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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Week 30 - Get down on your knees and pray

The good news right up front is that Elder Lindley and I are sticking together for another week, the bad news is nothing terribly exciting happen this week. We do have one investigator who is getting close to baptism but most the others are struggling to keep commitments so that has been a challenge to resolve.   (insert from Elder Lindley's email:   We are moving in with another companionship down the road. Elder Harris, and Elder Elms. They are like our best freinds in the zone and we hang out with them a lot so this transfer is going to be dope!
So a quick story that shows my and Elder Kruegers lack of experience. One day before we went out to work, we looked out the window, we decided nah, we didn't need our umbrellas that day. So we went to work. I kid you not, I will never make the mistake of forgetting my umbrella again during tagulan! It started to rain! It is not fun! Me and Elder Krueger were soaking wet! And then part of our area had a flood in it. And we had to trudge through that black nasty crap water. Not the best day but it was an experience none the less. )

My studies this week revolved a great deal around the creation and fall of Adam and Eve. As well as Christ's ministry in the Americas, a strange combination I know. Obviously science would have us believe that the "theory" of creation cannot be possible. I've read a lot of stuff on it and found some explanations about how it can be possible because God's time of reckoning is eternal thus the term "days" really just refers to periods of time revealed to man for our understanding. But in terms of God's reckoning 1 day and 1 billion years is all the same thus it is quite possible that God created the world through Christ over 6 different periods. And my belief is that the 7th period, of rest, is a space of time in which Adam and Eve were left to till the garden or Earth alone while the Father and Son "rested". So I do believe that evolution could very well be the way in which God formed different animals and species. I still have a few question however because later day revelation states that death did not come into the world until the Fall for any species. Therefore I'm confused how million year old fossils of dinosaurs can fit into the scheme of things considering how recent the Fall was. 

However, we have to understand how often foolish the wisdom of men really is. For example just a few hundred years ago people thought the Earth was the center of the universe and was flat. Therefore we can assume all of our wisdom today is also most likely lead to be somewhat false. The point is, God knows. In the dealings of science a theory cannot be proven, it can only be dis-proven. In the dealings of God, His wisdom cannot be dis-proven but only proven. 

The more I read the holy scriptures the more I know God to be real. An interesting thought, as I was reading the other day in I believe 3 Nephi and came across a statement that Nephi makes in which he states the Sun to be the center of the universe some 2000 years ago. The revelations of God are ALWAYS eternal truths. However, sometimes I do believe he reveals this in terms of symbols for the reckoning of men. Like I said earlier about the days perhaps being periods, because of our limited scope of mind we cannot begin to fathom the full range of eternal truth. 

I stand in a firm belief that in our period of mortality on Earth there will always be holes and questions unanswered. "How unsearchable are the mysteries of God", Jacob 4:8 I believe. Joseph Smith taught that, "Every man is inevitably pushed up to the wall of faith and there he must take his stand". By FAITH are all things wrought, and by FAITH did Christ create all things. We can therefore assume that the key eternal purpose to our entire mortal existence is specifically to obtain FAITH. 

Now if we knew all things and comprehended all things, if the veil of our pre-existence was not so firmly over our minds, then how could it be any way possible to obtain faith. A simple warning if our doubts appear to be rivaling our faith, would be to pick certain principles that you know with all certainty to be true and build upon those rather than building upon your doubts. 

We are of the dust of the Earth and have so little knowledge of truth, but what we do know we must cleave to with all our being. Until we become perfected in this life or the next I promise there will always be opposition and there will always be doubts. Interestingly enough the very first principle of the Gospel is in fact faith, but more than that, it is the Savior Jesus Christ. I know that there is no vision greater than that of our Heavenly Father and there is no plan greater than His plan of happiness (salvation, mercy, redemption whatever you prefer to call it). Therefore since there is no dream possibly conceivable to be any greater, if these things were to be not true than there would be no purpose whatsoever to living another moment. 

However, I have chosen and I do stand in 100% firm faith that these things are true. I know them to be true for myself independent of any other because I have obtained a knowledge of them from God himself. This kind of knowledge cannot be taken or denied of men because it cannot be given by men. Only through the still yet piercing voice of the Holy Ghost can we know the eternal truths, "of things as they were, as they are, and as they will be". 

