Sunday, April 3, 2016

January 25th, 2016

Dear Family,

In district meeting, Elder Taylor and I were given the chance to give
a training on strengthening new and less-active members. We prepared
really well for what we were going to teach and during the lesson we
both felt prompted to share something that was extra to what we had
prepared. I really felt the spirit as I bore my testimony of the
experience I shared. Looking back on the situation, the comment from
the worldwide broadcast about the need to put things into our
spiritual treasure chest before we can draw from it is really true. If
we don't make the proper preparations, then we don't give the spirit
anything to bring to our remembrance as we teach.

Going into the worldwide missionary broadcast I did go "expecting to
be taught the mysteries" as President Smith, the mission's first
counselor, put it. With this being the first worldwide mission
broadcast in over a decade, we were expecting some new doctrines,
policies, or something. Instead, the apostles taught simply the truths
we already knew. I feel like the training was a good reminder that the
gospel we share with others is full of simple beauties.

I really liked Elder Oaks' talk. He said we do more than offer to make
bad men good and good men better. The fundamental purpose of our
missionary work is that men cannot be saved in the highest kingdom of
glory without the doctrine of Christ and the temple. We don't help
them settle for a lesser kingdom. Other churches cannot get them to
this highest kingdom. As missionaries, with priesthood authority, we
are the only ones entitled to teach these principles. This definitely
helped remind me of the bigger picture that as missionaries we are
helping them to get to more than just baptism.

We got new phones this week. They are the same kind of phone, but we
switched providers from Sprint to AT&T. President Daines was probably
really happy about that because he worked as an executive at AT&T
before becoming a mission president.

Elder Taylor and I have been walking way more than usual this week. We
have been out contacting on the campuses all day most days this week
because both Sinclair and UD are back. On Saturday we walked about
five miles just to contact two referrals. The weeks that we don't have
the car are quite the workout!

Brother Chatterton gave a talk in sacrament meeting about the
difference between testimony and conversion. He used the story of
Peter denying Christ three times as an example of having testimony but
not being converted yet. He also made a really profound statement
about envy that has stuck out to me. He said envy is looking at what
someone has and trying to get it by taking a shortcut. When people
have a stronger testimony, it is because they worked for it. We can't
just sit back and be envious of their testimony. We need to work hard
to develop our own. We also must have a sure foundation in Christ.
That is the difference between testimony and conversion. Step by step
we must be building that foundation daily by reading our scriptures
and praying. But it is more than just going through the motions, we
must be actively trying to strengthen our relationship with our Father
in Heaven.

God is our Father, and that means we are His children. Remember that
relationship when you pray each morning and evening, at meal times,
and in your heart constantly. Think about the relationship a child has
to a father and prayer will become more meaningful. We don't try to
change His will. We look up to Him for guidance and ask Him to help us
follow His will. The Savior is a great example of demonstrating that
He knows this relationship. In the Garden of Gethsemane He pleaded
with the Father in prayer to remove the bitter cup, then in an
ultimate act of submission as a child to his father, was willing to
follow His Father's will in continuing on with the atonement. I know
that the Savior has borne our trials and He will give us the strength
to follow the will of the Father. Jesus Christ descended below all and
faced more than we could ever imagine. As a result, He knows us
perfectly and knows how to succor His people. Remember that each of
you are Children of God, and He wants to see you succeed.

Another statement that was made by President Smith after the broadcast
has helped me better understand the Savior. He said that when he was
in some leadership position in the church, he had a project he was
working on and didn't know how to accomplish the task. He asked
someone higher up for some advice and they told him to study the
atonement. That wasn't the answer President Smith was looking for, he
wanted help with the task he was assigned. He didn't know how studying
doctrine could solve his problem. President Smith was confused, but
willingly obeyed. As he studied the atonement, he came to feel more
love for those he was working with and that helped him see the
solution that would benefit all involved. He said don't look for
specifics on how to do things, study the doctrines and the rest will
come. This experience has got me to realize that we don't have to have
the answer to every little question and we don't need to know exactly
how things will work out. We study the atonement and Christ's
teachings to better understand the Savior and His sacrifice for us;
after that, the rest will come. I know that trials will keep coming,
but stay true to building your testimony of the Savior and strive to
be like Him. As you do so I know that having a foundation in Christ
will help you all withstand the winds of trials that the devil will
Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

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