Monday, June 11, 2018

6-11-18 Samut Prakaan Thailand Week 4

Stake Conference and Ministering (Samut Prakaan Week 4)

Hey hey there Dad!

It hurts my heart to think about all the people going out this transfer. Almost all the Zone Leaders, the District Leaders, One of the Assistants. So many people are going out. I can't really wrap my head around it. And also President and Sister Johnson. The people left will be just people who are younger than me, and a couple older ones, with a new mission President. In two weeks, the a large part of the mission will be gone with no one to fill the places of the old ones, at least for right now, meaning that we'll be down about 15 or so missionaries. Such is the nature of transfers, and the mission. I was going through the infamous "Greenie Book" which has a list of all the missionaries and where they were serving when I first came into country, and I was marking off all of the people who had already finished their missions are would be finishing in this next transfer. Let me say that there are not a ton of people in that list. I'm old, and I accept the fact that I'm old, and that's way scary. It's hard to tell what's going to happen in these next couple of transfers, but I know that whatever happens, it will be for good of the people here in Thailand.

However, this last week has been a wild week! We've been working really hard this past week. It's been fairly difficult this past little while for finding new investigators. So we decided to devote a lot of our time to doing some more finding activities, including finding and trying to work with members. Even on our switch off this last Wednesday that I had with the District Leader, we spent a large majority of our time just street contacting, with a couple lessons in between. However we found no one. Wow! That was sad. Perhaps it wasn't the will of the Lord for us to go inviting. Or we were meant to learn something, which I did, or perhaps we were being tested. Either way, I felt like a lot happened, and at the very least we were meant to see if we would be faithful in doing what we were commanded. Or at last we weren't listening carefully enough for the Spirit. Either way, it was a great experience. It makes me feel energized, strangely enough, when I get rejected. I hope everyone can understand what I mean when I say "Being received is best. Being rejected is sad. But not being rejected at all, nor received, once in the entire day, is the worst." Does this mean I want to be rejected? No! However, it means this: If I'm not being rejected once throughout the day nor being received the entire day means I'm not opening my mouth and I'm not doing my job. So rejection is a good sign! It means I'm working and if I'm truly trying my best, we'll see miracles and finally be received.

So after this lesson/confirmation of a known feeling that I've had, Elder English and I went out to go inviting some more this week. We found 2 new investigators, in a row, within 5 minutes of each other the very next day after our switch-off. It was way fun! Then we received a referral the very next day. Suddenly, we were seeing many miracles! The righteous exercise of faith and obedience results in miracles. We ended up finding four new investigators this past week, all by way of miracle. I'm really really grateful for all the blessings we have received from the Lord. Now the next task is to find more and help them all to progress.

Oh and another thing: You'd be surprised how long it can take one to walk 400 meters when you stop and talk to every single person on the way there. Perhaps about 2 hours might do it for us.

One aspect of missionary work that we have been focusing on is using the Book of Mormon in everything that we do, especially in street contacting. We've seen people's hearts open because of it, because we speak to their needs by using the Book of Mormon, and help them feel the Spirit. We bear testimony with the Book of Mormon, and that has resulted in helping us see miracles. If not the Word of God, then what is the Book of Mormon? It truly is one of the most valuable things that we have right now. It helps us to know God, and His Son Jesus Christ. There is power in the Word.

We also had Stake conference in this last week! We showed up way early for the Saturday evening session... we thought that there was going to be traffic but in the end there was no traffic.... So we got there an hour early. The Spirit was really strong in both sessions. But one of my favorite parts was when the Stake Choir sang "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" in Thai. That's one of my favorite songs honestly. It represents all of our goals in this life, that one day we may be perfect. The Spirit was especially strong there.

We had an opportunity to hear from the Asia Area President, Elder Evans, about Ministering. We have to go about it one by one. Loving people. Finding their needs and addressing them. Doing all that we can to help these people to grow and become even better, by inviting them to come unto Christ. It is about love. We are hear to love them and be the extended arm of the Lord. I hope I never again have to hear the words "If they have enough faith, they can do it on their own." Well that's not right! We are here to be the answers to another person's prayers. It may require us to sacrifice a little, but that sacrifice is pretty small compared to the sacrifice that the Savior made for us. Should we not be on the Lord's errand? The Lord answers prayers in a lot of ways, but most often prayers are answered through people.

