Wednesday, February 19, 2014
On We Go
We had another good week out here in Iowa City. We had a really snowy day on Monday and a mission leadership council meeting all day yesterday so we finally made it to the library today. On Sunday, Sister Chavez brought her sister to Church with her and we were able to teach her about the restoration right after Church! It was sweet! We have been teaching the members all about the Work of Salvation and helping them create family mission plans with goals and such. It has been cool to see them understand what missionary work really is and have enthusiasm to do it! We also show them how we as the full-time missionaries can help them :) its great! On a sidenote, at transfers we got a new elder from Las Vegas named Bailey Swainston. I couldnt find him afterwards to catch up with him but Im pretty sure thats Dr. Swainston's son/ Hannah Swainston's younger brother haha small world!
We are staying busy here, talking to all sorts of people everyday and searching out those that are ready to LIVE the gospel. I really feel Im coming to understand just how white the field is and that its already to harvest. Recently, I've studied a lot about how we must learn by faith. So many people have been taught the gospel of Jesus Christ but few live it. Learning by faith is when we learn something in such a way that we live it. It means feeling assured that God will bless you when you do what He asks, then acting in faith and then having evidence (Hebrews 11:1) that God did keep His promise, thus giving you more assurance that He is there. You cant force the Spirit into the heart of the learner. All I can do is do my best to be a pure instrument through which the Spirit can teach and testify, but ultimately, the learner decided whether or not they let that spirit or message enter into their hearts. I think about the lessons I have learned that mean the most to me and it is all because I learned it for myself. Usually answers that are given to me aren't remembered for too long haha I guess what am trying to say is that as a missionary or a teacher of any kind, we should follow the example of a perfect teacher aka Jesus Christ. He didnt give people fish, but He taught them how to fish for themselves. We need to work for our knowledge so that we can literally "own" it. Then it means something so much to us that we actually apply it in our lives! I know that Christ lives because I have tested His words and promises. I have sacrificed like He asks His disciples to do and have tasted the sweet joy of being redeemed from past mistakes, sins and weaknesses. Its true that happiness can be consistent in life and hope can be full for what lies ahead, after this life, but we each need to do what it takes to find that for ourselves. So thats what we are all focusing on doing out here in the Iowa Des Moines Mission. The Book of Mormon is a true account of an ancient civilization and it teaches us about God's love for all His children. I simply invite you to get a copy of it and read it for yourself. Seek learning by study and also by faith!
Love, Elder McGinn