Hello from Las Pinas! It was a crazy busy week for Sister Veras and I! We had our temple day, a finish strong meeting for those who only have 1 transfer left, and service projects in the ward! We are so busy, and the weeks keep flying by.
Usually on Monday mornings in personal study, I think a little bit about what experiences I had that week and what things I could share with you. Today as I was reflecting over the week, what really stood out to me was the role that the Book of Mormon has played in the lives of those who we teach, and in my own mission experience.
In the introduction to the Book of Mormon we read, "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel." As missionaries, the Book of Mormon is our greatest teaching tool. We believe that through the power of God, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. Because of this, it is literally evidence of the message that we as missionaries share every day. If one comes to know for themselves that the Book of Mormon is true, they thereby discover the truthfulness of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, of priesthood authority, and of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led by living prophets and apostles.
As a missionary in the Philippines, I have invited hundreds if not thousands to read this book, and to come to know for themselves if it is true.
This week Sister Veras and I were teaching one of our investigators named Rose. She lives in a humble home, and as we were teaching, her neighbors began to gather and listen to what we were sharing. One by one they either came and sat on the floor, or stood outside the window and listened to us teach about Jesus Christ, and His church on the Earth today. As we were closing, we gave Rose her own copy of the Book of Mormon. Her friends and neighbors quickly told us they wanted one too! When we returned with their own copies, they excitedly accepted and told us they would read.
Of course, this is so exciting for us because this is the first step that they take to come unto Christ and His gospel. We know that if they will really read and pray with real intent, the Holy Ghost will testify to them of its truthfulness, and their lives will be changed forever. I have had this experience myself as I have read in the Book of Mormon, and prayed to ask God if it was true. Every time I read in it, the Holy Ghost testifies to my heart that it is not a book written by man, but the word of God, written by ancient prophets.
The Book of Mormon has also been a huge strength to me for a very different reason. It does act as proof of our message, and as evidence of the restored gospel. But it also is my source of comfort of peace, and the way that I have felt my Savior's love. The past few weeks have been some of the hardest on my mission, but the Book of Mormon has continually brought me the peace I need to keep going.
Along with the Bible, the Book of Mormon helps me understand who Jesus Christ is, and more fully comprehend the sacrifice that He made for me. "The Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus Christ and confirms the truths found in the Holy Bible. Far from undermining the Bible, the Book of Mormon supports its testimony of Jesus Christ. One passage says that the Book of Mormon “shall establish the truth” of the Bible “and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved” (1 Nephi 13:40).
In its more than 6,000 verses, the Book of Mormon refers to Jesus Christ almost 4,000 times and by 100 different names: “Jehovah,” “Immanuel,” “Holy Messiah,” “Lamb of God,” “Redeemer of Israel,” and so on."
I love the Book of Mormon! I love getting to share it with everyone around me here in Las Pinas. I know that it is true. I know that Joseph Smith translated in by the power of God. I feel so blessed to have it as a power source of my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. For the remaining time I have here in the Philippines, I will continue to invite others to read it and to let the truth they find change their lives.
I love being a missionary! I hope you all have a great week and really let the Book of Mormon change your life as it has mine.
Love, Sister Lockwood
(Kayla did not send any pictures this week.)