Leaving Medellin—He’s on his way HOME!!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
This week was super good. My companion and I have been super busy. We have really helped out the area and have really been working hard. The area where I am at right now has not had a baptism in more than one year. On Saturday we are going to have a baptism. Really great missionaries have passed through this area and have prepared the people here. My companion and I are the first missionaries to arrive for the harvest after more than one year of planting. I know that my companion and I don't have too much time left together but we will make the best of it.
I truly cannot believe I am finishing my mission. When I think that in less than two weeks I will be at home I don't believe it. But I know my time has come to an end. I have loved sharing the gospel with the people of Colombia and I have loved the opportunity I have had to serve the Lord 24/7. I know my life is only going to get busier and busier but I do not plan on stopping my effort is sharing the gospel. I know there is much work to be done. Finishing a mission is not the end of missionary work for one, but training for the rest of one’s life. My nametag may be taken off my shirt but the letters will stay engraved in my heart. “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (Prophet Joseph Smith Jr.) I won’t stop working until my Savior Jesus Christ tells me "Your work is done".
I know without a doubt there is a God and that He loves each and every one of us. We are his children. I know his son is Jesus Christ. He is the Savior and Redeemer of all who accept Him. I know His atonement can take away any pain we feel, be it spiritual, emotional, mental or physical. I have seen his hand throughout my entire mission. I have seen the power of the Atonement. More importantly I have personally felt and seen in my own life the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is real.
I know the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true Church. I know Joseph Smith was called as the Prophet of the Restoration and through him Christ restored his Church. I know that today there is a Prophet that leads us and guides us; his name is Thomas S. Monson. He loves and wants the best for us. The word of the modern day prophets are true. Every six months we hear their inspired messages.
I know that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon. It has the answers to the questions of the soul. I have been filled with the love of the Father and of the Son studying its words. I know that the Book of Mormon was written by Prophets, inspired by God. They wrote for me and for everyone. Their words are to help us grow and to learn. The Book of Mormon is a powerful tool of conversion. I have seen the power of this Book. The Book of Mormon has changed many lives and my life as well. I have loved being a "Book of Mormon Missionary".
I know families can be together forever. The Plan of Salvation is God’s plan for everyone us. He wants to be with us forever and for that reason has given us this plan. I know sometimes the journey is rough. But after everything if we persevere we will be happy and we will be with our families.
Again, I testify God the Father Lives and so does his son, Jesus Christ. Their love has no end. I know the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true Church. Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration, Thomas S. Monson is his successor today. The Book of Mormon is True. Families can be eternal. I do not doubt my testimony. I will share for the rest of my life this gospel with all who will hear. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer and Savior, Amen.
Love, Elder Rucker
See you in a few days. Best two years yet.
Monday, January 19, 2015
This week was great, absolutely great. First off, we had transfers. I might have said last week that I am staying with Elder Rojas and I am super excited. We got a lot of other Elders in our zone that I have worked with before and I am super happy.
In the Zone we started a purification. Just as the people of Israel passed through a purification of 40 years we are doing a purification of 6 weeks. We started on Thursday. And since then, my companion and I have just been full of the spirit. We have had so many experiences that I don't have enough time to write them all to you today. So I have decided to just share one.
There are lots of details that I have to leave out for a lack of time but you will have the big details, when I am back I will be able to tell the whole story.
The purification changes from week to week. As the ZL, we think of things the missionaries can do to grow closer to Heavenly Father and leave behind, truly leave behind the world. One of the activities that came to mind was to do a contacting activity. So we talked with our District Leader and as a district we set up a contacting activity. Something special we did was that every activity would have guidelines of what to think about. And through revelation the Lord promised blessing to those who really were putting their best effort to become better. The blessing promised to us in this activity was a spiritual experience. We knew the Lord would deliver on His blessing. And one thing my companion and I said before we started is that we wanted to find a family, not just any family but a family that had been prepared to receive us.
When we got to the area where we were going to contact the missionary that had organized the activity told us the Jehovah Witnesses were just getting done contacting the area and that he was thinking about changing the area. He felt sad because he and his companion had prayed and chosen the street where each companionship should contact. They thought it wouldn't be effective to contact because the Jehovah's witnesses were just getting done. (Side note: I am not saying that the Jehovah Witnesses are bad it’s just that the people sometimes confuse us with them.) Anyway he was going to take us to another are, but I told him, "No, if you received the revelation for us to contact these streets that’s what we are going to do".
We started to contact and started to see the blessings. In just one hour we were able to share with lots of people. As we got to the end of our street we both felt the Spirit but knew that we had not yet received the promised blessing of a Spiritual Experience. We looked back and knew we had missed something. We contact for revelation not door to door. But we had missed something. My companion felt we should contact one of the last houses. As we contacted the family inside they really weren't paying attention. We kept talking and sharing our testimony. Just as we were about to go the Mom said, "let them in". So we went in and started to share more with the family. Within minutes the daughter was in tears. She explained to us what had happened to the family in past years. The family has had it tough. A couple more minutes passed and the mom was in tears. The Spirit was present as my companion and I conversed with the family. All-in-all that family, my companion and I felt the Spirit and felt the love of our Heavenly Father. We left the house full of the Spirit. The Lord delivered on his promise.
We have only been in the purification a few days and my companion and I are feeling it. I know in the weeks to come the experiences will be great. I also know I will see difficulties. I won’t give up.
I love you family. There is much that I have to share with you. Just a little bit more until I am home. We are going to give it all we got, 100%. Best week yet and they are just getting better. Love, Elder Rucker
Monday, January 12, 2015
It is true—I was sick. The dreaded Chincunguna finally got me. Everyone who has got it stayed sick for an average of one week. I was sick with Chincunguna for 24 hours and I beat it!!! I am 100% positive it was by the power of my Heavenly Father that cured me so quickly. You don't have to worry; I am running at 100%.
Today we had transfers. I will be serving here in Monteria until the end of my mission and I will be staying with Elder Rojas. I am really happy. I will also be here with a couple of Elders from my group.
This morning we went and fed the monkeys. It was really cool. Well, this week was just a regular week. I am here putting along at full speed and we have lots of errands to run!
Love, Elder Rucker
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
We sang Christmas carols at a member’s house in a little town way out in the boonies. As they came out to listen, so did a lot of their neighbors. When we finished singing the member could hardly hold back tears. She sent her son into the mission field a month ago and was feeling a little down. We got there just in the nick of time to lift up her spirits. The Spirit was present.
This Sunday the teacher for the gospel principles class didn't show up on time so I taught the class. It was a spur the moment kind of deal. It all turned out great.
That is all for this week! Love, Elder Rucker
p.s. It is so hot here, that people go crazy and put boxes on their heads. It has reached 100 degrees every day this week.
Hmmm… I wondered why my letter was so short this week!!! It could be because this is the information Jason received:
I have Chinkunguña, an insect borne virus. I am ok. I am pushing fluids and Tylenol.