Monday, January 12, 2015

WEEK 78- We Must Know the Gospel is True, & Be True to the Gospel!

Ran into the Shaytards at Deseret Book!
They are an awesome LDS family, who make daily videos on Youtube!
They have like 3 million subscribers!!!  
They live in Idaho, but were here in SLC for their anniversary :)

Gilgal Gardens!
An old Bishop back in the day (1940's) 
sculpted a whole garden full of LDS doctrine.
Yeah, that's Joseph Smith as a Sphinx.  Kinda weird. lol


Some days can feel like weeks, but some weeks can feel like days! That was definitely the case this week. 

A lot of great work is going on here in the downtown Salt Lake Pioneer YSA stake. Everyone is just getting home from holiday and there is so much potential that we will make the most of in the next few months! We fasted yesterday with a girl we are teaching named Liz, from Vietnam! She is 18 and is currently going to LDS Business College downtown. She lives with her sister who is a recent convert, so she is surrounded by great people. We fasted with her in order to help her receive that life-changing answer she is looking for. Good things are in store for her!

Yesterday at church, 6 of 7 recent coverts in one of our wards came to church yesterday and one of them taught the Gospel Principles class!! It is great to see retention and to see them progress in the Gospel!  Brittany, who was just baptized about a month ago, went to the Temple for the first time to do baptisms for the dead this week! Darius, baptized in September, got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday.  Like I said, great things are happening! :) How blessed we are as missionaries to see the conversion process of these individuals, first hand! I love it! It strengthens my testimony and conversion.

Yesterday, I was privileged to speak in one of the wards that we cover.  Bishop told me I could pick any topic, so I decided to speak on the subject of Personal Conversion.  Over the past 18 months or so, the Lord has made it very clear to me that only the deeply converted with survive.  Here are a few points from my talk…

Why is being personal converted unto the Lord even important?

In order to be able to stand strong against the trials that life has to offer, we need to do all we can to build our foundation upon Christ.  I've seen many people out here in the field who, when faced with a difficult trial, have nothing more than sand to stand upon.  When they do not have a solid foundation to stand on when challenges come, there is a loss of hope and courage. I know that as we do our best to become converted unto the Lord, he will be able to help us through those trials. If we don't, unfortunately, we are on our own.

Testimony and Conversion, although both essential, are not the same thing.

"Knowing that the gospel is true, is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel." -Elder Bednar 

Testimony alone will not be enough to stand up against the adversary. We must be consistently true and faithful to the light and knowledge we receive from God. That is how we become converted.

May I suggest 5 simple ways that we can help ourselves to become more converted unto the Lord:

1.) Use the Atonement. Repent daily. We need to humble ourselves, get on our knees, say "Heavenly Father I know I’m doing these things wrong, please forgive me and help me to be better." Then change.

2.) Drop our "weapons for rebellion" (Alma 23). Such as pride, disobedience, selfishness, nasty habits. We can't keep fighting against the Lord with these things. He can't help us until we are ready to help ourselves.

3.) Recognize and remember your Divine Potential. We are each a son or daughter of a Heavenly Father. We have potential to become as He. Every single one of us has this potential!  A missionary from China, in our last Zone Meeting, gave an analogy in his broken English. He said, a puppy grows up to be a dog. A kitty grows up to be a cat. What does a son or daughter of God grow up to be?

4.) CPR. Visit the Temple regularly. Family Home Evening. Be in places where God can work with us. Do what you know you need to do and go where you know you need to be. Make goals to accomplish these things.

5.) Strive to have a Christ like character.  Faith, hope, love, charity, diligence, obedience, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility. Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel outlines this very effectively. Study it!

I know as we all do all we can to become personally converted unto Him, our burdens will be lighter. We will have so much for power to overcome challenges that are thrown at us. We will be able to prove ourselves worthy to return and live with our Loving Father. The only lasting happiness available can be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Keep it up, the Lord will bless you for it!!

Elder Carroll

My favorite scripture this week: "And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away." (Alma 23:6)

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