Monday May 20, 2013
Dear Family that I love so much,
Jeffrey, I really liked your thoughts about exaltation and damnation, and about how Heavenly Father wants nothing more than to exalt us; we decide to be damned. Just this morning I read Mormon 9:4, and I think it is very much the same idea--we're not damned because Heavenly Father doesn't want to be with us, but more because we do not want to be with him. I've been having similar thoughts lately as I've wondered about how to be exactly obedient. More or less my conclusion was realizing that Heavenly Father WANTS me to succeed. He WANTS to bless me with the spirit and use me as an instrument in his hands. I am not perfect and never will be, and therefore will also never be perfectly exactly obedient, but if I was, why would I need the Atonement? I came to the conclusion that if I'm trying my best, the Atonement covers my failures. Which writing that out makes it seem so simplistic and obvious, but I guess I gained greater understanding of that this week.
Ok, to answer your questions: I haven't given a talk yet (which means every week is a little stressful!), but I only have one more chance before we leave. About new missionaries, we had 36 come in this week, 28 elders and 8 sisters. The elders and sisters are usually more even than that. It was a huge influx! I think it may have more than doubled our zone/branch. Because I was still sister training leader I got to go to the new missionary meetings and help orient the new sisters . . . it was so fun! The sisters who just came in are really really awesome. They are impressive, and I love their . . . perspective and understanding of the gospel and their personal relationships with the Lord, as well as their hard-working and positive attitudes. One thing I have really . . . learned or enjoyed at the MTC is praying for people. I have felt such love for others as I pray for them and as I pray for charity toward them. I love it. And I've realized how many people I love and am so grateful for!
Our "investigator" is being baptized this Saturday! We're really excited. More exciting than the baptism is how much faith she has. I know it's just our teacher role-playing, but she is role-playing an investigator she really taught on her mission, and holy COW the faith that woman has!! We definitely did nothing-- but the spirit teaches and converts. And the Book of Mormon is TRUE!!! She also asks . . . difficult questions to answer. Which is sometimes hard to teach, but I LOVE it because it's just so evident that she is thinking, really thinking, about the things we're are teaching, and why they matter to her. I have a question though. I've been thinking a lot about it the past few days (because we had a not so good lesson on . . . Saturday, where I said stupid things and just . . . ugh. I cried in a bad way for the first time at the MTC after this lesson because I did some really stupid/insensitive things) about families. My question is, why do families matter to someone who doesn't have a family or doesn't have a good family, where there isn't love? And specifically, how can I help them understand why families are important? I have some answers, but I don't have time to write them and I want to hear other people's understandings of families. I think that I still have a lot to learn, especially since my family was always so wonderful I never thought about it from that perspective very hard.
Some quick, fun things! One of my companions is LEGIT at basketball and broke the record at the MTC for sisters for most free-throws in a row: 31 (But I'll have you know that one day before she knew there was a record to break she did fifty). Also, one of the Elders in my district informed me that my testimony can suppress sneezes! Those weren't exactly his words, but that was my conclusion from the story he told me. Also, the names on Kung Fu Panda are the best! Master Shifu: Shifu means master in Chinese, and Master Wugui: wugui means turtle in Chinese! Yes, turtle was a word I was sure to learn in the first few weeks. Also, dinosaur. (Konglong; my companion's favorite word)
I love you so much and I pray for you every day!!!
|Picture that didn't get up last week showing Rachel's 21st birthday haul. As her brothers have claimed many times,|
"She is so spoiled!!" But she is so fun to spoil:)