Christ and Families

Date: December 13, 2010
Area: Aurora, Alicia Area - Roxas Zone
Companion: Elder Valdez - Orental Mindanoro, Philippines

 

Christmas is a time when we, as families, remember the birth and life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This week the connection between Christ and families came alive a little more.

I am so grateful to you dad, to grandma and grandpa Hale and our other ancestors, who have made choices to sacrifice for the gospel. Mom, words can not describe the gratitude I have for you and the sacrifices you have made for the gospel. The example of brothers and a sister who are raising their kids in a gospel centered home. My family is indeed one of my greatest blessings.

When Laman and Lemuel chose not to partake of the fruit of the tree of life, they effected not only themselves, but their choices effected the lives of thousands. The Laminates became a group not founded on the principles of the gospel. Yet the prayers of many, in behalf of the Lamanites, have been heard and answered and are being answered. The sons of Mosiah went on a mission to the Lamanites and brought them again to the knowledge of their Savior. Jesus Christ's atonement brought a mighty change in their hearts and healed them of the false traditions of their parents.

This is one of the messages of the atonement. Not only can individuals be healed, and saved, but families. What a message. Elder Acha, an elder in our district and the brother of my companion, made a comment how he likes to connect all the principles of the gospel back to families.

In a companionship study, we read and discussed the Family Proclamation and discussed how each decision we make not only effects us, but the lives of those in our families, past and present and future. We took that proclamation and used it in several lessons, and there was a wake up call to several people. We explained if we don't teach our kids, who will? The answer is, the world.

We must do as Lehi did, and call in a loud voice, loud enough to be heard over the voices of the great and spacious building, and invite others to partake of the fruit which is most desirable above all others.

We ran into another man named JR as we were in San Pedro on Saturday. We invited him to church and he came with his wife who is LDS. We went over to their house after church and his "wife to be" explained how she had been active in the church, graduated from seminary, 2 years of institute, and then her "husband to be" came along. They have a kid together. The heartache was evident as she spoke to us. I ached as she explained.

We then explained about the atonement, and the cleansing effect it can have not just on her life, but the life of her family. Brother Sadiwa is a Barangay official. As he read the plea for people in leadership to support the family, he explained, "I need to do this."

Leo Laurino is a former investigator. In the area book it said he was dropped because of word of wisdom problems. We went back to him and explained how the Savior can help him overcome his problems with the word of wisdom. We then explained his potential as a father, and how he can bless the lives of his parents and posterity if he will embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has come to church 3 weeks straight, and has been word of wisdom free for 3 weeks as well. He has a date for Jan 08.

The kids love to give "up here's" to the missionaries. They will flock to us in the street as we walk by, some yelling "Americano" and calling to the others to come and get an "up here." They will also practice their English, which consists of "what is your name" and "where are you going."

As I look at them, I see the future of the Philippines and the world. Satan is on full attack against the family, and as Preach My Gospel says, too many families are being destroyed by his efforts. I hope the best for these kids that give the "up here's" and the best for their parents as they raise them. I hope they will found their homes on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thank you so much, mom and dad, being such great parents. I love you both so much.

--Elder Hale

 

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