Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Transferred to...

I am grateful beyond measure to still be serving in Wilmington. Many people, mostly missionaries, assumed that I'd had enough of this area and was WANTING to be transferred. However, the Lord's will mandates that I stay here. What a privilege it is, I really am enjoying this area and am seeing God's promises fulfilled. I'm not in any hurry to leave!! For the first few months I was here, we struggled to see people attend Church even one time! Now, we have some solid investigators who are coming on a weekly basis, thanks in large part to the loving friendships provided by members. I can testify of the speed with which investigators can progress when they feel welcome and wanted. I know that our willingness to serve others unselfishly is a representation of our desire to do the will of the Lord. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. once said, "In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how." To me, the spirit of service does not come by assignment, but rather as a feeling that accompanies a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I want with all my heart to serve the Lord continually by serving His children any chance I get. I know this will open doors for us to teach the gospel and invite others to come unto Christ and be forgiven of their sins.

This week in our area could be called "Plan of Salvation Week," since we are teaching it on at least 3 separate occasions to our progressing investigators. I know that our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, but we can't do that unless we cleanse ourselves, or in other words, repent. So perhaps the overarching purpose of all our missionary efforts is to warn people of the consequences of sin, and of the blessed gift called repentance. And we can't repent unless we have faith in the one who can forgive us, even the Lord Jesus Christ! Those are the first two fundamental principles of the gospel for a reason. To quote Pres. Packer, "Repentance is the escape clause in it all. Repentance is the key with which we can unlock the prison from inside. Had agency come to man without the Atonement, it would have been a fatal gift." As we prepare to teach these great eternal truths this week, I feel especially grateful for the knowledge and understanding I've gained about the Plan of Salvation and of the remarkable power of the Atonement. I know that if we rely on the Spirit to help us teach and testify, our investigators will see the need to repent now, and thus they will continue to progress towards eternal life....for that is the ultimate goal, not just baptism. I appreciate this opportunity to serve a mission, I can scarcely believe that it is halfway finished! There are many things I'd like to see happen before I go home(obviously), and if it's what the Lord wants, then I know it can be done.

I am glad to hear that your trip to Oregon was enjoyable and that you are all safe and sound. I send my prayers for Grandma McClellan as well. That is hard to believe that Caleb is already in second grade and that Ellie will be in preschool! They are going to be giants when I get home! And how in the world can Britney already be done with her mission? My goodness time flies by! This is going to be another great transfer, I can just feel it! It will also be Elder Remington's last one, so there's a good chance I could STILL be here next transfer! That's several weeks from now, though, so I'm not going to think about it. I pray for blessings to continue flowing in from on high. Seems like every week I get the privilege of feeling the Spirit as I read your letters. God loves us SO much!! Have a great week!


shawn rowley said...

I love you Iker. Your positive attitude is contagious 1500 miles away. You are a gift to the area they are blessed your stickin around. I havent made Britneys pasta salad since she left. Saturday I serve it again , she will be home. What favorite food of yours should I be planning for your return party?? I know thats so far away and yet tomorrow.
Love Aunt Terri

We love you Brit! said...

As Brit arrives home I feel grateful that the family is still being represented with a great missionary! I believe we are all blessed for your dedicated efforts and rock solid testimony! We love ya!