Monday, March 17, 2014

Murrieta- 3 Months and Counting

Things are going great here in Murrieta, I have had a busy week. It all started off with saying goodbye to Elder W, who has been my companion for the last 3 months, at the transfer meeting. Then picking up my new companion, Elder R. He was just serving in another part of Murrieta, and didn't go far. He is from Bountiful, Utah and went to Viewmont High School. No we didn't know each other. He was a grade older than me. However that doesn't matter any more because I know him now. We have been working hard and really focusing on new people to teach. Most of the investigators we have now are not progressing, and if they don't start soon then we will have to move on to those who are more interested and committed. We set a new baptismal date with M. He is planning on being baptized on April 13. He still has some work to do but he will be able to be ready then.
One of the crazy things that happened this week was going to transfer meeting and coming back. Brother S had arranged a van for a bunch of missionaries in Murrieta to carpool down to vista, and Brother Phillips to drive us there. When Brother P went to go pick up the van from the family we were borrowing it from they didn't know we were coming. Fortunately she found another way to get her kids home from school and allowed us to take it. Then we were also borrowing a scout trailer, to put all of the bikes in that we were to take, and there was no wiring to hook up the rear brake lights. It also didn't hook on to the ball correctly. However we had to go, or else we would be late. So we had the person with the most faith pray that we wouldn't get pulled over and that we would make it safely there. Fortunately all was well on the way down. On the way back, once again we said a prayer that we would be safe and nothing would happen to us on the way back to Murrieta. Once again the person with the most faith said it and we took off. Everything was going fine until we were a few miles away. Brother P noticed a motorcycle cop behind him with is lights on trying to pull us over. Brother P started to change lanes and pull over. Then luckily the cop pulled up to the drivers window and gave a warning to not be in the left two lanes when pulling a trailer. It was miracle that we didn't get a ticket, and that he didn't see the lights not working.
Thanks Love
Elder Paget

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Power of Fasting- Mar.3

Over the last few weeks I have come to the know the power of fasting, and how important it is. Unfortunately before my mission I didn't really have a clue about fasting. All I knew was that the first Sunday of every month I was forced to starve and suffer from dehydration for two whole meals. I moaned, groaned, and would lye around my home preparing for my almost certain, slow, painful death. Dinner would never come soon enough. Many times I stopped my fast early, because I felt like I was unable to make it until dinner. I would come to the conclusion that it was better for one person to survive that my whole family, and even the church to starve to death. There had to be at least one survivor. One like Moroni to write the account of the downfall of modern inhabitants of America. 
However on my mission I have come to know that there is a lot more to fasting that just not eating and drinking for a 24 hour period. I was able to figure out how not to starve but to fast. If you want to starve you just don't eat. It is that simple. But if you want to fast prayer has to be involved.  I have learned fasting and prayer go hand in hand. Prayer is a necessary part in fasting, and that we must fast with a purpose in mind. Luckily you can fast for any righteous purpose. Whether it is to receive strength to overcome temptation, to help those in need, or simply to gain light and knowledge that the Book of Mormon is true. In a sense fasting helps amplify our prayers. It lets God know that we are serious about getting his help to achieve our purpose. As fast and pray with a purpose we are more receptive to receiving answers to our prayers and blessings from the Lord.
Isaiah testified of the blessings that come when we obey the Law of the Fast.
Isaiah 58: 8-11 
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward . 
9 Then shalt thou call , and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry , and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: 
11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought , and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 
I have been able to see many miracles take place in the last month due to fasting and prayer. Where the Lord has listened and truly answered Elder Wilkinson's and I prayers.
One month ago all of Southern California fasted for rain because of the extreme drought conditions we have been facing. During my 8 months serving in the Carlsbad Mission, I can count on one hand how many times it has rained since I have been here. Over this last week it has poured for three straight days. I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen so much rain in my life. It was unbelievable. We got more rain in the last 3 days then in the entire last year. People have even went as far as putting signs out on the street saying, " Mormon's don't pray for rain we don't want to get flooded." Even they recognize that when we fast and pray God listens and is right there to say as Isaiah says " Here I am." He listens, answers, and blesses those who turn to him.
Also Elder W and I decided to fast to help a part member family take our message more seriously and to help them start to progress towards baptism and returning to activity. For a long time we have been going over everyday to teach them and they have not been making any progress. Sure enough one week after we fasted for the F Family, L, the mom, told her oldest son, M, that he just had to take a leap of faith and just get baptized. We were shocked to hear her say it. She had be really negative towards church. Since she didn't pass her baptismal interview a few months ago, because she didn't believe that Joseph Smith was prophet. Since then she has been coming to church everyweek with her son and daughter that was recently baptized. She has told us that she believes now that what we teach is true, however she has a few issues with members of the ward. We just keep pressing on, knowing one day she will get baptized. M her oldest son is also making a lot of progress right now and we are planning on setting a new baptismal date with him and his mom.
It is truly amazing how fasting can help others find God. Alma says that after setting up the church in Zarahemla, that everyone has the right to worship and hear the words of God. Then he says
Alma 6: 6
6 Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God. 
It is also important to realize, that when we are trying to establish this church to every corner of the earth, that we must fast and pray in behalf of those who know not God. I would like to invite everyone, if you don't have another reason, to fast next month for missionary work. Whether it is to have your own missionary opportunities, help the full time missionaries in your area or the world, it will make a huge difference in Hastening the Work of Salvation. It is one simple way you can help build the kingdom of God, your own testimony, and receive blessings. I testify that this is true and the church is true.
Elder Paget

