Big Changes

August 22, 2011 – Ajapnyak (Davtashen), Week 5
Big Changes

Well we had a mission conference this Saturday and Sunday. It was amazing. I understood every word except for maybe 15 words. but more than the progression in the language I was excited to see that one of our members invited his friend and that one of our investigators was excited to be there. Smbat (who was just called to be our new Branch President) brought his friend Sahak. Micheal has been one of our great friends and investigators for a couple of weeks. He really loved the spirit of the meetings as well as the people. He is really feeling his way to the truth more than thinking. He is very careful, because he has read the Bible a lot, but he is willing to accept new revelation. He is willing to accept that God has more, so he is slowly coming to understand with his heart. That is what we want. It is all about the people learning from God, through the spirit. It’s not about what I say or don’t say it is what he learns from the spirit that counts

At this conference we had the President of the Eastern Europe Presidency come down to announce some huge changes in Armenia. The North and South Districts have been united to form one district, which was done a preparation for a stake. This is big. They called 12 men to be District counselors. They have it set up to be a stake. Now the members need to work and serve faithfully until the church grows to the proper size. When it gets to be a stake they will be ready for a temple. Kiev Ukraine Temple spot was bought 12 years before the temple was finished. The people continued to ask , when are we going to start. President Hinckley would always say, No stake, no temple. We hope that these changes will be spark a flame in the members.

This week was great. I am not feeling to great. I’ve been sick the last few days, but it’s passing and I’ll be up to full speed soon.

1-3 This is us making chicken-pot pie. It was amazing
4-7 This is a fruit from india – we thought we would try it. It was really interesting looking, but it had no flavor.
8 – I got to see members from the Ashtarak and Gyurmi. These are members from Ashtarak

One of my friends asked me a question recently I thought I would share what was written back and forth. I learned some wonderful things while answering his question as best I could:
I am finding that my discipline is truly weak. i wish…things that I desire to become what I do and what I am.

I was looking at charity and in 1 John 4. It talks about how we [should] show our love to Heavenly Father … by loving one another….[I]t also says that God will dwell in us and perfect His love in us as we do that, and then it promises that we will not fear because perfect love casteth out fear and we will have boldness in the judgment day.   All these things come from loving our fellow men.

[a close friend advised] me to prepare an impromptu talk and I think I will do it on Charity and service.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated when you do things like dieting and trading courses you always seemed to be so diligent in being able to stick with that?  I want things to be different … I want the independence to help create the perfect me, but I desperately need the attribute of diligence.

I agree. It all starts and continues and ends with love.  If that is the fuel, the engine with work at full power.  Love has the most efficient and lasting effect in motivating us to change.

I think that the Charity will grow as you increase your faith and hope. We know that without hope there is no faith and without faith or hope there can be no charity and “if ye have not Charity ye are nothing”.

It is in Christ that we have a perfect brightness of hope and an anchor for our souls

It is in that Atonement that all things are made possible. So the question is how do we increase our hope, faith and charity to access the Atonement’s power? How do we access the power to change our lives?

Look at PMG chap. 8 in the “set Goals” section. There it says that we should set goals that are in line with the Saviors command to share the gospel with all kindred, tongues and people.
I feel that is key. That is when we know we are keeping the commandment “Seek ye first for the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you” (3 Nephi)

That starts with gaining a great desire to build the kingdom and share the gospel. So we start with the very thing the Prophets told the Mission Presidents “Learn the Doctrine of Christ” These are men who have lived faithfully and have sacrificed a lot to serve and yet the prophets are tell them to learn it as if they didn’t understand. So we read 2 N 31, 3N11, 3N27 and then we pray and ponder the need for all men and women to apply the Doctrine everyday and week.
Faith that through Christ we can be changed and forgive, Repent of any sins or shortcomings, Be Baptized by water and fire (or take the sacrament and be cleansed becoming worthy of the Holy Ghost), Endure by continuing the process of learning from the scriptures and the commandments.

As we learn more about this process and come to gain a testimony through study and application we will come to understand that this is the doctrine of Salvation. It is only through the Doctrine that we can be perfected and saved. It is the only thing that can break off the chains which hold us down, which lead us down to hell. It is this that brings the pure joy, the love of Christ and the power of God into our lives.

Learn the Doctrine. Learn what it means to increase your faith unto repentance and then do it and you will know. That is how.
Learn the Doctrine and God will tell you where to start to kill the natural man within you. It will be a battle, but it is a battle that Christ has already won.
Learn the Doctrine and set goals
Learn the Doctrine with your heart and pray that you can feel the depth and space of these seemingly simple principles.
The Doctrine of Christ is how we access the power of the atonement in its fullest.
Love it, Live it and Share it with the family and friends as you do.
I hope that helps.

I really can’t tell you how I had that diligence, other than I know it was necessary, I came to feel the importance of what I was doing and then the FEELINGS drove the actions. A knowledge of things rarely motives action, it motivates desires. Feelings are gained from acting and learning from desires. Diligence is gained by sacrificing the natural man enough to where you come to enjoy/accept doing the hard but necessary things.

I hope that helped. That is how I would have done it. It is in this process of applying the doctrine through setting goals (repenting) with the Lord (through prayer and commitment) to fulfill the Lord’s purposes that the Lord gives us the needed blessings to accomplish our daily chores. He quickens us when we serve and then do our homework. He blesses us with the gift of remembering when we magnify our calling despite our homework. He fills us with light and understanding so that we can comprehend and understand more in less amounts of time. He gives us little promptings to help us maximize our time and bless others’ lives.

Keep it up.  I still have a long way to go. But I’ll keep trying as well.

I know I said a lot, but this is the Doctrine of Salvation and it can never be prayed about nor studied too much.

Love Elder Cook

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