This week has been a wet and busy one in California!
There were some priceless moments that occurred about the past 7 days and to start was a devotional by Emmy Award winning Jack Regas! I has no idea who he was as of 24 hours ago but it turns out that he a successful choreography and an LDS member!
He held a devotional last night about his conversion story and the many different roles that people played that lead up to his baptism and continued faithfulness. Jack worked with famous actors and performers but name a few were Elvis the Osmond Brothers and the Polynesian Culture Center in Hawaii! Its pretty amazing to see this 91 year old recall all the critical points that his own testimony grew until he came to know it was true and the life he wanted to pursue for his family. After his remarks he let everyone come up to talk with him and as missionaries we asked if he could hold his Emmy he brought! As the picture shows, he said yes! It was really humbling to hear him say “That not a thing in this life matters until the gospel enters your heart!” He also wanted each missionary that took a picture to say we got the Emmy for “Best Missionaries in the World.”
The next miracle we witnessed was the baptism of Scarlet Jablonowski! Elder Kelly and I have been working with the Jablonowski family since we were assigned to Thousand 3rd ward. Their family has quite the story and most of it is still being written. They used to be really active in the gospel when their children were younger but due to some tough situations that arose, the parents had to find jobs to make ends. The jobs pulled them away from their family most of the week and actually lead the parents down some pretty dark roads… After years of this lifestyle, the dad (Brent as pictured) decided that he didn’t like where he was going or the family. His course of action after that? Quit everything immoral cold turkey and glue the family back together. He has worked tirelessly, with a lot of opposition, to get the family back to church and eventually the temple.
The entire family was at the baptismal service plus some friends! The ward filled the room of the baptismal font and there was endless amounts of support for the family. There were tears and hugs and testimonies to go around for everyone. Elder Kelly and I were witnesses for the baptism and were asked to aid in the confirmation of the Holy Ghost for Scarlet. The experience is priceless and I feel so blessed to be a part of their conversion and to aid in their growth.
I learned a great lesson from Jack Regas and the Jablionowski family and that is to keep your family a center focal point of your life. Not only your biological family but your gospel family. We are all literally sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father! We are all on the same team! As His children, we should focus less on what makes us different but rather what we have in common. That is what Jesus Christ would do if He were here!
My challenge for this week, is to find one person that you can help come closer to God. It doesn’t have to be a big event, it can be any act of kindness and generosity. You never know what that little act will do for someone in the long run of things! Do something today that has eternal consequences! When we do our part we are making God’s plan roll forth as told in Daniel 2:31-45.
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
Till next week!
Elder Austin Morgan
2455 Vista Wood Cir
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362