More Miracles in Murrieta Feb. 24th

 This is where Elder Paget spent his P-day today- playing basketball and raquetball- at a members home!

This was his Valentine Package we sent to him!

Elder Paget did not have time to send a general email today. They had a temple devotional which took up most of the day. We did receive a package from him today and this is an excerpt from his letter:
Elder W and I had an awesome contact this week with a man named F. He was working on fixing up a garage when we walked by. We went up to him and told him we were the missionaries in the area. We were going around helping people with their family history. I asked him if he had ever researched his family history before. He said yes. Then I asked him if he found any cool stories about his ancestors. He told us that his ancestors from Mexico had been Christians for over 1500 years! He then went on to say that along time before  that, his ancestors came from Jerusalem. Elder Wilkinson and I both looked at each other in surprise. But that is not all, He said that he has a Mormon friend in Utah that has sent him books and magazines about the church. He said he knows all about Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, and the Angel Moroni. He continued on saying he helped build the San Diego Temple. But most importantly after all this, he said "I have learned a lot about your church in the past, but now it is time to take it seriously". He then said I want to get my whole family together to teach them. I know what you will say is true.
This was a great miracle that we got to talk to him. We didn't really say anything the entire time. We just asked about the stories of his ancestors. That is when he was filled with the spirit of Elijah and all his memories and information that he had learned about the gospel of Jesus Christ came flooding in his mind and testified that what we believe and teach is true. It was an amazing experience. We are hopefully going to teach him and his family soon.
I just want you to know that I love and miss all of you! Thanks for all you have done for me.
Elder Paget

The Lord's Law of Finances- Feb.19th

This last week was great! Elder W and I are working very hard to try to accomplish our mission goal of 85 baptisms by the end of the first quarter. We are going out talking to everyone we can, to find those who are searching after the truth but can not find it.
This last Saturday we had the privilege of going to J's Baptism. It was great to see all of our hard work and all the lessons we taught her pay off. It was a great baptism that the young single adult elders put on. There was a lot of people there and the spirit was strong. I am glad I was able to be a part of the process.
I learned an important lesson from a Multi-millionaire about the Lords law of Finances. He said that it was his secret to success. He started of by using an example of buying a brand new Corvette. He asked Now how much does and average car cost? About $25,000. How much does a new Corvette cost? $70,000. So there is about $45,000 difference. He said what you need to do is to give away $45,000. Then the Lord will provide you with the ability to by your dream Corvette. Charity is essential. When you want more, you must show that you will give more to those in need. He went on to say that before building his $2 Million dollar house he had to give $2 Million dollars away. Not only do you need to be charitable he also said that you must be a full tithe payer and give a generous fast offering. You must put the lord first as it says in 3 Nephi 13: 33.
33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 
When we do that God knows that he can trust us and that we will not do anything contrary to his will. That is the key to opening up the windows of heaven. Once we receive such great blessings we must have gratitude. It plays an role. God will ONLY give us as much as we are grateful for. So if we show our gratitude for the things we have the Lord will bless you with more because he knows that you will be grateful for those blessings as well.
So the Lords Law of Finances is:
1. Be Charitable
2. Pay a full Tithe
3. Pay a generous Fast Offering
4. Show Gratitude
Do these things and I promise you that the Lord will bless you with abundance.
Love Elder Paget