Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Testimonies Lead To Conversion

What's up everyone?  I hope you all have had a fantastic week and are stoked for Christmas in two days... I know I am!  This transfer is already going by too fast.  I can't believe I'm already writing another entry. This week has been full of great things: zone conference, exchanges, branch christmas party, and so on.  Fun stuff.

I wanted to write about a training Elder Jenson and I gave for zone conference. It was 25 min long and in front of the whole north of the mission.  It was super cool doing it in front of more than half the mission. 

I know a lot of you have read and remembered when I wrote about "the roots of your testimony."  I want to take that analogy and add more to it. 

Each of us have different testimonies in different things from different experiences. Just as a tree's roots under the ground are all separate then come together to form a tree so is our testimonies separate then come together to form our conversion. 

I  remember an experience I had growing up that gave me a testimony of prayer. I had lost this new game that I had purchased with my own money and was really upset that I couldn’t find it.  Then after a while my mom stepped in for her teaching moment, as all great mothers do, to ask me if I had prayed about finding it. I had never thought about that before; I didn’t know you could pray for something like that. So I did...  I went in my room and prayed. Literally right after I felt impressed to feel down the crack at the end of my bed and guess what?  There was my game!  It had slipped down in the crack. At that point I had learned from my wonderful mother that Heavenly Father cares about things we care about and wants us happy and He will sometimes answer our prayers right away or in His timing. My root of prayer started to grow. 

Think about your own roots that have helped you. As we add the roots of prayer, the Book of Mormon, fasting, church, service and so on...  all of these roots develop into a stronger "tree" or in other words conversion.  Alma talks about this principle in Alma 32: 41 " If ye will nourish the word, yea nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and patience, looking forward to the fuit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.

So, in order for us to keep converted and to grow in our conversion and strengthen even deeper our roots we must continue to have faith and be patient and diligent.  In other words we need to endure to the end and we will see the fruits. Another twist is that the fruits can also mean sharing the gospel too. Once someone is converted they can't help but share the gospel with every one around them and let others partake of your fruit and goodness. So, if we, as recent converts, less active members, active members , and even investigators all strive to find the roots or develop the roots of our testimony on individual things we will develop a tree that will continue to grow as we nourish it and it will produce fruit for yourself and others to partake of as your SHARE it with those around you. 

Miracle: I wasn't able to share it this past week because my talk was too long so I wanted to share it this week. 

Two weeks ago my companion and I were walking around in the apartment complex  trying to contact some less active YSA's but none were home and we were trying to share the HE IS THE GIFT cards with everyone we see.  Not a lot of people were outside and usually they go the other direction right when they see us. Well, anyways, my companion and I were putting our stuff in the car when I saw  in the corner of my eye two guys standing in their porch smoking about 30 or so feet away. I for a split second thought, "No. These guys are far away, and they probably won't listen."  Then right after that I felt that EVERYONE needs the opportunity.   So I threw my bag in the car and started walking fast over there and started to say hi to these two guys. Not even realizing my companion was behind the car waiting to back me up because he thought I was going to pull out the car ... he shows up next to me as I'm talking to these two young single adults. We gave them the cards and asked them why we even celebrate Christmas. They responded, "Because of Christ."  One seemed more interested than the other. After talking more about "He is the Gift" we asked if they work or go to school and so on; come to find out that they are both Navajo.  So I started to say a few words in Navajo to them and they were shocked and loved it. Well, one said they were about to leave and walked inside then the other was still smoking and after we asked him he gave us his phone number. This woman (his mom) came out and gave us kind of a dirty look then went back inside then came out and we were like "uh oh."   Then she said, "Can you pray for us? My uncle just lost his son and needs a prayer!" We said yes, of course, and she told us to go around and knock on the front door. We did and entered into the home. I did greetings in Navajo to the elderly gentleman who was sitting on the couch and who is the uncle to that women. Come to find out that he's from utah and is a less-active member and that the woman is a member too. We said the prayer and afterwards I just  straight up asked the two guys we were talking to if they are baptized members and the mom answered and said,  "No, not in the Mormon church."  One of the guys said he wants to leave though and find truth and we said,  "Perfect!  That is what we are here for!!"  SUPER cool experience. Literally it was like 10 min before dinner and then the Lord at the most random time used us as an instrument to find YSA's for us to teach and hopefully baptize and to help save a less-active family in need of help at this time. Truly His hand is in all things we do if we just follow the spirit and not judge a situation or people we will see the hand of God touch others lives through our actions and words. 

All I ask for Christmas from you all is to talk to ONE person about the Gift of Christ coming to earth and why that is so important to you.  Tell them why He did the atonement. I promise that your testimony will pierce the heart of any man and women.  SHARE your fruit this Christmas season and have a wonderful holiday week. 

All my love,

Elder Justin Taylor

Picture at our Christmas party ! Me, Elder Jenson, and Collin Shumway
Best sweaters in the worlddd!! 

Elder Barrus my MTC comp is going home 3 weeks early for school so this was our last pic together.  Love that guy ! 

The beautiful ABQ TEMPLE on our way home from zone conference 

We helped set up for our Branch Christmas party.. looks legit right? 

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