My heart is so full today as the Lord has reminded me this week of the true purpose behind missionary work, to bring souls unto Christ. This week both Lucy and Autumn accepted the invitation to be baptized on May 18th. Not only that, on Saturday Sister Terry and I were able to attend the baptism of one of the very first people she taught while, simultaneously the very first person I taught, Paige, was being baptized in Frederick. It has been so rewarding to see the fruits of our efforts. It is even more rewarding to see the light that has filled these loved ones as they have humbled their hearts and allowed the Atonement of Jesus Christ work within them. One of my favorite scriptures is 3Nephi 9:20-22
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.
21 Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin. 22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.
How beautiful it is that the Savior of the World, the one who sacrificed everything for us, simply asks us to humble ourselves before Him and to be willing to follow Him. For some of us, that sacrifice might be harder than for others, as we are asked to give up thoughts or actions that we feel we can't live without. However, when we fix our eyes on The Savior, not only do we come to recognize the strength and power He gives us to overcome all things, but we learn that the promise He gives us in return, the promise of living forever with our families in the Kingdom of God, far outweighs any sacrifice we will ever make.
This past week my Mission President gave an amazing instruction that has change my outlook on life. He called it, "The Mark Of A Finisher". In this instruction he gave us six simple steps to help us achieve our spiritul and temporal goals. These steps are:1. Vision2. Effort3. Faith4. Virtue5. Courage6. PrayerWile each of these goals are incredibly important, let me focus on just one, VISION.
This one word has seemed to be on my mind continuously the last two weeks. I have pondered what "vision" truly is and what my vision should be. Through personal revelation I have learned that in all times and in all places my vision should be one thing. Jesus Christ. May I suggest that He should be each of our visions as well.
I know that Christ lives. I know that He is our Savior. It is only by Him and through Him that we will one day be able to recieve eternal life. I cannot express what it means to me to known that I will one day be able to live with my family in the kingdom of God. The request of a broke heart and a contrite spirit is such a merciful request in exchange for such a precious gift!
My dear family and friends, each one of you holds a special place in my heart. Each one of you has helped me along the path of life; teaching me, showing me, reminding me of The Vision. May each of us take a moment to reflect on where we are in the process of becoming finishers, and if needed, let us re-fix our eyes on The Vision, Jesus Christ.
1.Paige's Baptism2. My Beautiful Companion3. THAI FOOD4.Spring Has Sprung5. Autumn 6. Barbra's Baptism (The lady Sister Terry taught)