Dear Mum and Family,
Well it's been another great week here in Stourbridge. I can't believe we are to another P-day and I am having to hurry and write you before you get too impatient with me. Haha. I am glad that I have been able to teach you one thing in two years and that is hopefully patience.
Another thing that I hope to teach you is that it is not good to lie. I hope that because you and Caden lied to me that the weather keeps raining on you guys. That will be the curse for not telling the truth. Haha
Well like I said it's been great week. We have been doing a lot of work and trying to help the area to grow, which is normally what we Missionaries try to do in each area. We have been doing a lot of finding like usual, but have seen some cool miracles as we have been doing finding.
On Thursday we had district meeting and then we had tracking planned for after. It was kind of rainy which put a damper on things since we have been enjoying some nice weather lately. But we decided to follow the plans anyway and go knock on some doors. Luckily it wasn't down pouring on us so we didn't get soaked.
We had felt to go to a place near the chapel to do some knocking so we didn't ignore the prompting and that's where we went and we started knocking. Knocking these doors went pretty well because we talked to some really nice people. In the end they didn't want to learn more but they listened and talked a bit. We didn't get very far before we found someone who was interested.
We knocked on the door and a younger bloke answered the door. He was home with his son while his wife was at work or something. Well he let us in to have a really quick
chat with him. We briefly got to know him and shared a bit about the Plan of Salvation.
He doesn't have a strong belief in God, but he is open to learning. He has family that are members of the church in South England. He is pretty close to those family members so he knows a bit about the church. We have set a time to see him and his family tomorrow. We are both excited for that.
Well mum I thought that you would like to know that this next Saturday we are going to be having a big family history finding day. We are going to meet up with the other missionaries in this area and a few members and we are going to set up a stand in the city centre just outside our area. We are hopefully going to be getting people interested in family history. I will let you know how it goes once we do it. I hope it goes well because I don't know much about family history. We shall see.
The mission is going pretty well. We have been witnessing lots of cool miracles and it seems, I am learning a lot everyday, which I am so grateful for. Even though I don't know much I hope that I can continue to learn more and more throughout my life. There is just too much there to learn.
The area is doing pretty well. We have gained a great relationship with the hem members. They really enjoy our company when we visit and are asking us to do service for them, which shows they trust us. At least we think that they trust us. Maybe they are just faking it. Haha
Elder Stephenson and I are having a great time together. We get a long really well, which is keeping the area going I think. When there is contention in a missionary companionship it seems to have an affect on the ward. I think that is so true. So this ward is doing well because we are getting along really well. It's been fun to serve with him.
This transfer is a 5 week transfer so this week is the last full week. We will get transfer calls on Sunday night to see what happens. We both think we will be staying together which would be great, but I guess we just have to wait to find out.
We don't play any sports in this area which is pretty sad because I miss playing every week with the ward. There just isn't anyone in the ward that wants to play or that can play any sports so it just doesn't happen. That's okay though. I can be patient and wait to get back into playing sports. I still have no doubt that I will be able to beat everyone anyways. Haha
Well I hope that I answered all your questions in this email. I always seem to miss out a few, but that's probably because I am too lazy to read through your letter more than once. Haha. I will just share a weekly thought and I will just hope an angry email doesn't come from you shortly saying that I didn't answer all the questions. Haha
Well as we all know the scripture for this week was D&C 64: 9-11. Again this eek I didn't think about it as much as I wanted to. I hope that a few thoughts that I share with you will be of benefit in some way.
In D&C 64: 9-11 it states:
9 "Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
11 And ye ought to say in your hearts--let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds."
As I was studying this morning I came across a scripture in D&C 82:1 which I think goes along really well with this scripture.
".... inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you."
I was asked to give a talk in sacrament yesterday along with another missionary in this ward. The topics were focused around the parables given in Luke 15. The parables in those chapters include
1. The parable of the lost sheep
2. The parable of the lost coin
3. The parable of the prodigal son
Each is so powerful and has something important to learn from as we study them. As we understand so much about things we need to do about members, but also we learn so much about the atonement and that the savior is there to find us and to forgive us.
The one that I wanted to share a bit of because I think it goes well with the scripture in D&C 64 is the parable of the prodigal son. The parable is found in Luke 15: 11-32. I won't share it all, but I will pull a few things from it here and there. Maybe on your own time you can read it and learn more from it.
It's starts off by saying that there as a man with two sons. The younger of the sons was a little rebellious and he wanted his father to give him "the portion of goods" that he would inherit after his father's death. In the Savior’s time to ask for your inheritance before the death of your father is a huge offence. He is a rejection of your family, rejecting the instructions and treatment your given as you were raised from your childhood, and rejecting your whole community.
Well the father divided his inheritance unto the sons. The youngest decided to to gather all of his things and travel "into a far country" where he "wasted" his inheritance that he was given with "riotous living".
The prodigal son had used up all his inheritance and then there came a great famine in the land and he needed a way to survive. So what did he do? He went to a man who lived in that country and he was sent into " the fields to feed swine".
As we learn in Leviticus 11:7, pigs are considered "unclean" so this goes to show how far the prodigal son had fallen. This would have been another sign of dishonor. It was during the time that he was feeding the swine and was surviving himself off the "husks" that the pigs were eating that he was humbled and "he came to himself" and decided to return to his home.
We now turn to the father and this is the part that I wanted to get to because it really shows how we should forgive everyone no matter what they have done that may hurt us greatly.
I want to share verse 20 of Luke 15 because it has so much power and love in it.
"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."
In this verse the father saw his son before he got back to the home. This shows that the father was continually watching for the day that the son would return. He was patient and knew that one day he would return. When his son was coming he was ready and he ran to him and embraced him.
It is interesting to know that those who had done the type of things that the prodigal had done would have been brought before the public and would have been considered worthless. Everything he did was a great offence to everyone during the time of the savior, but the prodigal son was not treated in that way. He returned to his family and his father forgave him straight away. There was no hard feelings between the father and his son.
There is so much to that we can learn and apply for this amazing and powerful parable. I just wanted to share it to show the forgiveness. Even though the father of the prodigal son wouldn't have had the Doctrine and Covenants, the Savior in this parable teaches that of each of us "it is required to forgive all men".
I know that as we don't hold grudges towards those who may have offended us and we freely forgive them as does the father in the parable of the prodigal son does, we too will be forgiven from our Father in Heaven.
The atonement was paid for all men. We can all repent and we can all be forgiven. Let's not make it harder on those who are seeking forgiveness and let us freely forgive the straight away and leave the final judgment with our loving Savior and Heavenly Father. They are the only ones who truly understand our circumstances and what we are going through.
Thanks for the wonderful scripture Lyndsey. I really enjoyed learning from it even though I wish I would have studied it a bit more. I hope to do better this week.
I hope you all have a great week!!