|Fellow missionaries in my new area|
Hello Everyone! I am doing great here in my new area in Firebaugh which is literally in the middle of nowhere! I have loved my new assignment to be able to serve others in my zone. My new companion is Elder Castaneda who is from Idaho. He is a great missionary who truly has a great desire to serve the Lord and has many characteristics of our Savior Jesus Christ!
This week, one thing that has come up a lot in our meetings and in our Zone, is family mission planning and how to better work with families so that they can share the gospel! Many people right now think that the hastening of the work is the missionary age change and the rapid growth of missionaries serving world wide. But that is not what it is about. It's about us as members sharing the gospel with our friends and family! It does not to be something big such as an invitation to be baptized. That's what the missionaries are for. Members can share small things that can help plant the seed in others. In 3rd Nephi chapter 12 verse 16 it says, "Therefore, let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These are the latter days and now is the time to prepare to meet God.
Something really hit me this week in our leadership council. Those who are not baptized in prior days, or in the latter days, into the Church of Jesus Christ, will not have the opportunity to live in the celestial kingdom with God and Jesus Christ. Or be with their family forever! That is a very strong statement. This is what motivates me. I want my brothers and sisters to be able to feel the joy that the gospel brings to our lives.
This week, Elder Castaneda and I took upon ourselves the challenge to invite everyone we could talk to in a 48-hour period to be baptized. That was a tough challenge. We were challenged by the assistants to do this. So we did! We had a great experience while doing it. It was a little after 3:00 and we had just had an appointment fall through. As we turned to walk back to the sidewalk, there were 2 teenagers walking towards us. We stopped them and told them who we were and talked to them about baptism and the need for the authority. They sounded interested. We asked them if they knew that the authority had been restored to the church and would they be baptized? They said yes! We have a return appointment with them next week.
The part that made it much better was when we asked them if they knew anyone who could use a prayer or blessing? One of them gave us a very iffy address to a house. We immediately went to contact this referral, knowing that this person probably wouldn't be there. As we approached the house, there was a spiritual prompting that this was where we needed to be. We knocked on the door and a woman answered. She looked as though she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. We told her who we were and why we were there. We asked if we could leave a prayer upon her home. She said yes. We said the prayer with her and the spirit poured into her home. As we finished the prayer and looked into her eyes, you could see she had felt something. She said, "I feel so warm"! She had tears in her eyes. We testified of the spirit. Prior to us saying the prayer, she told us that she was Christian and was already saved. But as soon as she felt the spirit, we knew we needed to invite her to be baptized. We did, and she said yes as well. We will be teaching her on Wednesday!
I know that God lives! I know that this is His work. I hope and pray that each and everyone of us will have a deeper desire to share the gospel with others. Even if it is as small as giving someone a compliment that you don't know! It doesn't take much to be someone's miracle.
Have a great week everyone - I love you all!
Elder Tanner Aiken