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January 3rd, 2012

Woh! It's a knew year! and 2012... Red necks sure know how to party here... hahaha. I was hearing shotguns all night...
We had a mission goal of 900 baptisms this year. We were able to reach 543. (...2...1...Baptize!! haha). Was an improvement from 2010 though. which was around 360. I'm excited for conference this April(or may?.. whenever) to see how much the church has grown as a whole! Exciting times. While I may not be baptizing out the wazoo, I know that baptism is not what it's all about. It's about inviting others to come unto Christ. It's almost a silly subject among some missionaries, in the discussions I will have with them. They'll be adamant about Baptize at all cost!! but, that's not what the Mission President is telling us to do, nor what the Lords wants. True, he does want Everyone to be baptized, but more important, he wants them to come back home. Baptism alone will not get us back Home to Heaven. That's why the gospel of Jesus Christ starts with Faith! Knowing who we are, who God is, Who Jesus Christ is, and how we play into the Fathers perfect plan. Once we know that, we understand why it's important to Repent, as a process of changing ourselves to be in harmony with God's law. This is a life long process. It is required Before baptism and After. Then baptism and so on.
I love the Priesthood so much! It fits me so well, with how much I love serving others more than I enjoy serving my own self. We were at a members how yesterday, and she asks us for a blessing of comfort. She had been having a hard day and everything seemed to be going wrong. She has signed up to take a personal aircraft piloting class, but the plane wouldn't start so she wasn't able to start the class, She forgot that she had signed up to feed us and we were at her house an hour before she got home... She did happen to put a ham in the crock-pot, but it got overcooked and most of it was dry. It turned from being a Fun Missionary Run Family Home evening, to a -Relax And Let Us Put The Christmas Decorations Away For You And To Remove Some Clutter And Reduce Some Claustrophobia In This Tiny Trailer- evening. I even rewired their Xbox 360 and internet cables and router, since they were all in a jumbled mess on the floor. She has two daughters, 13 and 17, which picked at each other periodically. (We know how Those can be, mom and dad haha, jk). Before we left, we gave her a blessing of comfort and counsel, and she asked me to give it (technical terms, to Act as Voice, as I have come to understand it better). It was a simple blessing, i thought, but somehow, just being able to have the priesthood, and to exercise it righteously, enabled those words as directed by the spirit to have an incredibly deeper meaning to them. To me, my voice did not even sound the same. It was as if someone else were speaking those words. As soon as I said all that came to mind as the spirit burned within me, it receded and I had nothing more i could think to say. It. Was. Remarkable. This is not the first blessing I have had this experience with on my mission, and it wont be my last, on this short mission nor after. It just continues to amaze me, the powers of God that we are entrusted with. I will forever be in Awe.
After the blessing, we breifly counseled her daughters to seek husbands who hold the priesthood and can give such blessings in a home. In this crippling world, and in the crippling social environment I see people live in each day, they cannot afford to marry a man outside of the temple, and who does not hold this blessing of the priesthood of God. Life is too dangerous without it. I am so happy that my older sisters have found such righteous men. Now I've just got one more to see after my mission Very Happy and this time, I'll be able to witness the sealing. I love you family! I love you so much!

-Elder Rhodes
p.s. I hope the book of mormon reading is going well! here's a short calendar i made of what to read the next few days Very Happy
Jan 3, 17-18
Jan 4, 19-20
Jan 5, 21-22
Jan 6, 23-24
Jan 7, 25-26
Jan 8, 27-28
Jan 9, 29-30
Jan 10, 31-32
Jan 11, 33-34
Jan 12, 35-36
Jan 13, 37-38
Good Luck Very Happy

1 blog comments below

degayygy2012 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:23 pm

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