Bienvenidos a la Mision Chile Santiago Norte! We love the Savior, and are blessed to be part of this great work, to share His gospel, and invite others to come unto Him. We are grateful to have this incredible opportunity to associate with such fine young men and women and other couples who are serving in this wonderful part of the vineyard. We decided to share this mission through a blog, with any who would like to know more.... All of the lessons, talks, training, conferences, and meetings are obviously done totally in Spanish, but for the sake of this writer, the notes are here in English, for speed in typing, and therefore, mixed with a bit of both worlds. We hope all of our missionaries, families, and loved ones can enjoy this blog, in spite of the writing, grammar, language, errors, etc. This will be a miraculous journey, and we invite you to share and enjoy it with us.

Lovingly, con cariño,
Presidente Michael May
Hermana Carol May

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Power of the Book of Mormon

In the introduction of Chapter 37 in Alma, it says the “plates of brass and other scriptures are preserved to bring souls to salvation.”. We have been called to preach the gospel of repentance and we have been entrusted with the greatest tool for conversion, the Book of Mormon. The Lord expects us to use it powerfully and effectively in all of our proselyting efforts.
----------------------------------In Chapter 37 Alma is teaching his son Helaman of the importance of keeping the sacred records containing the Holy Scriptures. Perhaps he sensed in Helaman a lack of understanding of how important and powerful the scriptures were in God´s great and eternal purposes when he said, “Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise” (Alma 37:6).

Alma teaches Helaman why he should preserve the scriptures. “ And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls” (Alma 37:8).

The study of the Book of Mormon truly does “enlarge the memory” of investigators, members, and missionaries that we do have a Heavenly Father who knows us, answers our prayers, and has a plan of happiness in which we can achieve eternal life through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. President Boyd K. Packer has said that “the gospel will have a familiar “ring” to an adult or a child”. The power of the Book of Mormon greatly increases that familiar ring as we use it regularly in our teachings.

To impress upon Helaman even more the power of the Holy Scriptures, Alma cited the example of Ammon and his brethren in verse 9:

“Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer”.

He then poses a very powerful question about the potential of the Holy Scriptures in bringing many thousands of others including their unrighteous Nephite brethren to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, their Redeemer (Alma 37:10).

Alma reminds Helaman that God has entrusted him with these sacred records and that if he keeps the commandments of God, prays for inspiration to know what to do with these sacred records, “He will show forth his power in them unto future generations, therefore they shall be preserved” (Alma 37:16-19). What a great reminder this is to us as missionaries to trust in the Book of Mormon as a powerful tool for conversion. It continues today to play an essential role in the conversion of many to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us use it powerfully and effectively in our daily teaching here in the North mission that we may bring thousands and thousands to a knowledge of the truth and salvation through baptism of water for a remission of sins and a baptism of the Spirit for the precious gift of the Holy Ghost.

I testify that the Book of Mormon does “enlarge our memories” in reminding us of our purpose here in this life and of the great plan of salvation that our loving Heavenly Father has provided for us in which we can achieve eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, receiving the precious gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

We love you,
President May
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Monday, May 24, 2010

What changes will I make?

As we seek to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ through personal study, companionship study, district classes and zone conferences, it is important that we consistently ask ourselves the following three questions:
1. What did I learn?

2. What did I feel as a result of what I learned?

3. What changes am I going to make in my life to become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as a result of what I have learned and felt?
----------------------------------Elder Bednar has said that “we do not always act in accordance with what we know.” Addressing the third question with much diligence, thought and prayer can be the key to bridging the gap between what we know and what we do. As missionaries, we can go about doing many “missionary things” without actually becoming a missionary. “Some chapters in Preach My Gospel focus on what you need to do as a missionary—how to study, how to teach, how to manage time wisely. Just as vital as what you do, however, is who you are.” (Preach My Gospel pg 115)

Chapter 2 of Preach My Gospel under the section “Apply and Live What You Learn” offers us some insights into the application of “how to become” a true disciple of Jesus Christ:

• “Liken” what you learn to yourself (see 1 Nephi 19:23).

• Set goals to live what you are learning. (Through goals and plans, our hopes are transformed into action.)

• Substitute your name in a verse of scripture to personalize it.

• Ask yourself, “How should I change as a result of what I have learned?” Set appropriate goals.

As we discussed in our previous zone conference, one of the keys to bridging the gap between knowing and doing is prayer. As we learned from the prophet Joseph Smith´s simple prayer, it is not enough to simply ask to have more faith, more patience, more virtue, or more charity . Rather it should be “what is to be done” to develop and put into practice the desired attribute as a result of what we learned in our personal study or zone conference. We pray for opportunities to develop this attribute. We pray for the guidance of the Spirit to recognize opportunities that Heavenly Father will put in our path in our daily comings and goings as missionaries to develop more patience or diligence. We pray for the strength to exercise or agency righteously and act as the Savior would act.

In Elder Bednar´s general conference address in October of 2008 he shares the following in regards to prayer:

Consider this example. There may be things in our character, in our behavior, or concerning our spiritual growth about which we need to counsel with Heavenly Father in morning prayer. After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone. For example, as we pray, we might:

Reflect on those occasions when we have spoken harshly or inappropriately to those we love the most.
Recognize that we know better than this, but we do not always act in accordance with what we know.
Express remorse for our weaknesses and for not putting off the natural man more earnestly.
Determine to pattern our life after the Savior more completely.
Plead for greater strength to do and to become better.
Such a prayer is a key part of the spiritual preparation for our day.

During the course of the day, we keep a prayer in our heart for continued assistance and guidance—even as Alma suggested: “Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord” (Alma 37:36).

We notice during this particular day that there are occasions where normally we would have a tendency to speak harshly, and we do not; or we might be inclined to anger, but we are not. We discern heavenly help and strength and humbly recognize answers to our prayer. Even in that moment of recognition, we offer a silent prayer of gratitude.

It is my prayer that we as missionaries can make the necessary changes in our lives to become more like our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ as a result of the many learning opportunities we have each and every day in the mission.

We love you and are grateful to serve with you,
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Working with Members

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting a branch in the mission. It was fast and testimony meeting. Several members shared their testimonies and the spirit was very strong. A mother and her two sons, fourteen and sixteen years old shared their testimonies. They spoke of the blessings that come from sharing the gospel with others. They are converts of a year and a half. I remember when they were baptized along with another older son who at the time was about eighteen or nineteen. This son is now serving in the mission field outside the country. What a miracle is the work of the Lord! The two other sons will be great missionaries in the future.
----------------------------------After fast and testimony meeting, I was talking with a member about wonderful family of converts and the son who is serving as full-time missionary. The member told me the following, "The first lesson that the missionaries taught the family was at our house." As he shared the details of that first lesson, I could feel the spirit and excitement in him for participating in the conversion of this good family. It is a testimony of the power of teaching our investigators in the homes of members. There are so many blessings that come because of it. Preach My Gospel says:

“The ideal situation is when members invite others to be taught and are present for the teaching.”

Being in the house of a member to a lesson, the investigator can see the influence of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the home. It is an opportunity where investigators, members and missionaries can be nourished together by the good word.

13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

I have a testimony of the great influence of members in the conversion of an investigator to the Gospel of Jesus Christ when lessons are taught in the home of the members. I know that when members do this, more people are baptized and remain active in the Church. (Preach My Gospel pg. 160)

We love you and pray for your success in doing the Lord´s work.
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