Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WEEK 13 LANSING (WEEK 84 0F MISSION)

hey everyone! no time this week! 
Last Week Transfer Day
Loading up the Van again!
so the mission department of the church is coming to our mission tomorrow... sweet right?? thats why we have no time! trying to prepare for that! haha itll be soo cool!!! 

things are going great here at msu. sooo nice to have students on the campus again haha. felt like during christmas break we would talk to the same people every day! "i know you said you weren’t interested yesterday, but what about today? no? darn... well... see you tomorrow!" haha anyway... things are great. xiang li and mark are total bosses!! we got to see mark again for the first time since his dec 6 baptism. he is the coolest. he loves teaching with us and got a copy of preach my gospel so he can help his friends understand why he lives the way he lives. we gave preach my gospel to xiang li too and then we met with him like 4 days later and he was like... "i love that book! especially chapter 11! how to help people keep commitments." 

"how much of it did you read xiang li?"

"remember when you first taught me you asked me to read the scriptures and study for 10 minutes/day at least? well i study for an hour a day. so i read the whole book."

hahahah he is the greatest. so fun to teach with them because they are so eager to tell how the Gospel has blessed their lives. Mark calls blessings "benefits" so he always teaches people that if you will believe this then you will receive all the benefits. derek martindell is doing well. his schedule is really open so he will be teaching with us all day every day! best converts ever! 

Isn't what we believe incredible?? God knows all things. We have no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring. How utterly unreliable are our own plans and thoughts. We would be much wiser to seek counsel from God. We don't always end up doing what we want to do, or even what we planned to do. But all that really matters is if we end up following God's plan for us. We ought to counsel with God in all our affairs so as to not be going the wrong direction. Obviously this idea has a lot to do with why God gave us parents. Nephi teaches in the first verse of the Book of Mormon that what made his parents goodly was that they, "taught him somewhat in all [their] learning..." Our parents have been there before. They love us. Their deepest desire is to see their children be happy and successful. This is the same situation each of us are in with our Heavenly Father. Hearken to (which means to hear and then, most crucially, to obey) the counsel of your parents and especially the counsel of your Heavenly Father. His direction often comes through His prophets, whose duty it is to set standards and determine right and wrong in our day and age. Follow their counsel. Disobedience is the dumbest thing we can do, for we know not the consequences, but God does. Therefore, in order to maintain our happiness, He gives us commandments, which if we follow their course, will point us, "through this vale of sorrows to a far better world of promise." (alma 37, near the end of the chapter, cannot remember the verse off-hand. I recommend reading it). 


Love you all! have a good week! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

WEEK 12 LANSING (WEEK 83 OF MISSION)

hey everybody! It’s transfer week!  Which means me, a van, and 11 other missionaries driving around the state of Michigan for 13 hours tomorrow!  Should be good! (When Bro. Hoover visited us he said that Parker drives approximately 1400 miles delivering the missionaries to their new areas!)

Not a ton of time to talk tonight, but some quick updates! Richard Li (the investigators, not the awesome recent convert) and zilu are doing well.  We have been meeting regularly and they are progressing toward baptism. 

School starts again tomorrow, which is very exciting!  That means we will be able to talk to people again! at least... we will next week haha cuz we will be busy this week. But things are good! richard li (Recent Convert) is doing incredible.  He has so many good questions and is taking tons of institute classes.  He is the greatest. 

I am so thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the proper perspective it provides. Things that mean the world to other people are very important to us, but we can view them in their proper light thanks to the restored truths in the Plan of Salvation. School work is important, but it is the means to an end.  We don’t have to work a job to have a purpose in our lives. Instead, we work because we want to, because we can learn and grow and provide for our families. We don't have hobbies because we need a distraction from the mess we call mortality; we don't have hobbies because we need a way to escape our conscience prodding us about why we exist; instead, we embrace hobbies because we truly enjoy those activities.  In their proper perspective, hobbies and pleasure cease becoming the purpose of life (we work and save money so we can have time and money for our hobbies and to do things that make us happy), and become something we don’t do to fill a void, but to enliven our earthly experience.  Isn't it incredible to know why we exist?  To have the answers to what Hugh Nibley called the, "terrible questions?" Why do I exist? What happens when I die? What things will bring me peace?  You see, the Gospel is much less God's arbitrary rulebook than it is the advice of a super-intelligent Being who loves us. God tells us the natural consequences of sin. That is what a commandment is. Why would we then not follow the commandments? 

As you study the Gospel, think deeply. There is so much more than meets the eye. Seek the Spirit and a testimony of this work. If it is true, then we truly are here to become more like our Father and I can think of no better reason to live.  If it is not, then I can still think of no better way to live. But the best part about the Plan of Salvation is that it is true, and that you can know for yourself if it is, if you will but seek that knowledge. 


Elder Green 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WEEK 11 LANSING (WEEK 82 OF MISSION)

hey everyone! what a great week! happy new year!

so we have had some incredible things happen lately. richard li (different richard li than the one that got baptized a few weeks back) and his friend zilu have been loving learning the Gospel and attending church. their first week there they both stood up to introduce themselves and basically bore their testimonies. then they had us over for "hot pot" yesterday (traditional chinese style of eating). hopefully i wil have a picture soon! it was so good! they are doing great and we will be baptizing them in the coming months! 
Hot Pot with Richard, Elder Rhodes and Chris Jones.
Zilu took the picture.
we met another awesome chinese guy named chen. he had just purchased a philosophy book to teach him the purpose of life. he said he was looking for peace and purpose or else he would, "be very mad." so we walked him to the institute and taught him right there. he loved the restoration and at the end we asked him how he felt about all of it. he said, "like... a dream." 

"what do you mean chen?" 

"i believe this is true."

"awesome! that is great chen!"

"but... it is... so beautiful." 

chinese people are the best! haha sadly he feels too busy to meet right now. but hopefully he will come back around soon.

richard li (the one that was baptized in december) just returned from his trip. he is doing so well! it was so good to see him at church again! he bore his testimony again this week and told the coolest story. he was in New York with his friends and they all wanted to go see a musical, but he didnt want to. so they all went and he stayed and went to Times Square by himself. He was looking around and saw everyone with their families and all of a sudden felt very alone. he was looking at all the advertisements and suddenly, the "He is the Gift" add appeared on the giant electronic billboard in Times Square! he said that it was the last thing he expected to see! but when he saw it he said that he felt that Jesus loved him and that he was not alone anymore. 

He said that he had never been one to express emotion before or to tell his family or anyone that he loved them. but at that moment he felt he needed to call his mom and tell her he loved her. he only ever called her for money before. she answered the phone (it was the middle of the night in china) and asked what was wrong, assuming there was an emergency or why else would her son call in the middle of the night. 

He replied nothing was wrong, he just wanted to tell her he loved her. Knowing this was out of character, she replied, "yeah, yeah, how much money do you need this time?"

Richard explained that he didnt want money. he just wanted to tell her he loved her. He said he had felt God's love and now he wanted to share that with her and with everyone. 

What an incredible story right?? he is so awesome. i am so thankful to be serving here. The Plan of Salvation is incredible. you can see God's love all through the plan of salvation. we have few reasons to be sorrowful if we know the plan of salvation is true! 

Thank you all so much for the love and support you have given me throughout my mission! 

we are transfer planning this week and then transfers are next week! so that means no sleep, lots of logistics, and driving a giant van full of missionaries! 

have a great week!