Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A good week

Hello Everyone,

We had a good week and taught a lot of lessons. Our area is an entire county so we cover a lot of miles. We borrowed some from the sisters and in turn we told them we'd make them cookies so last week before a meeting Elder Gallegos and Elder White made cookies while I was in the shower and I came out and looked in the oven and said "Are you baking potatoes?" Turns out those were the cookies and they didn't add any butter and had too much flour...those cookies got an A for effort though...not for looks or taste though ha ha. We were teaching this 14 year old girl in a trailer park in the middle of a forest and I was sitting there and I looked down and saw a band of ticks making their way up my white shirt and I quickly scrambled up and started flicking them off and then lifted up my pant legs and saw them making their way up my legs too! Elder Gallegos (who is easily freaked out by stuff like that) saw he had them on him as well and we just ran for the car and doused ourselves in bug spray and helped each other flick off the enemy bugs. Later that night I checked and didn't have any on me but Elder White and Gallegos were finding them and pulling them off all night. We also went to the county fair and watched a Less active members daughter show some of their pigs...I wish I would have done FFA... oh well... showing pigs was so fun to watch! I love county fairs and looking at all the prized animals and cows and sheep and chickens and rabbits and ducks and goats. We split up a lot during the week to cover more ground and so me and Elder Gallegos went tracting and found a Hispanic family where he was able to give an entire Restoration lesson in Spanish while I just stood in the background and nodded occasionally saying "Siiiii." And MOM THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT WONDERFUL PACKAGE YOU ARE THE BEST! It made my week! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful loving mom. You are the best I love you so much. 

Hayden's Dad had asked him what types of things he hears from others as they try to share the Gospel -

... there is nothing like our Church, it is the greatest organization on the planet! I am so happy to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where all questions are answered, where priesthood power is exercised, where temple ordinances are performed, where families are sealed together forever, where revelation is received by a living prophet, where Christ is at the head. Elder Holland gave a great talk last General Conference called "Lord, I believe." Read and study that talk. Those men are real apostles.
here are some of the most common things we run into...

1) Don't believe a man must be called and ordained by God by someone who is in authority to act in the priesthood (i.e. priesthood can be gained by scripture study or by an ordination degree from a bible college)

2) All the churches are considered the "Body of Christ" so really if you believe in Christ that's all that's necessary...there's not just one church that is true.

3) Salvation by Grace.... and they'll quote some scriptures on how you just need to believe on the Lord and confess by the mouth and ye shall be saved and works are not necessary. I'm not going to explain this doctrine just see Elder McConkie's address called "What think ye of Salvation by Grace?"

4) There was no Apostasy. Most churches don't really understand this concept at all...but they do understand that all these churches can't be right.

5) The Bible is perfect and that's all we need so we don't need prophets today and in Revelations it says not to add or take away so if you do then your portion will be taken away from the book of life...<---that is one of the most common scriptures people pull on us...for a great explanation on this see President Hunter's address titled "Thou shalt not add or take away."

6) Don't see a need for a restoration and more scripture...

7) Don't believe Book of Mormon is real.

8) Baptism is just a symbol of faith not a covenant.

9) Most people don't understand the Pre-mortal life at all...nor do they really know why they are here or where you are going after you die. (If your good heaven if your bad then it's a lake of hellfire damnation but no one can give you a good clear answer on what to do to make it to heaven besides believe on Christ)

10) Don't understand the need for revelation and revealed truths.

So that's a good start to the things we run into down here in the Bible Belt. It's a lot of fun and people here are extraordinarily friendly because there are lots of just good Christian people that are trying to do their best.

But honestly all one needs to do is read the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart and with faith and those doctrinal points will fizzle away in the background because true doctrine always triumphs.

I love the rest of ya'll too (Dad, Hannah Onkes, Hen, Hallie O' Mallie, Vito and Lilly)

Elder Blackburn II

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