Well, we've gotten to the part of the year when the radiators are permanently on and I'm sleeping with a hot water bottle. (Request for home: there are electric kettles in every household in
for some reason we don't have one. We should fix that. They're super cheap, and
you can have hot chocolate, oatmeal, soup, and hot chicken stock for slow
cooking in two minutes' tops. I personally advocate Rooibosh tea at breakfast
time, but that's just me.)
Highlights from this week:
-I got to speak at church yesterday on counsel from conference for sisters, and I used Pres. Eyring's and Elder Cook's talks about feeling the love of the Lord. I talked about the false doctrine of earning Heavenly Father's love and how many of us accept that--it's not true, but the choices we make or things we do can impact how often we feel His infinite love.
-Paul and Alison got priesthood blessings this week, which we wrote down. They were really cool. Unfortunately, for the seventh week in a row, they have not come to church when they said they would. I'm ready to drop both of them, and certainly prepared to say how needed we are in Downend and how both of them are wasting our time.
-We keep getting hit on by Muslims. Apparently in
do arranged marriages, and in today's society, it is difficult to keep a loving
marriage together, let alone one decided by two fathers. So along come two
sister missionaries, and the lonely hearts club thinks (lost in translation)
that whilst there isn't a ring on our fingers that we are available. One such
came to church yesterday and made us a cake and talked about the Quran through
all of Gospel Principles and was souped-up on cannabis. I'm so glad our Ward
Mission Leader is over six foot tall and three feet wide.
-Sometimes miracles happen by way of laughing hysterically for no reason. It releases the tension and allows us to be happy and enjoy the moment. Those are tender mercies, and they've been happening a lot this week.
-We've gotten to de-wallpaper two houses, and I've learned how to plaster a wall. It's easy. The family we were working with (Marcus and Laura) are so cute. They've been "burgled" twice now (three kids tried to take his motorcycles by pulling the garage roof off and dragging the bikes away--this time they kicked the front door down and were looking for the keys to the steel shed and took her laptop and wallet as well. Both times Laura caught them in the act and stayed calm enough to call 999--Marcus was freaking out and couldn't find his shoes. I think he should pull out his airsoft handguns and threaten them the American way. They've arrested two of the kids, but they're all wanted and no one will tattle on the others.) They are so awesome. Wallpaper is such a pain--go paint!
As far as study goes, I'm finishing up the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament, and it's been really rewarding to see the patterns of Heavenly Father in His dealings with His children. He has always called a prophet and tests the man to build his faith. The prophets are recognized by the phrase "Thus saith the Lord", with absolutely no association to themselves. The prophets love the people and want Heavenly Father to turn His wrath, which He so often does an account of some good man's righteousness (ie: Joshua, King Josiah). He still operates the same way. I've found that wholesale Christianity simply rejects many of the principles taught in the Old Testament (ie: The Law, there is only one path to heaven, there must be organization and prophets, disobedience brings the Lord's wrath, etc) simply because Jesus fulfilled the law.
I testify that there is a law, and when laws are broken on earth, punishments are exacted. How much more are they exacted by the Perfect Being who sees all in man's heart? How much more does He reward His faithful servants? He cannot reward us if we are not more faithful to Him than to Facebook, Desperate Housewives, or
football season. We cannot pretend He won't care when we show Him that He
matters very little to us. What is the first commandment? Love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, with all thy might, and with all thy mind. This is why we
keep the commandments. Because He loves us and always will. I am so grateful
for this knowledge, for understanding that God is not some shadowy figure in
the clouds, but that He has parameters and form and feeling and real power to
transform my life through His Son.
It's so good to be a missionary! I've got one more email to write home--I'll try to make it a good one :)