"You will be an official representative of the Church. . . . Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ . . . Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you." Thomas S. Monson

Monday, March 2, 2015

"I will be a light unto them forever"

I'm sure I've said this probably over 1000 times during my mission, but where does the time go?  I swear weeks are no longer seven days long.  Nevertheless, this week has been filled with success and gratitude.

As I stated last week, my companion (Elder Affri) and I have really been trying to increase our personal efforts in finding people to teach.  This last week, we have seen a bit of improvement.  However, we have seen almost a quadruple uptake in the results.  We have felt the Lord's hand guiding us to those that we need to speak with, many in very unpredictable circumstances.  Every single day this past week we received contacts from members and/or people calling to us on the street asking us what we do.  It has been fascinating for me to see how the Lord is presenting us more and more of His children.

During my personal study, I came across a verse of scripture that impressed me deeply with our current situation.  I found this in 2 Nephi 10:14, which reads,

"for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words."

As I reflected upon that, I realized that I had seen this in practice this week in very powerful ways!  I think that I have mentioned this previously, but we have two couples right now that are struggling to find their way to marriage.  Because of this, I was given the opportunity to teach the Gospel Principles class (the Sunday School class for investigators and recent converts) about the covenant of eternal marriage.  Before getting to the concept of eternal marriage, we talked about how marriage, even civil marriage, is a commandment of God and not just a tradition among men (basically, God has given us the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth, and He has also commanded us to use the sacred powers of procreation within the bonds of marriage.  Summarized, it's a commandment to be married and to have children).

I taught this in the plainest way that I could, and it was well understood by all in attendance, especially those trying to find a way to be married in their current situation.  We answered a couple questions and then continued with the lesson.  As we were finishing up the lesson, the Holy Ghost was very tangible in the class, testifying to everyone of us of the truth of this principle.  At the end, everyone agreed firmly that we all need and want to respect this commandment.

After this class, the branch president called our two couples into his office separately and then called Elder Affri and I in afterward.  During our conversation, he explained how he is very happy for these two couples and that the branch is willing to do whatever is needed to help them get married.  There is a collective marriage coming up, and he said that he would follow up on the date and that we would prepare for that date for these two couples.

As I pondered on this today, I realized that we had heard the Lord's voice, as Jacob says in 2 Nephi 10.  We heard it, listened to it, and understood it.  Because of that, He was our light to begin to really progress along this path.  At the end of the three hours of Church on Sunday, both couples were lit up in excitement for how close they are getting to marriage!

The Lord is always firm in his promises.  Studying the Book of Mormon one more time has helped me learn that so much better.  I have looked for that more carefully in my daily life, and I have seen it.  As He said in D&C 82:10, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say."  We are striving to keep His commandments and abide by His laws, and He always keeps His promises.  Always!

It's a very exciting time to be in Akpakpa right now!!!

Avec amour,

Elder Jenkins

A storm that came through this past week.  The dark contrasting against the light was quite majestic as it filled the whole sky.
Sunrise this morning, 03.02.15
I finally saw this kids shirt after the second hour at Church on Sunday, 03.01.15
The poor guy doesn't even know what it signifies!!!  but at least it's not the worst of that sort of case.

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