Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Canberra Zone Week 14

Dear everyone,
A picture is worth 1000 words, so I will include some pictures from the baptism to explain how great it was. But, it was such a rewarding week this week for Us. So crazy to think of how quickly time goes by. Noni, whom we just met 6 weeks ago was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was such a special experience for her and for us to see her make that first covenant.
As we need to go, I will let my Letter to President and the pictures tell the rest of the story :)
The best week ever in Canberra for me!! :) Noni's baptism was a great experience and the confirmation the following day was superb. She truly has qualified herself for the blessings that come from making and keeping this first covenant. After the confirmation, the bishop invited her to come and share her testimony as part of sacrament meeting and she shared a brief, but very sincere testimony. My favorite thing she said is that "since I have been meeting with the Missionaries, I have come to know that Jesus Christ really did die for me, and that Heavenly Father loves us." This was really significant to me because she has grown up being a Christian and believing in God her whole life, but it goes to show that the spirit bearing witness of the truth makes an impression that will always be remembered. I feel that her testimony of the divinity of Christ and His sacrifice truly has been strengthened so much. As has mine. Everyday as I ponder and search the scriptures, I come to know Christ better. I know that there is still much for me to learn which excites me, but the things that I have learned are priceless. Today as I studied for a lesson we will be having tonight regarding repentance and the atonement of Christ allowing us the opportunity to repent and be forgiven, I continued to find scripture after scripture that talks about how we must be penitent in order to be forgiven. Although Jesus Christ has already paid the price for our sins, we still have to allow him to take them from us. We have our agency and He will not make us clean against our will. I think sometimes how this is like when I was a young kid playing around outside. My mother never chased after me with a bucket of soap and water making me clean when I wanted to keep playing and get dirty, but when I wanted to go back home, I had to make sure I was clean before going inside. I had to be willing to come in and have her help me get rinsed off. The same is with the Atonement. The price has been paid, the bucket of soapy water is available for use, but I must be willing to offer up my sins and repent from the things which I have done. I must truly have changed my desire so that I no longer want to do that thing in order to become fully clean. And through it all, Christ is there supporting me and welcoming me back to Him. One of my favorite verses that I found today is 3 Nephi 9: 22- "Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved." I am so grateful this opportunity is always available to me and to all of us. Noni has experienced this and I know she will continue to grow stronger in her testimony through time.
This week, honestly the greatest miracle was seeing her be baptized, confirmed, and stand to bear her testimony. She has always been a very shy person, but her testimony affected all of us present.

From studying more about key indicators I realized that these truly do Indicate what we are focusing on and they can very acurately indicate what we need to improve upon. They are not just numbers for reporting and recording, but tell us signs and can help us see what we need to adjust to continually be more effective. For example- as a lifeguard we had to regularly check the chemical levels in the pool. These numbers indicated how much chlorine we needed to add or if there was something deficient in the filters etc. Such is the same with key indicators. if we look at it merely as numbers we could be swimming in a "toxic pool" and not even realize it. But if we learn from our key indicators every week and truly focus to achieve our goals, then we can all be swimming happily and enjoy the work. Maybe that is not the best analogy, but I now understand better the importance of evaluating our actuals and setting goals that will help us truly be successful.

I love starting to read the Book of Mormon again as a mission. My companion and I daily have had very similar questions arise as we read and we are able to discuss them and gain new insights during our studies together. For example, today Elder White mentioned that the question came to him "why didn't Lehi go with his sons to get the brass plates?" and I just laughed because I had thought about the SAME question. Why did the Lord command Lehi to send his sons, but not go himself? We discussed how we felt that it may have been to be a test of faith for the sons as well as for Lehi and Sariah. It may not have been the most important question, but I do enjoy truly trying to put myself into the scriptures and think about what it would have been like to be there. The Book of Mormon has such a simplicity about it that I love, yet there are many things which allow you to ponder on questions and gain deeper insights as to how the Lord communicates and deals with His children.
I know the Book of Mormon is true and I am excited to increase my testimony of it by reading it yet again. 
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As you can tell..... I was pretty excited hehe. Elder Roberts said to give the "biggest smile you've got." So I gave it :)
Love yous!
Elder Shafer

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