Thursday, June 25, 2015

19 more days

Hey fam,
Hope you guys have been doing well.
We had another lesson with Rob and Gena and we were able to answer their concerns. He had read 3 Nephi 11 as we had invited him to and he asked about that.
We mostly talked about the Great Apostasy. They believe that it was the bishops that carried on the Apostolic ministry, who ordained more bishops who ordained others etc... Both they and the Greek Orthodox Church and it's derivatives have that claim. Which is impressive really.
The way we explained it was that because of the apostasy of members of the Church and Roman persecution the Lord removed His Apostles and Priesthood authority (2 Thess 2:3). They had continued to ordain other Apostles after the death of Judas and others but eventually all had been martyred or died of natural causes. The Apostle John was the last one and banished to the Island of Patmos where he wrote the famous apocalyptic book of Revelation.
From that time on the Church was governed by Bishops who did not hold the office of Apostles.
I had an experience with a modern apostle last Sunday. We got out of the PEC meeting and Elder Oaks passed us in the hallway. He was trying to go to Priesthood, Relief Society and Young Women's so he didn't have time to stop and talk but he did wave. The Spirit came upon us so strongly that I knew he has that same Apostolic authority that the original 12 had.
Thank you so much for everything, I love you, missionary work and the Savior that leads this Church. I'm going to miss my mission greatly.
Elder Szendre
1. Me and "Vedralin" He's a vegetarian ehh we have so many vegetarian dinners
2. Our new mission vehicle haha



Monday, June 1, 2015

Meridian East!

Hey fam, I got transferred over to McMillan and Shamrock, which is really close to my first area, in fact almost bordering it. I'm excited to be here, Elder Edralin is a really obedient and diligent missionary and we're going to get so much done here.

It's been a trying time for Karrie these last few weeks. Her son has continued to struggle and she's had every reason to give up and stop trying. But she's continued to rely on the scriptures and prayer, she's been coming to Church very consistently and has kept her desire to be baptized as strong as ever.

We set goals with her and made plans at our last lesson. Her goals were to be baptized and to quit smoking - 6 cigarettes per day for 1 week. We made a list of reasons why she wants to quit smoking and had her put it on the fridge. Yesterday she had had only 3 cigarettes by 5 pm which was a success for her. We've really been praying that she'll be able to do it.

We had a lesson with Brother Gonzales there and we felt strongly that we needed to read from D&C 1 with her, and invite her to read through it. The Spirit was so strong as we prepared for that lesson. I know God will comfort her and help her overcome her addiction.

She's been reading through the Doctrine and Covenants now, and absolutely loves it. She says it sounds more like the Old Testament and we explained that it's because they are literally the words of Jesus Christ and that throughout the Bible the Prophets declared the Lord's voice to the people.

Goals and plans are so important for us to realize our full potential wherever we are in our lives. At different parts of my mission I've emphasized different things, depending on areas of needed improvement and promptings of the Spirit.

It really helps to share your goals with others and review them frequently. I'm going to make transfer goals tonight and tomorrow with Elder Edralin. We've got to make the most of it.

The Spirit has been pouring out so strongly on me as I've entered into this transfer. We're going to baptize. I know that and am anxious to get out there and find those people that the Lord has for us to teach. We currently only have one investigator, Jessica who's grandparents are strongly encouraging her to wait to be baptized. She firmly believes it's true and has a boyfriend that soon will leave on a mission.

One of the great messages of the Book of Mormon, secondary to it's unshakable witness of the divinity of the Savior of the World is of the Gathering of Israel. In fact Moroni 8:15 gives one definition of God's glory and one of purposes of the Book of Mormon, for "the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord." God has not forgotten His people.

As Sister Wendy Nelson taught powerfully in Mission Conference, we made sacred covenants even before we came to this earth. One of them was to gather Israel and to build up the Church and Kingdom of God in latter-days (Isaiah 11:10-12).

One of the sternest rebukes in the scriptures is to the modern-day Gentiles that deny any scripture but the Bible but have not sought to recover the Jews who wrote it. Or in other words to gather them, spiritually as well as physically (2 Nephi 29:3-7).

I know that this Church is true, that the Lord Jesus Christ lives and that He guides His Church today. I love you all and am so excited to see you all again.

Elder Szendre

Elder Edralin and I

The Halls, Karrie and the Youngbloods yesterday. I took off my jacket and forgot to put on my tag ehh...