Thursday, July 24, 2014

Self Reflection and applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Letter #47
July 21, 2014
Area: Broadway Central
Companion: Petersen

Hey guys, it sounds like you all have been having a great week, and I had one as well. :) We ended up changing the focus in our area a little bit because we have been having a hard time finding new people and teaching in general. We are starting to focus a little more on the temple because we got the notification a few weeks ago that we need to teach lesson 5 before baptism and we have been pondering on that announcement. We have met with a few more less actives and recent converts and have tried to set the goal of going to the temple with them. We have also started thinking about investigators eventually going to the temple, especially because this Saturday we had the opportunity to go to the temple with one of the recent converts in the area. It was the first time for both of us actually doing the ordinances, specifically confirmations. I lucked out and was doing the confirmations for the youth and all of them speak English, so I just did it in English, but then Elder Petersen did some converts who only speak was interesting because we already had a hard time pronouncing the Slovakian names, but then he had Spanish added onto that.
Youth temple trip to Houston Temple on July 19, 2014. Elder Petersen and myself with our recent convert.
           I have really been thinking through what I can do better as a missionary and companion this week, and as I have been working on myself, I have found more peace. Even though Elder Petersen still is doing the same things, I have been looking at it in a more open view. I know that sometimes the things aren't necessary, but even then, I just give him a small reminder and pray for him. Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend a Stake Priesthood meeting, and one of the counselors in the stake presidency talked about the "spirit of persuasion"(as talked about in the oath and covenant of the priesthood). He was relating it to parents trying to get the youth out on missions, but it is also used in general for doing what is right. I know that I can't change Elder Petersen, and quite frankly, I don't want to, but I will help remind him of what he needs to do and why.

Things are looking better in the area because we are putting more effort into it and trying to work it in the right way.

1) The ward helps because most are willing to come out. We are just hesitant to invite them out because we don't really have people to teach with them...
2) actually I haven't had a flat tire for a while--I guess God thought he has humbled me enough

I just wanted to mention something that I have learned as I have been out. When we are baptized, we covenant to always remember him and to follow his commandments. We are cleansed from sin through the Holy Ghost (see Mosiah 3:19) and not because we are immersed in water, though I do know that the immersion is representative of Christ death and resurrection and our giving up our sins and being a better, more righteous child. When we are baptized, we say that we are willing to take upon us His name. I won't give you all the answers, but I would encourage you and everyone else to think about these things:
1) if during baptism isn't when we take Christ's name upon us, when do we?
2) What does it truly mean to take Christ's name upon us?
3) What does this action, notice I say it's an action, mean/do in the eternal scheme of things (the plan of salvation)?
4) What does "enduring to the end" have to do with these things?

These are some things that I have learned a little about out here. I really love finally understanding a glimpse of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I know there is so much more than what I know. I have also been studying about the Atonement, and from the book Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage. I love understanding a little more about my Savior and what he has done for you and for me.

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

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