Monday, November 3, 2014

A Lesson From the Mission President

This week I'd like to start off with a thought from our mission president, President Taylor. Every week he sends an email out to all the Texas Dallas missionaries, and part of his message this week really impressed me.
Speaking of Moroni 7:48, he said:
"[It teaches] the singular eternal truth that ‘when he shall appear we SHALL be like Him.’ ‘we shall be like him’ means in every way we will be like Him, not that we will just look like him.  Then, the beautiful attendant doctrine that should give us great cause to be filled with continual hope – ‘that we may have this hope, that we may be purified even as HE IS PURE.’  To become perfectly pure and purely perfect is the eternal blessing of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is His inestimable blessing upon and hope for us all.
That is often a hard thing to comprehend. Can we really be so thoroughly forgiven and perfected? Can we really come anywhere near His infinite love, mercy, courage, patience, knowledge, power, discipline, and wisdom? Personally I have a hard enough time satisfying me own standards and goals, or raising my  let alone becoming like our Savior. But the answer is yes! An incredible, unexpected, merciful yes. As we talked about obedience with a family this week, the wife asked us, "But we can't become perfect in this life, right?" My response was something I myself needed to hear. I told them that no, we cannot keep God's commandments with perfected exactness and integrity. But, if we will enter into the path of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and striving to do our Heavenly Father's will, we may retain a remission of our sins, and through the grace of Jesus Christ, be accepted as perfect--perfectly pure--and be welcomed into our Father's presence.
    We had a pretty stinkin good week. Unfortunately we saw two people that we visit and love make some poor minor choices, but a lot of great things happened as well. For example, Alfonzo, the guy I talked about last week, read the assignment we left him in the Book of Mormon, came to church again this week, and accepted the invitation to work towards his baptism on December 21! As you've probably noticed by now, these dates fall through more often than not. However, if he keeps up like he is and we continue visiting the family, by the grace of our Lord he will be ready. He told that he feels more peace since he started coming to church, and his girlfriend, Ana, said that she has felt more love towards her family since she began to listen to the missionaries. It's always awesome to hear things like that and realize that, even sometimes people don't show it or recognize it at first, the things we share are making a difference. 
   Halloween was pretty uneventful here--we had a zone meeting and played sports for the night, which was really fun! 
   In case any of you are wondering if your intellectual skills/knowledge will decrease during your mission, the answer (at least in my case) is yes. I am praying they will quickly return to me when I get back into school. Saturday night, as you know, marked the end of daylight savings time. And honestly, Elder Pigott and I felt like we were dealing with advanced college-level logic trying to figure out how to be sure we woke up on time. We always wake up to our phone's alarm, and we weren't sure if the phone's clock would automatically fall back an hour... so after about 15 minutes of debating how to solve the problem, I went to the bathroom, and Elder Pigott used our whiteboard to write out the possible outcomes if we left our phone alarm at 6:20 (see his email for a picture), and everything turned out fine. 
Love you all! Hope you have a great week! And please pray for opportunities to serve and share the gospel with those around you! They will come, and as Elder Ballard said,
" These opportunities will never require forced or contrived response. They will flow as natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those whom you speak with will feel your love. They will never forget that feeling, though the timing may not be right for them to embrace the gospel. That too may change in the future when their circumstances change.
It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand. While the outcome is result of the exercise of one’s agency, sharing the gospel is our responsibility." ("Put Your Trust in the Lord," Oct. 2013 General Conference)
Con mucho amor, 
Elder Gaughan

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