Monday, August 22, 2011

Fulfilling the Doctrine of Christ........week 56

My dear family,

How are you family? It always sounds that the Lord blesses you in more ways that we often realize. Good work to everyone. Thank you family for everything you have done for me and all of the prayers in my behalf. They are very much appreciated.

Right now I am very happy. Why? Because we are bringing souls unto Christ. We had 2 baptisms this past Saturday and 9 in the Zone. When we complete with what corresponds to us we are happy. When we fulfill the Doctrine of Christ which is baptism, we are happy. I feel very much like Thomas Edison who said that he didn't fail, he only discovered 999 ways not to make the light bulb. I do not feel like I have failed, yet that I have found 999 ways how not to do missionary work. I feel that I am starting to understand how to really be a missionary. I want to give my testimony that God knows us perfectly. I absolutely love missionary service because God changes you to become a greater instrument in His hands. I love it because the righteous desires of my heart are considered line upon line, precept upon precept. For example, I believe it is Elder Ballard who teaches that the study of the Gospel will change behavior faster than a study of behavior will change behavior. I have seen how a defect of mine which I have had for all of my life is taken away in an instant when the Lord grants me a portion of revelation. I have learned that if the desire really is righteous and correct, God will grant you the knowledge and the capacity to bring about His work. President Spannaus always says it in this way: when a missionary finally realizes how to be a missionary, he already ended his mission. I feel very much in this way.

We had a baptism of a young woman named Hortensia who is amazing. She came to church, listened to us, accepted everything and was baptized. She is such an inspiration for me. Elder Zepeda and I have been praying and working very hard these past few weeks and we are beginning to see the results. We are preparing for 3 baptisms this week, 1 the next week and another the following week. We hope to add to these days and the following weeks as we are praying for opportunities to find choice families and changing a bit our way of working. There is such joy in the work of salvation. I cannot express what it means to me to be worthy to work side by side with the Lord. Every true joy and happiness is found in the work of salvation. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by angels of the Lord. I am continually reminded how I learn and how I have become who I am. How do I know this or that about the Gospel? Because my parents taught me and I have had teachers throughout the years who have given me knowledge. How have I learned how to be a missionary? Because I have an excellent companion, President, and Preach my Gospel. There is truly no greater call than that of a teacher of the Gospel.

I have learned an amazing principle in my missionary service. When there is a problem, we seek the counsel of the authorized representatives of God and we do what they say. Period. It is the success. When we accept our responsibilities and we look for the answers through the prophets and the Spirit, we will obtain the success we need. For example, I have a problem with my work commitments and the church. Great question. Let us look at the words of the scriptures and of modern day prophets with the Spirit. I promise you that there will be the doctrine and various suggestions that if followed, will give you the balance that you need. Try it. Exercise your faith. I need to find people to teach. Where are the words of the prophets for that? Preach my Gospel. And what can I do? Oh wow, here are a bunch of ideas. I have learned this lesson and it has changed everything for me. God knows everything.

Our problems, situations, and worries are nothing new. And besides, He has already had an eternity to practice. We don't have to reinvent the wheel. We just need to accept responsibility, learn the doctrine from the prophets, and follow their counsels and suggestions. It's everything. Elder Maxwell explained it in this way "Those who live the Telestial Law blame others, those who live the Terrestrial Law wait until someone teaches them, but those who live the Celestial Law accept responsibility and learn." What law are we living? In our work? Family? Church? Marriage? Callings? I love it!

May we always accept our responsibilities and trust in the Lord that He has revealed, reveals, and will reveal everything pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Let us accept, trust, and get to work. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Russell