Things here in the WKM are doing really great!! We're keeping really busy in the work of the Lord.
This Sunday was a really cool experience for all the missionaries, especially myself! For the month of March, the wards will be focusing the theme of the Sacrament meetings on "Missionary Work," and who better to testify about missionary work?? THAN US!!!
So for the next month, we'll be having a different missionary giving a talk and another giving a testimony, and for the first week, the lot fell upon myself and my companion.
...My first thought was how I still had a really good excuse to be nervous, on account of now knowing the language because I just started.........oh wait.....cant really use the "still a greenie" card now-a-days.... But I really love the opportunity to go up and share what I have learned about missionary work. This month is going to be SUPER cool in terms of member missionary work! We hope to get everyone as excited as we are to share what they have and hold so dear!!
The work has been moving forward. We've received a good number of training throughout the week that has helped us in, well, the theme we've been focusing on as missionaries for a good while now, complete change. We're getting closer and closer, and there are SO many miracles happening each day. There really are so many amazing people who have been prepared. And we are more and more prepared to be able to take this message to them. The work is moving forward, and it's growing at amazing speeds.
So, we're working hard and having a BLAST every second of every day!! Missionary work is where it's at!!
I love how one of the first things that we are able to testify of as missionaries is about our loving Heavenly Father!! It's amazing to come together as children of Him, not taking note of religion or beliefs, and discussing what we know about Him, and growing as we build our knowledge and apply them each day. How fast are so many people to rise in temper when doctrines are shared, is the moment when each of us forget that at the top, we have one of the greatest things in common, our Father in Heaven.
My faith and testimony of my loving Father in Heaven has grown so much, and I love how it can grow so much more! But I wish to share just a portion about what I love about my Father in Heaven,
I know that He is our Father, and we are His children. He LOVES us. And He wants to communicate with us, and we can through sincere prayer.
He has given us this amazing experience on this earth so we can learn and grow. He has provided a way for us to be successful in this life and to return to live in His presence, and that comes through the priceless gift of the Atonement, which is central to the Plan of Salvation, which is the plan He has created and given us. Through this Atonement, we can be freed from the burden of our sins and develop faith and strength to face our trials.
"My song of testimony" is a song that I sang just before I left, and has stayed with me for the longest time!! For part of my mission, it was written down and placed always in my front pocket.
"I know God Lives,
I know He loves me,
I know He hears me and He answers when I pray.
I know His Son,
is my redeemer,
And that He died for me
That I might live eternally one day.
I know God lives,
I know He loves me,
This is my guiding light
my strength to all my fears.
This is my song of faith,
my song of testimony,
my song of praise."
My next thought draws me to one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon. I appoligize, this is a long one, so bear with me and keep scrolling!!
1 Nefi 2:15
"And my father dwelt in a tent."
Ok...not the largest...and I promise that it's also not the smallest!
A strange scripture to say the least, but with the limited space to write in the plates, why was this included? Why was this something that Nefi, or Mormon wanted us to know about Lehi?
For those not too familiar with the background of the scripture, this is where Lehi has just led his family into the wilderness after fleeing Jerusalem. They had just stopped to set up camp, and Nefi takes this brief second, these 7 words, to describe the situation that his family, and specifically Lehi is in.
We know from 1 Nephi 1 that Nephi was "born of goodly parents" with all manner of gold, and silver, and precious things, to the point that Laban did lust after it (when they attempted to exchange it for the brass plates).
But Lehi had heard the word of the Lord, and the commandment to flee into the wilderness. "And it came to pass that he departed in the wilderness. And he lift his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness." (1 Nephi 2:4)
We arent asked by the Lord to leave everything and live in tents, but how can we apply this to our day. We have our own calls to flee into the wilderness, for Jerusalem will be destroyed. First, how will we reply to the call? What will we feel? And what will we take with us?
The sacrifices may be larger than what we may be comfortable with, but the results and consequences are worth every effort. With an eternal perspective, we know that blessings, and we know their worth, and so did Lehi. He forsook Jerusalem to follow his God, our living Father in Heaven, who was leading them to a Promise Land. We all have our promise land, and can be led by our Father in Heaven. I can only imagine what Nephi felt when he wrote that verse, "And my father dwelt in a tent." And can only dream to improve myself to the amazing example that Lehi was to his family.
I love you all and hope the best for each of you this upcoming week. Work hard and love everything that you do!!
Elder Glen Wright Washing Kennewick Mission