Elder Michael Thornton

Elder Michael Thornton
24 August 2011 to August 2013

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Twenty-Fifth Letter Home 13 February 2012

Hey, whats up everyone? Guess what? 

Yesterday I hit my six-month mark! Crazy. I feel like I just stepped off the plane. I'm having so much fun, being a missionary is awesome. Being at my six month mark means I am no longer considered a "greeny," though I still very much feel that I am.  Sometimes my companion and I will look at each other hoping the other one knows what to do. Ha-ha. We don't know what we are doing, lol, but it is okay because through us the Lord gets to show forth His power.

Thinking about this makes me laugh. Here I am almost 20, and I'm giving people marriage advice, addiction recovery advice, family advice, telling them to get married, to quit drinking, to quit smoking — it's kind of crazy. But it works because it isn't me. I am just an instrument in the Lord's hand. I am like a pen. When I study, I am replenishing my ink levels. When I go to bed on time, wake up on time, get out and work, and do my 5-7s, I'm sitting in the Lords pencil cup on top of His desk. 

Obedience is about aligning our will with Heavenly Father's will. It's not about whether the Lord is on my side, it's about me being on His side. When we do this, He can pick us up and write with us when ever He wants. 

Have you ever wondered why so many of the Lord's mighty servants in the Book of Mormon were also soldiers? Is it a coincidence that the statue on top of our temples is the image of a man who was a soldier in life? Perhaps it is because soldiers have the ability to put their will behind them, and follow their captain at the peril of their own lives, to protect the lives of others. In Moroni's closing remarks, he said, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not Charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail-- But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."  

Doctrine and Covenants section 19 describes how Christ showed us this love. He submitted His will, to His Father's will. When Christ came to the Americas, he said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." We are not the Lord's if we don't do the Lord's will. This is not Elder Thornton's work. It is not President Weaver's work. It is not even the work of the Church per say. This is Heavenly Father's work, and His glory. 

When we have charity, we submit our will to doing the Lord's will. When we do this, then we are like Moroni, Mormon, Alma, Nephi, King Benjamin, and Captain Moroni. "Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men." I love this scripture. Everybody who knows me knows that Captain Moroni is my favorite super hero. But, at this time in my life, I really love the verse 19 in this same chapter. "Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people than was Moroni; for thy did preach the word of God, and they did baptize unto repentance all men whosoever would hearken unto their words." 

I came on a mission to shake hell. Every person we baptize is another person freed from its grasp. I love being a missionary. Right now, we are struggling. We have people who want to get baptized but can't until they get married; we have people who want to get baptized but don't know it yet; and we have people whot should have gotten baptized months ago, lol. This is kind of a tough job. We have this super hilarious Japanese lady who has been coming to church for a year; she even pays her tithing, and she still isn't baptized. She is just stubborn. She says the water is dirty here, lol. She calls me Elda Donton, and my companion Elda Balley. I wish you could meet the people I get to work with. They are great. I truly love these people. I would do anything for them. All I want is to help them access the Atonement of their Savior Jesus Christ. He laid out the path we need to take if we want His sacrifice for us, and that path is Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. We can't access the Atonement without Baptism. This is why this work is so important. I pray that I will be able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands in bringing many people unto him. 

I love you guys. Have a good week.
Elder Thornton

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