Sunday, September 28, 2014
Yesterday was the first day of Spring in Argentina and it already feels like the middle of Summer! I'm still trying to get used to the opposite weather changes! Ha, I'm also staying in Pueyrredon with my companion for another transfer, which I'm super excited about! This week was a little different than most. I got the opportunity to go on divisions with one of our sister training leaders, Hermana Quilca, in her area. It has been one of the best learning experiences I've had yet. The first five minutes I was with her, she told me about a girl who was trying to make the decision to get baptized but was struggling with smoking addiction. The sister training leader asked me to share with her a mini lesson and then invite her to be baptized. Wow, I thought, No pressure.... ha, Anyways I put a lot of faith in the Lord and prayed many, many times that I would have the spirit with me as a companion. Before I knew it, we were all singing hymns, crying with tears of joy, and sitting in a circle sharing our testimonies about her decision in baptism! At times, it takes a lof of faith and trust in the Lord, not only that, but courage to do the time the Lord asks but with faith all things are possible with the Lord's help!
"A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When he townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God's presence in their lives. Experts were able to repair most of the statue but its hand had been damaged so severely that it could not be restored. So it was suggested that they hire a sculpture to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was, a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately the statue remained without hands. However the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words,
"you are my hands"Alma 29:9-10
Posted by jnickches at 9:33 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
So I totally ate cow tongue this week! I'm starting to realize the more I understand the language, the more I realize what I'm actually eating! Haha. This week my companion and I got together with our mission leader in the ward and we put together a bunch of ideas to help the ward and the members with missionary work! There are lots of strong members and youth and leaders and we want to start getting them more involved in missionary work and in the ward. My companion and I prayed for much help and guidance from the lord and we wanted to involve PMG, family home evening, and even seminary! I'm excited because I am able to get to know the members more and become acquainted with them and the youth as well!!
This week we also had a reference from one of our members about a family that has been struggling because the husband has a very bad sickness. They had many questions for us, the family had questions like, "Why me?" "Why does my husband struggle with this sickness?" "Why did God give us this trial?" My companion and I got to know them really well and they had such warm hearts. The husband reminded me so much of my great grandpa Randall! Always happy and cheerful, cracking jokes even at 100 years old! Lots of struggles, and old age, and sicknesses were involved but he still had a wonderful spirit. This family had lots of faith and knew God loved them. They are very strong Christian members but just wanted more answers. We shared with them a story in the Book of Mormon and experiences of trials. But stressed that the most important thing is that God understands your trials right now and that His atonement is an example of his love for us and what we are going through.
There are so many people who struggle with sickness, finances, divorce, and much more. Many questions come to mind like, why me? Why would God do this to me? As I was studying, I realized we can change those questions to, "What blessings come after this trial in my life?" "What can I learn form this?" Or "What am I to do?" Everyone has different trials and some many be harder than others, but we need to put our trust in God.
And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
As we go through these struggles, it makes us stronger. God hasn't forgotten us, He knows what we are going through and we forget sometimes that God suffered the same hardships.
Christ loves all of His children and wants to help each and everyone of us when we exercise patience and faith. In Christ, the best part about faith in Christ is that we receive blessings during these trials in our lives and after!!!
This week we also taught another family and many people. I have learned so much by the questions our investigators ask. I have understood that the more I serve the Lord, the more I understand His plan for us and how much my testimony for this gospel is growing each day because of it. I love my Heavenly Father and everything He does for me. I know this gospel is true and I love His plan that He has for us.
Homework: Mosiah 24 in the Book of Mormon
Feeding a Little One
Posted by jnickches at 3:00 PM
Monday, September 8, 2014
So this week sadly, Santiago was out of town, but we have been working with another investigator Betriz. She has been to church twice and has a baptismal date set for this coming Sunday. But we hit a huge stumbling block - a BIG one. We had just a couple more lessons to teach her and also had an appointment Saturday with a member to come as well. At the last minute, the member called and said she couldn't make it, so me and my companion went in with our lesson plan and a lot of prayers. We started the lesson and asked her, "What has tithing done for you in this life?" As we started teaching the law of tithing it was off on a great start, the importance of it, how we should act on it, blessings, etc. As time went on, she became more uncomfortable, frustrated, and discouraged. We tried to do everything we could to help her, but she was literally in a situation without any money. She gets little pay every month and there is no way she can give tithing at this time. I started getting a little nervous, we had done everything we could. I had so much faith in her that there is a way and she is so close to the fullness of the gospel and the blessings it would bring her. But she just kept fighting it. That's when I realized, she had her agency. This was something we had just studied as a companionship that morning! I was heartbroken, she knew the church was true, and she knew the Book of Mormon was the word of God. The gospel was right there in her hands!! Eternal Life! We gave her everything, but in the end, it is her's to choose.
I learned so much from this experience to have a huge amount of faith in your investigators in every situation. The importance of love and why it is so important to teach the people these doctrines. I have always lived the law of tithing, but from this experience I realized that tithing is more than just 10% of your pay. It's much more than that. We've got to look at the big picture and what it really means. Christ paid for all of our sins, He died and was resurrected and created a plan to live with Him again. He paid our debt in FULL. One day we will all be resurrected and and return to God's presence. So what's our responsibility? OBEDIENCE What kind of person do we want to be in the next life? How comfortable we will be standing next to God? Christ has given us everything, our part is so little. The problem is that many of us look at time of struggles, trials, rules and commandments as a punishment or the hard way of doing things. We have these trials so that we can push through them with faith, learn to rely on Him, grow and show our appreciation to Christ for what He did for us. When we give our tithing to the bishop, it is not something to look at and say, "well I could've bought .... if I didn't have to pay that." When we have the power of grace and look at the big picture we would say, "Awesome, I got paid today and I can't wait to give my tithing to the bishop to show my appreciation for everything God has given me. That's the least I can do!" Look around at everything we have. This is what God has blessed us with. I hope I always remember this!
The story of the piano!"Christ's arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because mom paid the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child's practice pay the piano teacher? No. It is the advantage of the amazing opportunity mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom's joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used as her child improves. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice. If the child sees mom's requirement of practice as being too overbearing ("Oh mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I'm just going to be a professional baseball player anyways!"), Perhaps it is because he doesn't yet see with mom's eyes. He doesn't see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane"
As we become more humble and show our appreciation, we are becoming more like the Savior.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
A Standing Law unto the Church: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-07-100-a-standing-law-unto-the-church?lang=eng
(D&C 119:3-7) President Hinckley tells a story of a woman who sacrificed to pay tithing. (5:16)
Posted by jnickches at 2:53 PM