Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 3, 2012

This last week was a busy one. We had our our baptisms on Saturday and I made some no bake cookies from a recipe I gained from Elder Keesling. Elder Richardson and I finished off the leftovers after everyone else had taken off... We had a number of investigators there at the baptismal service and all commented on the special spirit that was felt as a result of that special ordinance.
Tomorrow is our day to meet the new mission president. We will have a conference with another zone at 11 and after he will conduct interviews with everyone.
Congratulations Brooke on the wedding coming up on Saturday. Hope it goes great!
I included a picture of a lady named Alice. I was on a division in a different area two a couple weeks ago and met her that day. The Elders there had just begun teaching her. After that day she continued to progress and was baptized on Saturday. When I went there last week to do the interview, she shared an experience she had. Prior to the first encounter we had, the night before, she shared that she had a vision of an angel in her kitchen and that angel said (translating to english) be calm, I am watching out / caring for you. She said it startled her. The next day we arrived to teach and she almost couldn´t believe what she saw because the ``angel´´ she saw was me... I didn´t know what to say to her in response other than I was very happy to get to know her and help her enter into the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It provided a firm testimony of the infinite nature of God and the talents that he gives people. I don´t understand how those sorts of things happen, but obviously she has a gift of visions (as she related various other experiences as well during our conversation) and I was humbled to be used as an instrument in the Lord´s hands in that situation.
Today I spent time studying the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. As with just about all missionaries I think, it is a constant battle with the adversary to help investigators arrive at church. I wanted to study more about the promises available and the importance of the day. We read in the Gospel of Mark that the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath Mark 2:27. In Preach My Gospel we have a promise from modern day prophets that those who keep this day holy will have more peace and joy in this life p.74. We read a promise in Isaiah that those who sanctify the sabbath with have a reward with the prophet Jacob - signifying eternal life Isaiah 58:13-14. Another promise in Leviticus that we will be blessed physically by always having sustenance and having posterity, spiritually by the peace we will feel, and above all, walking with the Lord and being called his people. I gained a deeper appreciation for the fact that we do have one day set apart for us by a loving Father in Heaven who really wants us to rest from temporal cares and focus on the areas of life which are really the most meaningful. I know that Sunday is truly a special day and as we approach taking the sacrament with the right frame of mind, we will receive the spiritual cleansing and strength to continue perservering on the right path and ultimately make it back to Heavenly Father.
I have a question and request for some insight as far as how you, (and maybe other people who read this as well) manage to not be spread too thin. I think often about the number of people we are teaching, and sometimes think that in trying to help so many, nobody really benefits in the end. I believe this can be applied to raising children and juggling work and other parts of life. If you could respond with some insight I will apply it to the areas I serve in and try to remember that necessity of caring for each individual person that I come across during my service.
With love and charity,
Elder Graziano

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