Family and Friends,
I would like to focus more on the spiritual side of my experience rather than on a report of the natural aspects.
As a missionary you are endowed with great spiritual power and in the eyes of some, great worldly opportunity. We are "set loose" in a portion of the world where being an 18-21 year-young American means you could be as irresponsible as you want and the people here could still worship the ground upon which you walk. We are given enough money to do dumb things and still eat well. We are in a place far enough from any authority or judging eye that it would be easy to spend a day playing computer games or seeing sites, or worse: doing nothing. Where the law could be thwarted by flashing a clean, straight American smile and feigning a broken local tongue. These are the natural advantages of serving a mission for the Lord where I serve and I believe may be characteristic of other areas of the world. These are the grand spectacles and fine clothing of the great and spacious building, distracting the righteous and leading them off of the straight and narrow.
The power that is in obedience cannot be eclipsed by the vain things of the world. Being covenant-honoring and commandment-keeping is essential in enjoying the direction and companionship of the Holy Ghost. I have experienced the power of the Holy Ghost and how in acting in accordance with its promptings the Lord displays his hand.
I have been working on listening more when I pray. I try and spend almost as much time listening and being silent as I do speaking or addressing My Father. Especially in companionship prayers, it has been manifested to me that we receive as much as we hear in our prayers.
The fruits of obedience and allowing the guidance of God to permeate missionary life is the success we seek as missionaries. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ through developing faith in Him and His Atonement, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. This week we found more investigators and have more people committed to develop their faith, to repent, and to be baptized than we have had throughout this transfer.
Nderrim, the father of Jasemin (the girl we baptized in July) has committed to be baptized. We have promised him that we will stand with him, teach him, and support him as he comes unto Christ. Jasemin has set the example for her family and now that their father has decided to take upon himself the name of Christ, he can help ensure that his family may become an eternal family, destined for eternal happiness and joy everlasting in the world to come. I know that this could only have been done if we had been listening and acting upon the counsel of the Holy Ghost.
I promise you other missionaries, you future missionaries, and you member missionaries that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is real. You can receive revelation. God loves you enough that he will show you what to do for your salvation and the salvation of others.
|Translations "Don't become sheep"|
I love you all. I pray for many of you. Many of your names get remembered to me while I pray and I know that Heavenly Father sends you a special blessing every time.
I know you are the best,
P.S. If you have missed any emails or would like to see many more pictures, visit my blog atbarbyacheson.blogspot.com