Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Closer Walk with God - May 19, 2014

"The healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ—whether it removes our burdens or strengthens us to endure and live with them like the Apostle Paul—is available for every affliction in mortality."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "He Heals the Heavy Laden," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 5–6

This week has been an incredible experience. It has been one of the hardest weeks of my mission, but it has also been very rewarding. This week we did a lot of service, and we did a lot of looking for members on the rolls that we don't know about. We have found a lot out and did some great work with that!

This week we had the opportunity to go to the temple on Saturday! It was a great experience. I love the teachings of the holy endowment and the reminder of the covenants that I have entered into.

The mantle and burden we are called to carry as the Lord's Anointed Missionaries can be very heavy. This week I felt overwhelmed by the call and all that is our responsibility to do. Things weren't working out in my time, but the Lord worked them out and everything fell together beautifully. Sometimes it is the load that brings us to Christ. Elder Bednar spoke so magnificently on this subject at the most recent General Conference:

Along with Elder Bednar, "I invite you to study, pray, ponder, and strive to learn more about the Savior’s Atonement as you assess your individual load." "Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load: “Is the load I am carrying producing the spiritual traction that will enable me to press forward with faith in Christ on the strait and narrow path and avoid getting stuck? Is the load I am carrying creating sufficient spiritual traction so I ultimately can return home to Heavenly Father?” "

As the saying goes, every storm cloud has a silver lining. Here are some that we experienced just yesterday, as we did about 8 miles of walking to contact our investigators and these lost members. All these happened in the span of 5 hours!
  • We saw a beaver run across the road. I think that is the first time in my life that I saw a wild beaver!
  • A few minutes after that, we knocked on a door and the man answering was an older man. He said very kindly that he had company and that he was trying to sell his house, so his life was pretty crazy at the moment. "But I have something to tell you," he said. "One time one of the Cardinals (a high-up leader in the Catholic church) went to the Pope and said 'I have good news and bad news, which do you want first?' The Pope responded 'the good news.' So the Cardinal said, 'Jesus is on the phone.' The Pope said, 'Ok, now what's the bad news?' The Cardinal responds, 'He's calling from Salt Lake.' " How great is that? A random man whose door we knocked on told us a joke, without us introducing that we were even from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Needless to say, it made our day!
  • We found out where the Christian Africans live in Ottumwa. We met some Muslim Africans yesterday and when we asked them if anyone they knew would like to talk about Jesus Christ, they told us where "many people who would be willing to talk about Jesus and they are kind" were. People from Africa are very humble and kind people! So we are excited.
  • We knocked on this door, and a 9-year-old kid answered it. We asked if his parents were home, he said no. So we gave him a card and asked him to have his parents give us a call. Well, about 20 minutes later, we get a call from an unknown number. A lady named Trish called, telling us we just talked to her son and left this number. We asked if she would want to learn more about Jesus Christ. She said yes! We have an appointment with her today at 5! The Lord works in mysterious ways!
I love you all and I want to leave you with this thought from Elder Nelson, in addition to my testimony that God loves us and we experience trials and doubts to grow our faith.
"I recognize that, on occasion, some of our most fervent prayers may seem to go unanswered. We wonder, ‘Why?’ I know that feeling! I know the fears and tears of such moments. But I also know that our prayers are never ignored. Our faith is never unappreciated. I know that an all-wise Heavenly Father’s perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time."
- Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus Christ—the Master Healer,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 86

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

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