May 21, 2018
(Elder Davis didn’t finish this letter, but I am posting it here for now…..his weeks are full and the days are short!)
Wilkins, Freddy, Tim, Darrell, and Tony
Jhalynn and Sergio
Institute-Brother Senatore, Brother LaRose, Sister McGuire, Krystyna Kryzanski
Zone Conference-Elder Fischer: How beautiful are the waters of Mormon to the eyes of those who there came to a knowledge of their Redeemer: Elder Fischer, who is actually from Anthem, AZ, bore his final testimony, referring to Mosiah 18:30. The Waters of Mormon was where Alma taught after escaping from the wicked king Noah. People came to know who Jesus Christ was there and Mosiah 18:30 says that the Waters of Mormon and the surrounding areas were beautiful to the eyes of the people who there came to a knowledge of their Redeemer. Elder Fischer talked of how tracting in the hot summer air, being in the homes of Chinese people (since he spoke Mandarin), and riding the T. Those seemingly regular places have become beautiful for him because they bring back memories of serving for and coming to know his Savior.
-Sister Miller 3 Nephi 11:3-6: Sister Miller gave a training on this scripture, when the Savior came to the people in the America’s. The first time that Heavenly Father spoke, no one understood it. The second time He spoke, still no one understood it, but something changed when they heard His voice the third time. “5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came. 6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard“. She taught us simply that if we open our ears and hearts, and look steadfastly towards heaven, we will hear the message Heavenly Father has for us. It was a wonderful precursor to the rest of our Zone Conference.
-5 Things he would have us know: As President Miller has been getting closer to the time that he will be released as a mission president, he has been refining what he wanted to teach us. At this meeting, he decided to speak to us as if we were on his back porch, like his children, getting ready to go somewhere where we wouldn’t see each other for a time. He shared 5 things with us that he wants us to have.
1)This Life is Governed by Law. Our life on earth has rules to it, and through obedience to those rules, we can be happy and eventually return to live with our Heavenly Father. It is like interest, he said. Those who understand it, receive it, and those who don’t, pay it. Success in this realm is concerned with Understanding, Embracing, and Loving the Law. When one reaches that point, they are successful.
2)There is Opposition in All Things. There is nothing in this world that is worth it and meaningful that is not hard. He taught us, Don’t be afraid of the hard times, learn to turn to the Lord. When you complain, your attitude and your faith change. What happens, you close the door on good things that are possible. Change is the constant, hard work helps us to grow.
3) God first, Family second, Everything else last. Meaningful prayer, good solid scripture study, daily repentance, and partaking of the sacrament weekly are essentials in this life. When President Miller sold his company, he took everything in his office and threw it in a dumpster. Everything that he had worked for in his professional life didn’t matter any more. He was happy that he had put God and his family before his work, because eventually, everything besides those two fade away. Love and the Holy Spirit are inseparably connected and are the most desirable feelings in the world. As we put work into deepening our relationship with God and with our family, we will have more access to this feeling.
4) Always be in the habit of “consider[ing] your ways” (Haggai 1:5-7). Our knowledge and spirituality are the only things we take with us from this world to the next, so we may as well be in the business of building those two first and foremost. He said don’t do anythings that isn’t worthwhile or meaningful. It is a waste. Try to do it more in the Lord’s way. As we ‘consider our ways’, it helps us to see where we need to grow (Ether 12:27) and allows us to repent.
5) The Path of Discipleship. He drew a dot on the chalkboard and a circle around it. He explained that this represents our life and our orbit of behavior. We are stuck in OUR orbit, unless we reach the escape velocity needed to slingshot us out of our orbit and into a new one. Escaping our ‘natural man’ ways is done through living the gospel of Jesus Christ and living the points mentioned previously in point 3. Our life in the temple constitutes the happiest life in the world. Our job is to escape out orbit of habits and slingshot to the orbit representing the life of Jesus Christ. Now his orbit is one of perfection, and we may escape, but fall back into our orbit of imperfection. What helps us to avoid that? Eliminating distractions, remembering our temple covenants, and keeping our eye single to the glory of God. This is the path of discipleship. As difficult and rough and repetitive as it may be, it allows us to become perfected, full of joy, and qualified to live with our Father in Heaven again.
Only if they Desire it: In relation with this training and the training by the Zone Leadership following it, I began to think about desire. Our goal is to help others and ourselves achieve eternal life, but we must be dedicated to it enough to break through distractions and temptations. The only way to do so is to have a personal desire to walk on this path. Our job as missionaries to to offer that path to anyone we meet and then to let them choose whether to take it. We must teach clearly and powerfully so that they can make a clear choice, and then their agency kicks in. I realized that personal desire is an important aspect if anyone hopes to stay active in the church. Through extending invitations to keep commitments, we can properly gauge if someone desires it enough. As they keep commitments, they exercise faith, and their faith grows.
Ward Conference-Faith in Jesus Christ
-Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit: President Loveridge talked about a Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit