Missions are Fun

Preston Temple photo taken 21 Nov. 2010

A missionary is someone who leaves his or her home for a little while so others can have their families forever.

Curious about Mormons? Go to the source and find real people at mormon.org--read what they believe and have live chats if you wish! (an official Church website)

Or, go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, official web site: lds.org.

Note: The Blain's England Manchester Mission blog is a personal blog that is not endorsed, approved, or sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our Mission Scriptures

Our Mission Scriptures:

"Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart . . . Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." Alma 29:1-2 (Book of Mormon)

" . . . be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Bible)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Stake Conference Reflections

And righteousness I will send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place, which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.  Moses 7:62
At the Saturday night meeting of Chorley Stake Conference, we were able to sit next to two investigators who plan to be baptized 4 June.  They are the most sincere and diligent investigators we've met.  The young Elders had us go with them to teach last week, and these two know the stories in the Book of Mormon already!  They answer the questions in depth, and one of them has almost finished read all of the standard works through.  One of the two has large tattoos on her arms.  She said this is the only church she has been where she feels comfortable like she isn't being judged.  Whew!  I was happy to hear that.  The members in England are very accepting due to the fact there are so many converts from all walks of life.
You can barely see the little baby duck on the right.  They've been so small, they haven't showed up in the pictures I've taken.  This pond is just outside the Chorley Stake meeting house and on the Preston Temple grounds by the Missionary Training Centre.
The focus for the evening session was getting all members (through love and service) to the temple to receive their ordinances therein and be able to be fully on the path to Eternal Life.  Two converts bore beautiful testimonies of their progressions and joy since joining the Church.  One was a previous atheist, who has now been to the temple with his wife and family.  He said temple ordinances give him hope he can be with his family forever.
Here I am with one of my friends from the Blackburn Ward and YSA.  She's a sweetheart.
 Another lesson learned from the Saturday session is, don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, along with the parable of the prodigal son.  If we have something good, we should be patient and be thankful for the blessings we now have and not seek to gain everything at once and squander it, leaving ourselves nothing in the end.  We can be grateful for our blessings as they come.  We can choose to be like the son who stayed with his father, worked hard, and increased his inheritance, or we may choose to be like the son who took all of his inheritance and squandered it in riotous living.  Should we leave the fold and wander from God, there is always hope, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, for we can repent and return.  The main point of this talk was forgiveness and love.  We are loved by our Heavenly Father and His Son in the heights of our righteousness or in the depth of our sins.
Other tidbits of inspiration gleaned from this talk:  Yes, there is a price to pay for sin, and some opportunities are lost; some things cannot be restored (like health destroyed by destructive substances and family relations torn apart), so we must guard against Satan taking little snips here and there that drive us away from God an inch at a time (as with ivy getting its grips in a wall and destroying it if not caught in time).  Watch for the chinks in our spiritual armor that protects us against Satan and repair them before it no longer protects us.  Father is watching over us and waiting for us to return to Him.
Pond at MTC
 The Stake President talked about wounds and healing and scars that we receive in life due to our own choices and sometimes our own stupidity or bad judgement.  The Atonement can heal our spiritual wounds.  He suggested we think about the five people we might meet in heaven (as from the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom) and examine if we have done the right thing by those people.  Are we treating them well now and sharing the gospel of love with them?  If they have passed on, is their temple work done for them to have the opportunity to choose the gospel?  Is one of those persons a less-active member just waiting for you to stop by for a visit and invite him or her back to church?
Sunday, we were privileged to join a multi-stake conference with a live broadcast from Salt Lake City.  We were able to hear from leaders of the Church, including President Thomas S. Monson.  All of Europe is being challenged to double church attendance within the next ten years through activation work and member missionary work.  People are called to rise to a higher purpose and become more gospel centered.  Heavenly Father desires for his children to be refined in their testimonies and reach a point in their conversion where they have no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually (Mosiah 5:2-Book of Mormon).

President Monson talked about the  "lost batallion" that was rescued during WW 1, and asked us if there are lost batallions we need to man the life boat and rescue.  He quoted from the song, :Shenendoa," which states, "If we don't try, then we don't do; if we don't do, then why are we here?  He warned that we will be held accountable for those we do not find and help.  We must show individuals their eternal possinbiliters and love our neighbor as ourself.

We must believe that people can change.  President Monson related a story about prison Warden Duffy who reformed San Quintin Federal Prison years ago.  Someone said to him, wishing to criticize the good treatment he was giving the prisoners,  "You know, a leopard can't change it's spots."  The warden replied, "You need to know I don't work with leopards, men can change."

We must develop the ability to see Christ in every person, because he saw and treated them with lose.  He asked, "Who is lost in the crowd of life?"  "Go find the lost sheep who are stranded at sea.  Man the lifeboats and rescue them!"
 That evening, we had a couple of members from Madrid, Spain, drop in to visit on Sunday night in our Young Single Adult group.  Apparently, there is a singles conference going on for those 30 and older.  Elder Blain actually knew someone from Spain that one of the sisters knew.  Small world, but then, Elder Blain has been all over the world and has lived in Spain.  I thought it is nice that members from other parts of the world can stop in at any church building and find friends.
Flags flying in front of the MTC

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