beach that were not fully built upon a good foundation. I then realized that if we are not fully built upon the foundation of Christ, the promise in this scripture does not apply to us. We can still fall, even if only partially. However, if our foundation is fully upon the Savior, then we truly cannot fall. It was a very good moment for me to reflect upon my everyday actions to see if they are building a foundation upon the rock of Christ.
|A house not built upon a sure foundation.|
|Didn't hold up when the ocean decided to crash down on it.|
|Another unsupported house. Hard to find it's so lost.|
|It's important to know that a synthetic or substitute rock foundation cannot replace the rock of Christ|
This revelation was then followed the next day as I saw several examples of people in the Book of Mormon that had fallen into wickedness because of their pride. My testimony was then reinforced in the fact that righteousness is a very proactive work. Having the word righteousness apply to us means that we must be out doing and being. We cannot simply sit around or merely go through the motions. This brings about laziness and pride which lead to wickedness. This applies very much in missionary work. The best missionaries with the least problems and the most happiness are those who go out and work willingly and sincerely every day.
|I thought these were interesting. I'm pretty sure they're old wells. Not dried up, just unusable.|
That's it for this week! The Church is true and the Lord is hastening His work. My testimony of these two things are sure. I invite all of you to join me in trying to more completely build our foundations completely upon the rock of Christ.
I love you all so much! May we all have the Christmas Spirit with us as we go out and serve others and prepare for this special time to celebrate the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.