Week 85 - Quail Creek, Oklahoma - 17 February 2014

Mi querida Familia,
We had a pleasant week here in OKC. Elder Beus had a cold so we had to stay inside for a good chunk of time. Nevertheless, we were able to schedule appointments and visit those that we needed too. 
Interesting thing happened this week. W have a recent convert named Candice. She is awesome! She was formerly a Catholic but she went through a miraculous conversion because of a friend she works with. But funny story with her I-pad. On her i-pad she had both the Gospel Library app and also an E-Bible ap. In the past few weeks, she had been receiving e-mails from the E-Bible app that were targeted against Latter Day Saints. How they knew she was Mormon, we don't know. Anyways she decided to delete the E-bible app, and when she did, something happened where all the software on the Gospel Library app just disappeared, and when she went to click on the app, the icon just fizzled away...weird. Satan is using any means to be able to try and break our testimony of the restored gospel, because he knows how much eternal joy this gospel can bring us.

We've had a lot of success this week with less-actives. Sister Wickwire, whom Elder Kennedy and I were working with for a few weeks came to church yesterday! We were very excited to see her. D'Quan also came. It's just always good to have him in gospel essentials class; he has the most unique perspective on things. We were talking about the Fall of Adam and Eve and how Adam was also Michael the Archangel in the Pre-existnce, and he commented on how faithful Adam must have been to accept the calling to be the first man on earth. Think about it, he was the leader of millions of brothers and sisters, someone who had a lot of power and recognition and he had to be the first man on earth, and basically give up his standing as an Archangel and be on earth with relatively few people. You have to be there in class to hear him explain himself, it's hilarious! He's got such a great attitude about life. 

We had a lesson with our investigator Michael yesterday and it went well. But I came out of that lesson with a question: what does it mean to be saved? I did a personal study with that question in mind this morning and I found some interesting insights. I invite everyone to do the same because in order for us to help our brothers and sisters who are Christian and aren't yet members of the church we need to understand what the word "saved" really means.

And to be honest it can mean quite a few things. One instance I read about is the story of King Lamoni's wife. After being unconscious for a few hours, she wakes up and proclaims, Oh blessed Jesus who has saved me from an awful hell. She mentions how Jesus had saved, but up to this point she had not been baptized. She had simply exercised simple faith and repentance. so in a way, you can be saved by simply exercising faith. You can be saved from going down the wrong path. The problem is, is that being saved is not a one time deal. It's a process that you have to keep on applying. Unless a man endure to the end he cannot be saved. 

So when people mention that they've been saved, they are correct. Accepting Christ into life even with not by the proper authority can save you from a life of misery and sadness. However, salvation in the Celestial kingdom and the sanctification required to become like HEavenly Father requires a little more: ordinances, covenants, enduring to the end, changing your nature etc..

I am so grateful for the restored Gospel which helps save me not only in the short term, but in the eternal perspective of things. I can change my nature into one more similar to Christ if I keep his commandments and learn how to love others. 

Anyways, it was a good study and I plan on pondering a little more on what it means to be saved. I love how the Spirit can teach us through the scriptures. there are so many doubts that can be resolved we will just study it out in our minds and apply the things we learn! The Book of Mormon is so true and brings us closer to Christ!
Have a great week everyone!
Con Amor,
Elder Powley  
PS -- a little about some of the duties of a Zone Leader -- some of you asked:
Being a Zone Leader is very rewarding. Some of the most rewarding experiences are to go on training visits with the other missionaries. I love the opportunity to lift encourage and inspire missionaries on a personal level.
Usually, as zone leaders we train the whole zone about once a month. We sit in on District meetings and give advice on the concerns other missionaries have in their areas. 
Some of the trainings we've done include principles such as "teaching when you find", working with members, and tomorrow we are giving a training on our purpose and the importance of establishing expectations for baptism in the first lesson. We find that investigators are more able to progress when they understand our expectations and there's no misconceptions. A lot of times missionaries will find people to teach but not even bring up baptism and then after a few lessons, they don't invite and their visits become more of just talking about the word and less about inviting people to action. 
So there's a little bit about what we do as Zone Leaders. In a few weeks, our mission is getting evaluated and we'll have a leadership council with the President of Mission Headquarters. Can't wait! 
Have a great week!

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