Monday, April 11, 2016

April 4, 2016

To Everyone:

Hey everyone, I Hope this letter Finds you well and doing all right

Alright here we go!

March 29 Tuesday

Our lesson with Anthony went great! when we went in he asked if we could quickly pray so that he could show us how his Book of Mormon reading was going he has read the way to Jacob! and he really loves what the book of mormon speaks on and showed us a couple of his favorite verses that stood out to him. We then talked about service and keeping the commandments of God.

March 30 Wednesday

Book of Mormon challenge for the zone! we are reading the book of mormon 13 pages a day to read it all in a month and a half (aka 1 transfer) 

As the month draws to a close I reflect on why I am on a mission, at first it was because it was out of a sense of duty, but now I have been out for a while I realize that I am out more and more for the love of my God and for the love of other people, I have seen so many miracles and cannot deny that God is in the details of our lives.

March 31 Thursday

Man first District meeting in the transfer and a lot has changed, we have three new Korean speaking elders one new Hermana, and a new companionship in our district, basically the only thing that has stayed the same from our last district is me and Elder Wilson are still companions. 

April 1 Friday

A whole new month! 
I learned something new today, that I did not know before. 
Mid way through knock out we were invited in to an elderly guys home, he was about 85 and he said we was a jew, he said he had heard our message many many times and just told us to get it over with, so we decided to just talk to him first. He considered all religions the same and told us a lot about the beliefs of Jews. One of the things that Jews believe is that none of the miracles in the Old testament are true, like moses parting the red sea, Or even Abraham being commanded to kill his son, they believe they are fictitious stories to teach a lesson. Wow. 

April 2 Saturday 

General Conference! It was wonderful, I really liked the talks this time around, 
We decided to spend a short time knocking on doors before priesthood session and we knocked on the last door we were going to do and this young mother opened up, while talking to her we found she was a catholic and that she really wanted to know the truth about God, she said she had just sat down with her bible determined to find the truth in it where it could be found, she said that just wanted to find the truth God wanted her to find, when there was a knock at the door, and when she opened it there were two young missionaries standing there, they stated they were in fact missionaries and that they were sharing a message of Jesus Christ and that all his truth that he had taught had been restored on the earth, and we asked if she wanted to learn more about the truth. we set a return appointment to teach her more and walked away with a stronger testimony that God is definitely in the details of our life, to me that was a miracle.

April 3 Sunday

Anthony came to General conference! He has been our investigator for over six weeks and we invited him to watch conference with us! he really enjoyed President Uchtdorfs talk the most and was excited to meet with us later this week.


While knocking today we knocked into a muslim woman who said she just believed that Christ was only a Prophet and I decided to bare my testimony to her, I cave come to know for myself that this is true, that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he is our savior and redeemer, and I told her she could know as well because the Book of Mormon provided a confirming witness she accepted a copy of a Book of Mormon, and told us she wanted to read it to see how I knew, we invited her to read and pray about it and she would know. 

To: Family

I really loved conference so much, let me tell you missionary general conferences are really enjoyable, it is so interesting that you got a lot on the Holy Ghost mom, the theme I picked up and really liked was "we are all children of God and should act like it" and "Always be worthy for the priesthood you hold" My favorite speakers I have to say were definitely all of yours mom, and I have to say that I also really liked M Russell Ballard's about family councils and it reminded me of all of the family councils we did together as a family, especially the times when we would start a conversation at the table and move into the living room and people would join in, I loved one on ones with you and dad, and I think that was a major contributor to who I am today, I learned a lot from you guys. All through out conference I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to my parents for staying together and building each other and our family up. Because of the relationship we developed it was much easier to trust you and confide in you then it would have been if things were different. I encourage each one of my siblings to prepare to be confident fathers and mothers, you have two super examples right in our home, mom and dad are both super heroes in a world full of inconsistency, I will honor my father and my mother throughout my life and through all time and eternity for the foundation of love and respect they built in me, and for encouraging me to follow and build up who I am. Thank you so much Mom and Dad. 

