Monday, May 19, 2014

Prejudice


Hello,
Elder S and I baptized and confirmed one of our investigators this weekend. A very special spirit was felt as we watched her make the decision to change her life and to follow our Savior in discipleship. This is one of the many miracles I have seen on my mission. Apart from the baptism we had a very productive and work filled week.
I found myself amazed by the prejudice that still exists in the world today. Mainly against religion. Along with many other examples in my mission, this last week we were kicked out of a building because we were Mormons. I sometimes feel that the reason we are rejected sometimes as missionaries and members of the church is because, "..the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.." (1 Nephi 16:2) I like what Neal A. Maxwell says relating to this scripture: "Most of us don't like to be cut to the center and when Gospel standards (the Lord's standards) cut us it hurts. This may signal that spiritual surgery is underway, painfully severing pride from the soul." We need to apply the Miracle of Forgiveness in our lives and let the truth be pleasing unto the righteous.
I want to again invite us all to recognize the significance and symbolism of the Sacrament. Primarily the role Jesus Christ plays in each of our lives. The Savior always served others. Deacons pass the sacrament to everyone in the congregation first and then they receive it at the end. I see symbolism here. The bread is broken during the meeting and the water parted, individually for each of us. I see symbolism here. The Sacrament table is covered with a white cloth just as the Savior's body was covered within the sepulchre.
Something funny about one of our investigators is that every time we come over the furniture is completely moved around. It's like walking into a different house. When I ask her about it she shrugs her shoulders and says that it's normal. She's great. Also, she's obsessed with feeding us. Her goal is to make us fat and never leave her house hungry. She's doing a good job on the hungry part. She received, this week, her own witness that the message we've been sharing is true. She is so excited to be baptized. We're waiting for her daughter to arrive from Colombia in a couple weeks so that she can be with her daughter at her baptism. I can't help but to smile and feel the spirit every time she says, "This is the truth I've been looking for."
The work of the Lord never ends and never will end. I found it interesting something that President Uchtdorf said. He said that as human beings we don't like "endings" very much. In fact, "endings" are not in our nature. It is because we are ETERNAL beings. None of us have to fear an ending in our existence, it's not in our destiny. What we do need to fear is unrepentant sin. Because that right there will change the nature of our eternities. We need to choose whether we would like to be in an eternal state of happiness, joy and exaltation, or, an eternal state of misery, unquenchable thirst for relief and regret. The choice seems inevitable to me and I cannot even begin to fathom the other.

I love being happy.
I love the Gospel.
I love Jesus Christ.
I love all of you.

Elder Giforos

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