It has been a great week. We have made some good contacts, worked with a TON of members, and had some good companionship study.
On Monday, after I got done emailing, we went and dunked with Rocky (the mascot for the Denver Nuggets) off a trampoline he set up in one of the local church gyms. It was awesome!! Rocky did a little flip dunk for us and we all had a good time.
We had a dinner appointment that night at a part-member family home. One of their pet snakes had gotten loose a few weeks before and they hadn't been able to find him.. well them found him. The dad was in the basement and found it caught in a mouse trap :/ It was pretty sad for the family (except for the mom who hadn't been able to sleep for weeks because of it).
On Tuesday we had some great lessons and we lost our keys. We looked everywhere for them about 10 times.. turned out they were in my shirt pocket. Elder Peck had used them and tossed them in my shirt pocket while I was on the phone with some other Elders. I never keep them there so I didn't think to look.. haha. My shirt pocket is always heavy with pass along cards and other stuff so that didn't raise an alarm to me.
Wednesday night we had a good less with a man who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has been struggling recently and needed some upliftment for him and his family. It was a great lesson, everyone was uplifted, the spirit was felt, and laughs were had.
Thursday we had a great district meeting. I gave a training on the difference between the Reformation and Restoration that went well. I probably learned more from preparing the training than the Elders I taught learned. We also met with a crazy guy who lives in a trailer - he is quite the character and has had a rough life.. neverthless his is always full of insight and seems to know his purpose in this life pretty well. He is one of those examples of people that you shouldn't judge by their appearance.
Friday during breakfast Elder Peck witnessed a hawk taking out a little black-bird in the back yard. I missed it but still got to see the hawk sitting their with the bird in its' mouth. We always went to the newly renovated Highlands Ranch mansion. It was the original mansion home that sat on 10's of thousands of acres here in Colorado. It has been run down for a long time but there was a recent 6 million dollar renovation done. It is now a place for weddings, receptions, parties.. etc. We went to get out and public and make contacts, it went well and a lot of people asked why we were wearing name tags.. haha. So we gave them the business.
Saturday we made some good contacts, knocked on some doors, and followed up on the new member missionary program that we are doing with members.
Sunday we had some investigators at church and that was nice. It is always great to see them come and take that step of faith. It can be intimidating for new members but they never seem to regret it. We have great, open, and warm wards here that always welcome unfamiliar faces. We had an awesome lesson with an investigator lady and brought along a recently returned missionary along with us. He was in Mexico, injured his foot, was receiving terrible medical care (they even gave him a pregnancy test?), and his foot was only getting worse. So he got sent home early on a medical release to get treated here. Anyways, our lesson with him was great. For dinner we had a pork roast at a member's home with some of the best BBQ sauce I have ever tasted.. he made it himself.
I'd like to end with some personal revelation I have received this week. I have always felt uncomfortable when we say "the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion." As soon as I hear that I start wondering why we claim the Bible to be of equal importance when we call the Book of Mormon the keystone. It has something that has always bothered me. As I was reading the introduction to the Book of Mormon this week and received an answer to this personal issue. The last paragraph in the introduction states,
"Those who gain this divine witness (that the Book of Mormon is true after reading it) from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in the last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah."
It was then I realized that the phrase "the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion" is unrelated to the Bible. Our church claims to be the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that He established while on the earth, we claim to have a prophet who receives revelation from God, we claim the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, we claim that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God in these Latter days to restore that church (just like it has been done many times through prophets throughout history), we claim that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, etc...
Those are bold claims, and either they are true or they are not. The way we can know if all those things are true is through the Book of Mormon. When we gain a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, we gain a testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world because the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ. When we gain a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true we gain a testimony that Joseph Smith was his revelator and prophet because if he were not, God would not have given him the power to translate it from the plates. When we gain a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true we gain a testimony that this is the restored church because it is the medium by which it was brought forth by a prophet.
I have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. Not because it is more important than the Bible, because it isn't. But because it supports all of our claims.. when we know the Book of Mormon is true, we know it is all true.
I hope everyone is doing well, your prayers are being felt and I am praying for you back home as well.
Love, Elder Rainock