May 3, 2016 (Week 99) Last One

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My companion and I were pruning a hedge for a member. Needless to say, lots of twigs and leaves were thrown at poor Elder Alcantara.

We had a good week.  We found some new people to teach and had several lessons, and had good participation with members.  We have been passing around in the different priesthood groups a schedule of the week with hourly slots for members to book their own time to go out with us.  Last week, they had all of our nights booked out, but this week they didn’t do so well.  Oh well. Something is better than nothing.

Rina is progressing really well.  Sometimes, people are just ready to be baptized.  She has almost completely quit smoking (admittedly due to health problems, but hey, the effect is the same), and she doesn’t seem to have any challenge that would impede her from baptism.  We have taught her the majority of the mission lessons and have brought a different member to almost every lesson that we have had with her.  We have a long time until she will reach her baptismal date, so we are taking our time and helping her have a good, profound progression.  She knows almost all of the members of the ward council that she would need to know, and she is doing well on her reading of the Book of Mormon.  Our goal is that, before getting baptized on the 4th of June, that she can basically be acting as though she were already a member of the church.

For my last district meeting, I taught about the sacrament.  In our zone council meeting that we had a week ago, we agreed as district leaders to teach our districts how to apply the missionary vision of the church, which is called “preach repentance and baptize converts”, to the individual in our goal to endure to the end.  In my class, I went over our need to keep our convenant with the district, and then I taught them something that president had taught me a while ago:

When the Saviour comes again, he will present himself, as he did with the Nephites, with the marks of his crucifixion, especially his hands.  His hands are a way for us to have a connection with him and feel what he did for us.  When we take the sacrament, we can have a similar experience looking at our own hands.  When we look at our hands while taking the sacrament, we can imagine the Saviour’s pierced and mangled hands, and think about how we used our hands during the week.  Did we do good?  Bad?  With these same hands, we are going to reach out and take the sacrament bread and water.  Are they clean and ready to do this?  Or are they still dirty and we need to repent before we participate?

I have been doing this exercise for 3 months, and it has completely changed the way that I take the sacrament.  I thought it would be appropriate to share with them.

To finish, I thought it fitting to share my testimony.  I don’t think that I have done this my whole mission.  I know that I am a son of a God.  We all are.  I know that this God loves me, and wants the best for me.  I know that Jesus Christ lives.  I know that he is my Saviour and Redeemer, and that he willingly and literally lowered himself from his throne to save me from all of the wrong of this word, including myself.  I know that He made it possible that we someday might return to our Father and be exalted, as He has been exalted.  I know that he has re-established on the Earth a church which, thanks to Prophets and Apostles, Priesthood and Revelation, opens the way for us to participate in what the Lord did for us.  I know that what I have been doing for the last 2 years was the best use of my time that I could have done at this time, and I will never regret going.

Love you all.  See you soon.

Elder Connor Mathewson

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