"Wellst, obviously we have some...elders, here in
. They're knocking on
yo front doors, they're preaching yo people up, tryin' to save 'em so y'all
need to bring yo kids, bring yo wife and bring yo husband 'cuz they baptizin'
evrybody out here." Lakefield
paula's note: that was Elder Fisher's Antoine Dobson imitation :-)
I have been transferred to the Lakefield area in the High Point Stake. My new companion is Elder Richardson, who's just come out of training. He's basically Gary Bertier from Remember the Titans. He has a great desire to work, so we've been working very hard the last week, and it feels awesome.
Lakefield is a suburb of
which is the second largest city in North
Carolina. It is also the most hood area I've yet been
in. We walked out of an appointment Thursday night into a crime scene with a
bunch of police officers, cop cars and craziness. We politely asked the nearest
officer if we could get in our car and leave and, once he said yes, booked the
heck out of there.
Another fun thing about Lakefield is that there are hordes of jaywalkers here. We average about 1.6 a minute while we're in the car.
We share the Lakefield Ward with a set of sister missionaries, which is generally nice. However, these two facts exist: where there are a set of elders and a set of sisters in a ward, the members will always love the sisters more regardless of what theelders do. It is an eternal principle.
I honestly love it here, though. Elder Richardson and I went running one morning, and I realized just how beautiful
North Carolina mornings
are. This is one of many things I will miss about North Carolina when I finally return home.
As I was sitting in the rather crowded public library a few days ago, this thought process ran through my head:
1) The Second Coming will be ushered in when the Gospel is spread over all the earth.
2) Missionaries spread the Gospel.
3) Missionaries now use Facebook to spread the Gospel.
4) Therefore, Facebook ushers in the Second Coming.
Facebook has come in handy. You can communicate with people you couldn't contact otherwise. This last Sunday we managed to scramble together a ride and get an investigator family to church in time for the sacrament. It was all a bit of a hassle since the dad had to take his 14-month old daughter around from class to class, which made her understandably unhappy, but eventually we figured out a way to keep her occupied so that the dad could actually listen to the lessons.
I was just extremely happy that we got somebody to Church. This is the first time I've gotten a real investigator to sacrament meeting since May.
In John, chapter 6, we read that when Jesus fed the five thousand, the multitudes saw this miracle as definite evidence that Jesus was the promised Messiah that they had been awaiting for centuries, and they tried to make Him their King by force. Their desire to do this did not come from faith on Jesus or belief in His teachings, but from their popular conception of what the Messiah was supposed to do. Over the years the Jews had misunderstood the prophets, and now the people's expectations had become corrupted so that they saw the Messiah as one who would give them physical nourishment and deliver them from bondage, just as Moses had.
In response to the crowd's demands for more miracles as proof that He was the Messiah, the Savior told them some of the greatest truths about Himself and what He had been sent to do. He had not come to set up a kingdom on the earth; He had come to provide spiritual nourishment and spiritual freedom in a spiritual kingdom. Those who had followed Him in hope of receiving material wealth or glory were to be disappointed, since that was not His mission.
At this sermon there was a parting of ways between those who held to the popular expectations of the Christ and those who truly believed on Him. The public, in general, turned against the Savior; never again would crowds follow Him in such huge numbers; never again would they try to make Him king. The opposition would only increase from then on, until the day the angry mobs would take His life. At this sermon, many of the Savior's disciples left Him, never to return.
Watching all this, the Savior turned to His Apostles and asked the forlorn question, "Will ye also go away?"
And then Peter responded, "Lord, to whom would we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Then he continued, "And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
I find this story important, since it shows us two different tests of faith.
All of us, at some point in our life, will come to a time where our personal wants split away from the truth we spiritually need. We will stand at a crossroads between what we know to be true and what we think we want, and we will have to choose which path to follow. The Jews chose to walk a different path than the Savior, while the Apostles stayed. So, too, all of us will have to come to terms with the fact that the Savior's path is not the road to fame, power, and wealth.
The second lesson I find here is seen in Peter's exchange with the Savior: "Lord, to whom shall we go?"
The time will come in the life of every believer that they will pause and wonder if what they believe is true. It is inevitable that this will happen. When all is said and done, is the Gospel really true?
It is at this moment of doubt that the question arises in our minds: Well, if it is not true, where else can we possibly go? Where can we turn for peace, if not to the Savior?
And then there comes the realization that there is no other way. There is no other path that can give us the safety and the answers that we're looking for. And then we remember the joy and the peace we felt when we first heard the words of Christ and believed on them. That memory alone reminds us that Jesus truly is the Son of God and that His words are true and that families really can be together forever.
This faith is able to carry us forward, even though our knowledge might not be perfect at this moment. We will get the rest of the answers, in time. It was only after Peter proclaimed his faith in the Savior that he got to see Him transfigured on the mountain, or resurrected on the shores of
It has been firmly implanted in my mind during my mission that if the Gospel is not true, then nothing is. This work has to be of God. There is no other way, if not the Restored Gospel. I know that Jesus is the Savior, and I know that Joseph Smith was called to be His prophet. I know that we have prophets today and that the Book of Mormon is true. I know all of these things for myself, without having to rely on someone else's testimony.
I love my mission, I love my companion, and I love my area. I love you all, as well. Hurrah for