In 3 Nephi, we learn about this concept of One by One. 2500 people, or more, went up to the Savior when He first appeared among the Nephites, one by one. Supposing that each person took only 1 minute, individually, with the Savior, that would be 2500 minutes. Divide that by 60 and guess what? That's about 42 hours. Did it take 42 hours? I don't know, but the Savior was willing to do so. He is willing to spend time with each of us, but we must go unto him, and he will always have time for us. We must go to others, however, and make time for them, and help them also come unto the Savior. Ministering is pure, Christlike Service.

Remember the words in Moroni 7:33, if we ever feel that a task is beyond our capability: 33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

I also like the next verse: 34 And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.

Let's all repent, and make sure we are keeping our baptismal covenants at all times. If we need strength, repent, and be strengthened! Pray always, and the Lord will deliver us.

Love you all, keep it up the hard work!

- Elder Collin Decker

Sunday, June 10, 2018

6-3-18 Samut Prakaan Thailand

Hey hey there Dad!

So​ this last week has been fun! Had a lot of appointments to go to so we were busy! Everyday I wonder where the time has gone. Every week seems to pass by so fast. So does the time.

We have one investigator who is progressing very very well! But he lives in a different area so we need to give him over...​So sad! He has a date for Baptism on the 17th! He's way good and way golden. We found him by street contacting and he apparently knew who Mormons were from about 5 years ago. But he didn't want to learn then, but really really wants to learn now! He really wants to join the church, so it will be a great day for him when he does!

Otherwise we're trying to help our other investigators progress. Really a challenge at times. We're also trying to get our investigator pool to be up and to be more accountable for our goals that we set and really set goals in faith and work towards those goals.

We also had Zone Conference this last week! It was weird going to a new place for Zone Conference. I've only ever been in two places for Zone Conference, meaning two Zones. Now I've reached my third Zone, with that not much time left... So it was fun! It was actually President Johnson's last Zone Conference...​It was a little somber. He shared a scripture, mostly for us I feel, in 2 Kings, about the story of Elijah and Elisha, and the mantle being passed on. The new mission president will be just as capable, and also guided by revelation, but it will still be sad. I will miss them a lot, and definitely want to visit them at some point later in my life.

I also saw my first trainer, Elder Bjarnson, give his Finishing Testimony. So sad! After this transfer I will know not that many people. I will be pretty old to be honest. I know that though things change, they will all be good!

In Zone Conference we learned about applying things we have learned from Zone Conference and also about using the Book of Mormon in all that we do...​Including in inviting. Wow! I would like to thank my older brother for helping me by already giving me advice about this as well.

Anyways, something interesting I learned this week was about the Plan of Salvation.​ The whole events which transpired in the Garden of Eden never really made a whole ton of sense to me, until I really read through 2 Nephi 2. I always wondered about why Heavenly Father and the Savior would set two laws in opposition to each other. But in 2 Nephi 2:10, in part, reads:

"Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed."

We know Spiritual Death to be a punishment, but in Preach My Gospel, it helps to define Spiritual Death as a separation from God, which is exactly what sin causes. The Lord is bound by rules and laws as well. We know that the Lord cannot lie, and can only invite and entice us to do good, as given in Moroni Chapter 7. Therefore, in this verse, we learn that God will punish us only as we disobey him. If we are perfect, in everyway, we need not be punished for we don't need to learn. In this case, if Adam and Eve were to fall, they would be cut off from the direct presence of God. But first they need to transgress. Thus the Plan and the laws for the Lord cannot punish Adam and Eve without the law and a transgression thereof brought about by temptation. 

This is a little deep, possibly not correct and nor do I claim to know everything. But we know that God is faithful in everything. We learn this in the example of Adam and Eve. Disobedience brings about captivity and punishment, including Spiritual Death. Obedience brings about freedom and blessings, including Eternal Life.

Remember that obedience to the law is freedom. Never forget that! Let us always be obedient and enjoy being in the prescence and communication with God! Love you all, and talk to you soon!

- Elder Decker

5-27-18 Samut Prakaan Thailand

Hey hey there Dad!

So this last week has been pretty fun, and I'm starting to get back in the rhythm of the big city. It's definitely not laid back, nor is it slow. Without stretching this analogy too far, let's just say that I need to be on the dot, and correctly in rhythm at a fast tempo. The tempo is not a reflection on how the work is going, but it's definitely different. Biking areas are slower. You need to be on the dot, but in a different way. But in the end, the Lord is the maestro and the Master Conductor. 

