Monday, July 28, 2014

Cucuta, a place to do what is needed, not whatever you want - or so the sign says.

Interesting sign in Cucuta  (14 July 2014)
 (If you want to do whatever you want please leave Cucuta)

hey family, what is up? Life is pretty good here. I do not have any complaints. The independence day of Colombia was yesterday and nobody did anything and I thought to myself surely this means something. If the people do not love their country enough to celebrate its birth, surely that must say something about the quality of the country hmmmmm.... idk.

We had a baptism set up for 2 weeks  ago, I didn't tell you last week because I didn't write anybody because we were buying stuff for a missionary activity. Our investigator got chicken pocks right before her baptism . . . so we are going to baptize her this Saturday. We are working hard here.
The biggest problem that exists here is that the people are not married. Almost nobody is married by law. We have 3 people who want to get baptized but can't because the are not married and living with someone and have kids with this person and can't separate . . . so I hope that we are going to marry a lot of people in the following weeks. We will see. We are working on it. 
I do not know how it is in other missions or other areas but in my experience people we come up to me without having known me before and will introduce themselves to me and then tell me their life story and all their problems . . . and that is a little weird that people seek counsel from a 20 year old stranger from another country who they have known for 5 minutes . . .
I think it is weird that we the missionaries who do not have a whole lot of life experience have the trust and confidence of members and investigators and strangers and that these people want our help to fix their lives.
Jonathon one of our investigators told us, 'I do not want to get married. I have never like the idea and have never thought of myself as being married.' We taught the plan of salvation and I shared D&C 131 or 132 (i don't remember which) (and this is not something I would advise sharing usually but I don't know, I felt it) which says in the celestial kingdom there are 3 degrees and to obtain the highest we have to be married. The next time we came to the house he told us 'Elders i am thinking about getting married and I have created a plan to save money to buy a ring.' So that was really cool.
Yah, its the vida misional. Doing what has to be done.  
Love, Elder Rallison

what was it like when Colombia was playing in the world cup?

4 of us in the house of a member watching the first game of colombia in the world cup .... and something else i do not remember what the other picture was

It had been a long time since i had used electric stairs I had forgotten how to do it.

we found this house that looks like a castle (it IS a castle) in our area so we were like hey lets take pictures. and then I was like hey lets play on it . . . soooo we did
 This is a shout out to the Strong family. I've scaled their walls a few times! Ha!

this is a party that we had with an exploding candle

The first foto is the guy whose whiskey we stole jajajaja. He is a little crazy and he also likes making us hamburgers . . . I feel like we have a pretty good relationship (notice the ankle weight?)

 the second is our district... I hate suits
 Lastly, here's a cool kid. His whole family got baptized.

Pay attention in Mission Prep Class!

7 July 2014
I am still alive. Today is the day of transfers. I didn't get transferred, still in Cucuta. But my comp did get transferred. He's going to Bogota so he has a long bus ride ahead of him. 
I am writing you guys a short email to update you on some stuff. Something that I thought was cool happened this week. A long time ago in my missionary prep class the teacher told a story about a man who felt like he couldnt recieve forgiveness for some of the things that he had done and then missionaries shared with him Alma 24:10. A thought came into my mind, 'hey you should write that scritpure down because you are going to use it one day to help someone.' And this week I did. We had the same problem. We were teaching someone who felt like he couldn't recieve forgiveness (granted he has the right to think that) but I felt the impression to share the scripture that I had been saving for a couple years and so I did. And it helped him. That was pretty cool. 
Also I now have my camera and my notebook and all that stuff so that is good. Last Saturday we had a baptism of a man named Adelson. He is an older man, 60 something yrs old. He was a preacher/father/priest in another church for 30 yrs. He was then dignosed with cancer. He has had it for 7 years now. Recently he began to pray that angels would come and visit him and teach him more of the word of God and converse with him and things like that. Not to long after that we, the missionaries, showed up. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he began to read it and study it and compare it with the Bible. When he got to Jacob 5 he told us he had a great feeling of unexpilicable joy. And knew that the book is true. (and I thought that surely must be the spirit because I have never had a feeling of joy reading Jacob 5) 
After his baptism he shared his testimony with the members that were present and said through his diligent study he could testify to all of us that the Book of Mormon is true and that he had read it and that he knows it is from God. And that he feels really bad that he spent 30 yrs of his life leading people through false paths with a false doctrine. I know he has a great peace knowing that if he dies he will die in the truth. 
So that was all pretty cool
The church is true. Love, Elder Rallison

Denfender of the Truth (Part 2)

