Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Zion or BUST!!!! 11/16/14

So this week has been yet again another week filled with the Spirit and crazy experiences!  So to begin with because I got permission to tell everyone now, I dropped a ping pong table on my foot about 2 1/2 weeks ago and caused a massive hematoma in my right foot, but im better now so thats good!  Anyways to the spirit!

So first off I found one of the most loving and also the most scary verses in the book of mormon this week.  The loving one first:

 24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world;for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
 25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me?Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
 26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
 27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
 28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.
It was wonderful to see that Jesus Christ does not keep any of us from the wonderful gift of eternal life and exaltation, but that he invites all to come unto him and be saved.  The book of mormon read through I am doing right now is about how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ show their love to us and this was definitely a crowning example of that attribute of them to love all of us with a perfect love.  And then I found the Scariest scripture:
 21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
It was scary to read that and I kind of looked on my life so far as a member and where I have been in my paths and I definitely felt that I have been lulled away for periods of time and seen that I have thought that "All is well in Zion."  This leads to my next thing for this week.  I had a goal this week to keep my conversations as we were walking about about the gospel or something that we had learned or thought of that day or questions that we had.  In order for us to more fully feel the Spirit and to be focused on the work always we have taken this goal and tried as hard as possible.  And one night on the way home from english class, elder mumford was pushing my wheelchair and we talked about these scriptures and our lives after our missions and what we were going to do, how much of a difference does a mission make, and how much more of a difference does being focused on Zion have on our post mission lives.  And as we talked he brought up the idea of it should change things lke your music you listen to, the things you do and our foucsed on etc.  I pushed it so far as saying that it even chooses your wife, someone who is going to be by your side working as hard as they can to bring zion to earth just as much if not more than you are!  And its true, no longer can we stand by and just be onlookers to the progress of zion.  Some general authority said (I cant remember who) that The work of the Lord will move forward with or without our help.  And I am determined to move forward with full steam with the work of the Lord.  I cant wait to get home and continue to do the work of the lord back at home.  I know that just because we dont all wear name tags doesnt mean that we arent all workers in the Lords vineyard.  The blessings that are in store for those that not only are in zion, but worked with all their "Heart, might, mind, and Strength" will be richly blessed for the sacrifices that we make to bring to pass the "Immortality and Eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).  So this kind of leads to my next experience which was yesterday morning and this morning.  
I was in the middle of studies contemplating my relation to Zion and how hard of a worker I can be when I return home when this small thought came in my head of "Nahhh... dont worry about that too much, what your doing now is fine."  Immediately I shook the thought and realized it was the natural man within me trying to score a major battle.  I quickly made the resolve to always fight against any temptation that prevents me from doing the most that I possibly can for the Church and the Lord.  Then again this morning I had the thought that I didnt have to go out and talk to EVERYONE.  Again shook the feeling and made an even stronger resolve to work harder for the Lord and do what he wants.  I realize that the adversary doesnt always make his attacks so easy to notice, sometimes they are so subtle that we dont even think about it.  Sometimes the adversary hits us with stuff that just makes it sound like its the Spirit, telling us to take a break or work a little less harder.  Other times its "Cultural" restrictions that prevent us from sharing the gospel, like that its bad to talk about religion at work or school (see Power of the Everyday Missionary).  We have to constantly be checking our promptings to know whether or not they are from satan or from the Spirit.  And we have to decided NOW to follow any prompting that the Lord gives us in order to build his kingdom here on earth!  I am absolutely stoked to fight against these temptations because I know they are going to make me into a true servant of the Lord.  A quote that someone said came to my mind this week: "Be the type of person that when your feet touch the floor in the morning the devil says, 'Aww ~~~~ they're up'"  Something to keep our minds focused on the work of the Lord.  

Well other than those things this week has been pretty dull working with the members and farming and all kinds of other goodness!!! Jk It has been an amazing week and I cant believe Im almost a year through my mission!!! I love the people and the country and everything else sooo much and I know that we are truly doing the work of the Lord here, calling all people unto repentance and baptism on His name!!! 

I love all of you and have a great week!

Elder Yamagata!

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