Monday, May 23, 2011

Faith & Works!

Hola Familia!!

I am really happy today to have heard from home! Way to go Bryan! And Jacob!! Yeah! To Brazil! Sao Paulo even! Now I am going to have to learn Portuguese... hopefully I can make a stop in Cuidad del Este so I can learn a bit! That’s awesome! I am so excited for Bryan and Jacob... they really are entering the mission at an awesome time! I have no doubt they will have the opportunities to be some of the best missionaries! The missionary program is changing so much and I love it! No doubts that they will surely become awesome missionaries! It’s exciting to be learning and putting into practice everything that we are being taught, but I can only imagine that by the time Jacob gets into the MTC that it will be completely different! I am a bit bummed that I won’t get to see Jacob or Bryan for 4 years, or thereabouts, but that’s alright! They’ll be in the service of our Lord and will absolutely love the changes they will see in their lives.

Alrighty. On to my week. Oh, I did forget to tell you, in the confusion of last week, that we did have a baptism! She is the daughter of a less active family who are becoming active again. We are working with the two sons so that they can become active again and receive the priesthood. We are working diligently finding families to baptize, and we have found some really great people. We are trying to help them learn and make commitments so that they can enter into the fold of our Savior and receive the blessings that our Heavenly Father has waiting for them. Elder Griffin and I have seen a lot of progress here in Acahay, and we are excited to keep helping the members progress as well as our investigators. The branch here is still really young and we are helping to teach the doctrines of our Lord and Savior to the people here of Acahay! It is such a blessing to see the faith of people who do not fully understand the doctrine but know the truth thereof and therefore keep the commandments and move forward in the work.  I was reading a conference talk the other day and I liked how one of the General Authorities said that even he didn’t understand all of a certain doctrine, but had a testimony of its truth and therefore did not doubt.

We had our Zone Conference this week, which was pretty great. We focused on teaching to the investigators’ needs and why it was so important. We also talked a lot about planning and goals, which even our Heavenly Father does. He planned (the plan of salvation, creating everything spiritually before physically) and had set goals.  His goal is the immortality and eternal life of man. We, as His sons and daughters, have the opportunity to make this goal a reality, by following the plan and progressing towards that goal. We must all set goals! A prophet taught; we need to have the goal of looking forward to the time when our bodies will be resurrected and we will stand before the Judgment Bar of Christ. Can we imagine that the Lord will tell us that we have worked righteousness, or have kept his commandments, all of our lives and we shall be saved? Or if we don’t do our part, and do not participate in the plan of salvation, do we think to be able to lie to the Lord and tell him that we were not wicked? Rather, we have the full and complete knowledge of our sins and wickedness, and we will not deny that the judgments of our Savior are just and righteous. That is why we have the plan of salvation, to have faith, and to repent.  As the New Testament teaches; shall we continue in our sins? God Forbid! May it not be so! Christ extends his arms of mercy towards each and every person. He is full of mercy and willing to bring us into his fold. He is the Good Shepherd, and we must listen to His voice (FAITH) and follow Him (WORKS). He invites to repent, and to be baptized in His name, by the proper authority and in the proper manner. We may know the truth of all things through prayer and fasting! The Holy Ghost will testify the truth of all things unto us! I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has this authority, which was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith by resurrected apostles, Peter, the head apostle, James and John (the Apostle).

I testify that ALL may come to know of its truth, through our faith and efforts to do our part. God is a God of Miracles, but we must have the faith and works to see them in our lives. Miracles do not create faith, because if we KNOW there is no need to BELIEVE. Rather, we must believe, have faith, exercise it, and our Heavenly Father will manifest it unto us. I plead unto all, that they may have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. Eternal Life is at stake, and it is the greatest gift that God has given unto us. Pray to know... Ask God specifically.

If you have faith, God will answer. God will answer. Trust in Him, and place all of your trust in God! The way to return unto Him has been given, and He is the light, life and hope of the world. Never lose hope. Never lose faith. Keep pressing forward in the faith of our Lord!

I love you all! Greetings to all!

Elder David Watson

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