Que Honda!
Vista is great. It's not super hot like up in Orange County so that's good:) Elder Knavel is in our Zone. He was actually just made the AP. We have 22 in our Zone with the assistants. It's the biggest Zone as far as missionaries go, so it's super fun to get to know everyone. We had a pretty stressful weekend, but it was really good. So Sunday morning we got up at about 5:40 and headed up to camp Pendleton to teach the Marines. After church services up there we had two baptisms. It's crazy because the marines are only up there for like 4 weeks, so we have to teach them lessons 1,2,3, and 4 pretty much all at once, and then get them baptized. It's crazy how it works, but really cool.
What we do is we have usually 5 of us that head up, and then the Marines that are members invite their friends to church and then after we all split up as missionaries, and take a couple of the recruits and go and teach them and try to get them to be baptized within the 4 week time period. Last sunday we had I think 8 investigators we taught at Pendleton. It's amazing how much Boot Camp humbles these people as well. There's one that I was teaching that had just finished reading the Book of Mormon, and he said he wants to be baptized. So it's really neat. The week before I talked to him about baptism and he said he wasn't sure, but then he finished the Book of Mormon during the following week, and recieved his answer that he needed to be baptized. The Book of Mormon is so powerful...... So after teaching up at Pendleton we came back to Vista and went straight to our ward. It was the Primary program. I love those! Made me think of 3 nefi 9:22. Good stuff. So after sacrament we taught Gospel Principles, signs of the second coming, and then after that there was a combined ym/yw class that we taught on the Book of Mormon. It was cool. We challenged everyone to share a Book of Mormon with a friend of theirs in the next two weeks, and gave them each a copy. So Sunday was pretty crazy, and then on Monday morning we had to get up again around 5:30 to finish preparing a 3 hour Zone Training that we gave Monday morning at 10. It was a pretty intense weekend, but super fun:) I've been learning a lot since I got here.
So we learned something really neat from President Cook. Ever since the Great Apostasy there began to be all these incorrect Paradigms about God, and many other things, But if you think about History God has been planning for a very important paradigm shift. The paradigm shift of the Restoration of the Gospel. Think about the incorrect paradigm of the world being flat in the 15th century. Everyone thought that the world was flat and that limited exploration, because people feared they would fall off the earth. So think of that and then think of the Book of Mormon. Christopher Colombus believed in God, and said that he was moved upon by the Holy Spirit to explore the seas. There are many other things that took place. Many paradigm shifts such as the printing press, the nicean creed, the reformation, etc. All these things that God was doing to prepare for a huge paradigm shift. The restoration of the Gospel. There were four paradigm shifts that ocurred with the restoration. The first event was the 1st vision. That event answered the WHO we are. We are children of a loving Heavenly Father who has a body of flesh and bone, and His Beloved Son is a separate being of flesh and bone as well. The 2nd event was the restoration of the fulness of the everlasting gospel throught the Book of Mormon. That event answers the WHOSE we are. Because of Christ's sacrifice we are His. We know that it is not only by works alone, or by grace alone that we are saved, but we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. The 3rd event was the restoration of the Priesthood. That event answers the HOW we get back to our Heavenly Father. It is through Priesthood Ordinances such as baptism, the Sacrament, etc. that we can be saved and make it back to our Father's prescence. The 4th and final Paradigm shift of the restoration of the gospel answers the WHERE. Where do we go to recieve these ordinances. The church was restored and again organized upon the earth, and we now have a place to go to recieve these priesthood ordinances. It's amazing to see how much preparation our Heavenly Father put into this. The Restoration is true, and I know that we really do have a Loving Heavenly Father and He's given us the fulness of the everlasting gospel once again.
Wellp don't have much time, but thanks for everything. Love you all. Keep praying and looking for missionary opportunities and you'll have them. Thanks for sharing that cool experience mom. Keep it up. That really made me feel good to know that you're doing missionary work too:) Love you!
Con amor,
Elder Witle!