Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Venga lo que Venga y Disfrútelo

Hey Everyone!
I enjoyed receiving so many encouraging emails from several of you this week.  I really appreciate the support and love I have received throughout my whole mission.  I am grateful that the Lord not only can work miracles and change the hearts of the people here, but also can guide us as missionaries in letters and emails to touch the lives of others.  With every email I write, I always hope to help or encourage someone in need.  Here in the Cuernavaca mission, we are currently reading the Book of Mormon.  President Kusch challenged the whole mission to read the Book of Mormon in 65 days.  The significance of that amount is that Joseph Smith translated the book by the power of God in only 65 days.  We planned the reading so that we will finish on May 15th, which is also significant because the Aaronic Priesthood was restored that day many years ago.  I am really enjoying this challenge because as we read it, we are highlighting everything about the doctrine of Christ that we find.  It is helping me remember how important it is that we have faith in Christ, repent daily, be baptized by someone who has the priesthood of God, receive the Holy Ghost, and continue faithful to the end.  It is helping Elder Azueta and I always focus on baptism with our investigators.  We had a tough week with most of our plans falling through, but we did teach a couple powerful first lessons to some references of the members.  We taught Umberto who is married to a less active sister in the ward.  They just got married a month ago and are expecting a child soon.  With all these events occurring in his life, Umberto wants to make changes and prepare himself better to raise a family.  We talked to him about prophets and how they help families know what to do to achieve happiness and peace together.  We explained the importance of the priesthood and how, with the priesthood, we can be a blessing to our family.  The Spirit was present as we testified to him of Joseph Smith and the power of prayer in our lives.  We promised him that by being baptized, he would be preparing himself to go to the temple one day to make promises with God in order to achieve an eternal family, or in other words, live with his wife and future children forever, even after death.  He found great comfort and peace from that truth and we challenged him to be baptized at the end of the month.  He accepted and now needs to pray to receive an answer to know that these things are true.  We also taught the girlfriend of a returned missionary.  We taught her the same principles and she understood everything perfectly.  She is extremely smart and I think she is going to progress really well.  To invite the Spirit even more in that lesson, Elder Azueta and I decided to sing to her and to the members that were present the "Restoration mix song" that testifies of Joseph Smith and the importance to share that message with everyone around us.  The amazing thing that happened at the end of the lesson was that we asked her if she knows anyone that needs this message in their life and she mentioned her mom and another friend of hers.  A great determining factor to know if someone accepts or believes is when they want other people to listen and believe.  So despite the disappointing moments of appointments falling and no investigators that went to church, we decided to apply the famous phrase of Elder Wirthlin: "Come what may and love it".  We said that phrase to each other several times this past week and we were able to "Find joy in the journey".  I would like to briefly finish by explaining the importance of knowing that this church is the one true church on this earth.  There are a lot of great churches/religions that exist.  They teach great principles and help people develop more faith in Christ.  Christ is a perfect person.  He loves us and wants us to know the truth in our hearts.  He has established just one church which has His authority to act in His name (bless the sick, work miracles, baptize, etc.).  I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that church.  I know it because I know Joseph Smith was a prophet.  I know that because I have read the Book of Mormon and I have prayed to know that it is 100% true.  These things are so important to me because without them I cannot and no other person can return to the presence of God.  I realize that many people that read this are not yet members of this church.  To those people, I strongly invite and encourage them to open their minds and hearts.  Anyone who wants to can find out that these things are true.  We arrive at that truth by praying and listening to the answer that God gives us in our hearts.  I cannot force anyone to do this experiment because it is something personal.  But to all those who feel like something might be missing in their life or that they could find more happiness, I invite to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it is true.  When you know it is true, be baptized by someone having the authority of God and continue faithful to the end.  I promise you, from personal experience, that this is the path to never-ending happiness.  I am grateful to be able to share it.  I love you all and wish you a happy and joyful week.
Elder Stutz 

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