Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week Fifty-One: Thoughts and Prayers

Dear loved ones,

This week has been amazing. Many miracles have been found and the Lord has been thanked, but we are in need of more.

For our own area, we have the wonderful excitement of a marriage and baptism this upcoming week! We have the Madzira's getting married in court on Tuesday or Wednesday, and then the Baptism of them, their daughters, and another wonderful elderly lady this Saturday.

As for the rest of our zone, of our goal of 64, so far we have 15 converts baptized and confirmed. And now we have 49 needed for this weekend to reach our goal. Companionships have a lot planned for this weekend, but because of transfers, and areas being changed, the goals have decreased. The Assistants are worried will will not reach our goal, but honestly, I know we can do it if it is the Lord's will.

We had a Zone Training Meeting this last Friday, and we went over our current goals. Essentially we had decreased by 6 baptisms. One of the Assistants, Elder Robison asked if some of the districts thought they could find one or two more people to try and make up for the 6, and without hesitation the Sisters cheerfully agreed, and said they would do their best. Honestly the sisters in this zone are powerful. They have been so faithful, diligent, and obedient that they have truly been expecting the miracles to happen. Let me relate one such experience, there was a mama in their area who had been taught by missionaries for months, but unable to be baptized because the husband disagreed. Literally that same Friday as zone meeting, they ran into her on the street and she told them that her husband started reading the Book of Mormon with her and now approved of her baptism and wanted the discussions himself. They right then asked her if she wanted to be baptized the next day, she agreed and was interviewed and then baptized. Truly a miracle. The Lord really has prepared people, we simply need to find them.

In other news I cut a super powerful onion. Like it was the most powerful onion I have ever encountered. The pain in my eyes was so great that I could barely see and I couldn't help but cry out in pain things like "WHY IS THIS HAPPENENING?!" "THIS IS JUST AN ONION" "AAAAAHHH"

After I finished I went to tell the other Elders that I was done and they were shocked that I was actually crying. They thought I was joking.

Now back to more spiritual matters: I've recently learned a bit about Zion.

I was talking to my companion, Elder Mwetu, about how exciting it would be to hear the Prophet announce a temple to be built in Independence, Missouri. D&C 57:1-3 We talked about the implications and our excitement about Zion. I've thought about this a lot more lately. I learned why it wasn't built the first time. I've remembered all of the terrible trials going on in the world today. And then I realized, we are not yet Zion. In that we are not yet "the pure in heart". We can pray for a temple to be built, and we can pray for the Second Coming to happen, but we are not yet ready for Zion. The hearts of the people are impure. As 2 Nephi 28 says, Satan is raging in the hearts of men. Hearts are failing for fear. And the sad thing is, in general we are at ease.

My beloved family and friends, do all that you can to be pure in heart. Pray to the Lord for added strength. Love those around you. Do what is right even if it is "uncool". Have integrity, charity, virtue, faith, and hope. Hope for a better world. Hope for a world worthy of Zion. Build up Zion where you are, be "Pure in Heart" in your homes, your neighborhoods, everywhere. The Kingdom of the Devil will shake. The ways of the world will pass. When this happens, please be purified. You need not understand everything. I do not know everything, neither did the prophet Nephi. If such a great man as Nephi didn't know everything, you don't need to either. God loves you. He loves your family. He loves your neighbors. He loves the inconsiderate drivers on the freeway. He loves everyone. The world does not love you. The world will try to change you when the new fashion trend starts.

Do not judge others, there is no need. Forgive those who have wronged you, everyone makes mistakes. There is no good in harboring a grudge, finding fault with others, or blaming others or God for the problems in your life. Things happen, the best thing we can do is learn from it and grow.
When you start to sink, do what Peter did. Cry out for the Lord to save you. He is already reaching out. And then when he catches hold of you, don't just give up. Peter still had to walk back with Jesus into the boat. The point is, he had a much easier time returning to the boat when holding onto the Savior. If he hadn't reached out for Christ's hands, or if Christ "wasn't there", he likely could have drowned.

I would much rather reach out and pray the Lord will grab hold of my hand and save me, than think he may not be there. Hope is always better than despair.

I hope I have not been too forward with my words. Honestly I just started typing and couldn't stop. But just know that I love you. And Jesus Christ loves you.

Until next week, have a wonderful time. Stay Strong.

-Elder Wilcken

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