Monday, 5 January 2015

Tudo Ben?


Tudo ben? 

I have been practicing my Portuguese with the members this week, they seem to like - my companion must think I'm an idiot as I just say the same thing to everyone I meet. Elder Jones is one of the good guys, he is settling into his new role well and is just about coping with the lack of sleep we get. This week has been one of the most unique of my mission. 

It has been teaming with everything a mission can throw at you, Miracles, Great studies, great trainings, finding great new people, getting dropped by new people, building relationships with members, agonizing over your recent converts new found struggles, new missionaries, rebuking new missionaries, rebuking old missionaries, praising missionaries, dealing with unwise choices of missionaries, being amazed by the faith of missionaries, being humbled by the sincerity of missionaries. I love the Watford zone, I want you to know the names of these wonderful people, so here ya go, area and then names; 

Watford 1 = Nolan and Jones (utah)   Watford 2 = Sister Maurer (Swiss) and Eastin (Arizona)   Watford 3 = Doucet(Utah) and kishari (Albania)  Aylesbury 1 = Wenzsel (S. Africa) and Wen (Hong Kong)  Aylesbury 2 = SIster Hernes (Norway) and Smith (Utah)  Enfield 1 = Randall (Texas) and Martin (Utah) Enfield 2 = Sister Katrinacova (Czech) and Mlchocova (Czech)  Enfield 4 = Murri (Utah) and Toledo (Chile)  Wembley 1 = Call (Utah) and Caluag (Philippines)  Wembley 2 = Kendall (Utah) and Kgwetiane (S. Africa)  Wembley 3 = Opiyo (Uganda) and Tonks (Utah)  Hayes 1 = Ballstaedt (Utah) and Haysman (N. Zealand). 

We had Zone training meeting with them last week on new years day and had a great time together! We set a zone goal of 9 baptisms for the month of January and we are so focused on accomplishing it. The Zone ended with 52 for the past year, which is really great work. I really love this zone, I love the Area and me and Jones are focused on helping them achieve great things and do their absolute best! We have a very young zone, we also have some great leaders in it and Elders who have recently been released from leadership - the beautiful thing we have seen is that these guys are still leaders, missionaries still look up to them and they have a great influence on the Mission.

The focus of this week Spiritually has been the doctrine of Christ, it has come up several times in lessons and I am concluded on the fact that when it is understood better our desire to share the Gospel increases. This is the Scripture that has been on repeat in my mind - '
13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. 14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. 16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. 3 Nephi 27.
My heart burns when I read this. The verses radiate absolute truth with me and I can feel the Power of the Holy Ghost within them. I would invite you to read and re-read them, then ask the questions - In what condition will I be lifted up? How has the Atonement of Christ changed me? What is yet to be changed that needs to be? 
The Church is a community of repentance, it is the 'hospital for sinners', however imagine for a second a hospital where the patients wouldn't let the other patients be healed. I see this sometimes, we tend to hold on to things and struggle to move on, we can sometimes struggle to watch another receive forgiveness and experience repentance because our finite minds want justice now. A missionary once asked 'what is Godliness?' - i have thought alot about this and I feel comfortable to say that one form of Godliness is not only the ability to see others as they may become but it is the power to forget how they once were, completely. This is something in which Missionaries become quite good at, they see investigators change, progress and become free of the chains they once had because of their repentance and application of the Atonement of Christ. The essence of enduring to the end is the continuation of this path of faith and repentance, no other church requires all of its members to serve and teach other people who they probably don't like most of the time. This is why the Church is so true, its challenging and hard, it stretches us in ways that no other Church does and it challenges each one of us to become like Christ in some of the hardest ways, namely forgiving those we do not want to forgive and forgetting the mistakes we do not want to forget. That's hard, I know it is and I have much repenting to do, but I know that this is something worth doing! 
I love you all,
Hugs and Handshakes

Elder Nolan

I never knew you could buy sprouts in a form that you could beat some one to death with. 

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