Monday, March 23, 2015

The Temple and The Atonement

I realized the other day that 3/4 of my companions are in the same zone...
the only one missing is Elder Juan who's been home for almost a year now. 

Kummerman, Paddock, Holman, Shipley

This week was great!  You wouldn't think so based off our numbers, but it really was a great week, especially for 3 reasons.  One being Dylan is moving along great and I'm really excited for the progress he's making.  I made him a bet while we were playing basketball with him on Saturday that if I beat him in 1 on 1 that he would have to come to Church.  And guess what, I won!  He got smart and counted coming to the branch party that night as coming to church... smart kid.  I'll get him this week though :)

The biggest highlight of my week though was going to the temple.  I love the temple.  It is my favorite place on earth.   The Spirit that is felt in that building is stronger than anywhere else on Earth.  It truly is the House of God.  I love going to the temple with a focus each time I go so that as I sit and pay attention, the Spirit can teach me strongly.  This time my focus was the Atonement.   This week, I've had the opportunity to do a lot of thinking about the ways that we can become powerful, effective missionaries.  I've noticed that there's some missionaries who go out and work hard each and every day and are obedient to the mission rules and the commandments without a problem and love being here and never want it to end.  I've also noticed that there's missionaries who work hard, and love being here,but are excited for when its over and they can go back to "normal life" and not have as many "restrictions", which they hardly keep anyway.  I came to the conclusion that a lot of that has to do with understanding our Purpose as missionaries to "invite others to come unto Christ" and understanding the Atonement.  

Preach My Gospel says
"As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You will feel, as Lehi did, the 'great … importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth' (2 Nephi 2:8)"  
I know this is true.  I'm thankful for the insights that I've had this week on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the pure love that He and our Father in Heaven have for us (John 3:16).  My hope is that as we as a District put more of a focus on the Atonement in our studies and in our teaching that not only we will progress and become better missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ, but our investigators and less actives and members will progress and become better disciples of Jesus Christ.  
This work is true.  I'm happy to be a part of it.  I invite each of you to take some time to pull out your scriptures this week and learn as much as you can about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Knowing more about what He has done for us not only helps us to feel more of the love of God and understand the Atonement better, but it helps us be more grateful and humble and helps us want to share this love with others.  
I hope you have a great week!  I love you!
Lots of Love,
Elder Zachary Paddock

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