Monday, December 7, 2015

Holding Fast to the Iron Rod

Hello friends,

First of all, I hope you all shared the new Christmas Initiative on social media this last week! Please send me your thoughts and feelings as you watched this inspiring video. I would love to hear from everyone! 

This week we had the wonderful opportunity to meet as a Zone with President and Sister Salisbury to have a Specialized Training. I love meeting together with other missionaries! We learn so much from one another and I love hearing the experiences that others have had. In preparation for our meeting, we all studied 1 Nephi 8. We talked a lot about Lehi's Vision of the Tree of Life. It was so cool. We read these verses together and we talked about the word "clinging" in verse 24. These people were moving forward, but they were clinging and using all their strength to do so, and because of this, they got tired. They got to the tree and then "cast their eyes about as if they were afraid." But in verse 30 it says that "they did press their way forward, continually HOLDING FAST to the rod of iron, until they came forth and partook of the tree".  The ones who were 'holding fast' to the rod became one with the rod. They did not fall and they got to partake of the tree. There is a promise in this verse about those who 'hold fast' to the iron rod. 

1 Nephi 15:23-24  23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree? 24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would HOLD FAST unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

The fruit of the Tree of Life represents Life Eternal. That is what we want! To receive everlasting life. And if we 'hold fast' to the iron rod, we will never perish, and never be lead away into temptation and destruction. I know that as we strive to hold fast to the rod, we will not fall.

We attend the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Class with one of our dear friends, Sandy. She is our friend who feed us on Thanksgiving. Sandy is a member of the church, but has been less active for many years. During this time she picked up the habit of smoking, and we have been trying to help her quit and come back to church so that she may be worthy of the temple. She is so sweet and we really have a special place in our hearts for her. This last week at the Addiction Recovery Class, she shared her feelings about her addiction. She told us that she was scared, and that she has Thyroid Cancer. When I heard this my heart just broke. Sandy is the sweetest woman, she has had a pretty hard life and now she has cancer! Elder Rameriez, one of the counselors in the Recovery Class gave her a blessing. It was so cool, he is from Columbia, and so he talked in his native language, while his wife translated. In the blessing, he said that God needs Sandy to be as close to Him as she can and that she needs to get rid of anything that could be distancing herself from God. It was so cool, because I know that it is really God saying these things to her. We are praying for Sandy, that she might be able to stop her habit, and overcome Satan. 

Yesterday was a hard day for us, we didn't have very much success and a lot of our appointments fell through. We were trying to go see this family we had met a week ago. It's actually a funny story about how we met them. We were going hiking for our Preparation Day Activity and we went up with a member. We were waiting for the Elders from our District to come and they got lost. So while they were trying to find their way, we started talking to this man who was fishing at the lake next to where we were hiking. He name is Chris. He told us to come by and talk to him and his family! We tried their house twice, and they weren't home. We tried seeing a few other people and nothing seemed to be working out. A few hours later, we were passing by the same house we had tried and we weren't sure whether to stop and try again. We decided we might as well try again and they were home! We had a great lesson with Chris. It was amazing! He listened so intently and had lots of questions. He even committed to read and pray! We ended up talking a little bit about the Word of Wisdom to and he committed to not drink alcohol, tea and coffee! At least until our next meeting on Tuesday :) we are so excited, he is so prepared to hear the gospel! It is funny that the Elders got lost on the way to the hike last week, because if they didn't get lost, we wouldn't have met Chris and his family!

#Ponderize 36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

 Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. #ASaviorIsBorn

I love you all so much. I hope to hear from some of you this Christmas! And don't forget to remember the reason for the Season!

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

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