Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Teach Nothing but Repentance

Dear Family,

To explain the photos, I woke up one Sunday morning and saw Elder Nottingham sitting on his bed like this. Yesterday morning I finished my prayers and looked up to see Elder Johnson doing the same thing. It made me laugh pretty hard.

Thank you for all your love and prayers. I feel more grateful with each passing day for each of you and your examples to me.

I was on exchanges in a different zone last week and they had a zone meeting. To start off the zone meeting, they had each companionship stand up and tell about a miracle they had had recently. It was powerful. I was amazed to hear the miracles of the Lord. The Spirit was present testifying that what is taught in 2 Nephi 27:23 is true:

"For behold, I am God; and I am a God of a miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."

I know that miracles still happen and that the greatest miracle of all is a change of heart. I love when we have the chance to see that miracle happen because you know that it didn't happen because of you. This week we had the opportunity to see hearts changed. We have been teaching and testifying like all missionaries do but President Ashton taught us about teaching the Atonement and then to follow up with a lesson on repentance. As we have done that it has been powerful. Our investigators finally came to church!

We were finally able to find a family at home and taught them about the Atonement and they came to church! We taught a less active family the repentance lesson and when we left, their hearts had changed. We asked at the beginning of the lesson if they had read what we left them in the Book of Mormon. The 18 year-old daughter said no because she can't remember to do things like that. During the lesson we talked with her about what sin is and how it made her feel. We asked if she liked the feeling that sin caused and then if she felt that God was pleased with her and if she felt clean and pure. She said that she didn't but that she would give anything to feel that way. We left her with the verses in Alma 36 where Alma describes his pain and sorrow and then his joy and promised her that she could feel that God is pleased with her if she would do what Alma did. She was so excited to read the Book of Mormon. Quite a change from when we arrived.

No wonder the Lord commands us to "Say nothing but repentance unto this generation". As we have taught repentance to those who are repentant and to those who think that the Atonement is out of their reach, I find so much solace in what we learn from Moroni 6:8, "But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven."

I know that that is true. God will always forgive those who sincerely repent. Sorry for the many scriptures and but just one more thought from Elder Holland, 

"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines." 

I love you all! This Gospel is true.

Elder Case

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