Tuesday, December 3, 2013

From November 11, 2013: Joy to the Ward

Drum roll please!  So I totally went to a baptism this week!  "J" GOT BAPTIZED.  She's from my old area --  a 9-year-old who I only got to teach once but I put her on baptismal date and then she actually came and got baptized and I got to take an investigator and see it!  Yea for the perks of having your old area be a small subsection of your new area!  So that was really special.   And apparently "S," who I also found and taught in my last area is progressing really well and should be baptized soon.  Huzzah for postponed success!  
It was quite an interesting week, as it always is.  The work is picking up, which is nice.  You could put "miracle" in the description of basically everyone we are teaching.  Or "boyfriend/girlfriend of ward member" in all of them, too.  Haha!  Singles ward for life!   (A "singles ward" is different than a traditional, "family" ward because it is made up of young adults between the ages of  21-30 years of age who are not married.  Such wards have older adult leaders and are typically located around a college campus.  That's the kind of ward where Tyler is serving now).
Let's hear it for McDonalds restaurant, by the way.  We have a miracle lesson just about every week there and usually it has to do with McDonalds.  In fact, there has never been a time that we went into a McDonalds that we DIDN'T end up teaching a lesson.
So this week's miracle is brought to you by a guy we met in a Subway Restaurant one day. He said he was interested in our message, but he was working so he couldn't talk right then.  And then we met him THE NEXT DAY ABOUT 20 miles from where we met him the first time when we walked into a McDonalds.  And he sat down with us and basically said "If I run into you guys again, I'll read the whole Book of Mormon in a day!"  We are handing him off to other Elders because of his location, but it was crazy!  Stuff just happens and it's all for the best. 
Also crazy this week is how many investigators of ours have really started to understand that the church is true.  Now we just have to get them to understand that they need to be baptized.  There were investigators lost, ones found, people brought closer to Christ, experience gained, forms filled out.  The most meaningful routine of existence.
This week, something that has come up again and again is being perfect.  It's a commandment.  The scriptures even tell us so, that it is a commandment and as such must be followed.  "Be ye therefore perfect."  This is devastating if it is not understood.  We think:  "Perfect?!  How can I be perfect?!  I'm so far from that."  And so we all curl up in a little ball and despair for a while because perfection is something we think of as unattainable.  People shout their condolences at us.  It means "Uhhh... be perfect later!" they think.  But no, we can be perfect...in this small facet of life.   The fact is, we are to be perfect.  And we are to be perfected NOW.  This is the source of the despair of the world.  If we can't be perfect, we can't come to live with God, because He is perfect and we must be clean to live with Him.  We are to be perfect.  Once we live that commandment on our own, we can truly begin to be like Him.  Until then, we have been given Christ, who promises us that we can be PERFECTED through Him.  He helps us live up to the commandment until we can finally live up to it on our own.

Let's talk about something else quickly, too.  We are to live our lives pursuant to a purpose.  People agree on this, but most choose to ignore it and live their lives day-to-day with no clear direction.  What's the point of that?!  The disagreement emerges when we begin to discuss what we are to live our lives pursuant TO.  But that's the easy part.  We are to live our lives pursuant to growth, which is pursuant to perfection, which is pursuant to Godhood.  Think of that before you make a decision.  Think about that as your purpose.  And slowly, each action will be brought in line with a purpose: living pursuant to becoming like God.
I love you all.  Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and love.
With Hope,
Elder Molinaro

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