16 June 2014
voy a hablar acerca; cristo es jehova otro día, porque no tengo mi librita conmigo, que tiene todas las referencias.
We can become like God. everything God does here is a symbol for how things will be in heaven. We can become like our parents here and in the same way that we grow in grace and wisdom and ability and become like our earthly parents here is, in a way, how we can become like our Heavenly Father. The scriptures say that we are gods ye children of an almighty god (psalms 82:6) and if we are children, then we are heirs and joint heirs with Christ and we will be glorified together if we follower his path (Romans 8:16-17 and Galatians 4:7). So we can receive everything that Christ received. What did Christ receive? He received everything. The scriptures actually say that he is Gods equal (Philippians 2:5-6). So if we are joint heirs with Christ it means we too can receive everything or become like god

So some people might say, 'aww so there are many gods for you guys; so you guys are polytheists.' Ummm well God is a title not a name (because God has a name... its not Jehovah, that's Christs name) and it is a title that represents creation, all powerful, from eternity to eternity. It is a title that more than one can have (PSALMS 82:1). But for us there is one God the father and one lord Christ so no we are not polytheists (1 Corth 8: 5-6)

Here are some ways that you can present the Book of Mormon with the Bible.
mathew 7:15-20 Christ says beware of false prophets and then he says that we can know whether or not a prophets is a true prophet by their fruits. Some people might say nope there wont ever be more prophets, the time of prophets is over. If that is the case how come Christ didnt say that there would not be more prophets? How come instead he gave us the way to descern if someone is a true prophet? Because more prophets will come and we need to know who they are if we want to follow God. So after this scripture you can explain that the Book of Mormon is the fruit of Joseph Smith and that if you want to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet you only have to examine his fruit, the Book of Mormon. And then they can ask God james 1:5

You can also use john 7:17 if you want to know if these things come from God or come from man. Test them or try them out and the truth will be revealed. So if they want to know if the Book of Mormon is doctrine of God or man they need to test it. A good way to test a book is to read it.
John 21:25 the last verse in the Gospel of John says that Christ did many other things that he didn't record and that if all of them were written it would fill up many many many books. So that means that not all of the things that He did are in the Bible . . . you can then ask if they would like to read a book that has more of the acts of Christ and show the Book of Mormon where Christ came and visited the Americas. You can explain that the Book of Mormon has acts of Christ that are not in the bible and the same Bible says that it isn't able to say everything that Christ did.
so . . .
mathew 12:25 a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. So you can show the Book of Mormon and say if it invites us to come to Christ it can be from satan because if satan was inviting us to come to Christ his kingdom would be divided. Then you can show some scriptures Hel 5:12    2Ne 2:8  2Ne25:26  Omni 1:26. You can say, 'look it invites us to come to Christ and we know that satan isn't going to give us that invitation. so if its not from the devil who is it from?'

Love, Elder Rallison

Defender of the Truth (part 1)

'si hace esto, el señor le bendecirá y usted se convertirá en un defensor y un mensajero de la verdad.' Manual Misional pg 4
So the point of this message is to help prepare to be a defender of the truth. Mind you I say defender because attacking for the cause of the truth, more often than not, (in my experience) doesn't help a whole lot. But also there are a lot or erroneous ideas so we need to know how to cortar cabezas (but heads) if we have to. 

apostasía 1
 that Adam and Eve were not the first people or the only people here in the world. that god simple put them in the garden but when they left there were other people in the world. I do not know were religious people get this idea... but the do not get it from the scriptures. If someone shares this idea with you, you can slap them with GEN 3.20 and explain that Eve is the mother of all living. Sooooo there were in fact not other people because all the other people came from her. 

apostasía 2 
That Christ in heaven does not have a body. First you can explain what death is. Physical death is the separation of the body and the spirit. JAMES 2.26 in this scripture he does a comp that faith if it doesn't have works is dead just as the body if it doesn't have a spirit. So a body without a spirit is a dead body. We know that Christ will never die again ROMANS 6.9 also there is a good scripture in ACTS 1.9-11 that says Christ will come to the earth in the same way he left the earth with a body.

apostasía 3
María la altisma virgen... la bendita virgen
it is not OK to pray or worship or incline ourselves (a.k.a. pray to) to any kind of image or thing that is not god EXODUS 20.3-5 but some people then say its not that we are worshiping Mary, it is just that she is a mediator or intercessor . . . OK, lets go to 1 TIM 2.5 that says there is one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can be our mediator because only he paid the price of our sins and only through him can we be saved. That is why he said I am the light and the way JOHN 14.6 you could also just say show me in the Bible an example of someone praying to Mary . . . because there isn't one in there. And there are some people that believe Mary was a virgin forever . . . because the catholic church teaches that sometimes. But it is apostacy. MAT 1.25 and mateo 13.55

apostasía 4 
That wine must be used in the sacrament. Read the following scriptures.
1 corth 10.16 y 21 1corth 11.23-25 mateo 26.26-28 y luke 22.20
Where in the scriptures do they use the word wine . . . they don't. And they say that it is not the wine which is the symbol of the covenant but the cup. Why is the cup the symbol of the covenant of Christs blood? I personally think it is because LUKE 22.41-44 when Christ asked God if it is possible pass this bitter CUP from him. And he said this directly before he bled from every pore. So it is not the wine that is the symbol because it actually doesn't say wine in the Bible it say cup which is the symbol.