An analogy that I want to share: The work will have crescendos and decrescendos, maybe some staccato and a little bit of legatos here and there, but the work will move on with, or without us. After all, we're not a one man band. We're a symphony and we work together. If we want to see success, we work together, or if you want to wreck your own part, that is up to you. It is good to remember that sometimes, and that people's lives are affected by your actions, in public and in private. So play your part. Even during the rests play your part. Don't wander off into a daydream, but count your rests, use them wisely, and remember that the song is not done until the Conductor give a sweeping cut off to the symphony. It's up to us if we want to do our part, be disciplined, and help contribute to this great and marvelous work, which is coming forth among the children of men.

Anyways, so we had a couple of investigators at church! One of them is way way cool. I invited him while he was on his motorcycle, and he already knew who Mormons were! (and he wasn't from Europe or America or the Philippines!) He was pretty cool, and said that he was free on Sunday, so we invited him to church, and he actually came! Way cool miracle! We also had a progressing investigator come, and we're working really hard to try to help her get baptized, but we're just struggling on a couple issues, not many though!

Last week, we didn't do much on P-Day. We watched videos from, and played pool, but not in a swimming pool. The one with a table. Otherwise, not much was interesting there.

This ward is doing pretty well it seems! It might be small, but it's growing, so I'll be anxious to see it grow, and how I can help it grow even more!

One of the greatest parts about being a missionary is the constant realization that I am in a foreign country, preaching the Gospel to these people! Our actions here actually affect other peoples lives! In public and in private, peoples lives will be affected, for eternity some cases. It is a great responsibility. Truly how great is the calling of a missionary.

Remember, we must honor God. We must consecrate ourselves. Then we will see miracles. For as President Monson said in October 1995: "Who honors God, God honors." Let us honor God with our actions, our thoughts, our efforts and our desires. The Lord will bless us if we do so. 

Love you all! May you ever be blessed, and be ever obedient to the will of the Lord. Be safe and have fun! I love Thailand, I love my mission, and I love the work! It truly is of God.

- Elder Collin Decker

Sunday, May 20, 2018

5-20-18 Samut Prakaan, Thailand

Hey hey there Dad! my departure date is November 2nd

Sorry for getting on late. I just had to send some big letters to President Johnson as well. Good stuff. 

This last week was a blur! Just doing everything so quickly, and trying to get up to speed in a new area. It's a lot of fun, but a lot harder because biking areas are easier to understand, by far. 

My companion is a lot of fun! His name is Elder English and he's from Utah. Still fairly young in the mission, but then again so am I. Actually I just got here and I'm on my first transfer... still another two years! 😀

The ward is a good medium size! About 40 or so people going, so I'm pretty good at working in these type of places. We're working hard on getting new investigators as well so we can start baptizing! The Sister missionaries, one of which I already served with, just had a baptism! So that is great! Came from a member referral so I'm super happy for them! 

The church is actually outside of our area so that's a little bit troublesome but we'll deal with it.

Otherwise, not much else to say! Besides adventure stories:

1. The house is really big and used to have 6 Elders but now there are only 2. We have a ping pong table.

2. Rats sometimes get in the house. So my companion used a bug spray and a match to make it go away. Very scary.

Lots of walking, and lots of talking, but it's all good and fun in the life of a missionary! Remember this:

"At times the wisdom of God appears as being foolish or just too difficult, but one of the greatest and most valuable lessons we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right." (President Thomas S. Monson April 2012 "Willing and Worthy to Serve")

We will always be right as we obey God exactly. We will see miracles if we do so. Why? Because:

"...when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." (D&C 130:21)

Does it same some blessings from God? Or most blessings? No! It says any blessing. The Book of Mormon gives us the laws which we need to live by, in addition to the other standard works. For missionaries, we also have different handbooks that we need to follow. But a book of law, given from God, is actually a book of blessings. God is simply revealing unto us how to receive blessings. So let us be obedient, even exactly obedient.

Love you all lots! Talk to you soon! Hope everything is doing well and that you recover quick Dad!

- Elder Collin Decker

5-16-18 Samut Prakaan Transfers - Elder English

Hey hey there Dad!​ I'm on now, but I'll probably have to send the long one later. I'll upload pictures and stuff to make up for it though!

