Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Testimony of the Book of Mormon (September 2013)

Please listen.

The Book of Mormon has changed my life. It is a true holy record from God written specifically for us. Do not take it for granted. Read deeply and read for understanding. I remember distinctly one of the first times I received a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon and I thought "there is a reason this record was preserved for you." Conversion through the Book of Mormon is a process/ it doesn't happen overnight/ and like everything else/ it takes effort. It's a beautiful amazing process that changes every part of your life. Just when you think you "get it".. your eyes are opened to something new..and then another, and then another. You will need to read more than just a couple verses or 10 minutes every day. Make time to feast upon the book.. 45 minutes to an hour. Our mission president taught us that there are 6 different levels to study the scriptures:

1. Hear the word
2. Read the word
3. Study it
4. Search
5. Treasure
6. Feast

Think about those levels and ask yourself where you are. Search treasure and feast is where revelation happens. Revelation is the personal communication from God through the Spirit for the salvation and exaltation of his children. Keep a revelation journal (not just a study journal). As you read from the Book of Mormon as-well-as the Bible, write your feelings, thoughts, and impressions. (not just verbatim verses).. as you document and record your revelation, Heavenly Father will give you more (DC 50:24  "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light and that light growtheth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.").

Delve deeply into the scriptures and let it change you. Our purpose here is to become more like Heavenly Father and as I've read the Book of Mormon, I've learned about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. As you learn and feast upon that.. your life begins to reflect His. So don't go a day with out reading the Book of Mormon.. it is the only source of undiluted doctrine directly from Heavenly Father through his prophets. Marion G. Romney promised in the name of Jesus Christ.. that if you read the Book of Mormon every day you WILL achieve Celestial Glory. So act with faith and prioritize that sacred record. I love the Book of Mormon and I love the doctrine and gospel within. It is true and complete.

~In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

“The core elements of the gospel message are found in all the holy scriptures but are most clearly given to us in the Book of Mormon….Here Jesus Himself plainly declares His doctrine and His gospel, with which God’s children must comply to 'have eternal life.'”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Peace, Love, and Squatters (September 18, 2013)

Life is so crazy now! this transfer is flying by. We have so many meetings now with  our mission president because we're preparing for a Peace Festival next week and city zone is helping run it. I'm excited. It's like an inter-faith festival where all religions will come to the town plaza park and set up booths and we're participating this year. It's gonna be so cool.
This week we got to go interview a couple for baptism and they live in the mountains in the middle of all these tiny cement houses. So I interviewed the old husband/ brother Fransico/ and we went out and sat on the top of their rusted tin roof cross legged and we were overlooking the mountain side stuffed with squatter slums. the moon was really big and Brother was holding a little oil lamp to light my scriptures. I was inspired and humbled as he spoke about his love for the true gospel and his desire to be baptized by someone holding the right authority. Such a good/godly man.
Our investigators make me so happy. Sister Olive is a very smart elect single mom that just wants to be a good person. she wants to change. I admire her relationship with Heavenly Father. She says "before..I keep asking Him help me help me. and then you come to my life and I think He's saying 'here! I'm giving you help! These people can help you! This is true!" Isn't that awesome?
Sister Jossana reads her scriptures every day and she says she feels happier in her life because she knows her purpose and she knows where's she's headed and what her potential is. One of the most elect people I've ever met.
Brother Jerricks is a father-to-be.. His wife will give birth next month and I think he's a little intimidated by that but I can tell he's looking for the right thing for his family. He's very sincere in his prayers. I love that.
It's all good up here in Apas Philippines. I love having the temple in our midst. It really is heaven on earth. We have temple tours every Thursday and at the end of the tour/ we let the people go inside of the temple and sit in the waiting room and pray and for some.. it's the first time praying. Everyone says "it was like heaven in there!" or "I felt like someone was in there.." or "i felt the most peace in my entire life".
Welp that's about it. 'Til next week. Be good y'all
elder sum

There's No One Here!!

Oh goodness, I wish you could just see a glimpse of my life here in Apas. So we have verrry few members since the area got split, but we're tryin' to change that! We go door-knocking every day. That's the part I wish you could see. Hahaha oh man, so here, every big house has a big gate and this is how it usually goes:

*ring doorbell*...we hear sandals coming towards the gate...a little peek-hole opens abruptly and we see a big eye...
Them: WHAT?
Us: Hey! how you doin?! wow, you have a beautiful home!... We're missionaries and we'd like to share an awesome message that can bless yo--
Us: Well what about you?
*nervous awkward silence, eye looks around*...Peek-hole slams shut...person runs back inside.

Hahaha that's hard. It hurts. Especially mid-noon-hot-sweltering-philippine weather, I'm sunburnt. BUT where one person slams the door on our face, the Lord seriously opens another. We have had so much success and referrals come out of random places. All of our investigators right now are so elect. I wish I could tell you each individual story. AH, people are awesome and I love this restored living gospel. Also, I have the best companion in the mission. The Lord blesses all of us with our efforts. Even though it's hard sometimes, it's those elect people that make it all worth it. Because of them, I'd do all the hard trials all over again a thousand times. 

love y'all,
elder mahaffey