First, the "rod of Iron" in 1 Nephi 11:25, it says " and I beheld this rod of Iron. . . was the word of god which led to the tree of life or the "fruit of the tree". But more specifically what is the word of god? I'm going to go out on a limb and say the scruiptures. Now what is the "fruit of the tree of life?"
In 1 Nephi 8:12 dice " and I partook of the fruit therof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy. And in the back end of 1 Nephi 11:25 "I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God." So now we know that the iron rod is the scriptures and words of the prophets in our day, and the fruit of the tree of life is the love of god, which leads to to "exceedingly great joy." And like it says in 1 Nephi 25:11 the rod of iron leads to the tree of life. Essentially the Book of Mormon is the thing we have to "continually press forward" with or we cannot stay converted. Like it says in 1 Nephi 15:23-24, when nephi explains it to Laman and Lemuel, " What meaneth the rod of Iron that lead to the tree?" 24 "It is the word of God, and whoso would hearken unto the word of god, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish, neither could the temptation and fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them to destruction." Now I would hope that everyone reading this would take five minutes a day to read the Book of Mormon at the very least because without the Book of Mormon, we, as the Church of Jesus of Latter Day Saints, are no more than another religion claiming to be the true church. Without the Book of Mormon, we have nothing. I honestly and trully know that the Book of Mormon is true because I've found out for myself. I also know that the hinge on our success as missionaries is largely on whether or not our investigator reads the Book of Mormon or not. We have to "cling" to the Book of Mormon in this life. And I say "cling" like in 1 Nephi 8:24 because the powers against us are great. This whole thing made me think of two Mormon messages. "Mountains to climb" and "The hope of God's light." I want you guys to go watch both because they are really powerful. The other thing about this all, is the Book of Mormon can bring us back onto the path if we ever lose it as well. I know that to be true. Anyway this week we had struggles with keeping track of our keys. Two days in a row we lost them and were stuck so that was pretty rough. We were fortunate both times to locate them fairly quickly but I' d prefer not to go through that again. Last night we were walking home around 8 pm and this guy started yelling at us and he had this glare on his face that just looked angry. Plus he was high on drugs, but we just ignored him and kept walking. My comp told me that they used to teach him and that he wanted to be baptized but during the interview they found out he had spent time in jail for. . .for what.. for murder. . . Murder! So I think I'm going to stear clear of that guy in the future. We haven't had water come through our house for awhile, so were about to enter crisis mode again which I'm not excited for. So we have been teaching a less active member but he hasn't made a bit of progress. His wife had a baby two weeks ago, so weve been hammering the plan of salvation and families like crazy! He never really wanted to say prayers or read scriptures and definitely not attend church. Well this last Sunday we walked into church and he was sitting in his shirt and tie with his family! I had to check my eyes for a second but he was there. And last night we went by to visit them, and he volunteered for the opening prayer. We watched a short video on temples and how he can be sealed to his family forever and everything, and he and is wife readily made the goal to attend the temple. They commited happily to read the Book of Mormon and pray everyday and attend the church every week. I really hope they keep going with this. There was definitely something very different about them last night though and my comp and I are pretty excited for him. I'll keep you updated on him. Well that's pretty much what's going on right in Esmeraldas! Remember to watch the Mormon messages and ALWAYS read the Book of Mormon! I love you guys. Hasta Luego