Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nothing to say?!

March 30, 2015
Dear Family,
For some reason, I have absolutely nothing to say.  I can't even remember what happened this week.  I'll give you almost a direct quote from my letter to President Mains, and try to think about my week a bit in the meantime.  I hope you have had a great week!  Have fun in Washington, and send pictures!

This week, I have increased my faith as I have tried to tune in to the Spirit and follow His promptings.  I don't think there was one spectacular event that stands out brilliantly against the rest of the week, but I do feel that I have a stronger testimony that God is anxious to guide His Children here on earth - both missionaries and investigators.  As I sought to ask inspired questions, I did feel the influence of the Spirit in lessons with investigators.  Most of the time, I didn't see fabulous effects of the questions asked, but I did take comfort in knowing that they were the right questions at the right times, and that the investigators we taught could feel the Holy Ghost's influence as a result.
The branch BBQ was lots of fun!  We slow-cooked chicken wings, and had a lot of fruit, sandwiches, and curry.  The kids got to play in the pool, and the others had a good time talking and laughing together.  One uncle blew and twisted balloons for everyone.  He was the life of the party!  Elder Benson and Elder Lundahl-Wolford played the guitar and taught us some fun sing-along songs.  All in all, it was a fun gathering, and I believe it served to strengthen relationships between members, missionaries, and investigators.
I spent a day in Melaka, walking the colorful streets with the Chinese Elders there, searching for new investigators.  We didn't have any outrageous miracles, but we did meet a lot of great people, and even a few monitor lizards.  That's just the way things have been flowing along, lately.
I gave a talk yesterday about the Resurrection.  It made sense in my head, but when the words came out, they were so repetitive and I spoke for so long that I was afraid a few from the congregation actually would be resurrected before I finished.  Oh well.  I learned a lot as I prepared the talk this week, though.  Firstly, because of the fall, we have two big problems to overcome before we can go back to live with God: spiritual death and physical death.  We could never overcome either of these on our own, but Jesus Christ can deliver us from both.  His atonement takes care of both parts - delivering us from spiritual death (sin) by taking the punishment for our sins, and extending merciful forgiveness to us if we repent, and delivering us from physical death by giving us the free gift of resurrection.  I found it especially interesting that all the scriptures I read say that Christ's death (as opposed to His resurrection) broke the bands of death that would otherwise bind us forever.  I always thought that they would have been broken by His resurrection.  Do you have any insights as to why this is? Maybe because as the Son of God He wasn't supposed to die, and no one could take His life, but He gave it willingly?  I'd love to hear what you think about it, or what you find in the Scriptures.  I'm filled with gratitude for the amazing gifts that come from Christ's resurrection: hope for the future, the chance for a fair and merciful judgment and reward after we're taken back into the presence of God, a promise of deliverance from the awful doom that would otherwise await us as spirits (2 Nephi 9:8-9), the opportunity to progress, learn and improve eternally, and a perfect, glorified body, never again to taste of pain or death.  Wow.  I just realized what a big part of my testimony the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ really is.  It's so awesome to think about!  Life can get mundane, sometimes, (as evidenced by my total lack of anything interesting to tell you about this week), but thinking about Christ's life and atonement can really shed a new light on my current perspective, and help me to remember the wonders of my life, as a part of God's grand plan, as well as remind me of my purpose and motivate me to keep going!  I hope it can do the same for you, too!
Until next week,
Tons of Love!


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