Monday, February 29, 2016

Lifting Our Burdens Through Service

Good Afternoon,

We've been teaching an 85 year old lady named Ana.
We've been also visiting Raul a member who's been away from church for over 10 years.
I was praying 2 weeks ago trying to figure out getting Ana to church and her wheel chair and everything... and Raul name comes very clearly to my mind. He has a car. He doesn't do anything Sunday mornings... I wrote it down and moved on.
We were planning for the week and we get to Ana, and how she is going to get to church. I remember Raul and the very clear answer I had received the week prior.
We called him and asked him if he would help someone we were teaching get to church that Sunday.
It was silent for over a minute. He protested weakly and we told him "Brother, were not trying to get you to go to church. We need your help so that someone else will." Silence again.
He visited her with us Saturday night to arrange everything.
Sunday morning, he almost beat us to her house.
He lifted her from the wheel chair to the car and from the car to the wheel chair. He dropped us off at church and then drove away.
Church ended and he was waiting outside the door. He lifted her up and put her in the car. and then took us all back to her house to take her out again and put her in the wheel chair.
We asked him, while driving Elder Reynolds and I back to the church, if there was anyghint we could do to help him or him family. He responded "Keep doing what you have just done".

People stop going to church for so many reasons. The grand part of them being reasons very very small, that push us so very very far away from the Love and Unity we feel as active members in the Gospel (not church, but gospel... I am not talking about church attendance).
Serving others is one of the many ways the Lord uses to bless US. not the people we are serving, but US. Service has a way of lifting our own problems from our shoulders and for a few moments we are free to see the world as it really is and not how we think it is.

Keep the commandment and serve someone this week.

I love you all very much,
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta

Monday, February 22, 2016

Learn by Faith

Family and Friends,

Every other transfer cycle, Presidente and the assistants have a conference with each of the 10 zones in the mission. The conferences this transfer are focused on the Holy Spirit and His role in our work. I wanted to share a thought with respect to one of the principles we have be studying. I quote from a talk by elder Bednar titled “Learn by Faith”.

We firmly believe in the power and strength that comes through acting by faith. We believe in God and in His Son and know that they will guide us, but often times we find our self asking, questioning, or even doubting the faith filled footsteps before we even take them. We let uncertainty take the place of our faith and begin to search for evidences to anchor ourselves to instead of just acting. Elder Bednar explains how Faith is the evidence upon which we can anchor ourselves:

Assurance, action, and evidence influence each other in an ongoing process. This helix is like a coil, and as it spirals upward it expands and widens. These three elements of faith—assurance, action, and evidence—are not separate and discrete; rather, they are interrelated and continuous and cycle upward. And the faith that fuels this ongoing process develops, evolves, and changes. As we again turn and face forward toward an uncertain future, assurance leads to action and produces evidence, which further increases assurance. Our confidence waxes stronger, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.

We find a powerful example of the interaction among assurance, action, and evidence as the children of Israel transported the ark of the covenant under the leadership of Joshua (see Joshua 3:7–17). Recall how the Israelites came to the river Jordan and were promised the waters would part, and they would be able to cross over on dry ground. Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted. They walked into the river Jordan with a future-facing assurance of things hoped for. As the Israelites moved forward, the water parted, and as they crossed over on dry land, they looked back and beheld the evidence of things not seen. In this episode, faith as assurance led to action and produced the evidence of things not seen that were true.

As we exercise faith though our actions, we find that “faith [becomes an], anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works” Ether 12:4. As we abound in faith-full works, that same faith becomes something tangible in our lives, to which we may secure ourselves and our families.

Faith is a requirement if we hope to receive divine guidance in this life, but it is also a left-over to spiritual experiences brought about by our faith (evidence of things not seen). It is at the beginning and the end. “Assurance, action, and evidence influence each other in an ongoing process”, and “These three elements of faith—assurance, action, and evidence—are not separate and discrete; rather, they are interrelated and continuous and cycle upward.”

Thank you for the emails and letters and packages. I read every single one. I don't respond to almost any of them, but know that they do get read.

I love you all,

Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta