Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mission Update October 18, 2009

Sorry it's taken so long to get this up dad! By the way, I spoke with mom and dad yesterday and told them their blog could use a little "color" with some photos of their mission. I even taught mom how to use their camera, so everyone please join me in hounding them to send us some pictures!



Mission Update October 18, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Family and Friends,

Once again we are inspired to write a few lines and relay our love and concern for each of you. Our prayer is that this letter finds all of you well and progressing toward our heavenly goal.

Proverbs 27:10 reads:

Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

This is what we neighbors, friends or members of the church become to each other. We often are closer to each other as members than relatives are. A young man (a convert of about a year) and I have been visiting one of his home teaching assignments, a lady that is bed ridden. Her closest relatives live in the Midwest and she has no one to look in on her. This home teacher rarely misses a Sunday and makes up for it on other days if he does. He suffers from audio and visual hallucinations that are as real as you and I are to each other. He calls them the adversary. Since joining the church his whole life has changed. Before joining the church, he was on the street and a real mess. Today we met with the Bishop to see if we could get the sacrament taken over to this sister and to see if she might be able to receive her patriarchal blessing. His love is unparalleled for this sister and the church. As he reads the Book of Mormon to her, I see her relaxing and gaining more confidence in Heavenly Father. This example gives me great faith that we all have some worth to our Heavenly Father and by living up to the covenants that we make at baptism to lift each up and share each other’s burdens we become more like our Savior and Heavenly Father. We literally become His friend in the process.
Last Sunday we had a double baptism in the Oakland 9th Ward. Tiffany was baptized by Elder Dim Dim as I mentioned she would be in my last letter. I baptized Pearl, a lady that Sister Heaton and I have been taking to church regularly. It was a blessed event. After Tiffany was baptized (Elder Dim Dim is 5’5” and maybe 100 lbs. dripping wet and Tiffany about 6’ and a large woman, it was a struggle for him to get her back out of the water, but he did it) she came straight up out of the water and began to shout and clap. She was so happy and filled with joy that she couldn’t contain it. This reminded our ward mission leader, Derek Flourek, of Mosiah 18:8-11 in the Book of Mormon from which he quoted;

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

This was most definitely the desire of Tiffany’s heart. Everyone that was in attendance felt that same joy and excitement. The miracle of true conversion humbles us as missionaries to the very soles of shoes as we act as a conduit for the Lord’s will in bringing the elect back to the path that leads to eternal life and salvation. What greater blessing in life is there than to touch others with the Savior’s love for them. We share this love in our families and as missionaries we share it with those that have “ears to hear and eyes to see.”

The Oakland Stake celebrated its 75th year of existence this week with a multicultural food court and display of past years and events. They have a rich heritage. Some of our Bhutan/Nepal investigators brought a rice pudding that was very good. Afterward, Sister Heaton and I met with the head of the house and others and gave a lesson on the dispensations of time and the need for the restoration and a modern prophet to guide the church. He wondered why there were so many different churches. Now he knows that there is just one. We are hoping that they will be the first fruits for this group of people that could lead to many, many more.

There are many, many more things that are going on all of the time. It is virtually impossible to write it all down. My poor journal is about worn out and I suffer from writer’s cramp. You just don’t want to forget any of the daily events as the Lord’s servant. Please share the gospel with all that you come in contact with. It is our prayer for you and them. As my son Joshua pointed out, “it might be the only time this person comes in contact with the church. What you do with it really does matter!”

With our love,

Elder and Sister Heaton

No comments: