On Monday we made some french-fries and chips by using vegetable oil and some potatoes. It was a lot of fun and tasted very good. There's something about homemade things that is a lot better than fast food.
On Tuesday we found a new investigator named Mike. It's crazy, because he is just like my MTC investigator including his name! The Lord is helping us in this mission as we work diligently to serve him. The mission has 19 baptisms so far this month which is a record breaker for hereWe also found a part member family as we were tracing and their names are Robert who is less active and Amanda who is catholic. Amanda wants God back into her life and wants that example for the kids. Her brother Robert didn't know there was a church building here in Chamberlain and he is from Beaver Utah. We have a Christmas message prepared to use as a possible way of getting people interested about learning more about the Restoration of the Gospel.
I have also been studying the scriptures more diligently and relating them to myself. I have received several blessings for doing this. Diligence results in blessings. When we are diligent through our trials and tribulations, the Lord blesses us with increased strength and resolve to do what is right. I love the scriptures and encourage each of you to read them daily even if it is only a single column or page. Read them as families and individually. It is likened unto personal study and companion study here in the mission field. Personal study strengthens us and prepares us for facing the challenges of the day. As I have read slower and appreciated the blessings of scripture and showed the Lord my willingness to obey Him and read daily, I have been blessed to find hidden spiritual gems in those pages and they have a whole new meaning for me. I have found answers to personal questions and found direction in my life that helps me on even the most difficult days. The Gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is true. I know these things by experience (John 7:17) and also by prayer and supplication to the Lord. There is nothing that is more important than the Gospel and I have the wonderful gift of sharing it with others full time for 2 years.
A gift that can be given to the savior this holiday season can be seen in the 2013 October General conference. It was given by Elder Ballard to reach out to even one person who you know and millions of lives will be touched as a result. I challenge each of you who are reading this to do so and I know that as you do so, the Lord will bless you with what to say and also give you the confidence you need. After touching someone's life, our lives will be enriched and we will truly come to appreciate the Gospel more in our lives and desire to share that with others.
On Friday we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders and also had a zone training meeting. I got to spend the day in Pierre, South Dakota's Capitol which oddly enough isn't the biggest city. I was with Elder Goodwin who taught me many good skills that I can apply here in Chamberlain. We taught Brother Steckleberg whose baptism was the next day. We also met with a less active family where the kids are progressing towards baptism.
On Saturday we met with Jerry and helped resolve his concerns about the Word of Wisdom. He is quitting and we gave him a blessing to be able to overcome the "tug-of-war" as he calls it between God and Satan on that addiction he has.
Yesterday we sang in a Christmas Cantata which is an interfaith group that is spreading the joy of Christmas to others. We were at the nursing home and they really appreciated the music.
I learned in studies that the war Chapters of the Book of Mormon can actually have great worth unto us. Nephi promises in the beginning of the Book that he charged his descendants not to write anything in the book save it were of great importance spiritually. So I have prayed for understanding and received special insight as to what some of the things mean. The fortifications of the Nephite cities against the armies of Amalikiah are likened unto us protecting ourselves from temptations. The Lamanites couldn't get in save it were by way of entrance. We can't fall to temptations of Satan unless we let him into our places of security. He attacks us over and over again with temptations just like the lamanites relied on their great numbers to try to overcome the Nephite cities. Satan also tries to break down our spiritual fortifications just like the Lamanites tried digging through the embankments of Earth. We must continually fight against temptation by strengthening our testimonies. Reading the scriptures daily, praying often, and partaking of the sacrament, studying in seminary and Sunday school, and most of all relying on our savior Jesus Christ. I love you all
PS: the war chapters are contained in Alma Chapters 45-62