Right, so there was so much to that last email and i think that i read it to fast........ So let me talk about my life then i can talk about yours. My life is good. I'm learning a lot of lessons on the evils of self righteousness. For some reason i feel that i have these lessons all the time and although i feel like I'm 'learning my lessons' there is always a new lesson to learn and deeper understanding to gain, a different perspective to see and such. So Being with Elder Jankowsky has been a quite humbling experience and just recently the Lord granted me a bit of an insight to how i have been acting... When i was a child i distinctly remember in elementary school misbehaving and the teacher telling me to change my behaviour card. then i remember sitting back and mentally beating myself up for acting stupid. i didn't want to do it, i hadn't planned on being naughty, in a moment of distraction i stopped thinking and acted on impulse. this is how most of my schools years went. That is how i felt the other day. Why was i acting like that? Did i have any idea what i was really doing? What message i was sending? so what brought this realisation? In a recent letter i received a friend told me about how some people close to her were attacking her for her beliefs. It really got me upset. Why would people do that. It is totally unfair to do that. How can someone become so bitter against something that is so good? Then the answer came loud and clear. Maybe not completely applicable to this specific case but i feel that the answer that came was a cause of similar results. Self righteousness. Not necessarily a 'holier then thou' attitude but more of a judging condemning attitude. Such as 'You do not do what i know is right, therefore you are a sinner.' That is not what Christ taught. Christ taught us not to judge but to love and pull out our own 'beams'. I have pondered this question for a while. 'God holds us accountable for the knowledge we have and what we do with it. Does spiritual confirmation play a factor in accountability concerning following spiritual truths?' For instance will a person be held less accountable if never received a spiritual witness that it is right before God to live the Word of Wisdom? So then who are we to judge if a person has ever received a spiritual confirmation concerning a truth. It is interesting how Alma (Senior) counselled the teachers and priest of the newly organised Church of Christ to 'teach nothing save it be faith and repentence' not hellfire brimstone and damnation. I feel and have noticed that people for the most part always make the best decision in their own view, according to their knowledge. So how can we expect someone who understands nothing of spiritual sanctity and Family importance to abstain from sexual intercourse until they are married. Especially since all they have ever been taught mocks the very idea. How can we expect a person who does not have an understanding of the fallen and carnal state of man to accept whole heatedly Christ as their Redeemer. We can't. Of course people must feel the spirit and act in faith and then gain a testimony, but to have an enduring testimony which doesn't shrink or go away in the face of temptation and its ugly brother persecution a person must understand the principles of the gospel on an intellectual and spiritual level. If they do not then they will not have any reason to continue to fight up stream. motivation comes from aspiration. So then why would we be motivated to live the life of a disciple of Christ with all that it implies if we did not have a hope to receive a fullness of joy? I feel it all goes back to the Quote from Joseph Smith 'We teach them correct principles and they govern themselves'. Knowledge is power. Power to act and choose the more excellent way. Why is it power? Because it provides the motivation and the vision to see through, and endure valiantly through the temptations of life. Where am I getting with this? It is not our place to judge. It is not our place to condemn others because of the knowledge we have. There is always the solemn reminder 'unto him who much is given much is required'. Our responsibly then is to 'waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light the hidden things of darkness wherein they are made known unto us from heaven' (D&C 123:15) To teach and to instruct in a loving manner that thereby we can give people the power and motivation to return to their Father. With out love all other efforts are for nought. (For if i have not charity i am nothing. and am as the sounds of tinkling brass) Everything in this existence responds to love. Pure love casteth out all fear and then infuses faith and confidence. Brigg if there is any other advice i can give it is to love as Christ loves and teach with all diligence. Then you will have the greatest possible influence on your Argentinean brothers and sisters and the Spirit will guide your words and back your testimony.
We had a great week. Did alot of teaching! Super happy. So Ben and Monique are solid as ever. We went over the baptism interview questions with them this week and heck i would pass them. It is so cool to see conversion take place. it seems at first that every one begins investigating almost casually and doesn't really know why. then there is a change (usually soon after they agree to be baptised) and it all becomes very real. They recognise and relish the Spirit. Their minds are enlighten and they begin to see life from a whole new perspective. They repent without invitation and seek to improve their own lives. Basically they become new creatures. It is cool I love it!
Brigg My timberland shoes have really served me well. they are 'Sunday' style shoes but are hiking appropriate. I would say bring bare minimums for the MTC then buy the majority of your stuff in the Field. You will probably find that they have a different style and dress standard there so you will want to fit in. For every day use just get a plain watch that you would wear running or working out. leather bands are not a good idea. (sweat really makes them mangy). And above all else be ready and excited to adjust. dont be surprised to live in a one room flat. and bring a brand new set of scriptures. dureable big ones to study and maybe a mini quad to take teaching. make sure that your study scriptures are not all four in one. that makes it hard to flip back and forth compareing scriptures. also being a person hard back Book of Mormon. I have two and they are my favorite :)
DAD STOP GETTING HURT! It sounds like there isn't going to be anything left of you when I get back. take up knitting or something productive like that. (on second hand maybe not you might hurt yourself with the needle thingys)
Hey Sheldon!! it was good to get your little note on Kassidee's letter. I kept hearing about this little brother that i have it was good to get a bit of evidence that he really did exsist.
Mom please know that your emails letteres and packages are better then anything i might receive from any girl.
Thanks for the package. Honestly I don't have any Christmas requests. I'm just happy that ya'll love me enough to send me something
ps my prayers were heard!! They are now selling Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in English Stores!!!!!