Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 18, 2015 ~ Week 65 (Week 11 Mandarin 1st Ward)

Hello Family & Friends!

I will say, every week is miraculous, I have never seen miracles quite like the ones in Mandarin. We are known as the companionship that rejoices over miracles.  They all come from Golden hours.  So we do at least two a day because finding---tracting and talking with everyone---is my favorite thing to do!  And the more finding, the more miracles! :)  I'll share with you miracles....

Last Sunday it was Sister Kloepfer's turn to pick an area and my turn to pick a street.  She said that she felt strongly we needed to go to Bartram Park.  All of our appointments were on the opposite side of the area and it was a P-Day, so I was sort of hesitant and questioning that but she said it was the Spirit, so turned my doubt into faith and picked a street.  Our appointment the next day cancelled so it opened up our evening to do that golden hour and while we were at Wal-Mart, a woman comes up behind us in the checkout line.  We talk with her and notice on her watch she had the state of Texas on it.  We asked her if that was where she was from and she said no, a friend had given her that watch and she just wears it.  So we continue talking with her, though not interested it was neat that she studies from the Bible every morning.  Now it is time for golden hour.  We get to the street, ‘Ginnie Springs’ and begin to knock.  It seemed like every home was stone cold hearted.  So we stopped and I said, let's see where the Spirit wants us to go. I am a scanner, so I scanned every home and picked one, Sister Kloepfer picks one and though they were not interested, they listened.  THEN, get this, the home right next to mine has a big metal state of Texas sign in the front yard and we said to each other, "are you thinking what I am thinking?"  This man behind the door was super elect.  He has been studying every religion but has never studied ours and asked if we could teach him everything about it.  He does an hour and a half of study in the Bible every morning.  We taught him the Restoration and he committed himself to read from the Book of Mormon.  We didn't even have to invite him. We are super excited to continue to teach him.

Miracles like that happen multiple times a day I would say, in Mandarin, just the only problem is that they never progress past the first lesson.  So what do we do?  We just keep on finding and planting seeds.

When Elder Munns from the Seventy came to our ward, he gave us counsel.  That there should be a focus on the basic principles of the gospel.  Specifically---1. Making Sacrament meeting a more spiritually uplifting experience by preparing beforehand.  2. More fully keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  3. Keeping all of the principles of the law of the Fast.  What do these all have in common?  You can answer for yourself, but for me, they are all spiritually edifying and filling as well as you receive promise blessings from keeping them.  Our ward's focus for awhile now is going to be those three aspects.

I was studying the law of Fasting yesterday.
The principles of the law of the Fast are--
1. Go without 2 consecutive meals...food and water. (This is between you and the Lord)
2. Prayer...specific and sacred
3. Bear testimony
4. Contribute a generous fast offering

When we fast from these meals, beginning with fervent prayer, we are promised that we are more receptive to receiving answers to our prayers.  I know that this is true!  It's not just about going without food and water.
The promised blessings that come from contributing to fast offerings, which are distributed to those within the Church who are in need, are that you retain a remission from your sins.

There is a scripture in the book of Omni that stood out to me yesterday as I was studying about the law of the Fast:
"And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption.  Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved." Omni 1:26

To "offer your whole souls" means living every principle of a commandment.  In this case, fasting.  When we live all of the principles of fasting, we are offering our whole souls to the Savior.  When we live a portion of the principles of fasting, we are only offering a portion of our souls to the Savior.

From studying this principle and reading the scripture that went along with it, I was struck powerfully with a desire to live every principle of fasting (and of every commandment) so that I can more fully offer my whole soul to the Savior.  For all that He has done for me, I can show my love for Him by keeping this commandment with all of my heart.  There are some things that I need to improve on, as fasting is not easy for me, but I know that the blessings are far more richer when I do.  Will you commit to living all of the principles to the law of the Fast on each first Sunday of the month?  I promise that you will be given sufficient spiritual strength to do so and will receive divine help for answers to your prayers that you are seeking for.

Transfers are next week, but my PDay is on Monday!

Love, Sister McCook

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