Being a missionary is the most amazing experience ever, there have been so many things that have happened to me  just in these four months that I cannot deny that this is truly the Lords work and that this is true church on the earth today. Three times it has happened that we have knocked on a door in a place we have felt like we needed to be, and we appeared at the perfect time, one was a young mother who was catholic, she was really wondering what was true and when we knocked on her door it was in the exact moment that she needed, she told us that she had prayed to know what was true and that she had just opened her bible to search for what God wanted her to learn, another was when we had a lesson set up with an investigator and the first member we felt like we needed to call was Bro Hilario who knows fluent English and Spanish, when we showed up our investigator wasn't there, so we decided to knock a few doors with Bro Hilario, the very first door we got to someone told us to talk to their parents, so we knocked on their door and when they opened all they could speak was Spanish! and only know how to say the door approach! but Bro Hilario took over and they invited us in, I hardly understood a thing but after they had spoke a while bro Hilario turned to us and said, "they are members, they have been trying to go to church for years but could not get a ride because they did not know anyone." we got them the Spanish missionaries number and told them they could call them to find a ride to church. If Bro Hilario did not come, if our investigator was there, if we had decided to just go home and not knock a couple doors, then we would not have found those Spanish members, God was Directing us at that time because he knew that couple had a desire to go to church.

that is only a couple miracles that I have seen and this is something that has been on my mind for a while, that we need to be worthy to feel the spirit we need to be sensitive to the spirit, something that was stated in conference that really got to me was this, "are you praying with your heart?" are you just saying words or are your truly meaning them? are you getting on your knees and truly offering up all your desires to God? Sam and Ben, I have told you a few things you could do to prepare for a mission, dad could tell you quite a few as well, but the most important thing that you can do to get ready is 
1 Have a testimony of the Gospel and of the book of mormon
and 2 develop a relationship with God and the spirit and learn how the spirit speaks to you, never stop searching for how you can build a spiritual sensitivity and don't stop learning about God.

I have recently started reading the Book of Mormon again and I am searching for verses that specifically say Faith of faithful, the purpose for this is so I can gain a better understanding of faith so I can increase my faith, faith is closely tied with Trust, faith is a belief in something that is not seen but is true, Trust is a belief in what someone tells you, and a belief in that person, really all we are missing here is pixy dust, because then we could fly, but it is something that was stated in conference, when you don't know where to go put your trust in what you have been taught, and when you feel like you don't know what to believe follow what you have know all your life until you can gain a firm understanding, there have been times on my mission that I have been shown and told a lot of anti about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and guaranteed you guys will too, no question, and I have been shaken in my faith for a little while there I didn't know if what I believed was true, I was scared because what I thought was a strong testimony was blown aside in a couple days and I didn't know what to do, and so I took a step back from some things I was worried about I took a step back from all my many doubts about the church, and established what I did believe, I had to build my foundation all over again. Or that is what it felt like anyway, and I came away with two things I did believe, I knew for a fact that God does answer my prayers, and that Jesus Christ did die for me. That was it, I had nothing else that I was sure about but those two things, so knowing God answers prayers I prayed to him that I would be able to find out if what I had been told was true, well the answer did not come at once, but I knew that I just couldn't sit back and wait to see if by some miracle God would tell me, I got up and I started reading the Scriptures I continued to serve to the best of my ability, I bore my testimony about all that I knew, and I searched and pondered all I could. and though this time over in reading the Book of Mormon and with conference and the testimonies of my companion and other missionaries, I can say for a certainty and with a stronger conviction that I do know that this church is true, that Joseph Smith was called by God to be a Prophet, and that The Book Of Mormon is the word of God, and I know that we truly live after the manner of happiness, and if we continue down this path, God will always send a multitude of Blessings. in the words of Jeffrey R Holland "God is waiting to bless us."

Love 

Josh.

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