Monday, February 17, 2014

Seek the kingdom of God

Querida familia,                                  17 De Febrero 2014

This week we've been working with a youth named Marcos Ledesma. The missionaries were teaching him before, but he never went to church, so they stopped passing by to teach him. Well we went by this week last Monday and started talking with him. I guess he had been keeping most of his commitments to read and pray, but just never made the effort to go to church on Sunday.

His problem is the same as any other youth's in this city though (or in Argentina in general for that matter): they all go out to party and go to dance clubs on Saturday night and no one goes home until eight o'clock the next morning.
So we talked to Marcos about what he wants to do in life and where he sees himself in five years down the road. At first, a lot of his goals sounded more like a bucket list of things to do and didn't have any real aspiration; I was talking about it later with my companion and I said, "If all of your goals can be accomplished in a week, then you don't have any direction in your life." But then later Marcos said that he wants to be some sort of engineer that works with petroleum. So that was a good goal.

We talked with him for two lessons in a row about being obedient and how God will help us to accomplish our goals if we will put Him at the top of our priorities. To go with this point, I like that scripture that reads,

"Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (3 Nephi 13: 32-33)

We also talked a lot about how this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God and not merely for fun and games. We talked about the importance of acting in the moment and not procrastinating the day of our repentance. We shared with him,
"For behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you." (Alma 34: 31)

As well as,
"I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."(Alma 34: 33)

We told him that if he would decided to be obedient then, like the scripture said, he would be immediately blessed, but if he choose to wait then eventually his time would run out.

Sunday came around and Marcos came to church with us.

We've also been teaching another youth named Matía who is nineteen years old and is in the same situation. This Saturday we also met all of his friends (they all play on a soccer team together). They all showed up while we were talking to Matías and they were kind of shy around us, but didn't want to how it. But after a few minutes they all started talking to us, but they didn't want to be serious until one of them, a twenty year old named Darío, asked "Who is God? Or what is God? I heard people talk about Him all the time, but I don't even know what that means."
It was interesting that he had asked that question because I was assigned a talk for sacrament meeting on Sunday about prophets. As I thought about his question it made me think more about the importance of prophets in our time and just how important it is that the prophet Joseph could reopen the windows of heaven to bring in a steady downpour of new revelation while at the same time correcting all of the false doctrines of the time. While there are many who are in darkness because they know not where to find the truth, we know that God is not some spirit or great energy, but rather a loving Father in Heaven who desires that we become like He is.

As far as the rest of the work is concerned we've been having some troubles working with the long-time members here. They all are very hesitant to trust the Church again because they feel like they were abandoned ten years ago when the branch was closed by the Church and all of it's leaders. So the members don't actually want to help their friends and family get baptized because they don't want them "to feel abandoned if the Church leaves again." So we're working hard with the leaders from the Church in the other city to develop trust and confidence between the members and the leaders.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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