Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Personal Peace 11/10/14
SUM UP:

-My favourite chapter in the Book of Mormon happens to be the longest. It's Jacob 5.
-Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you. But for real though, they do.
-Following Christ brings lasting happiness and peace.
-The Pres told me I'd be staying in Paignton and Elder Oleson will leave in January.

THE NOVEL:

Jacob 5 is my favourite chapter in the Book of Mormon. It's the Allegory of the Olive Tree where the Master of the vineyard (Heavenly Father) is caring for the vineyard and he's working with his Servant (Jesus Christ). When the wild fruit overtakes the last of the good fruit God gets emotional. Verse 41: And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard? It clearly illustrates it here and in Preach My Gospel how much your Father in Heaven actually loves you. He is full of sorrow when we make wrong choices. After much discussion the Master tells the servant to cast the branches into the fire, but the servant replies, Spare it a little longer. We mess up. That's part of life. But the Atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite and is always there to lift us up. Our Saviour is patient and he will not give up so long as we try. I know this is true.

We had the chance to teach "C" the third lesson, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We fought multiple distractions but we were still able to feel the spirit and answer her questions. She has observed how friendly our church is compared to the Catholic church and she even expressed how she thinks that they are breaking one of the ten commandments by worshipping statues. I don't know if this is bad but I was thrilled when she told us that. At the end of the lesson I asked her if she got the answer that this is true if she would be baptised and she said she would! I was so excited when I asked her. Before this lesson I was concerned she wanted to know more about the church but only because she wants to know what we believe. Now I know that she will take the chance to find out for herself, and if she does take that chance she will get an answer (Moroni promised her so).

After loads of opposition, partly from the bishopbric, we were able to get things sorted so "A" and "T" could attend a YSA convention last weekend in Plymouth. We knew they needed a boost because they have been having a hard time and they really need some friends in the church who were born in the same decade. Our ward has a bit of an age gap so this weekend was paramount in our eyes. Oh and a couple weeks ago another YSA named Hannah moved here from the state of Washington for a couple of months. This was an answer to our prayers. Hannah came for Holiday but she feels like the Lord has a purpose for her being here so she's working on a visa and all that jazz. So at this weekend convention Hannah and "T" bonded, they all had fun, it was really spiritual, and "T" bore her testimony to everyone. While she was there the bell went off for 2 minutes of silence for Remembrance Sunday so she had to stand there in front of everyone for two minutes. As if bearing a testimony doesn't make you nervous enough!

We finally caught "D" at home! I think I mentioned him before because he basically contacted us on the street a couple weeks ago and explained how he'd lost contact with the missionaries when he had to go back to Romania for a while. We happened to have a Romanian BOM in the flat so we gave that to him and challenged him to read it with his family and pray about it. "D" loves his family so much and he has so much faith that God will bless them as they turn to him. He would be golden if he didn't smoke. It's always the word of wisdom.

At church we came out of a meeting with the bishopric during priesthood (1st hour) to discover a Uni student on Holiday in the lounge reading the introduction in the BOM. He explained he hasn't found the right church for him and he wants to know more about ours. Elder Oleson and I were like, "We can help you with that!" Haha So we discussed the BOM with him and he came to Gospel Principles and Sacrament. He'd be stellar to teach but we have to pass him to the Plymouth elders. Best referral ever!

I wonder at times if why the Lord is blessing us with these opportunities. I know we are trying hard, but we have a lot to improve on and sometimes it surprises me how much trust he has in us. Think about it, in the same way that missionaries need to gain the trust of members in order for the members to be willing to trust them with the referrals of their family members and friends, we need to gain the trust of Heavenly Father in order to teach his children. If we put these children of God off they may develop raw feelings towards him. So I pray everyday that I can be the kind of missionary my parents think I am. ;)

The Bishop finally had me speak in sacrament meeting. The first week I was here I bore a short testimony but this was supposed to be an official talk. I was the first of three speakers and when it was coming to my time I knew that I wouldn't have a full ten minutes due to our chorister insisting we sing all seven verses of How Firm a Foundation and two long intermediate hymns. There's never enough time but what can you do? I could've talked for a lot longer but then again, it's not hard to talk about myself. I was asked to speak on my conversion so I decided to guide them on a tour of my spiritual journey. I explained how my baptism, testimony, and conversion happened at different points in my life. Investigators often expect those three to happen all with a dunk in the font but it doesn't happen that way. I tried to explain how conversion is an ongoing process that takes continuing trust in the Lord. It happens one step at a time but nothing can bring the same peace and happiness.

I read a talk this morning titled Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness by Elder Quinten L. Cook. Elder Cook, Elder Holland, and Elder Ballard served in this mission so they automatically become even more respected. They say other missions make good missionaries, but England makes good leaders. Fingers crossed that's true.

So in this talk he said:

We all long for peace. Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Saviour knows who we are and knows that we have faith in him, love him, and keep his commandments, even and especially amid life's devastating trials and tragedies.

Later he explained:

Many search for peace in worldly ways, which never have and never will succeed. Peace is not found by attaining great wealth, power, or prominence. Peace is not found in the pursuit of pleasure, entertainment or leisure. None of these can, even when attained in abundance, create any lasting happiness or peace.

I know this is true because the happiest moments in my life have been with people I love, when I make others happy. That's why I am out here giving up time I could be earning money or working on a degree. It's probably why I'm not too homesick either. This week we had interviews with President Millar and I think I shocked him when he asked if I was homesick and I told him I was for about 5 minutes, on the night of my birthday when I was going to bed, and then I got over it. No matter how far away, I know my family loves me and will support me through anything. I know my family and friends will be there when I get home and that my family is eternal. So yeah, I miss you guys but it's nothing to get sick over. ;) Love you loads!

-Elder Price
 PS Besides you guys I also miss Cafe Rio, music, and the temple.

Fat tie swag (proud to be an American)

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