Monday, March 17, 2014

The Nauvoo Temple - March 17, 2014

"And again, verily thus saith the Lord: Let the work of my temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease; and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works beredoubled, and you shall in nowise lose your reward, saith the Lord of Hosts. And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in heaven."
- Doctrine and Covenants 127:4, emphasis added

The words of this verse that I emphasized are what President Jergensen often emphasized to us when he was our mission president. We must work harder, and invest our time, redouble our efforts to serve our Father in Heaven. It is hard, but as we seek the Spirit, it is possible. I thought it a very appropriate scripture to share as I attended the Nauvoo Temple on Saturday (this revelation, D&C 127, talks about the Nauvoo Temple) and following the servants of the Lord as they are inspired by the Spirit shows we are willing to receive our Father's direction (see D&C 84:33-39).

For Preparation Day last week we got together as a district and played some games, like kickball dodge ball. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! :)

Monday, we visited an older widow in the ward. As we were going into the lesson, we were discussing what we would share with her. Elder Schwendiman suggested Charity, so we talked about how we would teach it and we went in. We chatted with her for a bit before we began the lesson. Right before we started a fire truck with its lights on parked in front of her neighbor's house. Later an ambulance came and took someone out on a stretcher. All the while we were talking about charity and how she should go to her neighbor's house and get to know them and ask if they needed anything. We followed up with her Thursday and she never went over... Remember to do something out of your comfort zone to show someone love this week!

Tuesday we took a young man who is saving up for his mission with us for a few hours and attempted to contact a bunch of people.

Wednesday we had a lunch with a wonderful older couple in the ward. They have 13 kids and their youngest is serving a mission in Paraguay right now. We talked about the difficulties of raising kids in a nonmember community and how we can help converts stay active.

Thursday we had a Zone Training Meeting. The Assistants to the President came and attended the meeting. It was a wonderful meeting and the Spirit was very strong. 

Thursday night we were able to bring our Bishop with us to a lesson with the Palma Family. They are a part-member family who is coming back to church. We are working with their two unbaptized boys Andy (10) and Daniel (9) to help them be baptized. The father owns his own construction business and the family is not able to attend church most Sundays because the father is out of town working Sundays and often his family goes with him to the jobs. Our Bishop teaches Spanish at the Community College here in Ottumwa and he chatted with Brother Palma for the better part of an hour about why church is important. It was wonderful as the Bishop talked about all that we wanted to talk about, but in Spanish so Brother Palma could understand better. It was wonderful! We reset their baptismal date to April 26th with the expectation they will come to church more frequently!

Friday we took Elder Schwendiman to the doctor and he is no longer in his sling! His collarbone is healing well! Also, if you remember a few weeks ago, I talked about miracles that were happening in Ottumwa. I talked about a man named Steve Graham. He showed up at the church wanting a Book of Mormon after his wife passed away the week before. We were able to meet with him on Friday and teach him with one of the members that he knows already in the ward. He has read from the beginning of the Book of Mormon and is about to start 3 Nephi 11 (where the Savior visits the Americas) in just 3 short weeks. It was great to meet with him again and he accepted an invitation to be baptized, so we will help him prepare for baptism!

Saturday. Saturday was the best day of my week and one of the best days of 2014 thus far. Our ward had their ward temple trip and we called and received permission to attend the temple from President Jensen. This is the first time I have attended since 3 November 2012. Needless to say 15.5 months is much to long to go without attending the temple. There were 8 sister missionaries there as well at the temple. A trio from Iowa City was there plus all 5 Hermanas (Spanish-speaking Sister missionaries) from our district. I also saw some people from my last area, Waterloo, Iowa, as a member from that ward received her own endowment as we were there.

The temple is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The ordinances performed for ourselves and those that have already passed on are some of the most sacred, spiritual things that happen in our life. I was full of love and the Spirit as I participated in the endowment for a man that has passed away.

Using the restored priesthood authority given to us in this last dispensation, given to me by my dad, I was able to participate in the laying on of hands for several sick and in distress sisters this last week. The priesthood is real. Have the faith to let it heal you.

We learned about the Atonement and repentance in our sacrament meeting yesterday. God blesses us as we turn to Him. One sister shared points from the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox (attached). One brother shared points from Stephen Robinson's Believing Christ. Do we Believe in Christ? Do we believe Christ?

Repentance takes commitment. Commit to our Heavenly Father today to access the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, continually in our imperfect lives. Access it through the Doctrine of Christ: "Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End" (Preach My Gospel, p.1).

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

Picture #1: I am going to miss the sunsets in Iowa SOOOOO much!
Picture #2: It was an incredibly beautiful day in Nauvoo! Especially as it snowed that night!
Picture #3: Angel Moroni.
Picture #4: The Hyrum and Joseph riding horses. The clouds really framed this one.
Picture #5: Me, Parker (a member who returned from his mission 8 weeks ago), and Elder Schwendiman in front of the Nauvoo Temple.

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