Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March 28 in Tierra Blanca

So... after 8 weeks of working non-stop in this area, the miracles are starting to come in. This week we found a ton of awesome people! Only one of them came to church this week, but that's okay sometimes it takes time. We'll get it done. 

First: R and T
R and T are a couple with 3 little kids that are absolutely awesome. They couldn't come to church this week because they were out of town on vacation, but they're super awesome! Missionaries have talked several times with them on the street, but they had never arrived to their house! We recieved them as a reference from their niece, who is a recent convert who really wants her whole family to be baptized into the church. We passed by and they accepted us super well. They love to read the Book of Mormon and want to know if the church is true. One of the really common beliefs in Mexico is that all churches are true, and so it doesn't really matter which one you go to, as long as you're a good person. That's sooo not true!!! Anyone who studies the Bible knows that Christ established a single church here, and it had prophets and apostles. It is important that we pertain to THAT church, because that's the only one with the authority to provide saving ordinances like baptism. R had that common belief about all churches, but we were able to teach him in an inspired way that that can't be true, and now he's really trying to find out if the church is true! 

Second: D, W, and C
D is 17, she's been a member for 3 years, and she's super active. C is her mom and W is her little sister. They aren't baptized, but they want to come closer to the church. They've seen lots of changes in D and they want to see if they can have those same changes. (They were also on vacation this weekend.)

Third: S
S is just 9 years old. But he's smarter than me. Well I guess it's not too hard to be smarter than me, but he's way smarter than your average 9 year old. His family were all baptized. Not even they know why he wasn't. But he reads his Book of Mormon every day, and also the Bible, and the coolest part is that he understands it. He's got desires to do what's right and get baptized. We're excited for him. Hde is preparing to get baptized on the 9th of April.

Fourth: S
S is the greatest Mexican grandma ever. She's 60, and only graduated from the Secundaria (what we know as middle school), but she wanted to learn, so she started reading loads of books and writing. She wants to follow God, but wasn't sure where to find Him. Her whole life she's been looking for Him in churches, but had never found Him, and so she lost the belief that He has a church. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she has read already halfway through first Nephi. She is preparing to get baptized on the 30th of April.

Many of you who are not members of the church who read this may wonder at why I always talk about the Book of Mormon and I get so excited when the people that I teach read the Book of Mormon. I love the Bible, especially the teachings directly from our Savior found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Some of the most spiritual experiences that I have had with the scriptures have come from the study of those books, and my faith in Christ has been greatly strengthened by what is found on those pages. 

Why, then, do I always use the Book of Mormon when I teach? The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ. The full title reads: The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In Ezekiel 37 it makes reference to the Book of Mormon by speaking of the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim. Those are two of the 12 tribes of Israel, the primary people of the Old Testament. In the times of the Old Testament, writings were kept upon scrolls, which were rolled up around sticks and stored. Thus, the "sticks" are the writings from Judah and the writings from Ephraim. The primary compilers and writers of the Bible are the Jews, the Tribe of judah. Christ was born among them, as prophesied. What, then, is the stick of Ephraim? It all becomes clearer when we learn that everyone who wrote in the Book of Mormon was a descendant of the tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh). Right there in the Bible, it prophesies of the Book of Mormon. So why do we use it so much? Because through the Book of Mormon we learn that this is the restored church of Jesus Christ, that it has his power and authority, and that is very worth knowing! 

Until next week, 

Elder Thompson

The pictures:

This is the noni fruit. It's one of the healthiest fruits in the world. Full of antioxidants and all that good stuff. Nobody in Mexico eats it, because it tastes like garbage. If you mix it with grape juice and enough sugar to make your blood sugar levels over 1000 then it tastes pretty good. It tastes like grapes. And sugar. But then I think it basically doesn't do anything for you.

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