[This week Jason really gave us his heart! So wonderful!
He usually replies to my message (lots of chit chatty stuff then sends a separate email. I usually don’t add the first reply email because you’d have to read my email to him to understand most, but I’m adding it this time because he finally answers some questions! ]
yes you should really start looking into the BYU stuff. I don't want to be late getting my application in and I want to do it in the way that gives me the best chance of getting in.
wow the mud slide was worse than you said at first.
YAY FOR ASHLYN!!! I KNOW THAT FEELING OF FINALY GETTING YOU VISA. IT IS AWESOME!
we are getting along great. It is fun to be with an american again.
San Lorenzo Almecatla is exactly where I am (well the area also covers part of Tlaxcala called Panzacola and another called Papalotla). It is small as far as I know but it is growing because they are building a bunch of town houses (think apartment complexes) near by but they are in the other ward. The ward is great. they feed us well and they are helping us a lot (devisions and everything).
WHY CAN'T I BE PART OF BUILT ON THE ROCK AGAIN!!!!
(more news in the official letter)
Well this week we decided to do things differently and crazy enough we had very different results. We started contacting a lot this week (201 contacts) and tried to do a lot of divisions so that we could cover more than one appointment at a time. we managed to have a total of 38 lessons this week (more than I have had any other week) and also found 3 new families. not just dad and son or mom and daughter (broken families are way too common here) but real families with two parents and kids. we now just need to be able to get them all to start to progress. that is almost harder than finding them in the fist place.
We also had a zone conference with this week and the majority of what Pres. Christensen talked about was change. how we are in a time of great change for this mission and how we should think about change. It is really interesting when you think of how we as humans think about change. as a general rule we are opposed to change. but at the same time we realize that change isn't a bad thing and is usually a good thing. our whole life has been filled with change and we welcome these changes (maturity, school, marriage and so on) but when it comes to changing the way we do things or when people tell us we need to change we all of a sudden decide that change is a bad, evil thing that needs to be eliminated. but why? we all agree that when we go through these natural changes it is a good thing. so why is it that the non natural changes are to be avoided? the answerer in and of itself is very simple: we always want to be right/the best.
We always want to think that we are doing the right stuff and that everyone else is wrong and needs to conform to our way of thinking. we always want to say "I'm right, you're wrong. any questions?" and never want to say "I think you may be right." But if we think about it this is exactly the opposite of what God tells us. in Isaiah 55:8-9 God tells us;
- 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
- 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Here god says that his ways are higher than our ways and then in Mosiah 3:19 it tells us that the Natural Man is and enemy to God. Therefore if we want to follow God we need to put off the natural man and search the ways of God. This means change. we cannot go about doing the things that the natural man wants to do and still do the things God wants us to do.
The Bible Dictionary describes Repentance as follows "The Greek word of which this is the translation denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.[...A] turning of the heart and will to God, and a renunciation of sin to which we are naturally inclined." Therefore when God asks us to Repent he is really asking us to change. To return to Him. When we think of change in this sense it becomes a good thing. something we want and look for. It is amazing that we have been given this great gift of change. The atonement of Christ enabled Repentance allowing us to change and return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Here in the mission we are experiencing a great change. not only in how we work but also in who we are. the mission has already changed a lot since President Christensen got here but that will be nothing in comparison with the change we are about to experience.
here are a few more scriptures about change.
Alma 15:3-12 see also Alma 11 y12 (who Zeezrom was)
Alma 17-24 (story of the sons of Mosiah, focus on chapter 18 verses 24-43 the story of the conversion of king Lamoni)
the first part of Enos.