Monday, December 23, 2013

Wonderful Winter Days - December 23, 2013

It was the week before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for ... a missionary and his companion emailing home at the library.

This pre-Christmas week has been wonderful. We are working with a 10-year-old boy named Elijah. He wasn't baptized when he was 8. We didn't know he hadn't been baptized until he and his mom came up to us at the ward Christmas party on December 13th and said he wanted to be baptized. He has been to church off and on with his mom and his other younger siblings. He wanted to be baptized, so we figured, why wait? He is going to be baptized this Saturday

Back in November, I talked with Elder Fiso about how we were going to find and baptize someone in Story City in the last transfer of the year, someone to be party of the 550 souls coming to Christ in the year 2013 in the Iowa Des Moines Mission. When I was transferred, I had that desire still. Sarah was baptized my first week here in Waterloo. And we also had the investigators Kianna, Tia, and Deacon, who were going to hopefully be baptized before the end of the year. But I desired of God to find someone and baptize them in the month of December. A soul who was prepared to be baptized in 2013. 

On Monday, December 9th, Elder Nelson and I were contacted by a less-active member and invited over for chili. We met, David, and his nonmember fiance, Melissa, and had chili and discovered that she was very prepared by the Lord for us to meet with her. Melissa found out earlier that day, her grandma who she is very close to, is a Mormon. We talked with her, and David bore powerful testimony about how he knows this Church is true. Even though he didn't always listen and he has been in and out of prison, his conviction of the truthfulness of the gospel is sure. All the while we were meeting with them, I was thinking "is she the elect individual who has been prepared by the hand of God to be baptized in 2013?" All they would need to do is be married. They both want to get married and David wants to be sealed to her. She kept smiling and as the lesson progressed there was such a powerful spirit in the room. She changed from "I would be baptized if it was right" to "I will be baptized." I was praying and in my head I was thinking, "they need to get married this week to be baptized in 2013." (Our mission president requires living the Law of Chastity 2 weeks before a person can be baptized.) But for whatever reason, they are thinking next July or August, even though they want to be married now. It might be a reason not completely in their control. So Elder Nelson and I fasted the next day to have whatever reason come forth and be fixed. We haven't been able to meet with them since as David has a crazy work schedule.

We met Elijah on December 13th, and he is prepared and ready to be baptized in 2013. God will perform miracles. He works in mysterious ways to bring souls to Him. He knows his children and their lives. We must pray, fast, and seek for opportunity to be an instrument of the Lord in our fellow brothers and sisters lives. If we are doing what God needs and wants us to do, seeking to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we will be blessed to bless others, strengthening ourselves in the process. There will be more to this account that I do not know now, but the strength it brings me is wonderful.

This life is all about perspective. Step back and put yourself in view of eternity. Who you were before this life, and who you will be after, and what you must do here and now to connect those two pieces of you. This can only be done right within the perspective of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

May we remember Christ and his life and sacrifice this Christmas and Christmas Eve!

Love and Merry Christmas!
Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
D&C 6:34, 36
  Doubt Not, Fear Not.

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