One of the neighbors
This week we worked a lot more in the Fort. We decided to begin working in a remote corner of town--innocent right? So very wrong. We tracted this trailer park in Fort Frances and parked near a church, safe right? Right as we get out Elder Morris and I see a young man and walked up to him to talk. He was cordial, then he asked if we were from this church. We said no and explained ourselves a little bit and at some point asked him a question and he said, "Have you heard what happened at this church?" My heart sank, this sounded bad. "Just last week a man broke him, beat up the pastor, broke his arm and gave him a concussion". Oh my goodness, what a way to open up tracting in Fort Frances, Ontario. No worries, we are safe. Maybe the funniest thing was that we kept on knocking doors after that. The Lord keeps me safe.
Speaking of this trailer park, it was pretty grungy. Everything was just so run-down, so dismal, and frankly it was really sad. Although I did see a Dodge Challenger there, so that was a bright spot. But seriously, it made me better appreciate my own upbringing and how at times I thought I had it rough. Na. How blessed I have been to have the opportunities I have had! Thank you Mom and Dad for that.
Mom and Dad, I had the thought come that I should seek some counsel from my parents, and hear what they want me to hear. What things have best enriched your testimonies? Any other advice you would give me? To be clear, it’s not that I am struggling with anything, far from that, but I feel I should seek counsel from my Mom and Dad. After all, you are my parents!
Did I ever tell you I finished Jesus the Christ a couple of weeks ago? It was great, and I will probably read it again later on my mission.
Haha, I taught Gospel Doctrine this week! Sunday morning the Gospel Doctrine teacher called me and asked me to prepare Lesson 15, "I am the Light of the World", including John chapters 7-8. I was excited to teach it! I told the class that my brother teaches Gospel Doctrine and here I am teaching it too. So I drew a lighthouse on the chalkboard and used it to portray giving light. I figured lighthouses are pretty good at that. Then I proceeded with the lesson and I feel it went really well. I shared how I absolutely love John 7:17 and that people need to live God's commandments in order to know they are true and of God! Brett decided to attend my class instead of Gospel Principles, and I think he really enjoyed it too. (He had a good week at church, and when we went to visit him this week, he showed us his Blazer SS, with ALL the bells and whistles--I'll get a picture this week.) Mom and Dad, last week you left me to read the song Lead Kindly Light, and throughout the week I was thinking about how I could apply/use the message of the song in a unique way. Well, I used it in class. Obviously Christ is the Light!
As part of my class we talked a lot about the power of examples. Now this is something that I think about quite a bit. As Christ declared in the temple, He is the Light of the World. In the Sermon on the Mount he said that we are the light of the world. Really, we simply reflect the Master's light by the way we live. Haven't you ever seen someone who just has that light in their eyes because of the Christ-like way they lead their lives? I have. His light is reflected through us! So in class I shared a few things that are dear to me: I shared some of my greatest role models. Now--Christ is the ultimate role model that we should all have, but it’s ok to have worthy role models on Earth--AS LONG AS THEY EXEMPLIFY CHRISTLIKE ATTRIBUTES. (So many so-called role models are nothing but trashy rappers--but that's beside the point.) I shared with the class how my family is much closer because of the Gospel...and I showed the picture of my family on my scripture box. I told them that I consider myself a momma's boy--I still love my Dad to pieces--because of some of the very unique lessons she taught me. I told them how I love my brother for the example he is to me of kindness, and his example of reaching out to others. My sister is a supreme example of enduring in the faith in times of extreme trial. Oh, I apologize for not writing my siblings for a while—it’s not that I do not love them! But in fact I do love them so much, and appreciate the examples they set for me--even when I was a pill. Let us all reflect the Light of Christ by the faith we have and, through that faith, by the way we live our lives and how we continually strive to improve. Let us BE, as they told us in General Conference, Christ-like people, not just DO Christ-like things. But, I see "doing" as leading up to "being" something. You have to do before you can be. Make sense?
More on examples: Pres. Monson has said that "the power to lead is the power to mislead, and the power to mislead is the power to destroy". We all inevitably influence people, let us make sure that we influence for good! That is so vitally important. It is a privilege to be a part of bringing someone closer to Christ, or to lift someone up from trial. Isn't that great?! What an opportunity! I know that Brendin, Nate and I tried being good people, and setting good examples for younger people. I remember looking up to people like Matt Harris, who has long since moved away, but I remember him being a great example of treating all well, and lifting others. So I try to do the same. I read the scripture D&C 84:106 (?) this morning and it really hit home to me about how someone strong can lift someone weak. Lifting others is sure a special opportunity.
They spent their lunch break one day building Goliath.
Well, transfer calls are this week, and by this time next week I will know my fate. Elder Morris and I expect to part ways, after 4+ months. It will be a shame, it’s been great serving together. I expect to stay in International Falls, but I guess the phrase goes "you never know". I have no idea who would be coming in to serve with me. When I asked President Paulson during Zone Conference, he said he had no idea either. We will see!
Let us all reflect the light of Christ this week, especially with Easter coming up. And what is it that I say all the time? The best part of the Gospel is that it’s all true!