Monday, October 28, 2013

Christ is our Anchor!

One of our recent converts

     Hello every one! It's been another great week to be a Mormon missionary!
     Elder Castaneda and I have been seeing miracles in our area, and are recognizing those people who are prepared to hear the gospel message.  President Gelwix left us a priesthood blessing last week that "we would recognize the prepared people that will be put in our path."  I have seen this happening in our area.
     This week as we were doing some harvest blessings, we knocked on a door of a young man named Mario. He seemed a little down as he opened the door.  We told him who we were and that we had been sent to his home for a reason. He willingly let us into his home and told us that he had been going through some really hard times.  He had just lost his license due to a recent DUI and could see that he was getting farther and farther away from God.  We said the prayer with him, and the spirit poured out upon that room.  Mario was in tears as we asked him how he felt. The spirit then lead us in what we said and our questions were inspired. We were able to teach Mario how he could overcome temptation by anchoring himself to our Savior Jesus Christ.  We read from Helaman chapter 5. I have personally thought about this in my own life, "How can we overcome temptation"?  
     The scriptures teach us that we must pray always that we be not lead into temptation, that we should read the word of God for they will teach us ALL things that we must do. We must already have the decision set in our head that we will resist the temptation before it arrives. When we begin to think twice about our temptations, we have already let satan get his foot in the door and by that time it may be too late! 
     In a world growing in filth and wickedness we must apply these principles.  The most important thing of all is that we are anchored to our Savior Jesus Christ. Heleman chapter 5 vs 12 says, "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that we must build our foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build t hey cannot fall."  Brothers and sisters I promise that as we do this we will beat temptation every time! 
     I love this work more and more each day.  I have nightmares and thoughts of the day when this will all come to an end.  I want to be sure that I find everyone that I have been sent here to find!  God lives!  We are his children, he loves us! Jesus is the Christ. This is His church. As I read about the Tree of Life this morning in the Book of Mormon, I really felt the Savior's love.  He is there waiting for us.  If we hold strong to His word and promises we will arrive to our final destination.  There will be trials and temptations of all sorts, but we must be anchored to Christ our Savior! I love you all have a great week! 

Elder Tanner Aiken

Monday, October 14, 2013

Great time to be a missionary!

Manuel's baptism
     Hello Everyone! What another great week to be a Mormon missionary! 
     This week was truly inspiring. We were able to have a baptism yesterday for Manuel. It was such a great service except for the part when we dropped the cell phone in the font while we were filling it up! It was great. 
     This week we had a wonderful miracle. We were stopping by to visit one of our investigators. She wasn't home so we decided to stop by and visit a lady we had contacted the day before who lives next door. As we knocked her door, one of her friends came out and told us that she was busy cutting someone's hair but we could come back in an hour. It was really weird because we had an impression that we had to be there. Nevertheless, we went on with our day to another area and stayed there for about 45 minutes visiting some members. We had another prompting that we needed to return to that house that we visited earlier. As we went back and visited her, once again her friend came to the door and said that her friend just barely had another appointment begin. We were thinking what is the point of being here?  It was so obvious the reason we were there was to talk with the lady who opened the door. We asked this woman if we could say a prayer with her. She didn't look too interested but she finally agreed. She told us that she had recently been laid off and her husband had left her and her two kids. As we said the prayer, this woman began to weep as we said the prayer. At the end of that prayer the woman said she felt so good inside. She asked, "how did you know I needed that"? We told her that we didn't know but God knew. She was touched by that blessing we left on her home. We taught the importance of families with her and she really became interested. We invited her to say the prayer before we left. As she offered the prayer my heart was filled with love for this woman. She gave one of the most heart felt prayers I have heard on my mission! We then we knew we needed to invite her to be baptized! She said yes! It was such a great experience. She actually does not live in our area but I know God puts us in people's paths for a reason. 
     I know great things will come from that simple prayer we left with her. I know that this Church is true! I know that God lives! Have a great week everyone love you all!! 

Elder Tanner Aiken

Monday, October 7, 2013

God's love NEVER changes!

     Hello Everyone! What another great week here in the "City of Dreams"! Just kidding! But in all seriousness, this week was great. 
     This week, Elder Castaneda and I have had a sincere desire to find families in our area. Something that this area has been struggling with has been finding solid families that will help build the church. So we went to the Lord for His counsel. We have prayed and fasted to see and recognize families that are prepared to hear the gospel! As we prayed and fasted we knew the Lord would provide. As we have gone out proselyting this week, literally behind every door and street contact we have found a family! We have recognized them as prepared people and they have recognized us as representatives of Jesus Christ. 
     Last night we entered a family's home after contacting them on the street. They are from El Salvador. Much to our suprise they invited us right into their home. We offered a blessing over the home and the spirit was just so strong. We talked to this husband and wife about eternal families and the steps we need to take here on earth to reach our divine potential. We talked about baptism as the spirit was bearing testimony to them that what we were saying was true. We invited them to be baptized. They said "yes", and immediatley asked where our church was located. We bore testimony and this family we will be visiting later this week. My thoughts then turn to the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can internalize it into our lives. 
     Also this week, Elder Castaneda and I were stopping by some apartments. We saw a lady taking her laundry basket from her car and walking towards her apartment. She saw us and began to pick up her pace and entered her home and closed the door. We both looked at each other and said let's knock on her door! As we knocked, she answered and this woman looked like she had been through many difficult trials in her life.  We could sense that she had fallen into satan's traps and lies. She looked depressed and could barely look us in the eyes. She asked if we were of a certain faith.  We said, "no, we are representatives of Jesus Chirst sent to your home to bring you a message of our Savior Jesus Christ." We offered a prayer with her and as we ended the prayer she broke down in tears and said, "how did you know to speak with me"? I ran from you because I thought you were of another faith and you still knocked my door." She said that she had been through many challenges in her life. She had been raped by her father and his friends, she had been abused by her husband, she is addicted to drugs, and has been through prostitution. We looked at this woman not as the natural man would but through the eyes of our Heavenly Father. We bore testimony of our loving Heavenly Father and that no matter our circumstances or what we have done He will always love us! We testified of our Savior Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This woman who had been cast into the darkness, and not seeing a way out, saw a glimpse of her Heavenly Father's love and that His arms are always wide open. 
     We ourselves must internalize the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We must understand our Heavenly Father's love for us. We must understand His plan. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and we must repent! 
     This woman who we have begun to teach is slowly making changes in her live. We are praying for her each and every day! I know that God lives and His love is never changing and is always there for us! Jesus Christ lives and his Atonement is for everyone! I love you all have a great week! 

Elder Tanner Aiken