apostasía 5
That after we are baptized or we accept Christ we automatically receive the Holy Ghost that it will just descend upon us. So there is a story about about Philip, a missionary who was preaching and had success and baptized people. But what happened is after he baptized them they didn't magically receive the Holy Ghost because it doesn't happen like that. So when the apostles heard that the people had been baptized they sent Peter and John (those who had the authority to baptized with fire, because they had received the authority from Christ) and they give the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands ACTS 8. 12-17. There more scriptures that you can show about the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands ACTS 13.3 ACTS 19.2-6   2TIM 1.6

pensamiento espiritual. 
the importance of being perfect. Is it important to be perfect or what does being perfect mean? That would probably be a better place to start. I am going to define it as being without sin. Is that important? Yes because no impure thing can dwell with god 1 NE 10.21 and 3NE 27.19 (also 1 corth 6.9-10 and efe 5.5). In the same way that light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time impurity cannot dwell with purity. God and all those in his kind and his kingdom are pure if we want to be there we have to be also. We have to be 100 percent pure or perfect. God has high expectations. He expects and demands perfection. MAT 5.48 3NE 12.48 EFE 5.1 3NE 27.27. It is a commandment to be perfect and if it is a commandment, it is possible NE 3.7 and 1COR 10.13. If you don't think you can do it is because your a wuss. But it is a requirement. No se puede argumentar. but hey God gives us tools to help us reach the high expectations that He has set. Find out what they are EFE 4.11-12 and 2TIM 3.16-17 and read this invatation MORONI 10 32

That is all I have time for. The church is true... Elder Rallison is showing it. And God showed it to Elder Rallison. Tune in next week for more defensor de la verdad

Baptisms in Cucuta

26 May 2014
So I will tell you a little bit about our baptisms. One of the people we baptized is Mariana. She is a young woman and is 18 years old. She had the missionary lessons 2 years ago but her mom did not allow her to get baptized. When she turned 18, one of the first things she did was set a date with us.
She has a friend who is a member and her friend has been letting us teach the lessons in her house because Mariana's mom still doesn't want anything to do with the church. but Mariana said, 'well I am 18 and I am old enough to make my own decisions and so I want to be baptized '. . . and she was. We have been teaching her now for about a month. We wanted her to come to church again and recieve the lessons again and to talk to her mom.
That was one of the bigger problems that we had was her mom.But one day Mariana came to us and she said, 'Elders I told my mom. I said a prayer and all of the sudden I got brave and went and talked to her and she said that she would respect my decision.' So that was really awesome. Her mom did not come to the baptism but after the baptismal service Mariana bore her testimony and testified that she new the church was true.

And so do I. Love, Elder Rallison

A birthday wish from a big brother

12 May 2014

Hey guys, all of you should do 15 minutes of reading the scriptures (the Book of Mormon because it is the most powerful) every day. Especially James. Because James, I know that you are not reading it enough. So James, if you don't read your 15 minutes today I will enter you dreams through my dreams and hit you in the face with your scripture until you wake up and go read. And I will be waiting for you in dream world till you read your 15 minutes . . . Happy b-day. And Faith should be reading the Book of Mormon too. Faith I will haunt your dreams to if you are not reading
Editorial note: as is evident, we have not been posting weekly so this July evening is a lot of catch-up posts. Luke is still in Cucuta. When he transferred from Bucaramanga he left his "DO NOT FORGET" bag of stuff in Bucaramanga. The bag with his scriptures, camera, extra $$, etc. So we only recently received photos. If future posts.

