Monday, June 15, 2015

Birthday and Baptisms

Well, this week was a week of lots of confusion, blankness and relief.  We had a very interesting start of the week.  We had a jump start to the week, thanks to two past missionaries from America who came for a couple days and helped out.  We had a baptism on Wednesday without my companion, because we had to do splits and our investigator said he was going to Russia so he needed to get baptized as soon as possible. (We made sure he was ready of course)

So, after the very early morning baptisms, three, we had a nice long ride up to Gyumri.  Low and behold our taxi driver tells us he has been smoking since he was 10.  And then we tried to teach him, but he said that he couldn’t... so we said that he can... and then he said he can’t and then I said do you believe in Christ? And he said, how can I not?  So I said, if you believe in Christ, all things are possible.  And he said that's right, and so I said you can quit smoking, so he said again, I cant.  Very interesting how people don’t understand at all the Atonement or Christ's doctrine.  People are too scared to take a leap of faith into the darkness because they've never experienced the power of the Atonement.  When we take that leap of faith saying, "I trust you and know you will help me" there is always a hand there to guide you.  I definitely know that.  I don’t think I really understood the importance of the Atonement until my mission.  

Lets just say first, that I have learned 90 percent of my knowledge that I have about anything on my mission.  So go, if you are worthy to go, go.  Anyway, the atonement is involved with everything in our process of perfection.  We cannot become perfect in this life, but the power of the atonement is what makes it possible to receive the gift of eternal life, in which we will become perfected.  I am still learning a ton about the atonement and I am definitely by no means or even close to perfect.  

Just because I am a missionary doesn’t mean I magically get a free pass from sin for two years, I would say it is even harder on a mission! Satan has worked a lot harder on missionaries and me that I know than he ever has before, and do you want to know why? Because he knows what we can become.  Don’t ever destroy your potential or you hopes or dreams or attitude or character as a servant of Christ because of Satan’s lies.  He wants us to feel like there is no point of return, but there is always a point of safe return in this gospel.  I would challenge you if you have 15 spare minutes in a day or night, to read or watch, President Uchtodrf's talk "Point of Safe Return." I think I have listened to it 10 times this week.  There is always something new that sticks out to me. 

I do want some suggestions on what you all want to hear about missionary work or what you want me to write about next week, I feel like my letters start out short and then they always become over-bearingly long.  Anyway, it's awesome here in Armenia! The people are pretty much the same.  It sucks not to be able to swim, because it’s hot.  I will have some pictures next week. Love you all and I love my bros and sisters who are serving out there in the world! 

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