A Word from President Murray

August 15, 2009

President Murray posted a blog entry about Mike.  It’s here.


Returning Missionary

August 14, 2009

Michael returns from his mission Saturday morning, August 15th.  He speaks in Santa Susana II Ward on Sunday, 8/16, at 9:00 AM.  The address is 5028 E Cochran St, SIMI VALLEY , CA 93063.

August 13, 2009 The Final Letter

August 13, 2009

“Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them (Mosiah 4: 9-10).”

“O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day (D&C 4:2).”

“Say nothing but repentance unto this generation. Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed (D&C 11:9).”

I had a dream last night about these scriptures. I don’t know if that ever happens to you but I get it every once in awhile. I’ve been going over the past two years in my head and reading through my journal and remembering all the wonderful people that I have come into contact with and I’ve had the opportunity to teach. It’s amazing, as I added up all the numbers I found out that I have made contact with over 12,000 people in the past two years and I think I have taught over 2,000 lessons!  It’s incredible!

As I have looked to God for everything in His work I have felt His guidance and my testimony has grown stronger because of it. I love that phrase “If you believe these things see that you do them”!  That is how my testimony has come and that is how I’ve seen others come to know it is true as well. Faith is not just a passive belief but it is an action. See that ye do them!

To the next scripture: It is only when I have served with my heart, might, mind and strength that I have felt truly worthy to do God’s work and know that one day I will have to stand before Him and account for these two years.  Charity, and giving all you have for others, is something that is completely foreign to most teenagers when they  leave home and start serving a mission. Soon after you get into the field you realize that the only way to do this work is in His way, and that way is hard and very different from the way the most of us live our lives. Because of that though, the difficulty and pressures you feel put you in a humbling place that forces change (thank goodness).  Which leads into the next scripture.

I’ve come into contact with over 12,000 people in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Have I said “nothing but repentance” to them? Have I encouraged faith in Jesus Christ and taught them to live the commandments that God has given us? I think I’ve done my best. I love this work and I really have seen all the blessings in my life, and in the lives of those that I have taught, that God has promised.

This Sunday was an amazing day. The pinnacle of all my work here in Rising Sun. Immediately after church we had the baptism of Nick Brown. It took a lot of work for him to get to this point and he still has a long, hard and wonderful road ahead of him. It was an amazing service, with great attendance from the branch. Even President and Sister Murray came to see Rising Sun’s first baptism in a long time. I had the wonderful blessing of being asked to baptize him and then in two Sunday’s Elder Chan will confirm him in Sacrament meeting.

Later on in the day, Erin Snyder was baptized by Mike Strange. Erin was pretty nervous before she was baptized but she was glowing afterwords. We only met her about a month ago through her best friend Taylor Strange. We met her at dinner with the Stranges on July 3rd and then with the encouragement and persistance of Taylor she met with us and had a lesson a couple days later. Ever since I met Erin I could tell there was something special about her. She really has a wonderful future ahead of her. I was blessed to be able to confirm her immediately after her baptism since she is heading to South Carolina for school this Saturday.

I don’t want to leave. I never want to stop doing this work. Seeing the lives of so many people change for the better has been the best blessing I could ever ask for. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to do this Full-time. I opened up the Ensign yesterday and and the talk I opened to was titled “Get On with Our Lives”.  It is now time for me to get on with the next chapter of my life, but I can tell you, missionary work is going to be a big part of it.

-Elder Michael Oakford

August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009
What a way to close out my mission! Things have still continued to improve and the area is thriving. I believe last week I told you that Nick wasn’t prepared and things didn’t look hopeful but right after I wrote on Thursday things started to dramatically improve and he has put himself right back on track. He is doing great and his interview for baptism is tonight at 7. He has asked that I baptize him and Elder Chan will confirm him the following Sunday. He is really excited and commited to do this and has kept every commitment we have left him to help him prepare for Sunday. The Branch is really pumped as well. It’s going to be a fun day.
Erin had her interview this past Tuesday and is all set and ready to go for her baptism which will be at 6:00pm Sunday evening. She is having it later so people from the Newark Singles Branch can come on over after their meetings. We’re hoping for a great turn out at both of the baptisms. The support for both of them from the members of the church has been tremendous.
Today I did a trial run at packing so I could make sure I wouldn’t have to ship anything home. It really is not very fun packing all your stuff up and knowing that the next area that your being sent to is HOME. I’m not really looking forward to it, and neither is Elder Chan since every time I would pack something up he would be right behind me to pull it out and remind me that he is not letting me leave.
Alright well, I’ve got to run for now. We helped this morning get things ready for a wedding reception for someone in the branch and then tomorrow we are helping set things up at the church in the morning. We’ve still have a lot of errands to run.
I love you. Keep Erin and Nick in your prayers.
I love you!
-Elder Michael Oakford