hey everybody!! sorry i didnt have time to update you last week!
things have been going so well here. we have had and seen some great miracles. first of which is mauricio. mauricio, not sure if i told you about him before, he is a blind 20 year old from Brazil. He is doing so well and is really looking forward to his baptism. he is so funny to teach and is on fire with the gospel. he is great and will be a great friend of mine for years to come.
the recent converts are all doing extremely well and will be going to the temple soon to do baptisms. Xiang li (richard) comes and teaches with us all the time. we had a great talk with him this past week. ever since he joined the church he has been seeking self improvement. he recently got a job that he hates but he works very hard at it. when we asked him why he got a job he said it was because he saw us and also the members of the church and how much we worked and things like that and he wanted to be more independent instead of relying on his rich parents to give him money. so he just went and got a job! what a boss! he is so great.
derek comes teaching with us all the time and he is doing a great job with his calling as a family home evening group leader. mark is also doing well, he has come teaching with us a ton too. he just recently received the Aaronic Priesthood.
Sue Nelson from Kalkaska will be attending the temple this week to receive her endowment!! Incredible! she will then go to florida next week to be married in the Orlando Temple. Elder Norton and I will ride down to Detroit with President and Sister Hoover and go to the temple with Sue. awesome right?? it's what missionaries live for!! I am so excited for Sister Nelson and so honored to be able to have this opportunity.
Please live up to the highest in you. You came to this life trailing clouds of glory from your pre-existant state. Why do we need to have the veil, you may ask. Wouldn’t it be convenient to remember all those things? Here are some thoughts from Truman Madsen in one of my favorite talks of all time:
And the ultimate unity that the Lord promised and prayed for is again a oneness with him and with the Father, and that requires that we become like them in nature. In very nature. That requires processes which the Lord again and again has compared most constantly to the process of birth and begetting. We are his children; he is our Father. Locked in us, hidden from our present view, are glorious insights and memories, which to know would, for many of us, lead to the neglect of the purposes of this world. We couldn't stand to stay here, I suspect, if we knew all. I've read recently an account, I hope trustworthy, of a brother who says that the Prophet Joseph implied just that—that were it not for the strong biological urge in us to survive, to hold on to the slipping rope even when we're in pain and suffering, and, in addition to that, were it not for the drawing, the dropping as it were, of the curtain which prevents our gathering from the vineyards of an infinite memory—were it not, in short, for our mortal amnesia, we couldn't stand it. The shock of leaving that condition and entering this one would be unbearable. We have to stay to work out the possibilities, to undergo the stress and distress that lead to perfection.
We are here for a grand purpose. I love how he puts that. Mortality bites sometimes. But that is how it is supposed to be. This life is such a short moment in time, a blink in our eternal existence. So how tragic is it when one comes trailing clouds of glory and gives in to the ways of this world during their probationary state. We all do to some degree. But thank Heavenly Father for our Savior. We can repent. We can be restored and redeemed. We can be happy here as we seek perfection, and then we can be released from this pain and suffering, all the more ready to meet our Father again because we were valiant in this brief existence.
one last thought from brother madsen:
if you knew now the vision you had then of what this trial, this probation, what in my bitter moments I call this spook alley of mortality, could produce, would produce; if you knew the latent infinite power that is locked up and hidden for your own good now—you would never again yield to any of the putdowns that are a dime a dozen in our culture today. Everywhere pessimism, everywhere suspicion, everywhere the denial of the worth and dignity of man.
let's all try to live up to the highest in us. help others to do the same. thank you so much. i love you all.