The trick however to receive such knowledge is simple and yet difficult. In the introduction to the Book of Mormon it states that the way to receive a testimony is through 3 steps. Reading, pondering, and prayer. I would add an emphasis however to each of these 3 steps. 

First we must read not for entertainment or educational value but rather with a deeper interest dissecting the words and focusing intently upon the words of the prophets as if they were standing in front of us, speaking them directly. 

Secondly, we must truly ponder, apply, and think about each and every principle and feeling that comes to our mind as we read. 

To set up the third step i believe the first two to be the most crucial.  Before we receive the answer to the prayer we must have a desire to know it's true, so great, that it literally consumes our every thought and feeling. We can think of nothing else, we must want to know whether it is true or not more than we even want to breathe or live another moment. For our own protection, God will give us an answer to our inquiries according to our readiness to receive AND to act upon them. For an
example, Alma the Younger saw an angel, tangled over the torment of his sins for many days, and finally received a remission of his sins. However, even after all of that he STILL had to obtain a testimony of these things for himself through the Spirit after wrestling in mighty prayer and fasting. 
All other experiences, signs, and facts about the restored gospel and Jesus Christ all only serve as the guiding signs towards the humble reception of undeniable knowledge through the Spirit. 

I pray now more than ever, as the world seems to crumble away in wickness of its own wisdom, that we will stand firm and obtain, or retain a remembrance of, that testimony that cannot be denied. When you are up against the wall of faith, do not turn and run nor try to push through, but rather get down on your knees first to pray and then walk with firm faith that the Lord will crumble the wall before you as you walk to it. 

Nang taos-puso,
Elder Krueger T

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Week 29 - Blessings come from following promptings

We had a pretty short week because of Temple Day just last Wednesday so not much to report. The highlight of course being Sister Joann Labrogue's baptism! 

We showed up to the church around 3 o'clock to find to our great horror that there was no water in the font. So Elder Lindley and I put all of our ingenuity to the test and tried to figure out how to shut the drain and start the water. Once we got that figured out all that was left was to wait patiently for 3 hours for the font to fill up haha. Also nobody had made a program so I threw one together on a sticky-note and conducted the service. haha. There was actually a pretty good showing from the ward and it turned out to be a great night. Joann bore her testimony after the baptism and then of course the following day in Sacrament she received the Holy Ghost. Seeing someone enter into the gate of baptism and proceed towards his or her salvation is definitely the sweet and tender moment that makes all the challenges associated with the work worth every bit.

We also were able to see 12 less actives show up for sacrament on Sunday which is certainly the most since I've been here so that was great to see families that we found start coming back to the fold. 6 of those less actives came as a result from responding to a prompting to visit the Tumanda family late one Saturday evening after a very long week of work. 

Never forgo a prompting for any excuse or reason, no matter how justified it may seem in your head. It is so interesting how it is usually at the end of the trial that a door finally opens to success and blessings. We would have been perfectly justified in going home but we felt like we just needed to get that one last lesson in and that's when the thought to visit the Tumandas came. If we had allowed our weariness and reasoning to take us home we would have missed the window that was, for but a brief moment, opened by the Lord. As a result an entire family that had been soften and prepared previously to accept our invitation to return, would have remained in darkness. 

There are sooo many great people both in the Church and without that are in desperate need of a visit or a deed of service from one of Christ's disciples. Promptings to serve, visit, or even teach are not in any way limited to missionaries only. Unfortunately in many minds it is viewed that way, but the role of a true disciple is not determined by ones calling but rather ones response to that calling. 

All who have entered into baptism and confirmation into the true restored church of Christ have covenanted to take open His name, remember Him always, keep His commandments, that they might thereby be worthy of His Spirit. An often under-looked principle of living worthy of Spiritual promptings is being willing to listen and respond when those sacred callings come. I testify that Heavenly Father most frequently answers prayers through His servants and in so doing allows for both the needful and the servant to be edified and grow. Only a perfect and loving Father could be so wise and gracious to gift us as disciples of His son,the opportunity to serve, even as imperfect tools, in His hand. 

Elder Krueger T

Sister Joann Labrogue's baptism!

Daily studies


Elder Krueger T & Elder Lindley