5 May 2014

Hey so I get to call you guys por Skype! If any of you guys are actually there. If not, I don't know what I will do. I guess I will read letters. . . I think I will read the letters Paul wrote to the Corinthians. But we are planning and calling you guys this next Sunday at three through Skype. I do not remember the Skype information so if you guys could send it to me again that would be great. Also early happy birthday to Arianna, Faith, and James

OK. 2 experiences that I had with prayer this week, very fast, because I do not have a lot of time. We have lots of people that we are going to visit today and I want to buy ankle weights (to keep my legs in shape).
First, we are teaching a family and in the family there is a teenager named Aroni. He is like almost all teenagers; self absorbed, doesn't think a lot about God, and disobedient and all that stuff. Every time we try to teach, he always drives the Spirit away. He is always on his cell phone and his mother doesn't know how to control him. So I was like, 'hey, I bet God can do something here'. So that night I prayed because there are members of that family we can baptize but they can't feel the spirit when we visit because the things Aroni is doing with his cell phone. I prayed for God to take it away please. And not 3 days latter somebody robbed Aroni and took only his really nice smart phone... our lessons are progressing really well now :D 

Second story really fast. We are teaching this guy named Naftali. He is really good and has a really nice family and is raising his children well and is actually married to his wife (that is hard to find in Colombia) but he had a problem. He liked to drink. Every time we went to his house to teach he was drinking whiskey or something and we tried teaching the Word of Wisdom 3 times and nothing. So my comp and I went to prayer and guess what happened. He was compelled to stop drinking by a sudden infirmity. He went to the doctor and the doctor said that he couldn't drink anymore. So now he is living the Word of Wisdom. prayer works. 

And if we are obedient there is no reason for God not to bless us with the righteous desires of our hearts.
Love, Elder Rallison
28 April

So this is what is going on in the mission. First, let's start of with some fun experiences. My comp and I went to a family the Rangel Manjarres. The father and mother are both members and where baptized about 15 yrs ago and went inactivate soon after their baptism. So my comp and I quickly realized that their conversion was not to the gospel but to the missionaries that taught them so when the missionaries left, so did their testimony. We decided that we were going to focus on having them read and pray for themselves. If they were doing these things, they would find the testimony that they lost. So we went into the lesson and we planned to focus on the Book of Mormon. We went to their house and started the small talk and just as we were about to say the opening prayer a man showed up at the door (I might have told part of this story before) with his Bible in hand and came and joined us in the lesson.

We we decided to continue with the lesson and said the prayer and started teaching. About 10 minutes in the guy decided that he was going to destroy the spirit that was present and said, 'I just have one question. How come you don't worship on Saturday? or in other words how come you don't keep the Sabbath day holy because the Sabbath day is really Saturday.' And that is how he disrupted our lesson. So we talked about that for a little bit and it turned into a war. But hey, we are Defenders of the Truth. We were totally nailing him on the Apostasy. But we noticed something even though we were teaching with scriptures and even though are points were logical. The family still wasn't sure weather to believe us or the Adventistas. That is when we realized that we were not teaching with the Spirit. It doesn't matter how well a person can navigate the scriptures or how logical the points are that the person is making. If the spirit is not there no one will be edified.
We were also basing a lot of our teaching, with this family, in the bible to talk about the sabbath day. But there are several problems with this. First the bible is not perfect and second our message is that there is more revelation so if we are not using the Book of Mormon we are not doing our job. This is what one of the missionaries who I am living with said. As missionaries we are fighting a battle and the scriptures are our weapons. The Book of Mormon is a bomb and the bible is a fork... and it is a little bit true. The Book of Mormon is much more effective.
So after we had studied a bit more this topic and had prepared a killer way to destroy and finally obliterate this false idea of the sabbath day still being on Saturday, we had the impression to talk about why the mom and the dad decided to get baptized in the first place. We discovered that they had never read the whole Book of Mormon and they had never even been a time in their life where they were reading the Book of Mormon every day. 
That is why they didn't really have a testimony. and so we talked with them about that. And we didn't talk about the sabbath day and we based our teaching in the Book of Mormon and it was the only time I have felt the spirit with this family. 
But there is a good lesson here for all of us. The Book of Mormon really is the key stone of our religion. If we do not have this book in our life we aren't living our religion. We gain a testimony through the Book of Mormon and we keep our testimony through the Book of Mormon. If we do not read the Book of Mormon every day we will lose our testimony. Maybe not all at once but sure enough a day will come when we will forget what we once knew. 
If I want to learn about math I have to go to the right source. I will have hard time learning about math from a history textbook or from a Spanish text book. If I want to learn about math I have to read a math textbook. If we want to learn about God we have to go to the right source. That source is the Book of Mormon. We also have to invest the right amount of time into studying the Book of Mormon. If I want to gain physical strength, I can't go to the gym for two minutes and expect results. I also can't go to the gym once a week and eat junk food all of the time because I still will not get results. I have to exercise for the right amount of time and watch what we eat. It is the same with our spiritual nutrition. We have to invest the right amount of time into reading the Book of Mormon. We can't read it for two minutes and expect good results and we can't do it only once a week and consume all the junk that the world has to offer.
Love, Elder Rallison
the scripture that I liked the most this week 2 Nefi 32:7