Monday, February 22, 2016

Rescuing Lost Lambs -February 22nd, 2016

Hey everyone!

This week has just been packed full of amazing things! We had Zone Conference this week as well as Stake conference! For those of you who don't know, Zone Conference is a meeting that we have once every three months in our mission. It's an all day thing normally and we go and receive teachings and trainings from President and Sister Hanks, the senior missionaries, and the Assistants to president. It was awesome! So much fun and we learned so many amazing things. So with that and Stake Conference we heard a lot of amazing teachings and talks and were very spiritually fed.
Other than that, Elder Westling and I had a great week! This week our main focus was on finding and teaching some of the many less active members in our branch. We found so much success and had some very amazing experiences by making this our focus. Rescuing His lost lambs. And that's what I want to be the focus of this email.

As the Savior’s undershepherds, we have the responsibility to “reach out and rescue those who have fallen by the wayside.” There's a talk that speaks about the Parables of the Lost and Found that explains it perfectly. It says"In chapter 15 of the Gospel of Luke, the Savior uses three parables to teach the worth of a soul, showing us how to find and return that which is lost to the fold of faith and family.

In the parables, the sheep wanders, the piece of silver is lost, and the prodigal son wastes his inheritance in riotous living. But the shepherd searches the wilderness, the woman sweeps the house, and the forgiving father watches for his son’s return, ever ready with an embrace and a warm welcome home.

The Savior’s parables—and the three vignettes by Church leaders that follow—remind us that as His undershepherds, we have the responsibility to “reach out and rescue those who have fallen by the wayside, that not one precious soul will be lost."

It goes on to share a story given by an area seventy that I really loved. This email is going to be pretty long, so I apologize but I really wanted to share these things with yall.

The story:

"Years ago in the early spring, my wife and I had occasion to drive through beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, USA. It was a wonderful spring morning, and the landscapes and scenery were inspiring.

As Jackie and I drove into Star Valley, we enjoyed seeing an occasional flock of sheep sprinkled with dozens of baby lambs. Few things are more endearing than a baby lamb. As we drove down the busy road, we saw a small lamb outside the fence near the roadside. It was frantically running back and forth against the fence, trying to get back to the flock. I surmised that this little lamb was small enough to have pressed through an opening in the fence but was now unable to return.

I was confident that if we didn’t stop to rescue the lamb, it would eventually wander into the nearby road and be injured or killed. I stopped the car and said to Jackie and our traveling companions in the backseat, “Wait here; this will take just a moment.”

I naturally assumed with my total lack of lamb-herding experience that the frightened lamb would be glad to see me; after all, I had the best of intentions. I was there to save its life!

But to my disappointment, the lamb was afraid and totally unappreciative of my efforts to save it. As I approached it, the little soul ran away from me as fast as it could along the fence. Seeing my plight, Jackie got out of the car to help. But even together we could not outmaneuver the quick little lamb.

At this point the couple in the backseat, who had been thoroughly enjoying the rodeo, piled out of the car and joined in the rescue attempt. With all of our efforts we finally corralled the frightened little lamb against the fence. As I reached down to pick him up in my clean traveling clothes, I quickly noticed that he had the distinct aroma of the barnyard. It was then that I began to wonder, is this effort really worth it?

As we picked up the lamb and lifted him over the fence to safety, he fought and kicked with all his might. But within moments he had found his mother and was pressed tightly and safely against her side. With our clothing a little disheveled but with great satisfaction and peace that we had made the right choice, we went on our way.

I have reflected on that experience several times since. I wonder if we would give that kind of effort to save an unappreciative, less-active neighbor. I hope so! “How much then is a man better than a sheep?” the Savior asked (Matthew 12:12). In every branch, ward, and stake are lost and endangered lambs.

Replacing the word work with rescue in the hymn “Have I Done Any Good?” I invite you to consider its application in saving lost lambs:

There are chances for rescue all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.         

Our neighbors may seem unappreciative, frightened, or uninterested in being rescued. And our efforts to rescue them may take time, effort, energy, and the support and help of others. But this effort will be rewarded with eternal blessings. As the Lord has promised, if we bring “save it be one soul unto [Him], how great shall be [our] joy with him in the kingdom of [our] Father”"

This week my testimony of the importance of rescuing the Savior lost lambs, was immensely increased. The joy and happiness that we can bring to someone's live by showing our care and concern for them is amazing, and we definitely saw that in our work this week. Members have all kinds of reasons for being less-active but I promise that as we reach out to them and try to save His lambs that lives will be changed and that no effort will go wasted.

I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today and I am so grateful to be a member of this restored gospel. We are all God's children and he loves each one of us immeasurably. I challenge all of you to find his children, his lambs, that are lost and to reach out to them and save them from the dangerous road that this life can be.

I love you and appreciate all of you so much, and hope you all have an amazing week:)


Elder Honn

p.s. sorry the selfie is blurry... y'all know how I feel about selfies so just count your blessings;)

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