Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Your favorite Elder is still puttering along, doing well. Since the last email I went up to Winnipeg and back and got mail and all that. Sincere thanks to all who sent letters! I am grateful to have much support from my family and friends.
This past week it got above freezing and the roads got filthy. Oh, when we were in Winnipeg we stopped at this mall on the south side of town (sorry Auntie Susan, I forgot the name! It had a Walmart in it if that helps) and the parking lot was filthy. If I am wearing jeans I don't care much about mud, but I do care when I am wearing a suit! Ugh, but it does mean that spring time is inching closer. To my surprise, I am not yet sick of the snow, but it is always a relief when it does get above freezing because the forest (we call it Narnia) outside my apartment really comes alive with birds and all sorts of activity. Talking about weather, there was one night when Elder Morris and I were tracting and the wind was gale force! It was probably about -10C, but that wind just splits me in half. It makes more a man of me I suppose.
(Several weeks ago I posted a picture of TJ lying in a snow tunnel. This video is of him trying to collapse that tunnel. He still seems to have plenty of energy!)
So, more on Boden Oster and his family. Wow I love that family. There is such a sense of love in that family that is totally absent in so-called "normal" families. Wow, it reminds me of something Mike told me in a letter once, that on my mission I really can see how I want to raise my kids and what kind of atmosphere I want in my home. One thing I appreciate from being here in I-Falls is that I have been so blessed in my own upbringing and just how fortunate I was to have parents who love me, support me, and provided a home where I could learn and grow in a wholesome atmosphere. How we take these things for granted! I really have seen broken families on my mission, and being in a small town...it just provides me with a unique--and much needed--perspective on life. So thank you to my parents for all the track meets, golf matches and soccer and baseball games they came to.
Anyway, back to the Osters. We talked about prophets with Boden and he asked if we have a prophet today. I said something we did, and he gave a "YES!" with a fist pump. At first I thought it was funny, but as I thought about it, we sure take having a prophet for granted. What a blessing it is to have a living prophet today! If God spoke to prophets throughout time, why would he not speak to a prophet today? Does God not love us the same? Of course he loves us, and he has called a prophet today, and we should show our gratitude for that blessing. On a lighter note, Bro. Oster came to me worried, and said that Boden had asked if he could be the prophet! He was worried as to how he should answer that question. I just laughed because I remember being about 8 or 9 and wanting to be the prophet someday, and told Bro. Oster to tell Boden that he just had to keep living the Gospel and who knows what the Lord has in store for him.
As a missionary, I like to study how we are to show our faith through. Works are outward expressions of our inner faith. "Faith without works is dead" kind of thing. Something mentioned in Priesthood by the visiting District President really impressed me. He said that the difference between us and Satan's followers is works. There were those who were possessed by devils in the New Testament who professed Jesus to be the Christ, but Christ silenced them for a number of reasons which I will not touch on here. The point is they, possessed with devils, professed Jesus to be the Christ, yet they did no works to show their profession of "faith". Satan is trying nowadays to numb us to the level of "just believing", without works, without service, without true faith. Truly "faith without works is dead, being alone".
I read an interesting scripture this past week. John 15:19, it’s a good one. Amidst all the persecution that the church takes, and that missionaries take, I like this verse. "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you". I am most of the way through Jesus the Christ and the Gospels (p.550 in Jesus the Christ and in Matt. 22, Mark 12, Luke 19) and the more I read, the more the people let pride get in the way of their worshiping Christ. The Pharisees knew that Christ performed miracles (raising of Lazarus really set them off) and yet they were only concerned that their fame and popularity were at stake. Fools! No wonder Christ's harshest rebukes were to hypocrites. Sheesh.
Switching gears...I keep forgetting to describe my back for Mike. So yes, my back has bothered me, its more of an on/off kind of thing. My lower back is totally fine, it’s my upper back that hurts, and I think it is the muscles pulling on the spine that makes it hurt. It hurts after long periods of sitting or long periods of standing. So studies, church especially, make it uncomfortable, and I may pull my shoulders back a ways once or twice a day to crack the upper back. Doesn't really help though. The reflexologist in Saskatoon told me that the bowing in my legs contributes to the pain and had an explanation for that. Mike says that likely is not the case. I trust my brother.
I can see how some things in my patriarchal blessing are coming through...
You know, I have had Richard Gonzalez's name in my mind for a couple of weeks. How is he doing? I hope he is still doing well because he is a good man and is strong in the faith.
I saw 4 brand new Explorers...mixed feelings on them, I think I like them, but how do they slot into Ford's product line? It seems like they compete with the Edge and Flex, and maybe are just out to ring up $ through the use of a well-known nameplate.
This is a good time to remind everyone that Pres. Monson was a mission president in Canada, truly this is the promised land, right?
Ha, Emily Nies is asking about me, that’s great! Tell her I miss her in Primary too.
Wrapping up, yes, I was going to ask about my memory card because in a few weeks I would like to send this one off, but first would need my other one back. When you send a memory card back my way, I wonder if you could also include my other flag jacket I left back home. After all, it is the Canadian one, and I am in the Canada Winnipeg Mission. I am sending some pictures of some fun that Elder Morris and I had in the snow during a lunch hour. Do you put pictures and videos on the blog too? Anyway, I love you all, Godspeed.