Something that I've learned to appreciate that I never really saw or used before serving as a missionary is the Gospel Principles manual. There's a quote in there about agency that goes as follows:
When we follow the temptations of Satan, we limit our choices. The following example suggests how this works. Imagine seeing a sign on the seashore that reads: “Danger—whirlpool. No swimming allowed here.” We might think that is a restriction. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells. We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown.
It's a very simple principle that I know to be true. Commandments aren't there to limit our agency. They're there to help us protect
I hope you got our package by now. If not, it may be another week perhaps.... I hope everything is in there. I know there has been situations where customs may open a package to make sure everything in there is "allowable".
Umm, the package has arrived safely, but I don't have it yet. Next week, I'll know if I'm being transferred. If I am, I'll get the package next week Tuesday when we're in Brampton for transfers. I'll keep you updated.
Stuff that's happening with me? Still working diligently to advance missionary work however possible. We're working hard to change the culture here in Ontario. For the past several years, missionaries have been primarily tracting to find investigators. We're trying to change that, but of course, still doing a lot of tracting. As President Hinckley put it, "So many of us look upon missionary work as simply tracting. Everyone who is familiar with this work knows there is a better way. That way is through the members of the Church."
We're helping Windsor put together a Ward Mission Plan that the ward is on-board with. It outlines simple ways that the ward will commit to integrating missionary opportunities into things that they already do. Then, it helps the ward be accountable for those actions.
There's this Vietnamese guy that requested a Bible online a few months ago that's probably going to be baptized this upcoming Sunday.
A Native American couple is doing great with everything. Last week, we invited them to get married. That was intense. That's a work in progress.
All the recent converts are doing well.
I will end with a verse I like from 3 Nephi 16:20 that says:20 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.I like how it says, "salvation of God". There is a lot of meaning in those three words. The salvation of God is really the salvation of all of us... it is central to His plan. I know He lives! I know He loves us and His gospel is true. The things He teaches resonates with what I feel--the spirit confirms to me and my life and my experiences show to me--the truth of why we are here on this Earth.
I like that phrase too. There's a line from the Zion's Camp movie where a huge storm comes through and protects the camp from attack. As the storm comes in, the Prophet Joseph says, "Stand still and see the salvation of God." very dramatically. That's a line that we can definitely apply to our lives. If we just slow down a bit, we'll see it.
Some carrots I'm growing. Who would've guessed that carrots have seeds?
Elder Nugent and me eating ribs.