Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:04:22 +0200
Subject: Re: This week
So this week is tranfers and i am going to my last area called Madadeni in the newcastle zone. I previously served in this zone when i was in ladysmith, so it was a bit of a shock for me to hear, but im still grateful none the less. Yesterday when i was bearing my closing testimony i had a hard time keeping control of my tears. I told the members that the closer a missionary gets to going home, the more he feels like he is leaving home and leaving his family once again. I really grew to love all the wonderful members in this branch. It has a special place for me in my heart. One thing that makes leaving especially hard is when people ask the question “why are you leaving us elder? we still need you here. why do you have to go?” Its not an easy question to answer, and i dont think i could ever answer to someone why i have to leave until i have finished serving in my next area. The answer wont be visible until i devote time, energy and strength to where i have been assigned. Maybe then ill be able to answer.
Also this week i want to speak of repentance. Now this is a critical step for each member of the church to follow, for to enter into the kingdom of god one must be totally clean from all sin and iniquity. No one mortal man is perfect, so every man upon the earth has a need to access the powers of Christs atonement and then in turn become clean. But God will not force us to do so. He lets us act upon our agency to decide if we truly want to be better people and if we want to rid ourselves of all that holds us bound. To quote President Uchtdorf “men are meant to soar freely through the heavens and not be shackled to the earth in strait jackets of our own making.” I can add testimony to that as well.
For one to repent though, one must first be aware that they have done something wrong. Again going back to scripture “we cannot be saved in ignorance” so we must constantly be aware of things we may have done to offend god. Sometimes we realize what we have done wrong ourselves,other times God will tell us what we need to repent of through a priesthood leader, friend or family member. In the case of an investigator,it is usually a missionary who tells them they must repent. I will share one experience i have had of telling someone to repent.
three months ago my companion and i started teaching a family comprised of a mother and daughter, with no fatherly influence. And we were so happy to have them to teach because they looked, sounded and felt like solid investigators really willing to learn the truth. As we continued to teach we testified of christ and the power he has over sin and death. They were doing marvelous! they attended church, kept commitments and always invited us to come back and teach again. Eventually the time came where my companion and i reviewed the baptismal interview questions. The daughter had passed with a few small correction that needed to be addressed by us. The mother also did well, but confessed to us of some serious sins committed in the past that still had to be repented of. My companion and i told her so immediately that she had to repent of these things. She felt she hadnt made a wrong choice so my companion and i talked with our mission president and he directed what we should do in our next lesson. Sp we again prepared a call for repentance. As we did so she committed that she would repent. Then she stopped coming to church. Personally i was distraught because i knew of the need this woman had to partake of the sacrament and move past her sins. We taught the family again during the week and the the next sunday she again did not attend church.This time we didnt wait until our scheduled visitlater in the week to see what happened. We went after church and started talking about how guilty she now felt and how she felt that she didnt think she could attend church until she was clean. We testified that she needed to attend church especially during this repentance period in her life.
And that is something i want to tell all of you. No matter the sin or mistake our Heavenly Father still loves you and wants nothing but the best for you. He wants you to become clean and attend church and partake of the sacrament so you can prepare for the coming week. The atonement is real and If you repent with a broken heart and a contrite spirit you will be forgiven.
I love you all! Have a great week!!