Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Week 74

   This was a pretty good week.  I got the package you sent me, I love the new camera, it's awesome. It's actually helped a lot in the work, I don't know why I didnt before but I took a picture of our member board with all the less actives and actives. And in every area there seems to be a large number of less actives that nobody ever visits so we don't know if those people live there anymore. So if we go by someone and they aren't there, I can look at the picture I took of the board and see who is close, it's really nice. The other day we visited one of those houses and found a less active family, with a few members that haven't been baptized. We asked when the last time the missionaries stopped by was, she said about 3 years! Wow! Our last weekly planning we re-wrote the area member boards so it was more organized and I guess it worked. It took forever and was super boring but I am already feeling good about it. My companion (Elder Puga) taught me a spanish song and I only know a few lines but it's super funny and mexican sounding so I sing it all the time. And at the door of that less active (I was in a weird mood) I asked her if she recognized the song, and sang part of it. And she said yes and actually told us that her dad had worked with lots of popular mexican artists. Elder Puga was more impressed than I was, because I had no idea who they were but it was cool and helped us build a little relationship with her. 
    So in Latino Culture when someone gets married, their kids take the father and mother's last name. So Elder Puga Gomez, his father's name was Puga and his mother's, Gomez. I think they do this because ALL of their names are the SAME. But who knows.. So he goes by Elder Puga, Gomez is just there to distinguish him from other's with his last name. That's also why Elder Rosero isn't known by Elder Olvera, because Olvera is his mother's last name. There are lots of very popular names in Latino culture. Lopez, Rodriguez, Dominguez, Ramirez, Ramos, Gonzalez. And lots of first names, Juan, Jose, Carlos, Pedro, Mateo, Maria, Mario. Lots of names from the Bible because most are Catholic or have Catholic background. Pretty interesting. But yeah, I don't know if that really made sense, but yeah haha. 
    Yesterday we met a family, active, who are in an interesting situation. The wife has been a member for about 20 years and has been active the whole time. He has been actively attending the church since about 2004, but has never been baptized. He claims that he has never received a spiritual confirmation from God that this is the one and only true church. He has doubts of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but has witnessed and believes in the Priesthood. Pretty cool huh? He said until he receives an answer, he will not be baptized. He then continued that if he does not get that confirmation and baptized in this life, his wife will just do the temple work for him and it will be okay.

 Heresy four: There are those who believe that the doctrine of salvation for the dead offers men a second chance for salvation.
I knew a man, now deceased, not a member of the Church, who was a degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure, as he supposed, in living after the manner of the world. A cigarette dangled from his lips, alcohol stenched his breath, and profane and bawdy stories defiled his lips. His moral status left much to be desired.
His wife was a member of the Church, as faithful as she could be under the circumstances. One day she said to him, “You know the Church is true; why won’t you be baptized?” He replied, “Of course I know the Church is true, but I have no intention of changing my habits in order to join it. I prefer to live the way I do. But that doesn’t worry me in the slightest. I know that as soon as I die, you will have someone go to the temple and do the work for me and everything will come out all right in the end anyway.”
He died and she had the work done in the temple. We do not sit in judgment and deny vicarious ordinances to people. But what will it profit him?
There is no such thing as a second chance to gain salvation. This life is the time and the day of our probation. After this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
For those who do not have an opportunity to believe and obey the holy word in this life, the first chance to gain salvation will come in the spirit world. If those who hear the word for the first time in the realms ahead are the kind of people who would have accepted the gospel here, had the opportunity been afforded them, they will accept it there. Salvation for the dead is for those whose first chance to gain salvation is in the spirit world.
There is no other promise of salvation than the one recited in that revelation. Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.
I thought the words of Elder Bruce R McConkie were quite fitting. I wasn't  bold enough to say it right to him, also I hadn't looked it up so it seemed that I lacked the evidence of this claim but now I feel it important to inform him of the danger he is in. It is interesting the people out there that are so close but so lost. I knew also some widows that were not sealed in the temple, who regularly read deep doctrine books and said they will just be given a husband in the next life because it didn't come to them in this life. It's sad that we let our own mind justify our idleness and we allow ourselves to stand by while we lose time to work towards our potential. I think about my own life and things that I have struggled with for quite some time, and realize that I could have easily overcome habits or weaknesses and be better for it now. I've recently put lots of thought into the common quote from our Savior, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" And it's true, we have to take action in this life to achieve our desires.
       Haha huge tangent. But yeah, this week was really good. The other night we had a meal appt cancel on us so we hadn't eaten all day so we got home and I asked one of our members to buy us pizza and they did! It was the best night ever, and they didn't go cheap, they bought us 3 Domino's pizzas and had them delivered. It was so great.
      Also the other day, we were finding some members, and we saw this kid walk down the street with his dogs and he was't wearing a shirt and I just kind of rolled my eyes and knocked the door. And after we talked with the person we drove down the road and saw the kid run up the side of the school and do a backflip off of it. It was so cool! So we went and talked with him and he has been teaching himself flips and stuff, and he showed us some of his flips, and he turned out to be really awesome.
        But yeah that's about it for this week, thanks for writing me, I hope you have a great week! Love you!​

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