Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 16

Hey Everyone!

It has been a good week this week!  We have just been working hard and seeing miracles.  We have been really trying to get people out to church, because that has been one of our struggles lately, and we were very grateful to have a lot of investigators come to church last Sunday.  We left the house early Sunday morning to drop by the people's homes and remind them about church, and bring them with us if they wanted.  By the time we made it to church there was already a couple of investigators there waiting for us.  It was a good church service.  The investigators all said that they enjoyed it, and hopefully they will be coming back next week.  The Medrano family is still doing good, but they didn't make it out to church.  Two of the daughters have been busy getting ready for a big program this week in school, and the other is on the morning shift right now, but they said that next week they will be able to come for sure.  The one daughter actually has a friend that is being taught by the other companionship of missionaries in Santa Ana right now, so that makes her want to come a little more.
The district president visited our branch yesterday, and he shared a great message in sacrament meeting about being willing to serve the Lord.  He talked about how greatly blessed were the people like Nephi who just trusted in the Lord and decided to 'go and do', and the blessings that were missed by those who chose to complain or doubt like Laman and Lemuel.  As he spoke one of my favorite quotes came to mind. It was, "God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability!" (Neal A Maxwell, Its Service, not Status that Counts).  I have felt that.  Sometimes in the mission I have been called to do things that I didn't really believe that I could do, but as I tried my best, I have felt God increase my ability. There are a lot of blessings that are missed by us when we choose to be afraid of failure instead of putting our faith in God.

I will get to spend my last full week here in Santa Ana.  We will go to Laoag on Sunday right after the services, and then fly to Manila on Tuesday afternoon. I'm sad to leave, but excited to see you all again.  Lots of mixed emotions (:

Just in case anyone wants to come see me, I will be giving a talk in sacrament meeting on July 30th.  The sacrament meeting will begin at 9:00 AM at the chapel located at 9626 North 6800 West HIGHLAND, Utah.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9

Hello Everyone!

I sometimes feel like every week I write the same things.  If you feel that way too, sorry!  But hopefully there is at least something interesting in these little weekly updates I send out.  As for this week, it has been another great week!  As normal we've been working hard, trying to help others come closer to Christ, and as usual we have felt the Lord's hand in our work.

One family that we have been working with is the Medrano family.  They are so very very kind.  We met 2 of them once while we were finding some less actives.  They were getting a scale fixed, and we saw them and started talking to them.  They invited us to come to their home and share with them. In their family there are 4 children.  3 girls and 1 boy, but for the first couple of visits we only saw the mother, the son, and one of the daughters.  They were very kind, and showed a lot of interest in the Gospel.  This week we have gone we were finally able to meet the other two daughters, and they all listened to a message.  They are a wonderful family that really wants to do what God wants.  They have been reading the Book of Mormon and feel that it is true, but have been having a hard time making it out to church.  We would really appreciate it if you all could pray for them that they will be able to go to church, and prepare to be baptized.

My two favorite scriptures of the week are these.  First 1 Nephi 17:3

    And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of  God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them;

and second Alma 26:11,12

    I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things;

Over the course of my mission I have tried doing the work on my own, and I have tried to do it with God's help.  Take my word for it, when we rely on God's help, he makes all things possible unto us. I have felt the strengthening power spoken of by Nephi.  I have also learned that I am nothing.  That on my own, there is little that I can do to change this big world. But with God's help, I can make a difference.  In God's strength I can do all things. So if there is anything that I would like to share with you all today, is that if you want to be successful in life.  Really truly successful, not just rich, then the easiest, fastest, and most sure way to achieve that goal is to do it in our Heavenly Father's way.  No other way will bring the same peace and happiness, and no other way will lead to eternal life.  I hope you have a wonderful week, and that you see the Lord's hand in your life.  It is there.  I promise.

Elder Childs

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2

Hello Everyone!

We have had a good week this week.  We have been working hard to help the people here in Santa Ana come closer to Christ, and it is always fulfilling.

The highlight of the week was the baptism of one of our part member family.  It was the son of a less active brother that we've been working with.  It was a wonderful day to see him baptized and confirmed.

I've also been doing my best to notice the little miracles in my life, and write them down. It is always a blessing to me.  Just for a little example, there was one day this week when it felt like we were running in to barrier after barrier.  Things were not working out like we expected, and I came home and ended up just sitting on my bed pondering.  I was a little worn out and worn down by the day, and I was wondering why all these problems kept on cropping up when we were doing the best that we could to serve the Lord.  As  I was thinking about that, I decided to pull out my journal and write a little bit.  So I started to write, but before I got very far into writing, I ended up just reading.  I went back through some of my old entries from this, and past areas.  As I read, I remembered all the wonderful things that God had done to help us in the past, and everything that he is currently doing to help us, and with all of that, I forgot the little trials that we were facing, and it was replaced with trust that the Lord would deliver us from all trials and afflictions.

Alma once in speaking to the apostate church at Zarahemla asked this question, " And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?" (Alma 5:6) It is a question that we could each ask ourselves.  Have we remembered everything that God has done for us and for our forefathers?  Or are we with the large group of people today who are quick to forget the goodness of God and ready to complain?  And once we are able to say that we have remembered the goodness of God, we would do well to ask ourselves if we have made our spiritual experiences available to ourselves and our posterity for future reference  The seemingly small experiences today will turn out to be the miracles in our life, if we only remember those experiences.

I really do have a testimony that the Lord does help us.  He does have a very real role in our lives.  But we need to make sure that we are always aware and grateful for all of the blessings that He gives us.  When we give in to complaining about current situations, we blind ourselves to the miracles happening all around us.  But as we choose to see through faith filled eyes, we will see never ending miracles, and we will become very aware of God's love for us.

So I would invite each of you to take time every day, but if not every day at least every week, to reflect on all the miracles, big and small, that God has been working in your life, and then write it down somewhere where it will not be lost, so that those experiences can be a source of strength to you in the rainy seasons of your life.

I love you all!

Elder Childs