Friday, March 16, 2012
Last week was amazing. I had the opportunity to participate in a double mission conference. My mission (The Santa Rosa Mission) and The Oakland Mission came together near the Oakland Temple, and we had the unique opportunity to hear from an apostle of the Lord. Elder L. Tom Perry spoke to us and the spirit he brought as he walked into the room was overwhelming. He talked to us about the importance of this magnificent work here on the earth right now. With all the missionaries and things happening in politics, people want to know what we believe and why we believe it. It is our job to help people understand what we really believe and how we have seen the gospel bless our lives. Technology helps us do that, and people can even meet with missionaries just like me online these days (http://mormon.org/chat/). One thing that really stuck out to me was when Elder Perry said, "You will STAND OUT in the world when you are close to the Lord." I really thought about that for a while. I realized that in my life I have stood out. It's not that I am perfect or a great person, but that I have tried to follow Jesus Christ in my life. I have stood out because my beliefs rise up to the Lord as the beliefs of the decaying world in which we live continue their downward slide. I was raised in a home where I was taught about His gospel and how to follow Him in my thoughts, words, and actions … and for that I am eternally grateful. I have been able to see the difference between the lives of those that follow the world and those that follow Jesus Christ. The closer we are to God, the farther we will distance ourselves from the evils of this world. I love that.
C.S. Lewis said, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." I love that quote because when you STAND OUT to someone they don't always see the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they DO see everything else. They see the person you are through your words, actions, and deeds. People will always notice.
I will always remember those times in high school when people made fun of me for what I believed in and noticed that something was different about me. Right now I truly understand that it was because I have always had the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, and that foundation has given me the light and the strength to keep going strong every day. I have often felt different from others and I guess I always have been. Again, this isn't because I have done great things in my life, it's simply because I have chosen to follow the example of my Savior, Jesus Christ. We can’t ever be afraid to let people know who we REALLY are.
This past week we were able to teach Juan and Veronica. We are still working with Veronica but Juan has his baptismal interview this Saturday. We are so excited for him and for this decision he is making to be baptized on the 25th of March. His life has been changed and it is going to continue to change, forever. I feel like I have truly been an instrument in the hands of the Lord. There are people out there just like Juan searching and they are thirsting for the truth. I would like to invite all of you to STAND OUT so that someone notices you and your example, because I know it will help bring them closer to our Lord, Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and as we strive to become more like Him, we will be filled with light and happiness. The Lord needs people to stay close to Him and STAND OUT to others, and the world needs good people everywhere to stand up for what is good and true.
Posted by Spencer Vance at 5:08 AM