Thursday, April 16, 2015

That chick is gonna turn into an amazing dog one day isn't it?!

So, to answer some questions about the beautiful spring we are having up here, Valley City (is well named first off) is probably the only place in ND that has a ton of trees and a ton of hills. But once you leave the 3 sq. Miles that it takes up, you have grass land and farm land as far as the eye can see. But up until this week, the grass has been dead, and the trees still haven't bloomed.

This week has been an eye opener. The last little while, we have been struggling to find people to teach, but we know that if we put forth the effort, the Lord will bless us, and He did!! In the last 2 weeks we have found many people being prepared to receive the Gospel, and some people that we have taught in the past have received an answer to their prayers and are making those changes (I'll go into more detail about that in a bit)! We found this guy JH as we were walking past, we decided to go up and talk to him while he was having a smoke on his porch, and as we walked up, he said "I knew it! I knew you were gonna come talk to me! I saw your car pull up down the street, and thought 'These are messengers from God, come to tell me the good word!!' What have you got to say to me? Cause God told me to listen!!!" He is super funny, and we could hardly get a word in edgewise cause he told us his whole life story, that apologized for doing so, and said "God has just been so good to me and I can't help but tell everyone I see about it!!" We're meeting with him tomorrow! He's a swell guy! We met a few other people that said they were interested, but didn't have the time right then, so we're looking forward to teaching them!
So, found out that J might be moving to California (quite possibly San Diego), but he has been so busy we haven't been able to meet with him or hardly even talk to him, so we'll see what happens. L is doing amazing! I don't remember what I've said about him before, but essentially, when we first met with him, and we asked about his religious beliefs, he basically said he doesn't believe in a God, but he has seen some good changes in his wife as she has been coming back into activity in the church, and he wanted to see why. S, his wife, was in Idaho at the time and had no idea he had been investigating the church. He went to pick her up, and while they were there, their 5 month old daughter was blessed in Sacrament meeting. Apparently L felt the spirit testify to him, and when we had our 2nd lesson this last Thursday, we asked how reading and praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true has been going for him, and he said "Well, you know, I haven't really been praying specifically about it, but I have noticed some.... 'coincidences'. Since I've been investigating, everything is going my way, and nothing ever goes my way." then he gave us a huge smile, told us many more "coincidences", and with each one, his smile got bigger. As we taught the lesson, he bore small testimonies here and there about God, and how kind and loving he really is. It was amazing to witness!
A few weeks back we tracted into the super nice family, and we've been back 3 times now. the first time (obviously) we were unexpected, so we shared a quick message than set up another appointment. The next week, when we got to their house, they fed us dinner (which hardly ever happens with nonmembers! It's usually the members that feed us!) and we ran out of time, so we shared another brief message about Easter, since that was the week of Easter, and then this last week, we went over and G wasn't home from work yet, so we sat and talked with the rest of the family, and waited for him to get home. We had a great time getting to know them, then we saw that it had been an hour since we arrive, and thought we should head out and not overstay our welcome. BUT!! this next week, we are going to share the message of the Restoration no matter what, cause it'll all work out this time haha!
We also taught A again this week, and I realized something while talking to him. First off, Christ said "My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you". That peace doesn't mean there will be no war, no contention, as the world would have us believe. That peace comes as we understand the role of the Savior in our lives, but His role loses power if we don't understand vital points of doctrine that had been lost through centuries of apostasy, such as where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going, and most importantly, a true understanding of who God is. Starting with the where from, we are all sons and daughters of the Most High. We were born, in spirit,of a perfect being. Like things beget like things. A man was gathering the newborn chicks in his coop with his young daughter, when he looked at her and said "that chick is gonna turn into an amazing dog one day isn't it?" The girl looked at him with a look like of impatience, then said "no. It's gonna grow up to be a chicken." Then the father smiles, and says "yes. You're right. Chickens beget chickens. Dogs beget dogs." That is an eternal principle. We were commanded by the Savior to be "perfect, even as my Father in Heaven is perfect." Thus, we know it is possible, because God gives "no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7) Aaaaaand in enters The Christ. "The Way" for us to "become perfect, even as [His] Father in Heaven is perfect". Now, jumping to who God is, if the Savior and Heavenly Father were the same person, the submission that Christ showed as he atoned for our sins completely looses its strength. He cried out, asking God to "remove this cup from me. Never the less, not my will, by thine be done." If he were the same person or being as God, he no longer is being submissive, but doing his own will. Now, to why we are here, we wanted to come here, to gain a physical body, so that we could become like our Father. We had progressed as far as we could, and now, it was time for step 2. We knew we would experience pain, sorrow, affliction, temptation, but that is how we grow. Now, no unclean thing can enter God's presence (where we are going), so we needed a Savior, a Mediator, someone to pay the price of our sins so that we can be made perfect. We are here on earth to experience trials, but most importantly to overcome them. As we rely "wholly upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save", this is all made possible. Now, that is a quick and poorly summed up tangent, but that's the way my brain works (as you probably know). When we come to know these things, we can experience true peace, lasting peace. While teaching A, he would tell us to "Dispense with those things", which are the things that bring that peace that the Savior promised. He is so scared of so many things, but in the same breath tells us that none of it matters, because death is just a beginning. He has tried to find peace "as the world givith", but it cannot be found there. As we come to know our Savior, and our Father in Heaven, we can have that peace, that despite what happens, we can always rely on Him, because we know who they are, and who WE are, and that They will never abandon us. 
Well, food for thought. Wish I had more time to organize my thoughts better, but that is about all the time I have dang it..... Sorry I didn't put the references for most of those quotes from the scriptures... again, didn't have the time.....
I love you all very much and miss you greatly!! Sorry if I'm all scatter brained!
elder Carter V

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