Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
Well I was excited to see that I had lots of emails about the "what's happening" in everyone's lives. Shout outs to Kate, Annie, Heather, and Mom for keeping me up to date! I loved all the pictures and I love hearing about all of you! I sounds like you guys are all busy! Isn't that what Fall always brings? Its like summer everything just goes into slow motion and Fall comes and BAM! Its Christmas! I am excited for Christmas! So many things remind me of it. Like weird things, like, the smell that the car has when the heater is on. I guess in Texas that's the only time its on? Yeah, I'm not sure, and still a little confused about that one, but I am excited for the Holidays, nonetheless!
But, to tell you the truth talk about plans and trips and things after the mish really freak me out. I don't really understand it because I am quite ready to be done. I don't know if that makes me a bad person or not, but I don't have anything left to go longer than my time. The phrase I keep using is "Its all heart from here" I honestly feel like physically, emotionally, and mentally everyday is a struggle. Finding the energy and capacity to serve as I always have is getting more difficult, and at the same time easier. Although I feel as my resources are limited, I feel that things have finally fallen into place. Things I have wanted or tried to make happen my whole mission are just happening now. Everyone always told me that once it starts to feel comfortable and you get the hang of it, its time to go.
It kind of reminds me of something that I remember Corby saying once. He was talking about 2-a-days and he said that they would start with one workout and it would be really hard. Just when his body was getting used to it, Coach would change the workout up, and he would constantly stay in a state of exhaustion and soreness. This week we had the STL's (Sister Training Leaders) for a visit. I was talking with Sister Harrison about our missions and things that we had learned. She said to me, "You know I used to think that the Sister Training Leaders or Trainers had the leadership position that had because they were this or they were that, but now I've learned that they had it because it was what would keep them on their knees." That really hit me. Keep them on their knees? What did that really even mean?
I thought about it a lot and I realized how true that statement was. I spent a lot of time on my mission looking at other's missions and thinking "Why is mine so different?" I've had a lot of challenges that many didn't have to go through, and I've been put in a lot of situations I would not have chosen to be placed in, but one thing that is common with all of my experiences is it has been exactly what I needed to keep me on my knees. If there is one thing that I have learned, if I really had to buckle it down to one thing, I would say it has been the power of the Atonement. Not the Atonement in broad general terms, but the real, everyday, tangible power of the Atonement in my life. If I had to go one step further and set it to a scripture I say this one: O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
To tell you guys the truth I am very nervous for the next stage of life. I guess I don't like the fact that I have to put away my missionary planner and lose my Distrikt Leader who tells me what meetings I have and where. Starting new chapters are always exciting and scary, but this one seems so much scarier then the others? I don't really like the fact that when I step off that plane that my life becomes a blank piece of paper. Sure I can write whatever I want, but some guidelines would be nice! I guess that's where the whole "continuous revelation" principle becomes so important. I know that it's all going to work out, but its definitely going to be an adjustment! You guys will just have to help me adjust as best as possible. Who's with me at waking up every morning at 630?! Anyone?! Anyone?! Just kidding guys... that's probs the thing I am looking forward to the most! 7 am sleep ins! Whoot! Whoot!
But, like I said earlier, the time is coming snartly for me to go. How do I know this? Besides the fact that everything is breaking and running out and being lost? Well because I gave a talk in church on Sunday. Someone couldn't do it last minute, so I was called Saturday night at 730, and asked to present the last few principles in the first lesson that the missionaries teach. My first thoughts were "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Talks are hard. Talks in a language that isn't your own become harder. But, as I stood up there to give my talk I realized that I knew how to do this. I wasn't nervous and I could give a talk my talk just as easily as I could if it was in English. Yep. It's time to go. Got to stay sore, right?
As I said I spoke about the Restoration, but I didn't want it to be like I teach to investigators, so I used a few talks from May's conference and a couple other ones. I love cross referencing! I love going through my library of talks and matching things up! Here is a run down of my talk:
- What is truth? This is a question that has been asked for years.
- Pilate asked Christ in John 18:37-38 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
- We all want truth, but we want truth that will not change. When Pilate asked Christ what is truth? he searched for heavens truth. Heavens truth exists beyond belief. It exists even if no one believes it.
- President Utchdorf: Well over one hundred years ago, an American poet put to rhyme an ancient parable. The first verse of the poem speaks about:
- I 1820 there was a boy who desired truth. Raised in a time with many churches. Confused. Joseph said JSH 1:10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them beright, which is it, and how shall I know it?
