Hard at work
The Ontario Title of Liberty
Don't make fun of Canadian winters. I did, and it’s -23C. (about -9*F) Enough said.
Yes it has snowed and is cold. To answer your question Dad, I drive a Chevrolet Colorado and yes it has 4-wheel drive and we have had to use that a few times. We are taking a trip into Winnipeg this week so we will be especially watchful on the roads.
This past week at district meeting we all got together and made our own unique Ontario Title of Liberty. Looks so good! Like I think I had mentioned last week, Elder Perkins and I went to a member’s place and he has got some beautiful land and we saw a big 8-point buck, got a beautiful view of the Winnipeg River and cut down a big tree and even got a Christmas tree out of the whole ordeal. So fun! I saw the whole process of the tree standing to becoming our Title of Liberty within hours! On the Title of Liberty we put a goal for investigators at Sacrament Meeting, 10 for the district (pretty ambitious), and put our big Ontario District logo and what we were willing to sacrifice to achieve our goal, with our signatures right next to it. I will send a picture. I think it inspired everyone and Elder Perkins and I certainly had Sacrament Meeting on our minds all week and as a district we had 5 people to church, which is great, but we all see room for improvement. We should be able to get more people here in Kenora next week, but Derold was able to come, which was really good. He came halfway into Sacrament Meeting and stayed the rest of church. Phew. Big sigh of relief! Back to the Title of Liberty---I knew that making our Title of Liberty out of wood would make our district unique, because I knew that the other districts would do theirs on something boring. So we cut down a tree and made ours on a log, and the other districts made theirs out of: a white shirt, a pillowcase and a bed-sheet. Ya. Now I know that what it stands for and what is written on it is far more important than what it is made out of, but I felt really good with what was on ours and what went onto it and, of course, what it was made out of.
I had an interesting experience with teaching an investigator and knowing that I was not talking to the investigator, but that the Adversary was there. Creepy. We said many prayers after that lesson and had to cast the spirit out after we had already left. I was on exchanges, and that elder and I were really spiritually drained after that lesson. That, compound with the normal emotions of missionary work made for a long day, but experiences like that make me appreciate "normal" days more, let me tell you.
But now that I told you that, I will tell you about the good studies I had this morning. In fact, I have a goal this month that I begin studies 20 minutes early every morning. So far so good. The only day I missed was Sunday, which is near impossible anyway with everything that goes into church. So I have had more time to balance studying for investigators and also for myself. I finished the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi and I feel like I am understanding much more from them, yet that I am not yet getting some of the deeper, spiritual meaning yet, but one step at a time, right? I would study with the Book of Mormon and the Bible, reading from them both and looking at footnotes, especially the footnotes in the Bible, and would also use the Bible Dictionary a lot. It helps! So this morning I read 2 Nephi 25 and the entire Book seemed to jump out at me. Here are some of my insights: In the beginning of 2 Nephi chapter 25, Nephi keeps saying he will prophesy, and he got me really anxious because he kept saying that and then talking about Isaiah for like 5 verses, but then his prophecy begins and the verses explode with doctrine and prophecy. Some notable scriptures that stuck out to me were verses: 13) "my heart doth magnify his holy name" This really shows the type of person that Nephi was, that all of his heart and desires are towards the Lord. 16)"persuaded to believe in Christ" Speaking of the Jews here, Nephi sees that the Jews will not be forced to believe in Christ, but that at some point in time they will be persuaded to believe in Christ and therefore accept the true Messiah. The principle of free agency is apparent here.19) "the prophets", who prophesied that the Messiah would come on a specific year, which happened to be 600 years after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. This was not Nephi or Lehi prophesying when the Savior would come, but other prophets! The Jews truly were bitterly hard-hearted to still reject Jesus the Christ when they, at some point in time, definitively knew of His coming, yet still denied Christ. Wow. 20)"none other name given under heaven..." the Book of Mormon and the Bible clearly testify of the same Jesus Christ and anyone who says otherwise clearly has not read the Book of Mormon with a sincere intent. The Book of Mormon and the Bible work together, simply put, and I have heard many different pretended arguments that try to "prove" they don't. A closer look still proves they do. But everything still comes down to a humble seeker of truth, and no amount of scientific knowledge or evidence will persuade someone. I have tried, and the Spirit still does all the conversion. Point is, the 2 books work together. 23)"labor diligently to persuade our children, and our brethren..." to come and believe in God and in Christ, and that it is only by the Savior's grace are we saved, after everything we can do to show true desire and true faith. We cannot save ourselves. Only Christ can save us, but it takes more than a one-time confession of faith to secure eternal life. 24) they kept the Law of Moses until Christ and knew that the Law would be fulfilled in Christ. They did not worship the Law as the Jews did at the time of Christ, but worshipped the Lord, knowing that He would come and fulfill the Law (and every aspect of the Law pointed towards that Great and Everlasting Sacrifice). 26) "talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, preach of Christ, and prophesy of Christ..." This scripture may be one of my favorite scriptures all time because it proves that everything points to Christ. The title "The Church of Jesus Christ" therefore is essential (3 Nephi 18 for more of that). 29) Verse 29 basically says worship God with everything we have and we will live with God again, no questions asked. So, those were the highlights of my studies this morning and to add even a little more, I am slowly reading through the Old Testament and am about to begin Leviticus 26. I have never read the Old Testament all the way through, and I am making a charge for it. I just learned about a lot of laws set forth about many things. After having read this, a lot of my reading in the New Testament and Book of Mormon seem to make a little more sense and I can pick out Old Testament....flavor. Flavor is not the right word, but I think you understand what I mean. See how I need the extra study time?
To answer another question, a man gave an elder in my district that OPP hat and so I snapped a few pictures with it. Looks good eh? He was part of the something like the Her Majesty’s Forces, so I got confused with the HMS thing, (which usually means Her Majesty’s Ship) the only hat is that OPP hat, and the man worked as a police officer for the OPP.
With things like those scriptures (a list relating to character traits of Christ), it costs me every time to print things off, and missionaries aren't made of money, so I really don't like printing things off, I strongly prefer having things sent off to me. Just send them to my address in Kenora please.
That's all folks. All I have for now. We are heading into Winnipeg for Zone Conference, and so I will get mail. So if someone has sent me something in the past 8 weeks, there is a good chance I haven't even seen it yet. Love you all and continue to keep me in your prayers,