Transfers, Baby!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Zone Conference in Singapore = MTC district reunion one year later! (just missing Elder Chang who is in a different zone)

The work goes forward!
Going to miss the Sylvesters so much
Email exchange with Elder Coleman this week:

Elder C: Transfers, baby! SO STOKED!

Me: When do you think you will hear? And just know that I love so many missionaries there that I'd love to hear where your friends are going as well!

Elder C: Already know where I'm going :) 

Me: Where??? 

Elder C: Sorry, my internet just crashed! Perfect timing hahaha

Me: Why are you keeping us in suspense?

Elder C: KOTA KINABALU ZONE LEADER WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MOM KK is the BEST!! It's hard missionary work and my area is going to be way hard, but I can do all hard things because I'm just the tool in the hands of the LORD!!! 

Me: Wait! Was that your former zone when you lived in Tawau?

Elder C: YESSS I GET TO GO VISIT TAWAU. And now I'll be in KK--the "promised land" of Bahasa skills!! And just in general! It's amazing!!

Me: What's happening in Miri?

Elder C: Elder Harr is replacing me AGAIN!! (He replaced Elder C. in Tawau, as well.)  He's becoming Miri ZL with Elder Stewart! He's going to baptize the 14 people we have on date here!!!! hahahah But I don't mind!! I know the Lord does what He sees fit! Just glad I could be a part of it! 7 people getting baptized this week!!! 

Me: Who is your new companion?

Elder C: Elder Ormsby. He's been serving as a Zone Leader in Kota Kinabalu since the last transfer, so I will join him. I've never interacted with him during my whole mission. I'm just going to go in and be as humble as possible and try to learn as much as I can from him. SO STOKED!!
So great to see friends at Zone Conference!

Zone Conference September 2014
While in Singapore I got my hands on one of these...the new iPhone 6

Journal entry from my year mark (11 September 2014)

Wow. Great personal study today. There's too much to LEARN, and I'm just scratching the surface of it all on my mission.

Today, I started my study with a single sentence, a quotation from scripture, found in Mosiah 5:2: "No more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." I had been pondering how I could root any and every desire or tendency to sin - in other words, how to repent completely! Preach My Gospel defines repentance as changing our thoughts, desires, beliefs, habits and behaviors, and bringing them in line with God's will. To lose my desire to sin! To put off and overcome the natural man! And so I thought of the above line from Mosiah. For the past hour, I studied this topic, and I have learned a TON. Here are some of the things I discovered/connected, or that the Spirit taught me.

Mosiah 5:2 also states "the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent... has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts." That mighty change of heart is what makes us lose our carnal natures and to put on Christ-like attributes. That same phrase is used by Alma the Younger, who truly did experience a mighty change, forsaking his old church-destroying self as one of the "vilest of sinners" and becoming a powerful prophet, a mighty tool in the hands of the Lord. He asks, "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have you been spiritually born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye ex[erienced this mighty change in your hearts?" (Alma 5:14). It seems that the "mighty change of heart" is a synonym of being "born of God". We must undergo a change that is so dramatic, to compare our old natural self to our new spiritual being would show a stark contrast - as if we have been born anew.

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, discusses baptism as a symbol of being born again, being born of God. In the 6th chapter of Romans, he explains "we are buried with Him [Christ] by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Baptism buries our old, sinful self, and we come up a new man (or woman), this being born of Christ.

But now, after being born again, how do we "walk in newness of life"? How do we ensure the mighty change of heart takes place and forever alters our behaviors? After all, Paul writes, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin [or at least should be], live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1-2). What is necessary to touch our souls enough to forever change us?

Again, Alma the Younger offers us the answer. Immediately after repenting in his death-like sleep/vision thing, he bids those around him "to be of good comfort: for, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; [Sounds to me like he has forsaken his old self] behold, I am born of the Spirit (!!!)" (Mosiah 27:25). That state of righteousness must be the same circumstances when we have "no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2 again)!

How is it done? By being "born of the Spirit". Again, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is HUGE! Here I learned another of His many roles: to work in the hearts of men until they put off the natural man and the desures thereof! The Holy Spirit will bring us access to the changing power and grace of the Atonement of Christ. Look for further evidence of this in the following verses: (Focus on "Spirit", "spiritual", etc)

- Mosiah 3:19    - Mosiah 5:2,7    - Mosiah 27:24-26    - Romans 8:1-9    - Alma 22:15    
- Alma 36:23-24    - Moses 6:65    - Moroni 8:26    - 1 Peter 1:22-23.

Truly, it is the Spirit that will work in us to bring this mighty change of heart. Indeed, we cannot be born of God or expereince the mighty change of heart unless we are filled with the Holy Ghost! Christ sends Him to change and mold us anew. But how can we allow / cause the Spirit to do so? Look for the common thread in these verses.

- Mosiah 4:1-3    - Alma 22:15-16    - Moroni 8:26

We must maintain "diligence unto prayer" (Moroni 8:26) which will allow the Holy Spirit of Christ to work within us and change our very natures. Through prayer, we have access to the grace of Jesus Christ, which will change our hearts and dispositions. Through prayer, Christ can send His Spirit to "make weak things become strong unto [us]" (Ether 12:27). BEAST.

"Don't you know leopards can't change their spots?" - "I don't work with leopards, I work with MEN, and men change every day."

Elder Clay Coleman

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