May 26, 2014
So I guess we don’t change our Pdays for holidays anymore. Oh well! It was a fun pday.
We came and did a little bit of emailing and then we headed to a ward picnic thing for Memorial Day which was fun. A lot of member brought their neighbors and we were able to meet them. We met a couple who is from Iraq who seems pretty interested. They saw our badges and asked their friends what that meant. We got to talk to them, set up an appointment and then after we left they asked their friends when they could go to church, when they said on Sunday she said 'no that is too far away!' so we are excited to get to meet them and teach them a little bit more, okay a lot a bit more about Jesus Christ and why our church is different from other churches.
You know, it amazes me to hear people say that all churches are the same, to me that just tells me that you are not really interested in learning the differences, because there are many. Yes the underlining values carry over, Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world, and the way you treat people tend to be what people characterize as 'Christian' beliefs. And while yes they are believes and actions that most Christians live by or at least strive for, that is not the entire church and there are so many other things that can be different about each one.
Churches and religions are very different, it may be the same God but if they were all the same than we wouldn’t have different churches. The very fact that we say there are so many different churches should say something about the beliefs being different.
So that’s my rant for the day I guess. If you think they are all the same than you just don’t know enough about them to tell them apart. Churches are different, with a few fundamental beliefs that tend to be generally accepted, but that is so broad you have to learn more than that!
I guess I have just been thinking about the things that people tell us, and where I would be if I had not grown up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Where would I be? What would be important for me in a church? Often times we will ask people 'what do you look for in a church?' a lot of people will say the pastor/minister is really nice, or I like the Sunday sermons, its close to me, that’s where my friends go, that’s where I feel close to God, its where I was raised. And then when we ask why they go to that church still, it is surprising the fact that so many of them don’t say because I believe it is true.
I am shocked with some of the answers.
And I am so grateful that I attend a church that I believe in the Doctrine. Its something that I would defend wholeheartedly because I truly believe that the doctrine is from God, not from man. Not from a clergy, not from anyone of this world. But I believe with my whole heart that it is directly from God and this is the fullness of the Gospel.
I know it, I live it, I love it. Through and Through.
And I’m not even offended when people disagree with me, in fact I am happy when I see people who are strong in their faith and who believe with their whole heart what they are doing is of God, because if you didn’t think that I hope you would not continue doing it.
The Bishop here was invited to come and speak to another congregation about our beliefs, and at the end was a question and answer session with the congregation. Someone asked him why we send out so many missionaries; why not let people believe what they want? And he told them that we make the claim that we are the one true church of the Earth today, wouldn’t it be hypocritical of us to not send missionaries out into the world to share the truth?
And that got me thinking about why I am here. Because I know with ever fiber of my being that this is the truth, the way, the Gospel of Jesus Christ as He established it Himself while He was on the Earth. Why would I not give this to everyone I know?
It made me think about what I want out of a church and I came to the conclusion that what I want from a church is truth. I don’t want to attend a service that I dis-agree with and then have to go home and work with my kids to un-learn what they were taught at church. Not that people think of it like that, but I truly expect the truth.
And as we talk to people and they tell us that they believe their church is the one true church I think to myself, GOOD! I hope you do believe with every fiber of your being that the church you attend is true, because if you don’t, then why are you going? If you don’t believe it’s true, go find it.
I am glad that I know and feel that this is the truth. I am grateful that I did take the time to study it out, to ask questions, to search for answers and then to kneel down and ask God if this is the one true church, and even more I am grateful that I was able to get my answer and know it is. That is what makes the hardest days bearable. Because without the knowledge I have that this is truth, why on Earth would I still be here? Why on Earth would I keep knocking on doors till its quarter to nine? Why on Earth would I be attending meetings and preparing for training on how to be a better teacher, leader and disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Without knowing that this is truth, I would have given up and come home a LONG time ago. Because this is hard. This is trying, this is difficult. But because it is the truth when you get to teach a lesson to someone like Emilio that you can just feel is searching for the answers and is ready, listening, pondering, praying about and truly seeking for the truth.
Thats what makes it worth it.
To be able to bring the truth to someone and have them say things like 'You are bringing me the truth', 'I feel like I need to do this' (referring to bringing the truth to others) and to see the immediate change in someones countenance as they connect the dots and understand what you are telling them. And then to have them decide for themselves that they want to be baptized by someone holding the proper Priesthood authority and to truly want to follow the Savior in every way! That is what keeps you going as a missionary. Knowing that you are making an eternally significant change in someones life. Its amazing! There is truly nothing like this. I am so stinking lucky!
And I really should be going. DANG IT! Sorry. Im not sure how you guys feel about my emails. I have been contemplating what I can do to make them better. I don’t feel like I am telling you much about my day to day experiences, but I think I am portraying the big picture changes I am learning, understanding and making. So if you want me to talk about something different or if you would like to hear more about something let me know and I will do what I can to improve my emails.
I love you, I hope you are enjoying Texas! We got a 89 degree day today so it was nice to get to play a little baseball at the park with the ward in some blue jeans and a tee shirt today! Some sun was greatly needed!
I hope the wedding goes well and everyone is able to travel safely and enjoy each other down there. Love you all dearly! Talk to you soon.
Love always, Sister Kindra Wilson