This past week has been great! We were able to have our Christmas party with the whole mission and it was awesome. I was able to see a lot of my old companions and the one elder from my MTC district. It's pretty funny because it's only Elder Peterson and I that will depart. I don't want to think about that though!
The work is going great in the YSA and Cascade Park wards! We have been working with JJ and LaVaughnda pretty much all this week as we prepared them for their baptism interview this weekend. It's been incredible to see their faith as they accept to live commandments and make commitments and change. They literally radiate the spirit. With every family there is one elect person that accepts the message because they have been prepared and that is JJ. Everything we taught him rang true and he can't put down the material we give him. He continues to amaze us with his faith. His wife Lavaughnda is also incredible! She knows that this is what will be the best thing for her family. She knows she needs it for her son and he little family.
The gospel it truly amazing. Everything about it just continues to blow my mind. Currently I am studying a lot of the general conference talks and one that we have been asked to study is why do we serve. It's been interesting to ponder on the reasoning behind why I serve. In the talk it mentions how we all serve for various reasons and he lists them from a lesser to a greater reason. The first is for an earthly reward, second, a good companionship or go co workers, third, fear of punishment, fourth, loyalty, fifth, hope for an eternal reward, and fifth is the pure love of Christ or charity. This really helps me to determine why I serve and or how I need to change. As we work our way to true discipleship the why behind our service works its way past any type of reward and is directly a result of our love for other individuals.
Just today we had this awesome experience with our investigator Josh. He has been taught everything and is still stuggling on the faith side of things. He is so smart so it is hard for him. The last time we went over we left him with president uchtdorfs talk on receiving a testimony of truth and light and it was perfect! Josh loved the analogies that he used to describe the way we receive spiritual light. We keyed in on how we must be using the right tools to receive the answers we are looking for. With that in mind our member, Bro Brown, talked a little bit about how he had this question for about a year and he never quite figured it out until one day when boom! Everything makes complete sense. He then looked back and could see that he slowly had been prepared to receive this answer. I love that because that is how God works. He answers us according to our understanding until we can receive the complete truth. (2 Nephi 31:3) and as we continue to be diligent and show our desire to know God, he will continue to show us things until what once seemed hazy or dim becomes clear and apparent (D&C 50:24).
I know that this is true and that this is the work of the lord. It's incredible to see how many peoples live change for the sake of the gospel as they come to an understanding of who they really are. Everything that seems unobtainable is lost when we are indulged into the gospel.
Love you guys!
Elder Matthew Archibald
13608 NE 72nd St
Unit B 14
Unit B 14
Vancouver, WA 98682