Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 1, 2011

Dear Family,

This past week was pretty awesome.  We had a baptism on Saturday of a woman named Maria Rubio.  I sent Mom a picture or two of her.  She was such a prepared investigator.  I don't know if I already told you, but she actually gave up drinking coffee on her own because of a prompting from the Spirit.  By the time we taught her the Word of Wisdom, she was already way ahead of us.  That was probably one of the easiest baptisms I will see on my mission.  She is such a strong-willed person and doesn't have very many friends because she doesn't like to drink or do any of that stuff.  She got pretty emotional once when I shared Mosiah 18:8-11* with her, which describes more in detail the covenant that we make when we are baptized that includes being a part of and contributing to the family of the church of God.  She will be a very strong member, something that our branch is in dire need of right now.

The branch here isn't as strong as the Via Verde Branch was, so hopefully I can help change that.  I actually gave a talk at church last Sunday about following the example of Christ at all times, in all things, and in all places.  The reason I landed on this topic is because Maria Rubio told Elder Faldmo and I that she knows an active woman in the branch who is having an affair with another man and she's the only one who knows about it.  Maria also told us this woman is a very different person depending on who she is with.  Maria was worried that she might not be able to be baptized because of her knowledge of this situation.  We told her to not support it at all and then we called President to ask him what we should do.  He said as long as she does nothing to help hide it or show any sort of support she can be baptized.  So we did that and told her she should encourage this person to talk to the Branch President and repent.  So my talk was about how the example we set as members of the church is extremely important, especially for those with whom we associate.  At one point in the talk I told the story of Ammon and how, because of his example, many people came unto Christ, accepted His gospel and were baptized.  I then compared it with the story of Corianton, the son of Alma the Younger, and how his example of breaking the law of chastity with the harlot, Isabel, caused many to not believe in Alma's words.  There was a study done by the Church on the public's opinion on Latter-Day Saints.  They found that it was better for a person to know zero or four or more members than than it was to know 1,2 or 3 members.  That means they had a worse impression of the Church if they only know 1,2 or 3 members because of the many people who don't live up to the covenants they had made and, therefore, aren't letting their light shine so others glorify the Father (Matthew 5:16**).  So hopefully that helped whoever that person is in the branch who's having the affair.

We have a baptism coming up on the 11th of June, which is really solid but we are also trying to find and prepare someone else to be baptized after that.  That's our challenge at this point.  Elder Faldmo is a great guy and has an awesome sense of humor.  He is really easy to get along with but his Spanish and teaching skills could use some work.  I am trying to let him teach more in the lessons so he gets more comfortable with the language and can focus more on the investigators and the Spirit.  I think that's all for now.  It was great reading your letters.  I also sent a picture of the farewell party the members in my last area threw for me and Elder Landsaw (because they were transferred to another area).


Elder Kinney

*Mosiah chapter 18, verses 8-11

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
 11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

** Matthew chapter 5 verse 16

 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

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