I'm moving to Samut Prakaan! I'll be senior companion
Yep, but it's fairly close, but we can take the subway to the mission office.

And no changes for the senior companion thing
The district leader is an elder from my same group, 10 or so in the district 
Yep... all will be well though. I'll be in the same district as a sister I've already served with! 

Hey actually I won't have a big email today... But just for everyone who will read!

I'm going to Samut Prakaan! I'll be able to do family history work! It's going to be way great and way exciting! The Lord will bless and prosper us there! My new companion is Elder English. I don't know anything about him because we actually haven't moved yet. So we'll talk about that next week. Anyways, love you! Talk to you on Monday! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

5-6-2018 Ayutthaya Thailand

Hey there Dad!

Well​ I'd be glad to help if I was at home... But I still have a mission to serve so save some projects for me to help with... Hahaha. I wouldn't trade anything for this mission experience. It's really tough, but it is making me better. How easy it is to find and receive revelation from the Lord when you're out trying to save the souls of his children, but I can't imagine how hard it will be when I'm at home, not working full time as a missionary and still trying to receive revelation. Especially for myself, that's the scary thing. It's no longer me caring for other people, but me receiving revelation for myself. What a scary prospect. For now I enjoy every moment on the mission, as a set apart representative of the Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

This​ last week was a little rough, I will admit. Not too much. Not anything close to Alma and Amulek that's for sure. 

We just found 3 large spiders in our house that we killed. I put one down with a knife, one by stepping on it and another one by slapping it with my shoe. All within 12 hours and once while I was showering. Bug spray does not work in these ones, let's just be clear. To this day the scariest experience of my life. 

We just didn't find as many new investigators as we set a goal to do... So we've readjusted our plans for this week to provide more time to do that. Diligence, effective time management, coupled with some mighty prayer, ought to help fix our problems. And being bold while we invite. We have the saving message of the Gospel! Why shouldn't we be bold? We cannot be overbearing, of course, but even the prophets of old called to the  people with straightforward language:


1 Nephi Chapter​ 1 said it. Alma says it. The Savior also says it. In the Book of Mormon alone it says "Repent" 382, or so, times. Considering that there are 707 pages (in the Thai version) in the Book of Mormon, that's enough to tell you at least once every two pages about repentance, on average. The Book of Mormon does not hide the fact that we need to repent, so why should we, as authorized representatives of the Lord.

Of​ course, there are many ways to reach people, and you don't necessarily need to call them to repentance the first time you meet, but they should receive a commitment invitation, since we are missionaries after all, to do something that will help them build their faith.

Anyways, we went to go see a big monument to an old king last week. Really huge and really detailed so it was pretty cool. Then we went to go see another big monument as well right behind it called วัดภูเขาทอง​ (Wat​ Phu Khao Tong). Pictures will be on the way when I actually have Wi-Fi.

Tuesday was English Class and District meeting like normal! No monkey attacks this week but that's because we were in Ayutthaya for district meeting. We had 6 new students come to English Class which was way good! We need new students besides little kids... And a couple other people. So it should be good in the coming weeks.

The rest of the week was pretty OK, still didn't have a ton of time to invite/contact. We're working on it.

No motorcycle or any sort of crashes either this week, though we did have a switchoff and we didn't use our bikes the entire day. So that was fun. I was with an Elder from Arkansas and he's a really solid guy/missionary.

Now for the last part:

I love a lot of quotes from C. S. Lewis.​They're really insightful and quoted a lot in General Conference. There's two that I really like that I want to share:

This one is from a talk given Bishop Ted R. Callister in October 2011:

"C. S. Lewis spoke of a similar dilemma faced by someone who must choose whether to accept or reject the Savior’s divinity—where there is likewise no middle ground: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. … You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. … But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Either Jesus was the Christ or he was not. We must make our choice. The words of Bishop Callister need no further explanation. 

The next one is about repentance, said quoted by Elder Quentin L. Cook in October 2012:

"C. S. Lewis, the striving, pragmatic Christian writer, poignantly framed the issue. He asserted that Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness; but until people know and feel they need forgiveness, Christianity does not speak to them. He stated, “When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.”"

Remember this for ourselves as well. We all need forgiveness. 

