January 16, 2017


Burleson Ward


Elder Matthew Newey

Becoming a Witness to Grace

What to say about this week... It flew by really fast! The weeks seem

like they keep getting shorter and shorter. It blows my mind how fast

they can go by. Best make the most of it.

I got the letter in the mail that contains my flight plans and what

President Whitney would like in my final letter to him. I am so glad

that it was sent 3 months before I go home because I have no idea what

I want to write haha. I am looking at some pondering time coming up

before I sit down to write it.

We met with Violet this week and it was pretty good. She has a lot of

questions, mostly about things the sacrament and priesthood. She kinda

gets some things mixed up between her previous faith. She is

definitely being converted. She loves the gospel even though she does

not understand it all. She also is teaching her kids the gospel. She

even came to church on her own!

Our zone council was awesome! We established a vision that we talked

about with you and the zone was very receptive. I am excited to see

the miracles that will come.

On Friday we did a service at the nursing home in our area. We did a

bible study. We were not teaching them, we are just spreading the word

of God. The residents loved it! We taught about being children of God.

It was a powerful experience. We are probably going to be back every

Friday to share a lesson.

Our stake President's vision for this stake is to didnt he less-active

members and bring them back. Elder Foster, the area seventy over this

area said that there is another stake within the membership of this

stake already and a that we can have a new stake in five years. Now it

is up to us to make that happen. I am so excited to see what happens.

We are setting the foundation for the stake from now on!

One thing that I have learned about while being here in TX is grace.

Now, most people down here love grace – and we all should! After all,

grace is the power of God which brings us back into His presence,

gives us our bodies back and helps us to overcome our trials while

here in this mortal existence. Grace is wonderful! Grace overcomes the

effects of the fall. However, if we do not use grace to change our

nature then we cannot stay in the presence of our Creator. This is

where our beliefs and those of others differ.

Now when I was studying this topic after realizing that I could not

teach it with clarity, I came to wonder how do we receive the grace of

Christ into our lives? How does it operate and change us? Then I made

this connection: the Holy Ghost helps us through gifts of the spirit

such as the spirit of revelation, healing, discernment, charity, hope,

faith, diligence etc. Things that we would not be able to do if left

to our own strength or means. That means that we receive grace by

being in tune with the spirit. So that answers part of the question.

The part that remains unanswered is how do we let it operate in our

lives? The answer to that is simple. It is the doctrine of Christ.

Faith, repentance, making and keeping covenants to receive the Holy

Ghost and continue to keeping the commandments or in other words,

enduring to the end. What I think is so cool is literally everything

that we do in this church is to remain worthy for the companionship of

the Holy Ghost and to receive it in greater abundance. Now, if you

would like an awesome study on that, read Elder David A. Bednar's talk

entitled "Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins." That talk is

fantastic! It will help us understand the way that the Holy Ghost

helps us in staying clean from the stains of sin.

I had an experience in my mission that, in retrospect, taught me how

to obtain grace. I was going through a rough time as sometimes happens

during missionary service, and I found myself, praying intensely and

with real intent everyday during every prayer that I offered. I

searched the word of God everyday with a hunger for comfort and

understanding. Because of this, because I was constantly seeking after

God, I was choosing to humble myself enough to rely on the Lord for

everything. And I felt it. Heavenly Father helped me through it and

not just making it through to the other end, but He helped me learn

and grow while experiencing a trying time. I am a witness that God

does strengthen you to help you overcome your trials. I wouldn't be

the person who I am without it. I have been changed by the grace of

God. I am in no means a perfect man, nor am I close. But I am better

than I was yesterday and hope for the same tomorrow. If you want to

learn more about grace because this obviously isn't everything about

it, then I would study it out in my mind. Studying the doctrine of

Christ alongside grace and with grace in mind, you will learn the same

things that I have learned. So go and search it out for yourself. ;)

Grace is a wonderful thing to come to understand even a little bit.

Keep the Faith and Hurrah for Israel! Love y'all!

Love, Elder Jefferies

It was super duper foggy over the weekend. It was pretty cool!


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