Monday, May 16, 2016

"Gibbs and Barrus, what are y'all, a law firm?"

Good morning everyone! This past week I have definitely seen the hand of the Lord in His work. One of those blessings has been that Elder Gibbs and I have been safe and have not gotten robbed (yet). Now I am going to talk about some pretty cool people we've come to know in the past few days:

Miguel: This guy is super awesome. He came to English class last week, and told us that the minute he walked into the church building, he knew it was where he was supposed to be. So he came to church last Sunday, and liked it a lot, and we taught him the followingTuesday. His desire to learn for himself and study the scriptures is something that brings me a lot of joy, because I have come to love studying the scriptures myself. By showing God that we value His teachings and words, we show that we are deserving of receiving personal revelation, which has something that I find very gratifying. The only problem with Miguel is that he actually lives 30 minutes north, so we have to turn him over to another set of elders. 

Melvin: Melvin is probably 30 years old, and he's from El Salvador. He had been going through some changes recently in his life, and he started coming to our English class a few weeks ago. He came to church last Sunday, and we gave him a Book of Mormon without really explaining what it was and didn't think too much about it. Well, he actually called us a few days later and told us he had been reading and that he wanted to meet an hour before soccer night on Saturday so we could talk about it. He's a real smart guy who figures things out quickly, and he has the desire to read The Book of Mormon and to ask God if it's true. The only problem is that I did a less than stellar job of relating the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to his desires, so we're not actually sure he understands why or how the Gospel applies to him. That will definitely be a lesson that I can learn. But we're excited to see his progress in the coming days or weeks, the only foreseeable obstacle is that he works almost all the time. And I know what you may be thinking, "That's what people say when they're not interested." However, most of the men that we teach down here, when they say they don't have time to meet, they literally mean that they don't have any time because they work until 9 pm 6 days a week. I do have a lot of respect for them though, because they make the sacrifices necessary in order to provide for their families and don't really complain too much about it. 

Anyways, the last person I would like to talk about is Elmer. Elmer just came from El Salvador also, but his dad and brother are already baptized and active members of the church. He's come with them to church the last four weeks, and has a ton of desire to repent and do the things that God wants for him. Initially, we thought he was only taking lessons from us because his dad wanted him too, but now we've come to see that he has real desire to do this for himself. Last week we extended a date to him, but he wouldn't accept a date because he didn't feel ready, which was good because it showed that he is taking this seriously, although we tried to explain to him that helping him prepare for baptism was what we are here for, but still. He's a great guy who I have a lot of hope for.

In conclusion, this last paragraph is basically going to be some advice that probably no one is going to read, but should read, so if you're still reading this, good on ya. 

1. The first being, stay in school kids. You don't want to be gone from 6 am until 10 pm every night working construction. Trust me on this one. 

2. Also, I invite everyone to read the Holy Scriptures each and every day. 

3.Thirdly, church attendance is extremely important. When we go in the right spirit, with a desire to learn, improve, and build others up, we will come away feeling refreshed and edified. One of the first commandments God gave Abraham was "Be thou perfect." (Genesis 17:1) Obviously no one is going to be perfect in this life, but we can strive to be better each and every week by participating in sacred and saving ordinances. The sooner we start our eternal progression on the path that God has laid out for us, the happier we will be, and the more people we will be able to help, which in turn will bring more purpose and edification to our lives. 

I know that this is the work of the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ is the head of this Church, and He has restored His church through the prophet Joseph Smith in these, the latter days. I know that he always stands at the door, ready to receive us and help us on this path of peace and happiness. I know we have a living prophet who speaks with God, and he has 12 apostles that are called to be witnesses of Him. 

Elder Josh Barrus

Also, shout out to my guy Santos who went contacting with me
for 2 hours in the pouring rain yesterday. Super awesome member. 

View of downtown Houston

Houston Zoo

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