April 25, 2016

Change 16

"The true Church of Jesus Christ has been restored and is on the earth today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always been led by living prophets and apostles, who receive constant guidance from heaven.

That divine pattern was also true anciently. We learn in the Bible: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

God has again spoken in our time, through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He revealed through the Prophet Joseph the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness. He restored His holy priesthood with its keys and all the rights, powers, and functions of the sacred power of the priesthood.

In our day, living prophets and apostles are authorized to speak, teach, and direct with authority from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Savior said to the Prophet, “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).

In General Conference twice a year, we are blessed with the opportunity to hear the word of the Lord for us from His servants. That is a privilege beyond price. But the value of that opportunity depends on whether we receive the words under the influence of the same Spirit by which they were given to those servants (see D&C 50:19–22). Just as they receive guidance from heaven, so must we. And that requires of us the same spiritual effort." --Pres Henry B Eyring (Liahona April 2016)

Highlights for 25/4/16:

Highlight #1: Changes. Well, as you are all well aware...this past week we had changes and I have a new companion from Mexico...yep, another Mexican comp. He has been in Momos and Quiche so far in his mission, was trained by an elder from my group, has something like 8 months in the mission, and is here to work! That I found out from day one. We have been working super hard this week to get to know more members, start working with their friends and families, and baptize this change :) So I'm looking forward to that :) Now, there are always those things that just take some time getting used to or that have to be changed to be able to work in unity...but that comes with time, not too worried (yet) about it :)
Goodbye to an awesome companion!!

Highlight #2: Success. We have been able this week to see some fruits-ish of our efforts. We have been able to come in contact with some great families! Something that I've appreciated this week is the more frank people have been about if they really want us to come back (because they're interested) or not. For those who have served a mission like mine you know exactly what I'm talking about: You knock the door, they open, they tell you they don't have time right then, so you ask when you can come back to share your super special message, they tell you a date and time, you come back on that date at the exact time and watch them "run for cover" (HIDE) when you knock the door again...jaja. It is actually pretty funny, the first day and still now more than 600 days in...you can imagine ;) But this week people have been a lot more straight forward and sincere, and I like that :)

Highlight #3: Elder Roca. Well folks, the news is in...Elder Roca is once again in my zone AND district! :) The only downside...he ain't MY comp. But that's okay, we would have had WAY too much success ;) jaja! He is the District Leader's new comp. Do you know what that means? DIVISIONS! Woohoo! But that was a pretty good highlight for me, to have a super close friend near again! I'm excited!!! :) (don't know if you can tell) ;) jaja!

He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home

"...During the Savior’s ministry, the religious leaders of His day disapproved of Jesus spending time with people they had labeled “sinners.”

Perhaps to them it looked like He was tolerating or even condoning sinful behavior. Perhaps they believed that the best way to help sinners repent was by condemning, ridiculing, and shaming them.

When the Savior perceived what the Pharisees and scribes were thinking, He told a story:

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

“And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:4-5)

Over the centuries, this parable has traditionally been interpreted as a call to action for us to bring back the lost sheep and to reach out to those who are lost. While this is certainly appropriate and good, I wonder if there is more to it.

Is it possible that Jesus’s purpose, first and foremost, was to teach about the work of the Good Shepherd?

Is it possible that He was testifying of God’s love for His wayward children?

Is it possible that the Savior’s message was that God is fully aware of those who are lost—and that He will find them, that He will reach out to them, and that He will rescue them?

If that is so, what must the sheep do to qualify for this divine help?

Does the sheep need to know how to use a complicated sextant to calculate its coordinates? Does it need to be able to use a GPS to define its position? Does it have to have the expertise to create an app that will call for help? Does the sheep need endorsements by a sponsor before the Good Shepherd will come to the rescue?

No. Certainly not! The sheep is worthy of divine rescue simply because it is loved by the Good Shepherd.

To me, the parable of the lost sheep is one of the most hopeful passages in all of scripture.

Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you.

He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears.

It matters not how you became lost—whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control.

What matters is that you are His child. And He loves you. He loves His children.

Because He loves you, He will find you. He will place you upon His shoulders, rejoicing. And when He brings you home, He will say to one and all, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.” (Luke 15:6)

But, you might be thinking, what is the catch? Surely I have to do more than simply wait to be rescued..." --Pres Dieter F Uchtdorf (General Conference April 2016)

I challenge you all to look up this discourse by a living representative of Jesus Christ, one who receives revelation for us, for our day. I loved this talk and am one called to the Lord's service to help Him in His work.

With Love and Prayers,
Elder Flake

A HUGE shout out to my dad who got just a little older this week! Happy Birthday Dad!!

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