Thursday, August 28, 2014

WEEK 52. (There are 52 weeks in a year)
I had a pretty sweet week! We found some awesome new Hispanic people to teach who look very promising! 
I saw Ashton Young and his wife in the temple on Wednesday! That was a crazy awesome happenstance! 
I saw an article in Mormon Times about Elder Kuhns from the MTC! That was awesome!
We've discovered that I'm allergic to EGGS!!! We had the radioactive egg test that made me sick, then we ate scrambled eggs at dinner. Similarly destroyed me. At least we've discovered one of the problems!
I strangely don't have much to say... only that I know that God helps us through our trials. He does not often take the challenges away. He WILL strengthen us to face the challenge every time though. That I know. It is evident in this 3 month never ending sickness. I have not been made better physically, concerning this sickness, but I have ,OBVIOUSLY, been made a better disciple of Jesus Christ because of it. That I know.
Honoring God
Elder Decker
P.S. We had fun with Duct tape.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This past week has been exciting. 
It has been discovered that I might have gastritis through getting a camera shoved down my throat!
Tomorrow I will have another test to figure more out! They will feed me radioactive eggs and watch me digest them! I'm really hoping for super powers.
Nausea and pain continue, but we are closer to a conclusion!
We had an incredible District Meeting on Wednesday. It was SO guided by the Spirit. We resolved almost conflicts within us and ensured the prevention of others. It was just full of the Spirit. The room felt like the Temple.
That's all that's happened with me really. We've been trying to find some new people to teach, and to help Members to improve their missionary efforts. 
The relationship between faith and commandments is confusing. There are scriptures in the Bible that suggest that You only need faith (Galatians2:16) and scriptures that say you need to follow the commandments (Matthew 5, Matthew 7:21). Which is it? Both.
The answer to that question can be found in The Book of Mormon. I actually found this this morning! 

Alma 25:16
16 Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come.

The purpose of the commandments is to help strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. As we obey God's commandments we give him more opportunities to bless us, increasing our faith in a way that nothing else can.
Salvation is a gift that can only be attained because of and through Jess Christ. That is a gift that no law could give us. Only He could give that gift to us through his Atoning Sacrifice. But the law is STILL a huge necessary part of the Gospel. Moses established a law. Christ honored it and made it even HARDER. (see Matthew 5) 
There are laws, but we will all fall short of them. Christ and His atonement pick us back up, offer us forgiveness, and get us on the path again, and to give us a solid foundation. 

Matthew 7:24-27
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Our faith needs action and commandments to survive this crazy world that can and will attack our faith in Jesus Christ. 

James 2:26
 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

I know that as we have faith in Jesus Christ and work to become more like Jesus Christ through our works, we will eventually become perfected in Him. 
Honoring God
Elder Decker

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

TODAY I AM A YEAR FROM HOME!!! That's crazy.
This past week was really hard for me. Nausea and pain have remained consistent and have become a big hindrance to my ability to work. I had a doctor's appointment last Tuesday and he said that it could possibly be Crohn's Disease. (Your immune system attacks your intestines, there's no known cure but it's controllable) BUT, we don't know anything yet. 
So with that news I was quite discouraged this week, especially with the nausea/pain continuing. It was REALLY hard to stay positive, and I must confess that... I didn't. I started to think that I was being a useless roadblock keeping my companion from being able to work. I even thought that maybe I should go home... Then on Saturday I prayed and asked Heavenly Father whether or not I should stay. I should and I will stay. I knew that I should stay, but that feeling of inadequacy and being useless persisted until church on Sunday. I heard "More often than not, Christ strengthens us in our trials instead of taking the trials away." This whole time I've asked for the sickness to go away! I'm so dumb! 
I felt way comforted by this. He helps us to push through it. He's like a Cross Country coach! He won't end the race because it get's hard, that's ridiculous! He just motivates and helps us so that we can finish the race; becoming who He wants us to become. 
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
As we seek for God's help to push through trials, that help WILL become apparent. That is a promise from God to you. 
 Alma 26:27
27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
Heavenly Father loves you. He WANTS to help you. Seek for his help in the correct way and you will find it. Every time, because he is your loving father.
Honoring God 
Elder Decker

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Week 49!
Alright, so next Monday I will be a year from home. Crazy stuff. 
Being a District Leader puts me in charge of 4 sets of missionaries including us. We get to talk to everyone every night which is a blast! It's so awesome to hear about peoples' difficulties and miracles that happened. It's awesome, but a tad stressful. There is some paper work that I have to do that I don't quite understand, but life's supposed to be a challenge right?
We've been trying to find some new people to teach as well. We're struggling for right now, but as we work diligently and are faithful and obedient, Heavenly Father WILL help and bless us! 
The Spanish Branch Soccer Tournament was incredible! I got absolutely fried. I'm so burned. But our branch (Rexburg 20) got 2nd place! It was so cool! This is a yearly event, and I've looked forward to it since I left. Heavenly Father gave me a day without nausea so that I could play. YAY TINY MIRACLE!
I want to talk about the basics. The difference between an amateur and a Pro is the basics. It is how we do the very basic things that defines our abilities in all things, including our Spiritual health. 
We met a young college student yesterday who had some difficulties in his life, and now felt depressed. He didn't feel God's presence in his life. He felt lost. He saw some other missionaries at church and they gave him our number. We stopped by and we had a long talk. 
Following the Spirit, we asked about his scripture study, prayers, and temple attendance. 
He told us that all of those things need a lot of work, so we come back to the topic: the basics. 
If you want to feel God's presence in your life, if you want to feel that he is there, if you want a testimony, you MUST Read your scriptures daily, pray with sincerity, and go to church. THEN you will gain that knowledge little by little. 
It may seem dumb to do things when you aren't sure about their truth, but if you tried to wait to get good at anything before you try it, you will never accomplish anything. 
I love all of you and God does too! Seek him and you will find that he has been there trying to help you through your whole life. 
Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He will help you overcome all things and will help you to feel him as you seek him.
Honoring God
Elder Decker
Week 48 (1 year mark in exactly 2 weeks)
This past week has been quite the roller-coaster. We had a baptism fall through, Stomach pain has come back, but some cool stuff has happened also.
Yeah, so our zone was destroyed, not many are staying. our district was really old, so we're getting 4 new missionaries (2 Elders, 2 Sisters). This will be AWESOME! I'm so excited to be a leader, to try and help other missionaries to reach their full potential as missionaries and as believers in Jesus Christ. 
We've been struggling to find new people to teach, along with sickness. With everything that's happened, good and bad, I've been a bit on edge. My companion has been a big help, but I'm still quite stressed.
Being sick is my least favorite thing ever. I WANT to get up on time, I WANT TO EXERCISE, I WANT TO WORK! BUT I CAN'T. I hate it so much. It's been a real trial. 
I was having a lot of trouble. So 2 nights ago, when I couldn't sleep, I went into our study room and opened up the Book of Mormon in the dark, not knowing where. I turned the light on and I was opened up to the first page. The first verse says:
"and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days"
That hit me. In a short while, I've been hit pretty hard, but every day for my whole life I have been favored by God. Hard times happen, BUT THAT DOES NOT EVER MEAN that God loves you any less. He is always there to help us. ALWAYS.
Remember who you are, remember that God always loves you. When you pray, read the scriptures, and go to church, you are giving him opportunities to feel his love. Just do it. 
Honoring God 
Elder Decker