The last thing I would like to share is a quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell, said in 2004, not from C. S. Lewis and speaking a little about consecration:

"Brethren [and Sisters], as you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give. Don’t wait too long to find the altar or to begin to place the gift of your wills upon it! No need to wait for a receipt; the Lord has His own special ways of acknowledging."

They who listen and obey when the Lord calls to us, who listens to the promptings of the Spirit at all times, are the ones who will always be right. May it be so with us. Let us give our will and our all to our Heavenly Father and take ourself out of the equation.

I know this work is true, and I love you all! Keep your spirits up and keep working diligently! Never forget our goal of exaltation.

- Elder Collin Decker​

Sunday, April 29, 2018

4-29-2018 Ayutthaya Thailand

Hey there Dad!

This​ week should be relatively normal, at least for today, but who knows? The Lord will bless us in His own time and will. If investigators come on a P-Day, so be it! We'll teach them anytime! The Lord requires our all, even so a willing heart and a willing mind. 

I've started to keep highlights of the week, at least, the highlights of everyday, week by week, so I can better remember what has been happening this last week. But as far as hot... it's been hot since the beginning of April... Hot season started about 30 days ago once it hit April. Only the April rain showers can save us from such heat 😅. As for the เรื่อง lightning.... If I got hit by lightning and died, as a missionary, clearly it must have been my time to go, especially as a missionary, I will emphasize. I know a missionary who got hit by lightning. He's still alive! I think I'll be just fine... hahaha.

So highlights of this week:

Monday (วันจันทร์)

We got a referral in the middle of P-Day, to many people's surprise, including me, and the members were already on their way to Ayutthaya from Grungthep, so we couldn't just tell them no, so we went and taught them in the middle of P-Day. The Branch President came with us so that was sweet (it also helped us to feel more safe because we were unsure about the gender of one of the people in the car...). The two investigators are a little far out, maybe 20 kilometers, but they're way good! They also want to refer their friends to us so that's a true blessing. We'll be working with them a lot in the coming week. Then we visited the McGeorges, who we shared a spiritual thought with and then realized we only had 25 minutes to get home... from 7.8 kilometers away, plus traffic. Well, needless to say, we made it back within the time limit, making it to the church within 17 minutes! And the church is only 1 kilometer away so that was fun. I hope I can be more in shape once I get back... 😅

Tuesday (วันอังคาร) what is known, colloquially, as "Getwreckedday" which comprises of us going to Lopburi for District Meeting and then getting back at about 2:00... maybe. It would be nice if we got back that early 😅. So that happened. We ate Swensens after lunch to wish Sister Pim a farewell before she went to the MTC. RIP Sister Pim. We'll see you in another 3 weeks once you get back from the MTC in the Philippines. Then we had English Class, in of which one of our funniest members, Brother น้อง comes. We were teaching about weather, so he goes and says things along the lines of...

Elder Abbot also got his drink stolen by the monkeys as it went up to his bag and ripped it right out of his hands. Elder Abbot swung his plastic 7-11 bag around with the monkey on it and then chased after the monkey. In short, he almost got rabies before we told him to back off the monkies. Think of it like this: 17 baht for a drink, and don't fight the monkeys. Or 1000 baht for a series of rabies shots to who knows where and fight the monkeys. Take your pick. I'm not sure I want to see the monkeys when we come back to เที่ยว.

"Go to hail!"

So that was funny, but we told him  you can't stay stuff like that... So that was our Tuesday.

Wednesday (วันพุธ)

I got hit by a motorcycle, and the lady was pretty mad but nothing really happened so all is well that ends well!

Had a two hour lesson with some Christian investigators with Brother McGeorge. Way long and not really beneficial... But we gave them a Book of Mormon at least! They can speak English and can't speak Thai so that was fun. We taught in English.

Thursday (วันพฤหัส)

We some guy get off a high place (about 10 feet in the air, or 3 meters) on an excavator. Way weird. Meet a miracle Former Investigator at his house. He walks out and literally in Thai says "Oh hello Elders!" We were just at his house to teach his Dad, but this works too, so we're taking it as a sign from Heavenly Father that we need to teach this son of God, so we will. 

Our RC said she wants her family to learn! So we're helping her learn how to receive personal revelation for herself and how to help her family through it. We have a lot of good resources from the last General Conference, especially by the President of the Church and another talk by Elder Larry Y. Wilson. We'll keep working with her and help her build the courage to invite her family to learn.

