Dear Mum and Family
I can't believe that the last week of the transfer has already come. This coming Saturday we will be receiving calls to find out what is going to happen during these next moves. I think that I will be moving for one last time, but only time will tell. I have enjoyed serving here in Swansea though. There are lots of great people that I have created great friendships with. I have mixed feeling about moving and staying. I want to stay because I know lots of great people, but on the other hand I want to be able to serve in one last place before the end. We will see. You will have to put in your guesses of what you think will happen.
We have seen some pretty exciting things here in Swansea. This past weekend the Sisters were able to have a baptism which was great and last Tuesday the other Elders ere able to have a baptism. This next Sunday we will hopefully be seeing another baptism from the Sisters investigator. I will be interviewing her on Thursday which I think she will pass with flying colors. So the ward is pretty excited for what is going on.
I had a really great experience this past Thursday. We had a challenge given to us to give out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon. I took that challenge with excitement to work hard to achieving it. We didn't quite make the challenge, but I had a really cool miracle from it. We decided that for us to have a better chance of accomplishing that challenge we should split find. Of course we are still near each other, but we each talk to different people. That way we talk to more.
Well after finding for about 30 minutes we hadn't given out a Book of Mormon yet but we had each talked to some great people. As I was walking down the middle of city centre a thought came to my mind to turn around so I did and the first person I saw I talked to. He is a uni student from Northern England originally. He said that he has heard of the church before, but has never had the chance to talk with missionaries before. He has always wanted to though. Well because we were focusing on handing out the Book of Mormon I asked him a few questions that were related to the Book of Mormon which got him thinking. We had a very nice discussion on the Book of Mormon which he accepted quite quickly.
After talking for about 15 minutes I got his number and we set a time to meet again. Before he left he said something really amazing. He said that today was his only day off this week and he wasn't planning on coming out of his house. He said that he had no purpose for walking through city centre that day and that he was happy that he was able to meet us missionaries and have a short little discussion. I know i was meant to talk to him and I am so glad that I listened to the promptings of the Spirit and that I did talk to him.
Yesterday we also had a great experience visiting a less active that we didn't know about and neither did the ward. Brother Roberts came up to me before church and said that he had received a call from a less active member who wants some to come visit him. We all tried to find him on the ward records and couldn't find him anywhere. Nevertheless we went by after church and sure enough he was there and welcomed us right in.
About 15 years ago he had a stroke that had paralyzed his left side. He doesn't get out much at all and has people come to take care of him. He still has a strong testimony of the gospel he just can't make it to church which he really wants to. We had a really nice visit with him which I could tell that he really appreciated. I don't think he gets much visits from anyone so I am so grateful that we were able to go by. I love visiting those who can't come to church for whatever reason and having the opportunity to hopefully brighten their day in some way. We have a few things that we are going to help him with and to help the ward get a bit more involved in helping him too. He is a great guy and I can't wait to see him a few times this week.
Well I have had a good time thinking about this wonderful scripture this part week. It's kind of funny how these past couple of weeks I have been focused about family history and then you gave me a scripture that talks about family history. I don't have too much to share but there are a few things that I have thought about that I want to share.
I want to start by sharing the scripture that was ponderized this past week. It was D&C 27:9 which reads
"And also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse;"
I am sure that we all know that this is talking about family history. In Malachi 4:5 it says that Elijah will be sent to the earth before the second coming of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children. The prophet Joseph Smith commented on the word "turn" in this scripture. He said:
"“Now, the word turn here should be translated bind, or seal. But what is the object of this important mission? or how is it to be fulfilled? The keys are to be delivered, the spirit of Elijah is to come, the Gospel to be established, the Saints of God gathered, Zion built up, and the Saints to come up as saviors on Mount Zion.”
Because Elijah has come and brought those keys to the earth we are able to be bound to our families for all eternity. Have you ever thought about how wonderful that truly is? Jeffrey R. Holland said, " Heaven without your family just wouldn't be heaven." The keys that can bind us to our families have been brought back to the earth and we can be sealed to our families and we can live with them for eternity.
When it comes to doing family history it all focuses on the heart. We need to have a change of heart. Let's turn to Ether 3:6 which reads:
"And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear."
We all know about this experience that the Brother of Jared had. We have read about it many times. In John 8:12 it says, " I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
I want you to think about this question. Was it more important that the Lord put the light in the stones or the light was put into the Brother of Jared?
As we turn our hearts toward the Savior and we come to understand more of our Heavenly Fathers plan and that we are able to live with our families forever, we will receive the light of Christ in our own lives. When we receive that light we will have a greater desire to do family history work, and we will do it more effectively. It takes work though.
As taught in the True to the Faith we have three basic responsibilities when it comes to family history.
1. Receive the temple ordinances for yourself and help immediate family members to receive them.
2. Hold a current temple recommend and attend the temple frequently as circumstances allow.
3. Gather family history information so you can help your ancestors receive the blessings of the temple.
I know that as we first receive our own temple ordinances we will start to have a desire to do it for those who have passed in and haven't had the opportunity to receive this special ordinances. There are ancestors that are waiting for you and me to do their work. We just need to turn our hearts towards them and do all we can to assist them in those sacred ordinances.
I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for all the letters.