Elder Johnathan Hale's Mission Site
July 19th E-mail - New Companion, Pioneers and Covenants -Date: July 19, 2010
Companion: Elder Apin from Quezon City, Philippines
My companions can't stand me for more than one cycle. Elder Maxfield has been transferred and Elder Apin from Quezon City, Philippines, is my bagong kasama, bringing my total number of companions to 5.
I know each one has been the person the Lord has wanted me to serve with, starting with Elder Dahlin at the MTC, Elder Abitria my trainer and tatay ko sa mission, Elder Hanks my follow up trainer, Elder Maxfield and now Elder Apin.
I love each one and have learned and grown so much because of each of them. At transfers I got to see everyone from the district at the MTC. I love each one them and each one is doing great out here. They couldn't keep me and Elder Ward away for too long, he is now in Viscia Zone with me.
This Saturday is Pioneer Day. Dad, do you remember the 2 times we went to Martins Cove? The first was with the ward for the pioneer trek. The second was a stop we made after a hunting trip (why else would someone go to Wyoming)?
I will never forget the Spirit we felt there. You know the story of one of the members of the Martin handcart company. A group of people were criticizing Church leaders for their handling of the handcart companies and the man listened until he couldn't stand it any longer.
In the book Our Heritage it says the man listened until he could stand no more; he arose and said with great emotion, "I was in that company...We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism?...We came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities." He mentioned there were times he felt he could go no further and at that moment the wagon began to push him.
How did they do it? How is anyone able to bare hardships for the sake of the Gospel? I feel the answer is in the hymn, "Come, Come, Ye Saints." "Why should we think to earn a great reward, if we now shun the fight...and should we die, before our journeys through, happy day! ALL IS WELL!" That is how.
Mom and Dad, it's in the covenants we have made with God that make it so we can say all is well. If we have not made those covenants and if we are not living up to them, all is not well. The first of these covenants is baptism. That is why missionary work is so important.
It's not just helping people live better lives or telling them a cool idea, it is salvation, it is exaltation, as Elder Holland says, "Eternity hangs in the balance." Elder Oaks points out that people can make it to the Terrestrial Kingdom without any help from this church. This church is the only way to the Celestial Kingdom and the door lies in making and keeping covenants.
It's a knowledge of our covenants that can give us faith in every footstep, as it did with the pioneers. When we know what we know, how can we sit back and keep these blessings to ourselves?
We have all heard of the 3 fold mission of the church, "Proclaim the Gospel, Perfect the Saints, Redeem the Dead." How are we doing in those 3 areas? We need not "shun the fight."
Mom and dad, I've never felt so strong before in my life that we need to get out and rescue the people around us. Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The fullness of the Gospel was restored through him. I know that happened. You know that happened, and because we know that happened we need to help others come to that same knowledge, and make and keep covenants.
President Eyring says at some point in this world or the world to come everyone we ever knew will know what we know and will remember if we tried to share it with them. Let's follow the counsel of our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and prayerfully go to the rescue of these people who need to make covenants and who are not keeping their covenants.
It is the only way to peace. It is the only way to happiness. Prayerfully go to the rescue, and prepare people for the missionaries to teach. We are all full time finders. Let's prayerfully get people who have wandered into forbidden paths and get them back to the "Iron Rod" and the safety in keeping their covenants.
Don't wait for tomorrow. Start right now this very second. Yes, people have agency. Eventually they must choose to come back to the fold themselves, they must choose to enter the waters of baptism themselves, but are we INVITING? Are we doing all we can to HELP?
It's time we all put our shoulders to the wheel and push along. No empty chairs. No lost sheep, no lost coins, no lost souls. Start in the family. "It's in the doing, not just the dreaming," says President Monson,"That lives are blessed, others are guided and souls are saved."
This mission has changed my life forever. I am so grateful for the restoration of this Gospel. I am so grateful for those early pioneers who gave everything they had to the cause of truth.
I know our Savior, Jesus Christ lives. It doesn't matter what we have done, or what has been done to us, He can heal us. He can wipe away guilt and sorrow. He stands at the door and knocks. We must open the door and let Him in. He is the head of this Church.
Let us come unto Him who is the only way to peace and happiness in this world and the world to come. Let's help others do the same.
If we do so we can say with the pioneers of old ALL IS WELL! ALL IS WELL!
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