Well this last week has been very rainy and cold, but we have been working harder than ever. On Friday we had our Zone Conference and it was such a spiritual uplifter like always. Presidente Arrington talked about a few things and the thing that most stuck out to was how concerned the first presidency is about the retention in the church. There are so many members who are slowing falling away and each one to have a lasting conversion Elder Nelson explains in a General Leaders training session that they recently had in preparation for General Conference that the soultion is preventing that members start to fall in the first place and the way that we can do that is by building our faith in Christ. He then went on to expalin that the best way for anyone to build their faith in Jesus Christ is by keeping the sabbath day holy.
It seems like such a simple thing to do, but as a missionary I have seen so many people including myself forget the importance and the meaning of observing the sabbath day to keep it holy. What is required of us to follow this commandment? In D&C 59:9-12 we are taught what is expected of us on this holy day ¨and that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from te world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; for verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest form your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the most high: but remember that on this, the Lords day, thou shalt offer thine oblation and thy sacraments unto the most high, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
As I was studying these verses, I read in verse 12 and saw a foot note by the word oblations if you read in the margins it says ¨Offerings, whether of time, talents, or means, in service of God and fellowman¨ This helped me understand very well that on Sunday I should be willing to sacrifice doing what I want to do and rather fulfill with what God would have me do.
I was reading in the conference talk by Elder Rusell M Nelson Making the Sabbath a Delight and love what he says, ¨The sabbath was his gift to us not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief...Repeatedly he has asked us to keep the Sabbath. WE are under covenant to do so.¨ I know that each of you have busy lives. We always have a mile long ¨to do list¨, but Elder Nelson offers some very helpful advice regarding how we can know what is and what is not appropriate for the sabbath.
He says, ¨How do we hallow the Sabbath day? In my much younger years, I sutdied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the sabbath. It wasnt until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and donts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity waws appropriate for the sabbath, I simply asked myself, ¨what sign do I want to give to God?¨That question made my choices about the Sabbath dy crystal clear¨
I know that as Elder Nelson says ¨Not pursuing your own pleasure on the sabbath requires self-discipline¨ It is not always easy to sacrifice what we want to do for that of the God´s will. But I want to invite each of you to evaluate your own lives and think about the ways you can more faithfully keep the sabbath day holy. I can promise each and everyone of you that if you obey this commandment and prepare yourselves during the week both physically and spiritually for this special day it will truly be a delight for you and your faith will increase greatly in our Savior Jesus Christ which will allow you to prevent yourself from ever falling away from the Church.
After the Zone Conference I deeply studied this topic and was able to set goals for myself to more faithfully keep the sabbath day holy and yesterday as I put into practice what I had learned I had a very beautiful experience. I feel closer to my Heavenly Father and more enlightened. I know he loves me and has a divine potential for me and for all of his children. I pray that each of you can feel his love in your lives and that you are preparing yourselves to recieve more guidance and direction this coming weekend with General Conferene. What a blessing it is to have a living prophet and apostles.
I know Christ lives. He is my Savior and I am so privelaged to be serving him every day. I hope you all have a wonderful week and know you are in my constant prayers.
Con mucho amor,