Hey Mum and Fam,
I am grateful to have such a wonderful family writing me such great letters each week. Thank you for all the updates and for all the love and support. I enjoy reading all of your emails. They all are amazing.
I have to admit that I totally forgot that it was my birthday coming up soon. At the beginning of the month I remembered that it would be coming up but I am seriously telling the truth that I really forgot about it. I am pretty sure that if you wouldn't have told me it would have gone by without me even noticing. Haha I think it's pretty funny.
In the picture for the last zone conference the missionary that we are holding is my companion Elder Stokes and I can't remember the ones name that I am standing next to. That was the first time I had met some of those missionaries. I can't remember who Elder Huff is either so I will have to look for him so I can outs face to his name. It was a great zone conference though and I learned a lot of great things about family history and getting our investigators to the temple after they are baptized. It is something that our mission is really starting to focus on and I think it is going to do some great things for those who are baptized.
The weather over here is definitely getting colder. I am sure that you guys are having some warmer weather then we are at the moment. Everyone has started to break out the winter coats and are preparing for the cold which I am sure that mum is so jealous of. I bet you all can't wait for the cold of the winter and for the nice snow that falls and you have to shovel everyday almost. I can just see the excitement now that is coming to you all especially mum.
We are really enjoying the work here. We have seen some great progress this past week as we have done lots of finding. We found this Chinese person who was actually really interested and when we met with him this past week he brought some of his friends who are also really interested to learn. They are in Uni at the moment but they really want to meet with us and learn about the gospel. The Chinese people are so cool to talk to because they come from China to study and they have never heard of anything like what we teach and they are really interested. That's the joys of serving in a Uni area. There are so many great students that are interested you just have to find them. So I am excited to continue working hard and finding lots of people to teach.
Well it was good to hear from you all. I hope that you have a great week, but before I go I will share a spiritual thought with you.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
There have been times throughout my life and definitely throughout my mission that have tested me. I know these certain tests were given to me to teach me something. I am sure that you too could pick out times when you were tested and it taught you something.
At the beginning of this past week I had this thought to study obedience and the importance of being obedient. I thought it was kind of interesting because there were a few experiences that I had towards the end of this week that tested me and my obedience. Looking back I have really gained a testimony on obedience and how we are blessed when we do obey certain rules or commandments we are given even if we are not sure why we are given it.
When I think of someone who is obedient in the scriptures I usually think of Nephi when he says " I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded". Another part that sticks out to me from Nephi is when he is commanded to go and get the brass plates from Laban and he has already tried two times. It took them three tries to get the plates from Laban. If we think about it Laman and Lemuel had a pretty good reason to be discouraged. Lehi and his family had traveled out of Jerusalem and then the Lord told them to go back. The Lord could have easily told them before they left to get the plates from Laban so that they wouldn't have to travel all the way back. This would have been to easy though and probably wouldn't have taught them what they needed to learn. Laban had taken all their gold, silver, and precious things from them and they still didn't get the plates. They were getting discouraged because it wasn't working out for them. I believe that the Lord did it this way because he wanted to teach them something important. He does the same with us today.
If we liken the scriptures to ourselves we may ask ourselves " if I was going through a tough time like them would I have given up or would I stay obedient to the commandment that was given?" Sometimes it is hard to follow commandments and sometimes it's not. I believe the Lord gives us tests like this so that he can see if we truly are in His side and are willing to follow Him. Just like the scripture in John states that if we truly do love our Heavenly Father and our Savior then we will follow them with exact obedience. God knows that we won't be perfect at being obedient and that's why we have our Savior who has paid the price so that we can repent and do better.
I know that our Heavenly Father and our Savior live. I know that they give us commandments and things to follow because they want to protect us. The commandments are given for our benefit. God wants us to be happy and by keeping the commandments we experience true happiness.
I hope you all have a great week!