Monday, April 30, 2012

The Work of the Lord........week 92

Dear family,

Well, we had a baptism last week.  It was of Elizabeth, Malena´s sister.  I can´t seem to upload the photos so I will send them afterwards.

Elder Gosnell´s last night as a missionary.  We did the ritual of "cutting the tie".  

Elder Gosnell faithfully completed his mission today.  There are always a bunch of mixed emotion with all of that.  I am so excited because I am going to stay here and do you know who is my new companion?!?!?!  ... Elder Egan.  I laughed so hard when they told me.  We are going to work like crazies here.  Elder Gosnell and I learned how to bring about the work of salvation in a ward in these past changes.  It is miraculous how the Lord has taught us how we can bring His work here.  I would like to give you a hint how to do it.  Read DC 101, 103, and 105.  From there study the doctrine of the wheat, the tares, the salt, covenants, and the strength of the Lord.  I mentioned a bit about this doctrine a few weeks ago and it has stayed with me.  It has left a very deep impression on me.

I would like to mention something that the Lord taught me a bit ago.  Every desire that we have can be fulfilled and every problem can be solved if we are willing to make and keep covenants.  We were talking in our Elder´s Quorum meeting a few weeks ago about how to obtain unity in a family, branch, ward, or stake. The brethren had their various answers but I was impressed by what came to my mind.  I turned to Mosiah 18 and the baptismal covenant.  If we are willing to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, keep His commandments, and be witnesses of Him everywhere we go, He promises us eternal life, a remission of our sins, and the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  So why is there disunity in a marriage, ward, or stake?   It´s because we need to better make AND keep our covenants.  With all other covenants that we make, if we will MAKE these covenants and KEEP these covenants, we will be totally happy and we will be able to return to the presence of God.  Something that has really impacted me about making and keeping covenants is that those who do both parts because the true servants of the Lord here on this earth.  God shows His love and His power through them.

We have learned that here with our members and investigators.  It is interesting to note that every time that we make a covenant, in order to keep that covenant, we must be willing to sacrifice.   And that sacrifice is always for the welfare of someone else.  For example, someone will not be willing to invite his friend to church, stay with him in the classes, and prepare himself spiritually to teach and lead his friend to the waters of baptism unless he has made the covenant of baptism.  It´s simple.  Everything that we do as missionaries and as people requires work.  It requires genuine sacrifice.  As Dad always says, ¨when the call to keep our covenants is convenient, give me a call, I would like to know.¨  We cannot truly bring about the work of the Lord unless we are friends of the Lord, not only His servants.  For the friend knows why the Lord does what He does while the servant no.  And how can we change our fallen nature to a higher plain?  How can we bring the power of God in our lives?  How can we show the power of God in the lives of those with whom we come in contact with?  Through the making and keeping of covenants.

My dear family, I invite you to learn of the conditions of your covenants.  I invite you to make a list of your priorities and put obedience to those conditions first.  As you do so, everything else will fall into place.  I can promise you that in the name of Christ.  You will find every desire satisfied and you will find the solutions to the difficulties that you face.  It is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Russell