Monday, January 25, 2016

Such is life, as a St. Thomas Missionary


Sweet mercy, life is busy!  But good:)  wouldn't have it any other way :)  

Man where to start!  We are just so stacked with appointments, it's seriously been nuts...the Lord is opening up the hearts of the people here, and I just feel so blessed to be able to be a small part of it!  We've currently got 15 investigators, and we're carrying the zone in finding new each week!  We've really found some super solid people, children of God that he's truly prepared to hear his message!  It’s honestly so humbling.  I've never taught more by the spirit than this transfer, and Elder Fillmore has been DOPE!  He’s so awesome at testifying of truth and what he knows to be true.  It brings the spirit so strong.  We're thoroughly convinced the Lord is with us here in St. Thomas!  

Man I can honestly say I've never been more tired.  But I LOVE it!  There’s no feeling quite like going to bed straight up dead, but knowing that you gave your all to the God you love.  It’s been such an awesome week!  We’re excited to see the big things coming :)  

This week has also been one where we've seriously run into the craziest people...like you think Salt Lake is full of crazy people....St. Thomas is LEGENDARY for it...like St. Thomas can't come up in a sentence without the talk about all the people on the streets...it's super sad sometimes, cuz we seriously meet so many people who need help...who need serious medical help...and if they were to get it, they'd be fine...but because of the broken health care system, it's become a lot harder to get these people the help they truly need...it's sad, it truly is...but it's also given us a chance to meet some of the most special people.  

We met a guy named Raymen, who walked up and straight up told us he was an angel and was there to cheer us up.  We were laughing so hard, because he would say the funniest things!  He loved it and we love the crap out of him!  It was touching as we talked with him and at the end he said how grateful he was to be able to make us laugh, and that was his calling from God.  He definitely didn't have it all together whatsoever...but it was touching too to see how much difference people can make in the world when they chose to have a positive effect on the people around them :)  Hilarious guy, I was like crying I was laughing so hard :)  We get a lot of people like that who just make us laugh and we just love them :)  You really become friends with these people and learn to love them.  They have such a special spirit, one pretty common with people with mental disabilities.  It's just been awesome, and we love them all:) 

This week has been such a testimony of opening our mouths.  The Lord has promised that as we seek to obtain his word, we will be given the power of God, to declare his word, unto the convincing of men.  

We are truly in the most remarkable era in the history of the church, and the kingdom of God.  We are seeing the literal fulfillment of the prophecies from prophets of old.   We are literal witnesses of the hastening of His work.  And it is HIS.  He is the Architect, the Creator and Father of our Spirits.  He has set the standard for excellence.  The pathway intended to lead us back to Him.  This is His ONLY purpose.  He has provided us with the way to salvation.  We only need follow His Son, learn of Him, walk in the meekness of his Spirit, and we shall obtain peace.  There is NO other way through which lasting peace can come.  His ways are simple, His doctrine is clear.  He has provided us with an institution through which we can obtain Salvation.  That institution is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.  A religion founded upon pure truth, given from the heavens to the chosen men of God.  

Our religion is not for the weak of character, or the frail of heart.  Our religion requires sacrifice.  

A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce faith unto life in Salvation.

There was never in the history of the earth, nor in eternity, anything worth having that did not require sacrifice.  Too many times in life we ask "Why could this not be easier?  Why can't following Christ be easy?  Why isn't Salvation effortless?"  

The words of Elder Holland I believe best explain these questions.  

This "is not easy, because Salvation is NOT a cheap experience.  Salvation was NEVER easy.  

We are the church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, He is the head.  

Why would we think that it would be easy for us, when it was never, ever easy for Him?

In return, how could we ever bare any lasting, moving testimony of the Atonement, if we've never known or felt anything of such an experience?  

As disciples of Christ we're proud to wear His name, but mark my words, that means we must be prepared to walk something of the path He walked.  To feel something, something, a little..of the pain He felt.  

To occasionally, as least once in your lifetime, shed one of the tears He shed.

To come to truth, to come to salvation...we'll have to pay a token of that same price...

It'll only be a token...but it has to be paid.

I believe it must require something of our soul."  

These words have brought me such peace and comfort...Salvation has never been cheap...our Savior himself, even Jesus Christ, our Mediator with the Father, begged...not asked, but begged...for His cup to be removed...that price was never cheap.  Nor was it easy.  

We, as literal disciples of our Savior Jesus Christ, having taken upon us His name, will by necessity for a moment or two in our lives, in a small way experience a token...of the suffering He went through for us.  For it is only through that sacrifice...that we truly begin to understand the true nature of the magnitude of the Atonement.  

The Atonement is real.  It is the way unto Salvation, and life eternal in the kingdom of our Father.  The means through which we can return home...welcomed with open arms.  Our Father will then, if we have been faithful, say on that day, 

Well done, thou good and faithful servant. 

Enter now into thy rest.  

I testify the Atonement is the ONLY means through which Salvation is achieved...in this upcoming week, take care to remember and ponder...do I feel the Atonement working in my life not only on Sunday, but throughout the week?  I promise you as you keep this in mind, the sacrament come Sabbath morning will take on a new meaning, and depth to each of us.  

I know He lives.  This church is God's kingdom established on the earth.  Those who earnestly seek Him shall find peace unto their souls.  

May we each feel the love of our Savior more deeply this week.  

I love you all, and pray for you daily and feel your prayers in return.

Have a great week :)  
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Elder Bybee
Toronto Canada
Ofa Atu



Good ol' Elder Fillmore and I :)



 Port Stanley in the winter :)  yes that's Lake Erie...with snow on the shore ;)



More crazy Elder Fillmore and I :)


Some more Port Stanley pictures :)



the hierarchy of Bill Veeken's favorites ;)  I'm getting up there ;)


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