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Missionary Scripture

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Seventh Epistle of Bird - 3 June 2014

From Chalco, Mexico

1. And it came to pass that the missionary adventures of Elder and Sister Bird found themselves part of several more earthquakes but of a lesser nature than those previously experienced. Nevertheless there were also exceedingly sharp lightening and terrible thunders and much rain which will continue for several months. The temperatures range from 30 to 80 degrees, with up to 82% humidity. And now, wo, wo, wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent; for the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice. But behold the servants of the Lord work diligently to carry the Plan of Salvation unto all who will hear. For we know the outcome of this war is sure, and the followers of Christ shall come forth triumphant.
2. The two new humble senior missionary couples have put forth great sacrifice and effort in learning and supporting the mission office. Finances, baptismal records and referrals are being done accurately and correctly, lifting a great burden from the mission president. And also, the previous younger missionary staff can now teach and preach as missionaries do.
3. And now, these faithful 155 youthful servants, which were added upon by 12, use their many talents to fulfill the goals of their leader. Their investigators shall attend at least 5 sacrament meetings, learning the doctrine and culture of the church, and becoming friends with ward members, before being immersed in the waters of baptism. Each pair of missionaries is to baptize every week. One group held a mission open house “Luau” with much of the ward performing songs and dances from the islands. Another group invited those of other faiths to perform in a cultural, talent event, bring more than 250 people, 50 of whom were new, who learned more about the organization and purpose of the church. One group proselytes in the weekly street market inviting many to hear more of the gospel of Christ.
4. The wards and stakes of Zion in this land have many faithful members, averaging 130 attending
church each week. The unfortunate and sad thing is that there are 400 to more than a thousand in each of these units who are not currently assisting. Elder Bird is tirelessly meeting with the leaders of these units to teach them of the need and urgency to call ward missionaries, who can search out the lost sheep and help bring them back into the fold. One ward, Monte Corona, is living the vision. They have 130 members assisting each week, but there are only 6 inactive families. Because of their righteousness, they are like the city of Enoch. Their weakness is in not opening their mouths to share with others. But, full time missionaries have been called again to help.
5. Be it known that when one tries to live the commandments of the Lord, he can call on the powers of God to bless in great and small ways. Hna. Bird was having a tooth ache. There is fear in going to doctors and dentists in this land, so Hna. Bird prayed for help. The ache went away – for a month – then returned. Again prayers were said, not knowing the answer. Then, (with the help of a starburst) her back molar popped out! This was a blessing because this tooth had a previous root canal and therefore no pain! The roots will have to remain until returning home, but the dentist at home says they will be fine. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but He listens and responds to our needs. Try living right and then asking for blessings – your trust and testimony will be strengthened.
6. It is a fact that the Hna. Bird loves convections, especially chocolate. In this land, sweet seems to include a sprinkling of chili powder on everything. Therefore, she has learned to make cookies using boxed cake mix (because time is so limited for such desires). Putting a little frosting and an M&M on top is totally new to this people. A senior missionary helped find cup cake papers and this is easier than baking cookies. To me this is another blessing. I count my many blessings, one by one.
7. It has been learned that visiting a ward almost always includes an invitation to speak. Being prepared is easy, with an inspired idea, and simply opening our mouths. “Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled.” On Mother’s Day (Mexico dia de Madres is always May 10th and fell on Saturday this year) I expounded the scriptures of the humble mothers, like Mary, mother of Jesus. Then I compared all the mothers in the ward as humble, hard working mothers, with special callings. And I became bold in declaring that every day should be treated as mother’s day.
8. Always listen to the inspired leaders on the church. One such stake president, in order to accommodate all of his stake members, needs two sessions of Stake Conference for all to hear. He invited each in his congregation to faithfully fulfill for things to become more spiritually minded. These four simple, basic steps will bless anyone.
                a. Have family prayer every day.
                b. Attend Sacrament Meeting every week including the entire block, receive revelation and instruction.  (Not go shopping on the way home from church – which he has observed too often)
                c. Pay an honest tithing and fast offerings.
                d. To observe the day of rest and sanctify it.
9. Remember, remember that God is like oxygen. You can’t see Him, but you can’t live without Him.
10. And a little child shall lead them. “We have been called . . . and we are as the army of Helaman . . . and we will be the Lord’s missionaries.” The entire Primary of the Tepetlixpa Stake, dressed in their Sunday best, has raised the bar. They met with their leaders and the already called full time missionaries for a devotional and instruction from the Chalco Mission President. Then two-by-two, with their “future missionary” name tags, each child, from 4 to 11 years of age, were called forward and assigned to their companion and respective “missions” - which included all the wards (cities and districts) in their stake. Each District met for instruction and then was transported by huge vans (called combis) to their individual destinations. Each child had memorized a missionary discussion about the Plan of Salvation which they shared as they knocked on doors.
10. And ye shall be comforted in finding Red Baron pizza, Ritz crackers with tuna salad or pb&j, and ingredients for home made ginger snaps.
11. And a goal was presented to each missionary of the Chalco mission: And ye shall search diligently the words of Nephi and Mosiah and Benjamin and Isaiah and Mormon, and shall do so in 3 months from the time of the great Conference of the church. This is difficult when one is studying many hours the specific needs of the investigator. But for one, the Hna. Bird has followed the council of the leader. The Book of Mormon really does speak to every individual for their present needs. It provides council, comfort, condemnation, power, resolve, hope, and love for our Father and all He has created for us.
12. Once again we bid you adeu with the hope and prayers that this finds you health and happy in the service of our God and there be”no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God.” The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Elder and Hermana Bird

Attached pictures
1. The Sleeping lady – dormant volcano which always has snow
2. A stunning sunset
3. Disney wall art which covered two sides of the building
4. More of the same wall art, with idols and religious statues
5. Hanging sausage (or something)
6. Do they name all their pigs before cooking them?
7. Ward talent night with the Primary dancing like the “old people”
8. Dogs herding cows across the busy street
9. Have horses, will travel
10. Is this the peace and love sign or the Scout quiet sign? Not many Mexicans know about Scouts.