Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 55

Hello family!

Things are just incredible!  I feel like I mention how amazing things are going every time I email you guys!  Words cannot describe the joy that missionary work brings to one's life.  This is truly the work of the Lord!  Giving of yourself voluntarily for two years really opens your mind and helps you best realize how much you are missing when you are not selflessly giving and serving others.  In this short amount of time, I cannot believe how much I have learned, and how many of these Christlike principles I will continue to apply for the rest of my life.  When you eventually have the opportunity to serve a mission, you will come to find out that nothing in life brings more happiness than helping your very own brothers and sisters come unto Jesus Christ - second being knowing it for yourself.  I love the work of a missionary!

"Moroni on SLC Temple
announcing to the world: He is Risen"

photo courtesy and © dterryphotography
The Gilbert temple looks absolutely beautiful!  I cannot believe how close it is to being complete!  I LOVE the spot lights that shine on the statue of Moroni!  It really puts a glow effect over the House of the Lord.  :)   The Phoenix temple is looking great as well!  It's amazing that they already have the Moroni on it!  Temples are so amazing.   :)   Each of them are beautifully designed, and they are even more stunning on the inside!  I cannot wait for you to start your temple prep classes so that you can see for yourself!  Walking on the temple grounds and feeling of the spirit there is one thing, but actually being inside is a completely different story.  The spirit of the Lord is felt as if He is standing right before you.  Always keep the temple close to your heart!  :)

WOAH!  I cannot believe that there are 6 different 'Carroll' families in the El Dorado Ward!  That must get confusing at times!  The subject of the Restoration is my absolute favorite topic to talk about as a missionary.  Nothing invites the Spirit stronger than to talk and testify about Heavenly Father and Christ themselves restoring the church through Joseph Smith.  I would recommend you read "Our Search For Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard.  It's a book of only 120 pages that would help you better understand the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

A part that I love from "Our Search For Happiness",
"...Either it is true or it is not. Either Joseph Smith had that remarkable vision we call the First Vision, or he did not. Either he translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, or he did not. Either the priesthood of God was restored to earth through the ministry of John the Baptist, Peter James, and John, or it was not... (and my favorite) either the fruits of Mormonism are the natural consequences of obedience to God's commandments, or they are not."

Two hundred years ago, Heavenly Father called a prophet to start the final dispensation before the second coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  This church... It is either true or it is not!  Either Joseph Smith experienced what he said he experienced, restored the church of Jesus Christ in its pure and true originality, translated the beautiful record of scripture known as the Book of Mormon, or he did not.  Look at the beautiful fruits of the church as Elder M. Russell Ballard states in the book!  "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16-20)."  That is always what saddens me the most, is when people see (or don't realize) the amazing fruits of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, and still don't agree with it.  Every man has their agency, to choose for themselves, but I wish sometimes I could thwack someone on the side of the head and get it into their brain!  Ahhh, you made me go on a huge tangent, sorry!  :P

Oh boy!  Heather is getting her braces?!  That is crazy!  How long does she need to have them on for?  I'll try my best today to send a letter with a write to Dr. Brooks if you could hand off the letter to him for me, please?  He is such an amazing man and a wonderful example!  Tell Scotty I hope he had a good time and that I love him.  Wait, Tabitha is pregnant?!  Did I know about this before?  If so, it totally slipped my mind!  Congratulations for her!  That is so incredible!  I can only imagine, holding a newborn baby for the first time must only prove that the love our Father in Heaven has for us is something that we cannot comprehend.  A newborn baby in hand, just minutes old, must be the most heartwarming and indescribable feeling that we can feel.  I'll make it a priority to write Nanny and Papa today, promise!  I miss them a lot - I hope they are doing good.  Last time Papa wrote me, he talked a little bit about his model  - it sounds impressive!

We haven't received too much word about missionaries having expanded Internet access.  We do have a general authority coming at the end of this month, and he may have some more information for us, but for now, I know nothing.

Well, uhh... I still need to talk about my week!  I'm running out of time so it will have to be pretty quick.

Yesterday was great!  We had several investigators at church and R & M accepted the invitation to be baptized.  Elder Robles and I are thinking sometime early next month will be best, but who knows!  We went to a meeting last night at our mission president's home called 'Cottage Meeting'.  It is where investigators (with their missionaries) come to the mission president's home and listen to people who recently became members of the church.  It is such an inspiring and spirit filled meeting -  I love it.   :)    It always remind me of my baptism!  Do you have any pictures of my baptism?  If you do, can you send them to me?  I think it would be a super cool idea to show those I teach a picture of when I was baptized into the church.  All of the leaders got together this past week and discussed the work as a mission.  It went well, and I love the insights and visions that President Bonham has for this mission.  He is definitely inspired and called to serve in the Washington Everett Mission!

Well, I'm outta time!  Gotta go shopping, and Elder Robles and I are feeling like bowling today - we'll see...  Hope you all have a fantastic week and make sure you send me a picture of Heather with her braces!

Love you all!

Elder Alexander J Annand

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