Liebe Familie und Freunde!
Another wonderful week in the life of a Missionary! I don't think there can be a bad week... or a bad day, or really any bad experiences. It all is just the greatest! This week was just grand! Reza got baptized on Thursday evening! His family was coming from Frankfurt, and they were running late, and had a lot of stress, ect., ect. They arrived at the church and were basically frantically running around trying to get the right clothes and food and so on. Elder Crosby and I took Reza and his cousin, who baptized him, into a small class room and simply talked a little about the spiritual significance of his baptism. All the other stuff of the baptism and the food they brought didn't matter at all. It didn't matter at all that they were a little behind schedule, it mattered that the Priesthood would be used to baptize and make covenants. They smiled and were grateful for those few minutes to collect their thoughts and get the peace of the Spirit back. We prayed together and everything was calm and went much smoother! Prayer has that kind of effect, every time. I came to see how stress and unnecissary complications are ways that Satan can get us out of sync with the Spirit- not far away, and not doing anything bad, just not as focused on the things that matter most. I don't think Christ was ever stressed or frantic or frazzled. The Spirit is that healing power that made it all better- healing of stress, healing of "what if's", healing of unnecissary clamor. Just like Christ said, "Peace I leave with you".
And then Easter came around! Every year I come to love Easter more and more! We taught a lesson to Suellen on Sunday, and I realized, how it is the case with many, that they don't really know what happened in the Garden of Gethsemani. For many, it is the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Cross. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the events of the Garden of Gethsemani, where Christ truly took upon Himself all the pains, sorrows, and feelings of every individual that has lived or ever will live upon the earth. Yes, the whole experience of the garden and cross and scourging and beating was all together in His suffering for us, but I am grateful for that sacred garden of olive trees, where His blood dripped out of every pore, and where He, the greatest of all, suffered so much that He asked if there was another way. But He succumbed to it all, gave the glory to the Father, and finished the Father's work. He truly expereinced everything we ever have, are and could experience in this earth life. Therefore, He knows how to comfort, consol, and help us. The Atonement works because He has already gone through it. And I feel that also applies to the greatest joy and happiness in life, as well. He knows just how happy we are and rejoices with us! I have learned the Atonement is the source of change- change from bad to good, good to better, and better to best. I used to think that I used the Atonement only to repent. It is truly so much more than that. The enabling and strengthening powers of the Atonement are real, and I have felt them this last week. I feel changed, not from bad to good, but from who I used to be to a little closer to how the Lord needs me; doing and experienceing things I never could have done on my own. I think that's the miracle of the Atonement: Christ did something for us that we could never do for ourselves, redeeming us from both physical and spiritual death, and He now makes us become more than we could ever imagine and help us do more that we could ever do on our own. He did something then that we couldn't do for ourselves, and He continues to do so today. We owe Him so much. I can never repay Him, but I can love Him. I can love my neighbor. I can help someone else to feel His love and change to become better.
I am so thankful for the family- for my family! Dad, Mom, Jessica, Travis, Alison, Makell, Jared, Dallin- I think I love you all more now than I ever have in my life! I feel so blessed to be a member of our family. I truly had the ideal childhood and teenage years. You all helped to make it so. And I think each of us 6 kids could honestly say that about their growing up! So thanks. 2020. Keep the vision, keep it in sight.
Please keep Bertram Maus in your prayers! He is so close to baptism! He now views his concerns as "I need to overcome these so I can be baptized" as opposed to that of a few weeks ago, "I have these concernsso I can't be baptized." That is amazing progress for him! He can do it!
I sure love you all! Keep up the great work you are doing, and thanks for your prayers and support for the work I am doing. It really is great to know who we are and why we are here. It makes all the difference in the world!
Also, ich denke, dass ich mehr Deutsch schreiben soll... was denkt ihr?
Alle meine Liebe!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
It's already April 10th... mercy!
Liebe Familie und Freunde!