Friday, June 3, 2016

Aloha Brothers and Sisters!

Things here in the California Irvine mission have been going so great lately! Update: I am still in Las Flores (my second area), still with Elder Keith, and we are in the middle of my 5th transfer. The most exciting change that has happened companion and I are now on bikes! It is the best. It's nice being out, having people see us all the time and it also makes for great contacting!

We had a great experience this past week. We were dropping our bikes off at a members house so we could tract when we saw their 3 and a half year old daughter, Mae, playing with her friend in the yard. The friend looked at us funny and asked Mae who we were. Mae said, "Those are my missionaries!" then turned and smiled at us. Her friend then asked Mae, "what do they do?" Mae turned to her and simply and enthusiastically said, "They teach people about Jesus!" It reminded me of the babes that uttered things at Christs coming in the Book of Mormon. What she said was so simple yet it was so powerful to me! We do teach people about Jesus! That is what we do! It gave me a great feeling of joy and as I walked away, I walked away with a renewed feeling, knowing I was about to go and teach people about our Savior, Jesus Christ!

A few days ago as we were riding from one appointment to another, I felt or heard a voice yell behind me "Go back!" I turned around and nothing was behind me. We went back towards our last appointment but the gate to the community was locked. As we got back to the road we looked back the way we had originally come from and decided to just "go back" that way, not sure what we would find! As we did we decided to turn into our complex and as we got to the bottom of the hill a name popped into my mind of someone we had met a few weeks ago that lived within the complex! We road that way and sure enough she was just getting home with her 2 small children and was just preparing to leave again. It was the Lords timing! As we talked with her and got to know her more she explained she was recently divorced. She is a young single mom. She grew up knowing many Mormons but she herself didn't go to any type of church till she turned 18. She talked about how she felt scarred from the divorce but that she wanted to give the best life for her children. It was an amazing moment to testify of the power of Christ and His atonement. She explained she knew she could be healed from the pain but had never really tried, she had only tried to forget it but that wasn't working. She said she wanted to come to church and learn more from us about Christ's atonement and how she can have happiness for herself and her children! It was an amazing experience and I am grateful we were able to receive promptings from the Holy Ghost to "Go back" and talk to her!

I am loving my mission and the opportunity I have to serve every day! A scripture that has begun to have added meaning to me through my experience is Mosiah 4:26 :

26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

As I have thought about this I have come to realize the impact service has in our lives. As we serve others, our own will begins to align with our Heavenly Fathers, we continue to put off the natural man, we experience a change of heart through the power of the Holy Ghost, and become truly converted!

President Marion G. Romney has said:

“The sure way to peace and happiness in this life and life hereafter is to serve the Lord today and every day.”
And we learn from King Benjamin in Mosiah 2:17
"when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

My invite to you all is find a way to serve someone this week! In the words of Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “As disciples of Jesus Christ, we ought to do all we can to redeem others from suffering and burdens. Even so, our greatest redemptive service will be to lead them to Christ.”

I hope you all have a fantastic week! I know I will!

With much love,

Elder Matthew Mills