Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spiritual Liberty

This past week has been amazing! The Lord has dumped blessings upon us and it was one of my favorite weeks of my mission. We had six investigators at church!  For the last 4 ½ months, Elder Mahoney and I have been praying for a family to bring into the fold of God and we found them. About a month ago, Elder Mahoney had stopped by a couple of people that seemed interested previously but at the time were not home. We both got in the car and, as I was about to start the car, Elder Mahoney said, "We gotta get out of the car." It was really hot that day and so I kind of grudgingly got out and followed him. He began walking down the street and I followed. It was a day of struggles up to that point for me. We hadn't had much success that week in teaching or finding and so my spirits were down. We turned down this one street and began knocking on doors. No one seemed interested. We turned around and saw a house on the corner with the door open. We walked over and knocked. A woman came to the door. She was super nice and her name was Jessica. We explained to her who we were and that we wanted to leave a blessing on her home by saying a prayer with them. Her eyes lit up and she said we could do that. Her two boys ran to the door and said, "Who are you guys?!!" Julian (11) and Jaden (8) both looked up at us and you could see that they felt something different about us. We told them that we were missionaries. Jessica's husband was busy, so we felt prompted to say a prayer with them on their doorstep. It was a powerful prayer. Julian and Jaden told us that they pray at night and know Jesus Christ. It truly lifted our spirits and was an answer to our prayers, and they invited us back the following week. I am so grateful that Elder Mahoney followed the strong prompting he received from the Spirit to "Get out of the car!". Since then, we have taught them about the Restoration and they all want to be baptized as a family on July 26th. Jaden and Julian always ask us if we can do sleepovers or play video games, haha. I love them to death! In one of our lessons Jessica expressed to us that one of the times we stopped by she was so distraught and worn down. She told us, "I just felt so down and when I saw you three, I wanted to throw my arms around you. I have been looking for something that would unite my family and give us direction in all of our lives." They are truly amazing. They came to church this past Sunday!  It was such a powerful experience for me to sit by them, feeling the love we have for each of them. Brian (the dad) and Julian came in white shirts and ties and they looked like members already! I know that we are servants of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and that we are here to help and invite others to come unto Him. I know that He wants us all to be happy and free from a world of sin. 
This past week we celebrated the 4th of July…the independence and freedom of our country. How grateful I am to live in a country where I can worship and believe freely. I know that this country is the Promised Land! I am so proud to be an American, a son of a Heavenly Father, and a disciple of Jesus Christ. I know that spiritual liberty can be achieved as well … I feel it in my own life. We don't have to feel weighed down by the world and don't have to hold onto guilt and shame. We can be liberated through repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But how can we stay spiritually free in our lives? I love this quote:

"Disobedience to the Lord’s commandments will always deprive us of His blessings. The world changes constantly and dramatically; but God, His commandments, and promised blessings do not change. Men and women receive their agency as a gift from God, but their LIBERTY and, in turn, their eternal happiness come from OBEDIENCE to His laws."- Elder L. Tom Perry
We are imperfect beings and yet I know that we can experience spiritual liberty every day of our lives. I testify that spiritual freedom from sin and sorrow comes from LIVING God's commandments every day … it is the ONLY way to have true and lasting happiness. As we obey God's commandments, we are liberated from the darkness of the world and He blesses us with a fullness of life that cannot be achieved otherwise. Just like Brian and Jessica’s family, you can find spiritual liberty through Jesus Christ. By taking that first step of faith and following Him, you can be freed from ANY burdens and sins that hold you down. 

I know that as I repent I can become more like my Savior and become pure, even as He is pure. I am living every day like it is my last. I want to find all those who need this gospel, I want to teach with power and authority, and I want to baptize my brothers and sisters that are so desperately searching for liberty from their sins. These are children of our Heavenly Father. I love my purpose and I love my mission. I testify that it is through Jesus Christ that we not only have freedom in this life, but in the life to come.

Los Quiero,

Elder Vance

1 comment:

  1. Hey thanks for this blog! I am starting a blog roll of all of the missionary bloggers that I can find. Will you pass along any you know of! Sad to see you are going home soon! You seem like a great missionary! Thanks, Jocelyn http://beinglds.blogspot....I added you already!