It was another good week in Joshua. We've been focusing on improving our Tracting as a companionship lately, especially having the faith to find those who are ready for the gospel or even those who will just talk to us. It really helped us this week. We had 7 "other lessons" which means they were lessons without a member present. Any lesson while tracting that includes a commitment counts towards this stat. The mission average is about 3 per week with 9 lessons total, so 7 was
awesome. Lately we been talking with a lot of non-denominational people who believe religion is flawed and say stuff like "our pastor isn't religious, but he's very spiritual." Makes you consider how much religious perceptions are changing. Non-denominationals are the most open people I've met but the hardest to teach. They have a hard time accepting that there is actually a single correct church on the earth.
I studied the apostasy a lot this week to figure out what really happened to the truth. There were a couple articles in Ensign magazines from 1971 that helped me out a little, haha. They described
other religions' origins and beliefs. I could totally see how they once had the full truth and just lost a couple things at a time. Studying Catholicism helped me see that their 7 sacraments are just
condensed versions of how people saw the true ordinances of the gospel. Overall I just learned about the general pattern of apostasy and where other religions are coming from. Hopefully it helps in my
I also studied premortal life and who we really are a lot. I read the King Follet Sermon (also published in the April and May 1971 Ensigns) and read about what Joseph Smith had to say about eternal life. He pointed out that eternity means without beginning or end. Most people focus on the end part but don't realize that we are without beginning too. Heavenly Father organized our spirits from intelligences that were eternal, just like His. It changed the way I thought about myself completely. I'm literally without beginning or end and not only can I become like God, I'm already a less glorified version of Him! He's two laps ahead in the same race! When we become glorified He will become more glorified and it's just an eternal cycle. Mind-blowing! I also read a little about creation in the October New Era and found a quote from the King Follet Sermon. Anyway, that's enough doctrine for today.
Eric told me to talk about district meeting because I bore my testimony too. I was actually supposed to give a training on "The Significance Of Being a Missionary" but Elder Allison went over time
with his training. He asked me to bear my testimony about it instead so I just talked about how awesome it is to be a part of this work and labor alongside the Savior. In Jacob 5 it talks about the laborers in the vineyard so I mostly studied that. There's some awesome promises in there for missionaries; full-time or member.
Just quickly, I got the Birthday package on Saturday, so thank you for that. Seeing packages and mail is always a good start to the day. Oh, and my bike came! It's with the zone leaders right now so I'll get it soon.
Hope you have an awesome conference and that your studies keep going well. It's great to hear about what you're all learning.
Elder O'Brien (the younger)