Monday, July 16, 2012

Come to Church

Right, so highlights from this week:

-A dumping week. Jonathan ran into our RC Carla in Sainsburys and declared that we (the sisters) had sacked him, Carla was furious at his I'm-a-hard-one-to-crack self-righteous attitude--she ranted about the encounter for some time. I'm grateful PMG talks about No Effort is Wasted, and I am confident that our break-up with Jonathan was as plain as plain could be, not contentious or judging, just straight up. No guilt here :)

-Lots of service this week: we did my very first Helping Hands project in the rain (I'm convinced the rain would wash away the city if it weren't for the good people living here--it's been pouring since April) digging up a weed called Ragwort that is poisonous to the horses. I'm a pro now. We cleared out a field and felt pretty good about ourselves until Richard reminded us in his calm, happy way, "There is always ragworting to do."

-Miracles! I've gotten my very first Provo MTC referral--a guy in Eastleigh wants a Book of Mormon. Stay tuned.

-We brought a guy who tracked us down in the library and asked us where the chapel was (who are you?) His name is Ryan, 19, and he'd been taught by the missionaries up north where he's from. He's got a few problems, not the least of which is no mobile, but he is eager to learn. We took him to his very first sacrament meeting, and watched Finding Faith in Christ, and extended a baptismal date for September 22. He's very aware of the stuff he needs to give up, but he wants to be baptised and the influence of the Spirit was just heroic. Amazing!

-Our ward missionary Sue Collis has published a book. I believe it's called Listening to Young People of Domestic Violence or something to that effect. It's part of her dissertation. She works for the County Council and removes children from unsafe homes, usually where mental illness is involved, and she held interviews with adolescents talking about growing up amidst domestic violence. The book is academically-instructive--"if the child says the following, it may mean such and such is happening in the home." We are so proud of her :) She is the sweetest, most joyful person (I expected her job to be more along the lines of being a preschool teacher or elementary school choir director.) I hope I can get a copy!

Alma 30 is one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon. It is interesting that Korihor is actually the only person in the Book of Mormon called "Anti-Christ". I studied about that, and how that is related to the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, and I learned that the word Anti does not mean opposite. Example: There are two celestial bodies in the night sky that both look like red stars. They're the same size, color, and appear in the same hemisphere of the sky. One is Mars, the nearest planet to us. The other is called Antiares (Ares is the Greek god of war, Mars is the Roman god of war), a star, and not a planet at all. But they look exactly the same. If sailors in Columbus' day got the two mixed up, they would not end up where they wanted to go. Anti means so similar, but not. Like the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, who were so like Nephi and Lehi in righteousness, but they weren't the same people.

Sister Barker said that when a boy comes on a mission and for 24 months studies the power of God, His permission and how He operates, that boy will become a man and learn so much more after his mission than he would have done if he never went. The Spirit of the Lord and a dependence upon that Spirit is so vital to learning anything of value. Without it, everything is suspicious and everything is questioned for the very virtue of questioning it, and they are like those people spoken of by Nephi "Ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." What a meaningless existence when everything you have ever learned is a sham and relative and changing. I am so grateful that I know Truth (with a capital T) so that I can navigate. Truths that I am a daughter of God, I have a mission here on earth, families can live together forever, there is only one road to heaven (it is strait and narrow) and that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did come to earth and die for us so that we can progress eternally and return to live with Father again. How much meaning, how much peace comes from that knowledge! That is real happiness--knowing that the course one is pursuing is in accordance with the will of God, and feeling the sweet assurance that He is there to bless us with the deepest desires of our hearts.

Remember who you are, who God is, and try your utmost to bring your life into accordance with His will, and the rest is magic. I love you all, and I pray for you each day. Let's see if this rain will go away sometime before the Summer Olympics, eh? ;)

Love from,
Sister Willard

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