I hit my one year mark last week! Its all down hill from here. Its gone by really fast and everyone keeps saying that the second year goes by even faster, we'll see about that.. Its hard to believe that it has already been a year, now when I look back and say "what was I doing a year ago from today?" now I would already be on my mission, kinda weird. But this year has been so good, I've learned and grown more this one year than I have the other 22, it seems like it anyways. And yet, there's still so much that can be learned. that's one great thing about the gospel, there's no end to learning, there will never be a point in this life where I can say "I've learned it all" I love reading the scriptures because each time I do I learn something new, even if I've already read it a hundred times. During this first year I have read the Book of Mormon three times, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the Old and New Testaments, and half of Jesus the Christ. It has been an awesome experience! I've also listened to and read the two general conferences. In the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon, it says "For, for this intent have we written these things that they may know that we knew of Christ and we had a hope of His glory many hundred years before His coming and not only we ourselves had a hope of His glory but all the holy prophets which were before us. Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophesy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea" This is why we are so blessed as Latter Day Saints because we have all these witnesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer. So many people are afraid of the Book of Mormon and afraid of the idea of a prophet in these days, but we rejoice in them because it is all just further evidence that He lives and loves us and still speaks to man today. He is the same yesterday today and forever, never changing. He speaks to us today through prophets, I know with all my heart that thats true. And with all these witnesses we obtain a hope, a hope in whats to come, a knowledge and a security of whats to come. All these witnesses give us direction and purpose in this life insomuch that we are not tossed to and fro when Satan sends forth his mighty winds, we have a foundation, a foundation that cannot fail because it is built upon Christ. Because we have all these witnesses our faith becomes unshaken and we can know of a surety, just as we know that five plus five equals ten, that God has a prophet on the Earth today and that Jesus Christ leads and guides this, His church, the church of Jesus Christ.
Last Sunday a member in another ward brought her friend to church and he absolutely loved it so he wanted to come back, so he came to our ward this week because he lives in our ward. After church we sat down with him and got to know him. His name is Jared Heath. We taught him the restoration and he said that it all just clicked with him and that it all makes perfect sense. We then shared with him a couple verses in Alma 7 talking about baptism and we invited him to be baptized, he said he would and that he never really understood the purpose of baptism like he does now. So he is getting baptized July 31!! It was a great blessing to be able to teach him.
This last week we had zone conference, it was really good, it was exclusively on the Doctrine of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ is our purpose as missionaries, to invite all men to have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. We learned at zone conference that there are a lot of changes that are going to take place, some immediately and some not until next year. We will no longer have interviews with the mission president or zone conference every transfer, We will have them every other transfer so that it can give the mission president more time to work with us individually in our own areas. And all these changes are for the church world wide, not just our mission. Also they are changing the curriculum in the MTC. There will now be a set of eight lessons that are going to be taught, and this will start in may 2011, but we will receive training on those eight lessons sooner then that so that we can be ready for the new missionaries. The lessons that the missionaries teach aren't changing, but how missionaries will be taught will be different, more effective. Because the whole purpose is to truly convert the missionary and have them know and understand what it is they are teaching so that they can teach it according to the people's need, adjust it to meet them. With this new change in curriculum and especially with this last general conference, I feel like there is a sense of urgency to strengthen ourselves, to increase our faith, to learn more fully the gospel and use and apply it in our lives. We need to do it now. The Lord needs strong faithful disciples in these last days as He is preparing us for His millennial reign. No more procrastinating, we need to become His Disciples, all of us, we need to prepare ourselves inwardly to be able to protect us from the outside influences. Satan's most powerful tool is that of complacency, do not get complacent. Always always look for ways to improve, always search for ways to better serve the Lord. I feel this sense of urgency to bring people to Christ, bring them to His flock so that they can be prepared for whats to come in the very near future. The prophet and apostles are no longer talking to us about food storage, now their focus is on strengthening us from the inside, spiritually. So listen to their guidance, search the prophets, search the scriptures. These witnesses are here for us so that we can be prepared, so that we can obtain a faith that is unshaken. We cannot afford to take them for granted any more.