We also put sweetened and condensed milk(which is kind of thick here) on pieces of bread to eat as a dessert while we were planning for the game night activity on Friday.

The Sister Missionaries (Sister Peterson, Sister Smith, Sister Pim) also taught how to sew stuff, so I could finally sew my pants, and my bag, and the whole world. Shoutout to the Sisters for helping me with life skills (even though there is no way they can feasibly read this at this point in time).

Friday (วันศุกร์)

Switch off in Lopburi, we went there right after a failed appointment... but we interviewed someone for baptism and he passed while I was there so that was way sweet! We also taught an investigator who I've taught every single time I've been on a switch-off there. 

On the way back home, we saw a kid pop a wheelie on his bike for about 100 meters. So I was really impressed because he was on a bicycle and did it for about 20 seconds so two thumbs up for the kid. 👍👍

We also met a recent convert who is less active, Brother Name, which was very strange before we left Ayutthaya, so that was fun. Didn't come to church though... 😥

Saturday (วันเสาร์)

Taught Sister นาง. Way fun, but got caught out in a rainstorm so we waited for the storm to blow over before heading back.

It was Sister Smith's birthday! So we bought Blueberry cheese cake, four pieces, for the four of us in Ayutthaya. We tried to be sneaky about it but that failed so... It was still all ok! Everyone in the mission is older than me though... I'm so young 😅 (still 19...)

Sunday (วันอาทิตย์)

Church! No investigators though.... Way sad! But we're working on it. The Lord is blessing us with miracles so we're going to try to work our hardest and hopefully see miracles in the future as well! Found one new investigator after church so, so we know that the Lord is blessing us with miracles!

(Highlight จบ)

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Thailand. It's a lot of fun!

One thing that I have learned over this past week, is the importance of integrity. When the Savior said that if we have the pure faith, even as the size of a mustard seed, then we can move mountains. What does it mean to have faith the size of a mustard seed? I'll come back to that point in a bit.

When Jesus was ministering among the Israelites, there were many instances of people coming unto him, asking to be healed, and many instances where he went out and found people to be healed. Some people were afflicted with demons, who had somehow entered into the bodies of the victims and tormented those souls. But the demons and devils did something that was all alike: They testified of the divinity of the Savior. They knew Jesus as the Savior of the World, with a sure knowledge. They professed it and bore testimony of it. However, this knowledge condemned them, instead of uplifting them. However, we can look to the example of Peter for more insight. He alike testified of the Savior, and in "Jesus the Christ" Elder James E. Talmage wrote:

1.     How different was their acknowledgment of the Savior from that of Peter, who, to the Master’s question “Whom say ye that I am?” replied in practically the words used by the unclean spirits before cited, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15–16; see also Mark 8:29Luke 9:20). Peter’s faith had already shown its vital power; it had caused him to forsake much that had been dear, to follow his Lord through persecution and suffering, and to put away worldliness with all its fascinations, the sacrificing godliness which his faith made so desirable. His knowledge of God as the Father, and of the Son as the Redeemer, was perhaps no greater than that of the unclean spirits; but while to them that knowledge was but an added cause of condemnation, to him it was a means of salvation.—Abridged from The Articles of Faith,5:97–99.

It was the change and actions of Peter that caused Peter's faith and knowledge to have meaning. Let us beware of empty professions of faith as warned of in James 2:19: "19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

Remember, and reference back to an earlier verse in that same chapter:

"17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

We must have works! And we don't necessarily need to have a lot of faith, or even a pure knowledge have pure faith. What is needed, according to what Elder Jeffery R. Holland said in April 2013: 

" The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know"

Let us have integrity toward the faith we do have and know. Those things borne in our souls by the Spirit of God are of great value. Those great eternal truths about the Book of Mormon, about this church, about prophets and Joseph Smith, but most of all, about how Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten and the Savior of the World. Let us demonstrate our integrity to our Lord and Savior, to our Heavenly Father, and to Jesus Christ. Do those things you know you should and don't do those things that you know you shouldn't. Surely if we do so, we will develop the faith that we need to move mountains, and become the people that the Lord needs us to be.

I bear witness that our Savior lives, that we have Prophets on this Earth today, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that this Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the kingdom of God here on the earth. I know that Jesus is the Christ and I am an ambassador, an emissary, a representative of Him.

Thank you for all your love and support! I'll talk to you soon!

- Elder Collin Decker