I hope you guys are doing well. I am doing pretty well, just living in the grind. Well, my week last week was a little slow... but that is to be expected with a new companion when you are getting used to him and vice versa. We are doing pretty good though.. we are teaching people and some are at least coming to church now! so that is good. I am almost done with the New Testament, I am just starting the book of James. I really like all of the epistles of Paul and the doctrine taught in them. And through out it says to abide in "good works" that are brought about by faith. So it also frustrates me because everyone believes all they need to do is be baptized and then believe in Christ and all is well. just like it states in 2nd Nephi chapter 28... which is like my favorite chapter...
"3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the achurches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up bchurches, and not unto the Lord—
4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their alearning, and deny the bHoly Ghost, which giveth utterance.
5 And they adeny the bpower of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is cnoGod today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;
6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of amiracles; he hath done his work.
7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be bmerry; nevertheless, fear God—he will cjustify in committing a little dsin; yea, elie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a fpit for thy neighbor; there is gno harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, afalse and vain and bfoolish cdoctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark."
I couldn't have said it any better. The ways of the Lord have been perverted indeed, and I am so very blessed to have been born into a great home with a loving wonderful family that understands the truth and lives by the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I just wish that their was an easy way to get people to see these things. I love you guys and I hope and pray for your safety and well being. You all hold a very dear and special place in my heart. You guys inspire me to want to be better, I do desire to be an example for you guys, I wish for your eternal exaltation. (as I do for mine) But I feel as though we must strive to live as the Savior did. And this life is the time to choose whither we want to serve God, or serve the world. For one is full of patience and sacrifice now, but great is the Glory. And one might be fun and entertaining for a short while. But it has no reward in the much longer existence. I think I have chosen wisely. I hope and pray all of us can do the same.
I love you all more then I have been able to express, and in a short time I hope I can show a difference in what living as a disciple has done in my life and how I am a lot better prepared for my future but until then you'll just have to have faith and hope until that day shall come.
Elder AJ Ballif