Tuesday, March 29, 2011

EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS! E-mail Monday, March 28, 2011

Another week has flown by. Yesterday a member of our ward, Sister Leggett passed away.  It was quite sad, seeing as it's Brother Leggett's second wife to die. She had Mersa and has been on dialysis the last three years of her life.
I have been spending a lot of time with this guy named Chris. I'm going to tell his story, (Mom don't be worried, I'm fine). Chris is 20 years old and has two jobs.  He's a tattoo artist and a drug dealer. I have spent a lot of time with him the last few weeks and learned a lot.
Chris's life started out pretty normal.  He had loving parents and lived in a quiet neighborhood. After his parents moved away two years ago, he just fell into the wrong crowd. Three weeks ago a man came to him buying drugs, and asked Chris what he thought about religion. Chris never really thought about it, until that point.  He kind of stepped back and looked at his life and he realized how much it stunk. He  thought he was truly worth nothing. He was contemplating suicide. He decided to kneel down and offer a pray to the Lord. that night.  Probably at the same time even, my companion and I were kneeling offering our prayers to  Heavenly Father on who we should see that day.
We have taught Chris twice.  We even went into his shop to teach him.  We sat there a little uncomfortable but soon relaxed after Chris bore a beautiful testimony about Christ and how he suffered for us all . Chris told us he wanted to leave it all behind, but couldn't. He stated everyone hates me even God. Then my companion stood and told him "How dare you say that about God . He has answered your prayers and will continue to do so as long as you have faith."
Chris may never accept the Gospel but he shall know that God does love him just as He loves each of us; hopefully we won't forget.

Elder Zachary David Daniel

Monday, March 21, 2011

WHEN YOU STOP BEING A VISITOR! E-mail March 21, 2011

Well, another week has passed an all remains to be well. No package has come in the mail yet, but I will still wait. I had a little bit of a crash on my bike this week, although nothing is broken and all is good. I was totally excited about dinner last night because we ate with a recent convert.  We'll call him Fred.  He's a firefighter who started dating a member, then got into the Church.  The member and him are now married and I think I'll share a little of his story.
After dating his wife for a few months he wanted to check out what Mormonism was all about, so he asked her if he could go with her one Sunday. After going, he felt that it was something he liked and continued to go. For six months Fred continued to go to church. No one ever asked if he wanted the missionaries to teach him or anything to help him truly progress.  He just sat and soaked up all he could.  He would be titled an "Eternal Visitor". Then one Sunday out of the blue, a member came up to him and said "Fred, When do you want to stop being a visitor?"  This really effected him. He did feel as if he was a member. He felt safe and secure, but deep down he knew he was missing something. The something he was missing was not Baptism it was Conversion. If you would ask Fred why he wasn't baptised yet, it's because there was no conversion.
Baptism is great, don't get me wrong, but the thing that truly makes BAPTISM so beautiful, is that it takes CONVERSION to make it all click. When we are baptized, it's like signing a contract.  If we are not fully willing to fulfill all obligations we shouldn't sign the paper. If we are not converted we should not be baptized. Fred was baptized after he was converted and now holds the Aaronic Priesthood. The gift given to all worthy male members of the Church. He will progress. He will be sealed for all time and eternity in the Temple. 
So, my question is "When do we stop being visitors?"  We are a visitor if we go with the flow and just do it and when there is no feeling behind it. We must Convert we must "Lengthen Our Stride" for those of us who have signed the contract, we must be enduring, finish the race, and continue to build our faith, and for those who have not I ask; "When do you stop being a Visitor?" 

Elder Zachary David Daniel

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Letter - March 7, 2011

Dear John,

Thank you so much for the letter and for the cash.  Elder Sommers and I found it rather great to have some cash to spend!

I just got out of probably one of the hardest lessons on my mission.  I didn't teach any minister or priest.  I didn't even teach a non-member of the Church.  I wrote an E-mail a few weeks ago about sacrifices and one family in particular.  A wife and mother who just had a still born baby.

Yesterday, she asked us to come to her home tonight and teach her family about the Plan of Salvation.  It was quite difficult.  Many times tears filled the room.  Questions started flying.  I found myself asking, "How am I a 19 year old supposed to tell this family not to fear all will be fine?"  I found that in these moment when  I stopped and pondered that the spirit took hold and led us with what to say and do.

It's moments like these in my mission that remind me of who I am.  3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of Him to declare His work among His people, that they might have everlasting life."

Never forget.  I won't.

Elder Daniel

I CAN! E-mail March 14, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,
To answer a few questions:  Mom:  my feet are now ok and healed, so don't worry.  A local member (Johnny Lem, going to Argentina for his mission this May) made some up-dates on my face book for me... said my picture didn't look good! 
Well, Sommers and I have at least 5 more weeks together before one of leaves (probably me). So last week I. had this 8 hour leadership meeting it was SO boring, but very spiritually uplifting.  It taught us about conversion and such. I got to see Elder Kirk and Elder Fly again, it was pretty sweet. It's weird to see them again and to think I'm almost at the halfway point of my mission. How time flies; it seems like yesterday I said goodbye to mom at the steps of the MTC. I think back to all the people I've seen and all I have learned.  I wonder how people return home unsatisfied with their missions.  I have only baptized 8 people, but I have learned that's not what's important.  It's that I do my best and I can say that and I am proud to say that.

Elder Zachary David Daniel

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sacrifices E-mail - February 28, 2011

Been a busy week, but we have done a lot of work.  A couple of weeks ago we tried to start A Book of Mormon study class; so far we have 2 members going. The work seems to be falling apart, we have entered into a stage where people aren't progressing. They read but they don't pray, or they pray but they don't go to church.  Sometimes it's hard just trying to find people to teach.
We have a new investigator her name is Mikayla, shes like 17,  her Grandmother that she lives with is a recent Convert so she has started taking the lessons.  She's my ray of sunlight, hopefully she'll get baptized and the work will really grow.
We had a fairly interesting thing happen in one aspect. We have this investigator named Martha and she is having trouble because she knows that if she's baptized she will be disowned.  We gave her Enos to read and after reading it we asked what she got out of it. She told us she thought it was talking about sacrifices. So we all bore our Testimonies about sacrificing things for the gospel.
I wrote a letter to Meaghan this last week about that same thing. The next day however, Elder Sommers and I went to the funeral of a still born baby and we watched as a family sat there and talked about their family and  how they knew they would see each other again. To hear a story from a sister who wasn't a member and hear her love for a sister to sacrifice so much. That mother however wasn't crying wasn't shouting or yelling she wasn't mad at the world or even at God who "took her child from her". She was smiling  and she was joyous and happy and you may even say excited for she knew that she would see that child again; get to hold him and hug him and get to know him.
Family and friends, I will leave my email with this, that I know that we will have to make sacrifices in this world, but those sacrifices will enable us, and humble us so that we can live with our families through the Eternities.
Elder Zachary David Daniel