Monday, February 29, 2016

Apparently we're not Christians?

Family and Friends,
Don't worry, Mormons really are Christians, but I have never
heard more often that we are not than this week. So many people are
really bothered and disturbed by some of our beliefs and when we try
to explain them and show them plainly out of the bible they freak out
and walk away. Don't worry, it wasn't bashing at all, no contention
until they flip out. They would ask why we would believe what we do
and we would answer, 'well, it says it right here in the bible, so
that's why we believe it.' On Wednesday we had a couple people while
tracting and a referral we contacted tell us that it's ridiculous to
believe that Jesus Christ and Satan are brothers, it really bothers
them. It really strengthens my testimony when stuff like this happens
because it shows how Satan has taken simple, plain and precious truths
from the Gospel and twisted them to keep people from Christ's true
church. And this is Christ's true and living church.
We had a really good lesson with a less active family. We talked
about not procrastinating and how we need to sometimes just square our
shoulders to life and do whatever we need to. You could tell that by
the time we left the Holy Ghost had pricked their hearts and humbled
them quite a bit. Sadly, they weren't at church yesterday, but we'll
see them again tomorrow! After that lesson we met with one of our
progressing investigators and she told us about all the frustration
and anger that she feels when she reads the Book of Mormon. When I
heard that, my heart snapped in two. On my mission I have come to
love the Book of Mormon like I never thought I could, so it hurt to
hear from someone how they had a negative experience from reading it.
She said that she had never felt like she got anything out of reading
it, and she's almost all the way through 2 Nephi. So we reviewed some
of the things that are keeping her from baptism and shared 1 Nephi 3:7
with her. You could see the wheels turning in her head and we knew the
spirit had spoken to her. She said she really liked the verse and it
gave her hope and trust in God. We're reviewing the Word of Wisdom
with her again tomorrow and then we're going to start just reading
from the Book of Mormon with her multiple times a week so that we can
help her identify principles from the verses so she can apply it in
her life.
Friday we had zone training, pictures will be included. Elder
Hoschouer, Elder Schneider are in this zone as well! That means we're
only missing Elder Potter and then we'd have our entire room from the
MTC back together. But it was still super good. Most of the meeting
was focused on not focusing on ourselves. I really keep seeing over
and over is that your mission gets too hard when you're too hard on
yourself. A mission, and any other form of discipleship, is all about
forgetting yourself and serving others. That's the only way we can
really profit. Even if you serve perfect in every way possible, but
you do it grudgingly, you can gain no reward. This life is about
turning our will over to God and loving it.
Last crazy thing that happened this week was that yesterday I
gave my first baptismal interview! I was pretty nervous that it might
be some really intense and intimidating guy with a crazy past, instead
it was a 10 year old boy. During the interview I just kept thinking of
a statement from this past conference in Bradley Foster's talk, "Do we
recognize that our children are the largest group of investigators of
the Church? What must we do to bring about their lasting conversion?"
One of the reasons people fall away from the church later on in life
is a lack of righteous support. Obviously people have their free
agency and even if they have a perfect upbringing they can still
choose to go astray. But just because they have their own choices
doesn't mean that we can't help them understand that when they are
baptized they covenant, they make a literal and binding promise with
God, to follow him for the rest of their life. There isn't really away
to avoid answering to God for breaking that promise. This week
consider the covenants you have made and how you can be more true to
them. Also look for opportunities to strengthen other people's resolve
to keep their covenants. And of course, look for family members and
friends that still need to make covenants and prayerfully decide with
God's help what you can do to help them take the required steps.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Tippetts

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