Date

August 22, 2017

Area

Damascus, Maryland

Companion

Cameron Stone

Courage

Hello everyone another week in the best place (for me) on earth!! This week was a lot of fun! There are so many people to teach, to talk to, and to love! I have been loving the relationships we have been building and the changes that we have been seeing! Absolutely the best experiences of my life have been found on my mission!
I wanted to tell you a little bit about Mr. Riley…you may remember him from a month or so ago. He had gone out of town for a couple weeks and we had lost contact with him. We finally were able to meet up with him on Friday this week, and boy did he have a story to tell us. He began our lesson by saying how much he's appreciated meeting with us, he then went on to say that his wife had threatened to divorce him if he continued to meet with 'the Mormons.' He told us that he did not want contention in his home, he had been with his wife for 28 years. It got quiet for a moment, and then said that this was a very tough decision for him...because he knew that the Book of Mormon was true. Then he dropped a huge bomb haha, he said, "I'm a Mormon, I was baptized as a young man!"
We were like...What?! (But wait it gets crazier) He said, "this last week I went to my pastoral conference." (this is where all the pastors from his church in the region meet to discuss with one another how the church is doing) "At the conference, I turned in my resignation and told everyone in attendance that I would be joining with the Latter Day Saints." Of course everyone was pretty shocked! He said that he was pulled aside at the end of the conference and they put him on probation, for his pastoral license. Yesterday was his last sermon, and he told us with a powerful conviction that he was going to tell his congregation the truth of the Book of Mormon and that he would be leaving his church for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” We were all stunned, and the spirit was strong in the room. This man had unrelenting courage, willing to put it all on the line.

I could rattle off many others courageous people in the scriptures, but also in my life that have shown this same type of courage. One that resembles an attribute of Him who was perfect. The courage it took for the Savior to be able to perform the sacrifice that was eternal in significance and power.

6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

Because of Christ each of us will rise again, but to what glory is dependent upon us. May we take courage in this life, dare to stand alone, and live for Him who has given us all. In the name of our Savior, even our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen
Love you all,
Elder Shouse




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