Dear Mum and Family,
Well it is going to be another quick email you all again this week. Today for Pday we went on a bike ride along the beach to a place called the mumbles where there is a lighthouse. You can't get to the actual lighthouse but it was still pretty cool. We then stopped by a castle but it was closed so we couldn't go in. We biked about 17 miles today and it was pretty fun. I will try to send some pictures next week. Just so you know a little bit about what we did I will put a picture or two in your email that way you don't get too mad at me. Haha
This week was another struggling week here in Swansea. We have found a lot of people that say they are interested but when we have tried to get in contact with them and they just don't seem to answer our calls or texts. So at the moment we are still back to building our teaching pool. We are still teaching the same people.
We were not able to reach D**** this week because he just got a new job and he was busy with work and school. We will be seeing him on Wednesday this week though. He is pretty excited to see us. To be honest I am pretty excited to see him. I really enjoy meeting with him because he is really interested in religion and he loves learning. It's an enjoyable time.
We did see our investigator named S***** and we had a great lesson with him this week. Before the lesson we were struggling with helping him to keep commitments but the lesson was so powerful and the spirit was so strong. By the end of the lesson he really wanted to read everyday and pray and then come to church every week. He came to church yesterday and he really enjoyed it. He is such a great guy and he wants to get baptized we just have to help him receive an answer on the Book of Mormon. He has set March 5th as a goal to work towards for baptism. He is really excited for that date to work towards. He has been taught all the lessons before and he knows the stuff so we are just going over it again with him to refresh his memory.
Other than that we have just been doing finding like usual. I am having a great time with Elder Lam. He does speak English really well but he still has to do language study everyday which is fine by me because that is an extra hour to get things done in the flat or to have a little extra study myself. Unless I help him with his studies, but it's not too often that he needs help. We are enjoying working in Swansea and trying to do our best to build the area. We have some great plans for the next week that will give us some new things to try in the area and hopefully we see some success from it.
Well like I said I don't have much time this week. I will definitely read all of your emails. I hope that you all have a great week and that those who are sick get better soon. That's too bad that the flu is going around to everyone. Get better soon!
My spiritual thought this week doesn't really explain more about Eziekel 47 it is just on a part that I really liked. Next week I will try to study it more and learn something and hopefully share it with you. I hope that you all have a great week and I hope that you like the thought. I will give you a heads up its pretty long so if you don't want to read it that's fine. I will never know. Haha
As I have been studying Ezekiel 47 like mum has challenged me to do this week I have come across a couple verses in that chapter that have made me ponder a few things. I would like to share one of those things with you today and I hope it will help you.
I want to start off by quoting a few scriptures from Ezekiel. They come from Ezekiel 47: 3-5.
3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.
4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.
5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.
The past couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about scripture reading. We are kind of struggling with getting our investigators to read their scriptures. As I was reading these verses I thought about scripture reading and I compared it to the water in these verses.
We read in 2 Nephi 31:20 about " feasting upon the word of Christ" or in other words studying the scriptures diligently as we all know. We can compare the scriptures in Ezekiel with how well we are studying the scriptures.
It talks about 4 different depths of water in these verses. We have ankle deep, knee deep, loin deep, and deep enough that you have to swim so you don't drown. So let's compare these to our scripture study.
When we study do we get "ankle deep" in our studies? Do we just read a couple verses here and there. Maybe for those times when you are asked by someone if you are reading your scripture, no matter who it is, you can answer with a yes.
Do we get "knee deep"? Do we sit down for a few minutes and just read them one page after the other just waiting for our 10 minutes to be up so we can do something else getting. Thinking about other things as your eyes read the words but your mind is in a different place. You not focused at all on what you are reading.
What about being "loin deep" when we study? This could be sitting down and reading the scriptures at a set time of the day, but maybe we are just reading it for the history or the stories. We see a few verses that stick out here and there so we highlight them. We find a story or two that we really and we try to think how we can apply it to ourselves, but we forget about it and don't apply it.
I am sure you all know where this is going now. We have the last one which is how we should make our studies if we haven't already. Do we swim in our studies? Do we set aside time every single day to study the scriptures? Do we begin and end with a pray asking Heavenly Father to teach us through the power of the Holy Ghost things that we need to do or improve on in our lives? Do we keep a study journal for our reading? By taking notes and writing down our feelings while reading we show God that we love the scriptures and we really are grateful for the impressions we have during studies. Do we learn and think of ways to apply the scriptures to our lives and then do all we can to apply them?
These are just a few things that I have thought of that I know I can do better on so that I can make sure I am swimming in my studies. You can add what you would like to each section to better help you understand what you personally can do better during your study time. I want to share one more scripture that has also stuck out to me this week. It is found in Mosiah 1:5
"I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct."
Have you ever thought of how important the scriptures are in your life? In this verse King Benjamin is talking to his sons about the importance of the scriptures. I think it is interesting how he talks about his ancestors. He tells his sons that if his ancestors didn't study the scriptures then him and his sons could be like the Lamanites whose ancestors did not study the scriptures. They would be following all of these incorrect traditions.
I believe that King Benjamin fully understood the effect that his personal study would have on his descendants and others who he might come in contact with. He knew that his studies affected everyone around him, especially his family. That is why he understood that taking that time to "swim" in his studies of the scriptures was very important. Not just to his own life but to many others.
I know that studying the scriptures is so important in my life. I can definitely feel a difference in my day when I don't "swim" in my scripture study. My studies are not perfect and that is why I am grateful that I was able to read these scriptures this week and ponder them. They have shown me that I can do better at studying my scriptures. I hope you too have thought of things as well.
I want to end with part of a scripture in Mosiah 1:7 which says:
"And now, my sons, I would that ye should remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby"
In order to profit we need to invest. I know that as we invest our time and efforts into our studies we will definitely profit from the scriptures.
Sorry it was super long today. If there is anything anyone wants me to study and share a thought on let me know and I would love to study, learn and share with you what I learned.
Have a great week!!!