Sunday, January 4, 2015

The obvious answer.

December 29, 2014


It was fun talking with y'all, even if all I could do was stare at y'all. I hope Christmas was fun, and that you're enjoying the snow!

We were very blessed in our area to see the baptisms of Artemio and Clara. The Ward really pulled together to make it a great experience. We had a new member in the ward (he had been confirmed and ordained that very day, which confused and surprised a lot of members!)and a recent convert baptizing them, two very recent converts were the witnesses, Elder Johnson's recent convert here bore her testimony, and we had multiple less active members come and bring refreshments. I'm learning a lot more about what it means to strengthen a ward. It doesn't mean tracking down less-actives of 20 years and re-teaching them missionary lessons. It means inviting and helping others to invite and help each other to live the Gospel, recent converts is where it is at! This is what President Hinckley had to say about them:

"Every convert deserves a responsibility. The bishop may feel that he is not qualified for responsibility. Take a chance on him. Think of the risk the Lord took when He called you."

I believe the same thing goes for the youth and new missionaries, why not? If everything goes as planned, Artemio will get the priesthood on Sunday and baptize someone else the Lockwood elders are teaching.  

Yesterday Nestor came to church for the first time with his girlfriend Esmeralda! It is always interesting looking at everything through a visitor's eyes, especially the special "another year has past" hymn I had never heard of that we sang; it's goofy. He had a good experience and we are really excited about the FHE we're having with him and Esmeralda in the Lastra home. We've invited each of them many times to be baptized, but haven't been able to set any dates. The obvious answer is to follow the Spirit, it's something I'm working on.

I'm glad to be Elder Johnson's companion;

  1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
 Look at the difference the Spirit makes when we hear it:
 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
he is helping me focus on the Spiritual. He points out when he does and doesn't feel it, he really focuses on it, he wants to teach by it, it's helping me a lot. Paul seems to get it:
Corinthians 2

  10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1

How do we help others feel the Spirit that gives us the faith to change, the Spirit that changes hearts? We teach the pure doctrine of Christ, learned "not after man," "but by the revelation of Jesus Christ," and taught, as Joseph Smith said:"by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed."

So learn by the Spirit, teach by the Spirit, and teach others to do the same. I know great things will happen.

love Elder Decker


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