March 6, 2017


Burleson Ward


Elder Matthew Newey

Men Are That They Might Have Joy

It's getting down to the wire for me. This is getting really weird

haha. We had a wonderful week. Really, ever week is wonderful! Why

should it not be? I mean, this is the Lord's work and he is the

definition of joy! This life and this work are supposed to be filled

with joy! As one missionary put it, "picture an oatmeal raisin cookie.

Raisins are struggles. Cookie is happiness. You don't make a cookie

out of a glob of raisins with little bits of cookie mixed in! You make

it out of cookie with a few raisins mixed in! How's that for an

analogy? Long story short, repent and enjoy your cookies!" We now only

have a handful of ward members that we have not met yet or confirmed

the live there which is wonderful! It has been a real trust building

and fruitful endeavor.

Brian is still set for baptism this Saturday which is so great! The

power of member referrals! He is so ready. Before we even really got

into teaching him about the commandments he has been trying to live

them and changing his life to do so. He is best friends with Victor.

They are pretty much the same person! I have no doubt in my mind that

Brian will remain active. He knows that it is true and is just a


We have also identified several part member families that we want to

start working with and some with overaged children as well.

So there was something that is awesome that happened this past Friday!

In my interview with President Whitney a little bit ago, I told him

that I had a convert (Michael Hooker) that passed away before he could

go through the temple. I asked him if he would allow me to go to

Arlington and talk to his family about permission and the information

needed. MLC let out an hour early and Arlington is kinda on our way

home. So, we swung by hoping to catch them at home. When we go there,

Michaels mom was there outside! Definitely a divine signature moment.

So I introduced myself and she remembered me. I expressed my sadness

about Michael and found out that he passed away on March 13th last

year so it isn't quite a year yet but it almost is. I got some of the

information that I might need so now I just need to learn how to get

his name there. I don't know if there is any special thing I need to

do since I am not related to him. If any of y'all know, I'd love to

hear it!

We had an MLC focused on daily planning. It was eye opening to me.

Everything that was taught was mostly new to me and most everyone else

for that matter, yet, it is in Preach My Gospel. My first thought was:

"Really? Now we notice this right as I'm concluding my mission?!" Then

I thought how wonderful it is that I get to experience this! There are

many missionaries who never got to experience the best way to plan! I

have thought about that as I have done My Plan and I have come up with

some planning guidelines for when missionaries return home. Don't

worry, they aren't making me trunky. In fact, it is the opposite. I am

determined to make this last transfer my absolute best. The best

studies, the best planning sessions, the best lessons – everything!

Elder Newey is getting transferred up to Grapevine, he is going to be

an office elder there. I am so sad that Elder Newey is leaving! He has

been the absolute, hands down, best companion that I have ever served

with. I am sad. I actually cried haha. But I learned something. I now

have an inkling of a feeling of what real love is. Not saying that I

had romantic feelings for him, but I know what love is like because I

felt so sad when I got the news. It was like losing a brother. But

also, it won't be the last time I see him. We will go skiing plenty of

times when he gets home. Elder Taylor will be my new companion, the

one to kill me off! It will be a blast!

I was listening to a talk by Elder Quinton L. Cook the other day. He

was talking abut peace. The peace of God. When Gabriel told the

shepherds in the field at Bethlehem, there were angels singing "glory

to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The

Savior said, " I came not to send peace, but a sword." These two

statements seem to contradict each other. Unless, the peace that was

referred to by the angels, was the peace that is brought to and is

evident in the lives of those who love the Lord and seek to serve Him.

That peace is brought about, at least in my life, by having a faith in

Jesus Christ and his Atonement. Knowing that because he loves me, and

because of his Atonement, I can rest assured that all things will be

ok. I will be fine as long as I do what He asks and continually love


Thats all fine and dandy hat you feel that way Elder Jefferies, but I

don't feel that way. How can I feel that way? Well, it comes by

developing faith. Elder Jeffery R. Holland explained that a testimony

is a living breathing thing. Well so is faith. The funny thing about

it is you need to act in faith to build your faith. The JST from

Hebrews 11:1 reads, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the

evidence of things not seen." So the more evidence we have, the more

that provides assurance. The more assurances we have, the more we can

act in faith. Now, this is not evidence like in a court case, but

evidence as in the effect or the results. I have seen this in my life.

Several weeks ago, I got a blank copy of the Book of Mormon. I started

reading it looking for 6 specific attributes of God which are: 1. God

was God before and after the world was created. 2. He is merciful,

gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness. Was so from everlasting

and will be to everlasting. 3. He is the same yesterday, today and

forever. 4. He is a God of truth and cannot lie. 5. He is no respecter

of persons. 6. God is love. As I have read I have payed close

attention to the stories, teachings and prophecies that may contain

things about God. I have learned many things but one of the things

that astounds me and I honestly did not expect to find was this. I

have only read 86 pages of the Book of Mormon this way, but I have

found at least one passage that I mark with a number 2 next to it. God

is merciful. He is kind. He is gracious, he slow to anger and quick to

forgive. He is abundant in goodness. That gives me so much peace

inside. I have learned much about all 6 of those attributes and I am

not even 1/5 of the way done.

So how do you increase your faith and have peace in this life and

eternal life in the next? Get to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

by reading and seeking to understand the scriptures. As you do I

promise you will gain a deeper love for them and you will be able to

have lasting joy and abiding peace in your life because of the

assurance of their goodness that you have from the Holy Ghost. I know

that it's true.

I love y'all!

Keep the Faith and Hurrah for Israel!

Love, your missionary son and brother, Elder Jefferies

Sorry, I suck at taking pictures! I will have some next week!


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