This week was pretty routine up until yesterday. Miraculously two ward members brought potential investigators to church yesterday. One was a less-active and his wife and the other was a random lady that a summer sales guy met so there's some potential there. We gave both of them a copy of the Book of Mormon and got their information so we can visit them this week. We also came across a lady later in the day who had taken interest in "the lost books" and specifically asked us about the Book of Mormon out of curiosity. We briefly explained it to her and invited her to read it. We were actually looking for someone else but she said she might come when we teach next time if she can make it. Elder Brinkerhoff and I talked about it yesterday and decided that most of our visible success in the mission has had no direct connection to anything we did like a door we knocked, someone we street contacted or anything like that. All we do is stay diligent and every few weeks something falls into our laps. Like with Amy a year ago almost to the day, Elder Reich and I worked hard all transfer and nothing really happened until the last day of the transfer when Elder Reich was packing and I was reading the Ensign. That's when a member from another Stake referred her to us and boom, three baptisms.
Yesterday I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting. I was given my choice of topic so I decided to speak a little bit about the temple and how and why it became important to me. I shared a little about the trips we would take down to Cardston from Calgary for the temple and such. To continue, I shared Doctrine and Covenants 109:22-23, 2 Nephi 31:20, and a quote from Elder Holland. He discusses the connection between the endowment and missionary success which I have certainly gained a testimony of. I'll copy and past if for y'all:
"When you go to the temple, you will begin to understand the significance of those temple covenants, the inextricable link between your endowment there and your missionary success. Indeed, the very word endowment conveys the essence of that vital link. An endowment is a gift. It contains the same root word as dowry, which is a special gift to start a new couple on their married life. While I was president of Brigham Young University, I spent a certain amount of my time trying to build up the university’s endowment, its treasury of gifts from generous donors. That is what God does for us every time we make a covenant with Him. He endows us. ... This work is so serious and the adversary’s opposition to it is so great that we need every divine power to enhance our effort and move the Church steadily forward. The key to that for us as individuals is the covenant we make in the temple—our promise to obey and sacrifice, to consecrate unto the Father, and His promise to empower us with 'a great endowment.' " (Jeffrey R. Holland "A Message to Future Missionaries")
As for this week's Topical Guide thought, I really enjoyed the "Jesus Christ, Firstborn" section in general. All the scriptures really brought it home to me how literal that concept is, that Jesus was the first of all our Heavenly Parents' posterity and how significant that must have been for them. I wonder at what point they realized they would have to sacrifice Him for the rest of their spirit children. I discussed it with Elder Brinkerhoff and he basically said, "Probably in a conversation like this one." Woah, crazy to think about. Who knows though?
It also struck me how much love Jesus must have had for us having been alive in the spirit to see everyone of us created spiritually. I imagined Him being like the big brother that gets all excited when He gets a new sibling to love. Maybe that's why it had to be the firstborn, so He could have an individual relationship with every single spirit. I'm excited to eventually learn about all the details of these kinds of things.
Well, have a wonderful week! I sure love ya and God does too!
Elder O'Brien (the younger)