Thursday, September 26, 2013

This has been a sweet week. 

We had a general authority come by, Elder Martino from the second quorum of the seventy. We got some really valuable instruction from him and President Winder about member missionary work.

We were taught the Amulek principle. It stems from Alma 8-10. Alma goes to Melek, baptizes thousands, and then tries the same approach at Ammonihah. They get very angry and reject him. An angel appears to Alma, and tells him to go back. Amulek goes back and he finds someone who has been prepared to accept him. The person is a less-active member of the Church (see Alma 10:6). Alma prepares the member to bear testimony of the things that he will teach (Alma 8:27). Returning to teach the people, they are astonished when Amulek bears testimony of the things that he knows to be true.

I've seen this, as a missionary there's some people that it doesn't matter how I phrase what I know to be true, they just don't trust me and won't act on what we say. It was the same way with Alma, that although he taught with power and authority, they would not accept his testimony. We're going to be looking for Amuleks now, for all of our investigators: people who can get through to them so that they will act on our invitations.

It's so exciting to be here in this mission. Elder Martino has told us that 200 baptisms a month for our mission is within our potential. We have an incredible opportunity to work with members, and even though there will be one set of missionaries per ward, many hands make light work.

Elder Martino mentioned that the most pain you will probably ever see in your life is on your mission. He said that most of Christianity doesn't understand that Christ suffered very personally all of our pains and sicknesses in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12).

I know this to be true, in some of my most difficult moments I've felt His comfort and hand outstretched. I was able to share this with a older woman and her son who is still enduring grief from a very tragic event in their home over a year ago. I hope they will follow our invitation to them to seek God in prayer and use the power of His Atonement to find healing.

I met a family where the father is American and the mother Ukrainian. It was the coolest thing to speak Russian with their kids, because I guess I never spoke with children in Russia. I continue to meet more and more Russians every week.

This work is true! "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." (Standard of truth), however we can stop the work from progressing in our own spheres of responsibility. Diligence is needed, not just obedience. I'm out of time, but please stay true and continue to read the scriptures.

Elder Szendre

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