- His search brought him to James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
- He decided to pray. Elder Corbridge said : And yet as anxious as he is, he doesn’t run to a quiet corner and rattle off a hurried prayer. He is only 14, but in his haste to know, he is not hasty. This is not to be just any prayer. He decides where to go and when to make the attempt. He prepares to talk to God.
- He thought over everything and he went to a near by grove. There, he found a quite place where he knelled down and offered his first uttered prayer
- But he had opposition. He said: I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
- Elder Corbridge: Opposition, criticism, and antagonism are companions to the truth. Whenever the truth with regard to the purpose and destiny of man is revealed, there will always be a force to oppose it. Beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, down to the ministry of Christ, and on down to our day, there has always been and will ever be an effort to deceive, derail, oppose, and frustrate the plan of life.
- How many times has this happened to us? I know for me every time that I try to start doing something good I meet opposition. But Joseph had a perfect faith. We learn from the Brother of Jared that to see God you have to have perfect faith. Joseph had an absolute hope and faith that God would answer his prayer.
- JSH 1:16-17: at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction...I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me...When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
- Joseph saw God and Jesus Christ. They spoke to him and answered his question, the same question that many had asked for thousands of years. And this question, What is truth, was answered all because one boy decided to pray.
- Now we didn't have to listen to one blind man explain to us the way, we could see and feel for ourselves. The gospel was restored in its fullness.
- But do we know what we have?
- President Utchdorf: Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.”2Brethren, the exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that will culminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Are you sleeping through the Restoration?
- We believe in living prophets which means that we believe that God is still revealing things for our lives. Contentious revelation.
- Through Joseph Smith we know that Gud lives. He knows his children personally and he has a active hand in our lives.
- This is not a small thing
- God has given us everything that we need so that we can come back to him.
- He guided Joseph Smith to the gold plates and gave him power to translate them.
- Today we have the Book of Mormon. We can hold it in our hands, see it, and read it.
- (holding book) This is the answer to Pilate's and Joseph's answer. This is truth.
- Joseph said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
- Do you read from the Book of Mormon every day?
- Do you know what you have?
- We are promised that if we read the Book of Mormon with an sincere heart that we will know by the Holy Ghost that it is true.
- This is not just a one time thing. This is an everyday thing.
- As we read the Book of Mormon and pray, the Lord will answer our questions, give us guidance, and lead us to truth.
Btw, I would encourage everyone to watch the new Mormon Message: You Never Know. Seriously. Watch it. Esp. if you are a mom. http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3792885561001&cid=HPFR091914425
In the news of the Talics things are still going well. This is a big week! Salko is going to be baptized on Saturday. 3 of the Talics will be singing at his baptism. I have taught them A Child's Prayer and now when we go over there we sing it a million times. I fall asleep with it in my head. I will record it and send it home to you guys next week. Belma, the 5 year old starts the song off with a solo. Its so cute! We practiced a lot after church tomorrow. The kids have been coming to church and they love it. They love primary and they love singing. It's so good for them. The gospel really blesses families. I have seen the light it brings into those that don't have very much light in their lives. We are planning on talking to the mom next week about the kids being baptized. I am praying my heart out that she says yes. We are hoping to have her at the baptism on Saturday and that the Spirit will touch her heart. It will be an exciting, busy week!
Our days are filled with floor games, children's church activities, and many hugs. I don't think I could say that I have had a more fulfilling time on my mission. I love kids! I really do! And I am always so blown away by the fact that for so long I didn't want kids at all. Now, let's not get a head of ourselves, I don't want a million, but I definitely want a few! I can't wait to see all the nieces and nephews at home! It is going to be so fun!
Oh, btw, Mom can you call the secretary in the Irving Ward and ask when they want me to do my Homecoming Speech and on what subject. Also, if they give you a lame subject, tell them that I will probably just end up speaking about what I want, so they should probably re-think that one.
Anywho, I hope that you all have a great week! I don't really have time to write all of you that wrote me back, but I want you guys to know, that I LOVE your letters. I love all the pictures and I love being updated on your lives. It's what I miss the most about being home! Just hearing about what is going on in the every day! I loved the pics from Knox's baptism, and hearing all about it. I am so glad that so many of the fam could be there! It sounded like it was a wonderful day! Brent and Lori you guys are just the cutest! Anywho, I better get!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor!