Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Mission

Wow. Let's all say it together. Wow. Great week! God is a God of miracles! The Church is true, the book is blue and the angel is always on the ball! Pontevedra is doing amazing, the members as well and so are we!

Brigham Young once said something that changed my mindset very early in my mission. He said, "If you go on a mission to preach the Gospel with lightness and frivolity in your hearts, looking for this and that, and to learn what is in the world, and not having your minds riveted—yes, I may say riveted—on the cross of Christ, you will go and return in vain. Go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, full of the power of God, and full of faith to heal the sick even by the touch of your hand, rebuking and casting out foul spirits, and causing the poor among men to rejoice, and you will return bringing your sheaves with you [see Psalm 126:5–6]. Let your minds be centered on your missions and labor earnestly to bring souls to Christ.

Dedicate them [your loved ones] to the Lord God of Israel, and leave them at home; and when you are in [Spain], or among other nations, no matter where, when you pray for your families, pray for them … and do not bring them close to you, as though they were in your [suitcase]. Pray for them where they are. You must feel—if they live, all right; if they die, all right; if I die, all right; if I live, all right; for we are the Lord’s, and we shall soon meet again."

We're teaching a man from Ghana and I've been amazed at his progression and how in tune he is with the spirit. We had a great lesson about baptism. He completely understood and accepted the importance of it. We set the day for him to be baptized. We talked about the following: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep." (John 10:1-2)

"...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)

"...he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments... And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me." (2 Nephi 31:7-10)

Christ mentions that he is the "Good Shepherd" who "entereth in by the door." Referring to the "sheepfold" as the Kingdom of God and the "door" as Baptism, even the King of the Kingdom has to enter through the door. Jesus Christ showed an example and invites us to follow him. In the following verse of 2 Nephi 31, the Father speaks (rarely do we read the words of the Father in the scriptures, this must be pretty important!) saying, "And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son." I don't think it could be anymore clear.

I've studied a lot about the 5 crucial steps that we are to take in this life.
1. Faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Repentance
3. Baptism (By immersion and God-given authority.)
4. The receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5. Enduring to the end.

Being the imperfect people that we are, the first 2 steps are to be continually taken throughout the 5 step. Repentance, true repentance, has always stuck out to me as an important doctrine and also that we need to understand how to correctly apply it while it is constantly needed. True repentance is not simply avoiding the sin, sort of pushing it away or pausing for a moment. True, sincere repentance is made by experiencing CHANGE. It hurts, but there is a difference between feeling Godly sorrow which later repairs itself than feeling satanically induced despair (or the sorrow of the world) which destroys self-confidence and drags us away from God.

Take the example of how the 3 Nephites were "physically changed" as the way we should "spiritually change" through true repentance. "Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them." (3 Nephi 28: 39) True repentance brings Conversion. It causes us to hate sin and love goodness (Mosiah 5:2). Let us follow these steps in the correct way.

I'd like to invite you all to watch the newest Mormon Message on titled "LIFT".

"It's interesting the dichotomy between healing the body and healing the soul. When we heal the body it's always an inward effort, we're always paying attention to our self. When we heal the soul turning inward doesn't work. The triage of the soul is found in turning outward to other people."
Spencer W. Kimball said, "The more we serve our fellow men in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to “find” ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!"

It is easier to find ourselves because there is so much more of us to find. Serving others spiritually heals us. I have be healed on my mission.

Elder Giforos

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