We didn't really get a p day yesterday hence why I am writing today, we had band practice, Elder Hutchins bought a coat, we ate something and then we drove home for a conference call at 9.30. Some exciting news came from the call though, Elder Quentin L. Cook is coming to visit us on November 26th. I am really excited for that!
So, little Joseph was baptized this weekend along with 4 other people in the zone, which is really good work for the 2nd week of the month. It was a lovely occasion, we have been teaching him and his family for some time now. His Father became active again so he could baptize him, he bore his testimony on Sunday and you can really see a difference in him because of his efforts to pray and read the scriptures 'by small and simple things are great things brought to pass'. We are really hoping that the Mother of the family can become active again and that the oldest daughter will start preparing for a mission.
This week has been all about families, during the previous week it became clear to me that I needed to have a shift in focus, i felt very impressed that the Lord needed me to devote all my efforts to finding, teaching and baptizing families. I felt and still do feel that within our area there are Fathers and Mothers on their knees praying for a miracle to happen, praying for life to get better, praying and pleading with God for their children and asking Him to help them raise them in righteousness and we have felt as a zone now that we need to be the answer to those prayers. We need to ask the Lord to guide us and bless us with these families. We need to devote all our efforts on finding them, teaching them and baptizing them into the Gospel. The results of this so far have been very humbling; across the zone, we have been finding families, big ones and little ones from all walks of life and some of them are on date already! We (me and hutchins) have found a wonderful Romanian family, they speak perfect English. The mother is a baptist and the father a Pentecostal. I am so excited about them and they really enjoy meeting with us. Joesph, the Father is a very wise and intelligent man and I know that the next lesson we have it is crucial that we invite the Spirit and build his relationship with the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and those who have ears to hear, hear the still small voice whispering the words of Christ into the hearts of the Prophets who wrote it.
I want to share the email President Jordan shared with us this week, it really developed my understanding and appreciation for the knowledge we have concerning our Father in Heaven and our relationship to Him, its a little lengthy but I can promise you you will enjoy it;
'The first concept of the first lesson in Preach My Gospel is devoted to teaching the true nature of God and our relationship with Him. It says, "God is our Heavenly Father. We are His children. He has a body of flesh and bone that is glorified and perfected." The truth that God is a real, flesh and bone person in whose image we are literally created has been lost to a world in apostasy. For most Christians, He is the God of the creeds--"without body, parts, or passions"--"incomprehensible." (Westminster Confession of Faith--1646) In this respect, they are on common ground with those of the Muslim faith. They likewise imagine God as incomprehensible, totally foreign to us and our nature. According to the Qur'an, one is guilty of the unforgiveable sin of "shirk" when one believes some individual or object shares in the divine nature. "Truly, God will not forgive having something associated with him, but he will forgive anything short of that as he pleases. Whoever associates something with God has committed a very grave offense." (Qur'an 4:48).
In contrast with these false doctrines, the Apostle Peter wrote:
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4).
We are made partakers of the divine nature through the atonement of Jesus Christ. His divine power has given us the potential for "godliness." When you teach people that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that they are created in the image of his physical body, it empowers them with the vision of their divine potential. They begin to imagine what Paul meant when he wrote:
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17).
This pure biblical doctrine became the victim of forces within the early Christian church that sought to blend scripture with the popular philosophies of the Greeks. As more and more people of Greek culture joined the church, their philosophical traditions gradually corrupted the true doctrine. Plato and others had taught that God was incomprehensible. Paul preached against their false conception of God when he visited Athens and saw a shrine dedicated "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD" (Acts 17:23). We can see in the writings of some of the early church fathers in the post-apostolic period how they struggled to preserve the truth. One such was Ignatius Theophorus. Ignatius was the third bishop of Antioch and is believed to have been a student of John the Apostle. In his epistle to the Trallians written about 110 A.D., he said:
"They also calumniate His being born of the Virgin; they are ashamed of His cross; they deny His passion; and they do not believe His resurrection. They introduce God as a Being unknown; they suppose Christ to be unbegotten; and as to the Spirit, they do not admit that He exists. Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power."
God is not a "Being unknown." He really is our Heavenly Father. We can come to know Him through the perfect example of His Son. As the Saviour said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3)
Joseph's family and neighbours! They are all Portuguese, mine is improving - tudo ben!
Macdo's grill order!
My view at Zone training meeting, the sweets were the prize for our man challenge, which was an arm wrestling tournament. I lost in the final to a Sister. Sister Tshimanga who is from the Congo. And she used both hands. :)
Our new kitchen