Monday, January 13, 2014

The gospel is FUN

This week was awesome :)

 We are excited for some baptisms in the next couple of weeks and some new investigators. We are also really enjoying our new finding tools that we have started to implement. We started a Book of Mormon study class and have been able to announce it to the wards and to the youth. Last night at a youth fireside introducing the theme for the new year, Sister Askren and I talked to the youth about proclaiming the gospel and challenged them to come to the scripture study class and to bring friends. Many of the youth told us about people that they have already shared the gospel with and they want to know what more they can do. It is fun to see the hastening of the work and the members getting excited about it and doing something about it :)
Sister Askren and I really wanted to help the youth get excited about the work, so to start off we made them all get up and do the law of chastity version of head,shoulders, knees, and toes to break the ice (head-think good thoughts, shoulders to knees need to be covered/modesty, toes-stand in holy places, eyes-no pornography, ears-no bad music or media, mouth-don't cuss or tell crude jokes, nose- "God knows best" ;)... that was really fun then we had them stand and recite our purpose as missionaries "invite other to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, baptism, repentance, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." and our commission which is a quote by Bruce R. McConkie it starts "I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth...How great is my calling." Look it up if you would like, it's pretty cool.
Then we showed them the video from about the one boy who was the only LDS kid his age so he invited a friend to church and it became this chain effect until there were 26 boys in their quorum. We then asked the youth if they thought that that was possible for their own classes and quorums here in Page. They gave a lot of great feedback. We talked about how fun the gospel is for us and how exciting it is see others have fun with the gospel too.
Sister Askren and I have seen so many people have fun with the gospel. They get excited about all the things that the church and the gospel has to offer. It really is amazing the amount of resources that we have to share the gospel with people.
Anyway, we loved being able to talk with the youth. They are so awesome and they have such strong testimonies. I know that they will do great things. They love challenges and we challenged them so I know that we will see more miracles in the months to come.
It's funny because many of them reported back to us about the challenge that we gave them when we taught seminary one day--one kid came up to us and said, "So I gave my friend a Book of Mormon and he liked it. So I was wondering if you could tell me what to do next." I just stood their speechless for a moment and I was like, "I think we might be able to help you out with that."
There were many others who came up to us with similar experiences and they were just so excited. I was so glad. The happiness that comes from living the gospel and sharing it is beyond anything that I have ever experienced before.

Also, the more I study the Book of Mormon, the more I have been filled with joy because of the abundance of the Lord's tender mercies that I see in my life and in the Book of Mormon. Our study class this week was awesome. It was small because it was the first week, but some less actives came and we had great discussions. I know that the work that I have been a part of with helping members  rekindle their desires to come to church has shown me so many miracles. It is equally rewarding to see them come back to church as it is to see investigators get their for the first time.
By the way, Kelly is getting baptized this week! She is so converted; it's awesome. She has had a sure trial by fire with her families' non-support but she is so committed to the gospel. This week some of her extended family tried to have an intervention with her, but she left when she found out what was going on. Her faith is amazing. On Saturday she had her baptismal interview and she said that she was nervous and had practiced with her friend (who is a member) the interview questions that morning. She said that she was just nervous because she wanted it so much. Also funny story, so the requirement to get baptized in our mission is that they have to come to church for 4 Sundays to all 3 meetings in a 6 week period of time. In order to get all her sundays, kelly had to go to church when she was in Michigan for the holidays. It was a 45 minute drive and she had to go to church by herself. She said that the first sunday as she has passing the sacrament tray she had to get up and her dress got caught and ripped all the way down the side. She recalled complete silence and then a loud rip. She was mortified but a lady behind her told her that she had some sweat pants in her car. Kelly put them on and wore them for the last 2 hours of church. They were hot pink and said "Juicy" down the leg, but she wore it anyway! What faith! I can't think of many members that would stay for church if that happened. She knew that she had to stay at church in order to be baptized and that's what she did. She also had the bishop sign a paper saying that she came to church for all 3 hours. We thought that that was hilarious. She is such a goof. I am so happy for her :)
Okay random things: 

A really awesome spiritual experience this week was the Youth Fireside. Bishop Skaggs turned off all of the lights in the chapel and read the part in 3 Nephi where the Savior's voice is heard in the darkness. he had some music playing behind it and at the end he showed a picture of the resurrected Christ on a projector. It was awesome to remember that event. I could feel the bear testimony to my heart that Jesus came to the Americas and that He is the light of the world.
James 1:22- Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only
If you are miserable in the work (missionary work), then you probably aren't working. -President Batt ....think about that one. Pretty powerful because obedience is always tied to blessings-- missionary work is always tied to blessings and happiness.
"Many of the truths we cling to depend entirely upon our perspective" -- Star Wars
Romans 14:27 Happy is he that condemneth not himself
The only empty part of our religion is an empty tomb in Palestine
Ephesians 2:19- no more strangers and foreigners but fellowcitizens with the Saints and of the household of God.
The gospel is fun. have fun with it. and help others to have fun with it too
I love you!
Sister Bledsoe

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