And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
- D&C 18:15
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Sunday, December 4, 2016
I Love This
I really do.
When beginning my weekly email, I usually think, "it's a good thing
that I wrote in my journal this week, so I can transfer all of the
great stories I wrote down throughout the week to the email." Then I
reach for it only to remember that I left it at the apartment. So I
usually add in the thoughts that I remember, the most savory parts of
the week. Hopefully, they are memorable to you as well.
Early on my mission, days felt like weeks and weeks felt like days.
Then for a good chunk of time, days felt like days and weeks felt like
days. Now I've decided to give up counting the days because I know I'm
going to be wrong, and the weeks sort of blend together the same way
your vision does when you on a teacup ride.
Members homes tend to be easily recognizable, both inside and out. On
the outside there is almost always some child-friendly decorations and
a welcome mat with kind words. On the inside there are pictures of the
family, and the faint smell of seasonal candles- or doterra. There is
at least one picture of the Savior and one picture of the temple. A
few quotes from prophets and scriptures hang on the wall as well.
Figurines of the temple where the family was sealed, or maybe an
angel from the top of the temple. Everything beautifully matches. A
patch of chevron here, flowers either on the table or on the window
sill. It's always so well decorated and so homely. I may get to see it
every day, but I love it. The spirit is invited so easily.
We were having dinner with a member family where the husband was very
active, and the wife didn't believe in the church at all, but came
from a long line of active families and whose whole social group was
faithful members of the LDS church. While entering into the house it
looked much like the warm houses of other member homes, but there were
no pictures of the temple, no scriptures or church history books
laying around. It was almost like something was hollow. Yes, you have
the flower arrangement, yes, you have the perfect matching colors, the
argyle tablecloth you found on pinterest was perfect, but something is
missing. It is the gospel. It was almost strange to feel the lack of
the gospel around me. The branches were there, but the roots were
gone. The fruit isn't worth much if it doesn't taste likes much.
Sunday we said "amen" at the end of sacrament meeting, and we turned
around to see the first person I ever taught sitting in the back row
next to his friends. I left this area only six weeks into my mission,
and I've tried to keep tabs with this 19-year old. From what i last
heard, he stopped investigating the church because his parents
wouldn't let him get baptized without kicking him out of the house. I
was a little depressed, but it is understandable. I was so excited to
see him I ran up to him and had to say hello.
"Hey, how's it going?"
"I just really need to get baptized."
He pulled us over and we tried to make a plan to help him be baptized.
He said that he's been going to different churches for the past year
to try and see if he could find what he found in this church, and that
none of them come close to what he's found here. He said he was tired
of his parents telling him he couldn't be baptized, he was tired of
not being a member. He;s read the Book of Mormon 4 times. "I can't
live without the spirit."
It was wonderful to see A again, but painful to see him in this
state of longing. Hopefully, after meeting with our mission president
he will be given proper counsel on what to do in this situation. It is
amazing to see his courage, and his fire for the gospel.
We've been teaching two people on different sides of life who both
want to be baptized. One is a 9-year old, who wants to be baptized by
his Dad before his Dad is deployed out to the Middle East. He is a
sweet soul and actually understands the doctrine very well. He should
be getting baptized within the coming weeks. We are also teaching a
lady who recently had a bad accident. While laying on the pavement
after her fall she thought, "I need to let Bishop Schneider know that
he need to baptize me in proxy before I die! Thank goodness, she
lived. Unfortunately, she can't be baptized in proxy anymore. She's
fine with that. All we are doing righteous now is waiting for here
cast to come off, review the lessons she has been taught many, many
times, and she is ready.
Life is great. The gospel couldn't be any truer.
Elder Richard Hall
1. A picture we took with our mission president and general authority
when they came to visit our mission. Out of the 14 people in this
picture, only 1 of them is from Utah. Go figure.