So this week got real my fellow loving followers.... I got my flight info to be coming home... I can’t believe that my time is coming to an end... it’s sad and I have mixed emotions, but it’s all good. I won’t miss the heat that’s for sure! It’s sooo brutal right now it’s not even funny. The humidity is horrible and you just sweat all the time.. even at night with a fan sometimes it just blows hot air so you just sit there and wake up in the morning and there is like your body mark on the sheets from sweat! hahaha So yea it’s kinda bad but there could be a lot of worse things that’s for sure! What else happened this week?
So this week we started working on papers for two different couples to get married and baptize. So that is a lot of fun to say the least! NOT! The places where you have to get all the papers and stuff are so unorganized and all. I really don’t know how places here function at times, it’s really bad to say the least... they just don’t have all the info and then when they do they try and charge us more for obvious reasons. So yea, right now we are getting all the papers done to get these couples married so they can be baptized. They are super excited!
The one couple is familia V. and they are amazing. I believe I told you about them last week. Lhey are chosen from God and are working just so hard to align their lives with the teachings from the Lord. We are so proud of them. There are five in their familia that are going to be baptized, they are just he MOST HUMBLE familia... they are amazing. Like many here their living conditions are something to be said and they are just trying to do everything exactly like we tell them.
So a little story about them that is amazing! So last Sunday we promised this guy if he kept the commandments regarding keeping the Sabbath Day the Lord would bless him like never before. So this guy sells donuts on the streets every day to make a little money for the food and to pay basic bills. He sells about 400 donuts every day and so we promised him if he went to church that he would sell so much more. So we told him to make 600 donuts because he would sell all of them. So Monday guess what? The Lord blessed him and he sold 650 donuts.... he was so happy I can’t even tell you.
Look at what the Lord can do when we are willing to do his will.. we can all learn from this brothers and sisters, I promise you when you do what the Lord wants he will bless us so much. Don’t question it, just DO IT.
So the other familia is familia H. They are amazing too. The wife has 3 years going to church and she has never been able to get baptized because her husband has NEVER wanted to get married. Just so you know you have to be married before you are baptized; you can’t just be living together. I have been building a relationship with this man the entire time here and he has opened up to me and we have a great relationship. He finally made the choice to get married, 30 years later with being with her and she can get baptized. When he said that he was going to marry her, she left the room and was crying so much. The whole familia was there and the daughter said a prayer after that was one of the most powerful prayers that I have heard on my mission. The daughter was so thankful for all that we have done and said that the Lord has answered her prayers. I promised the daughter and the mother that if they fasted and prayed hard every Sunday that the Lord would bless them and that I promised them that before I left here she would be able to get married and baptized and it’s going to happen at the end of this month, I have NEVER seen someone so happy in my life when she heard that she could be married... it was by far one of the highlights of my mission.
We also did some service this week and were building a house out of rock and adobe which that was pretty cool to learn how to do that and help the familia V. out. That is where we did the service project as a district. It was a good time! We wrestled the husband and were just having a great old time like big boys do and it was a lot of fun and they were super thankful for all that we did to help them . So it was a good time to say the least!
We went to the AF base this past Monday and I got to meet some guys from the Academy that were pilots and passing through, it was a great time! They are C17 pilots and we ate with them and it was good to talk about the good ol promise land and all that good stuff. It was a lot of fun and all! The food at the base was soo good but only one thing hahaha i got so sick after. I think my stomach was in SHOCK from American food hahaha oh grrreeeeeeeeatttt hope that doesn’t give me hints of what it will be like when I get back hahaha but it was soo good!!!!!!!!!!!!
ENJOY THIS TALK.
Free Forever, to Act for Themselves
It is God’s will that we be free men and women enabled to rise to our full potential both temporally and spiritually.
Shakespeare does not attempt to resolve this debate in the play, and in one form or another it is a debate that continues down to our own time—who bears responsibility for what happens in our lives?
When things turn bad, there is a tendency to blame others or even God. Sometimes a sense of entitlement arises, and individuals or groups try to shift responsibility for their welfare to other people or to governments. In spiritual matters some suppose that men and women need not strive for personal righteousness—because God loves and saves us “just as we are.”
But God intends that His children should act according to the moral agency He has given them, “that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.”Jesus Christ,—the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves.” It is His plan and His will that we have the principal decision-making role in our own life’s drama. God will not live our lives for us nor control us as if we were His puppets, as Lucifer once proposed to do. Nor will His prophets accept the role of “puppet master” in God’s place. Brigham Young stated: “I do not wish any Latter Day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord
So God does not save us “just as we are,” first, because “just as we are” we are unclean, and “no unclean thing can dwell … in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man [of Holiness].” And second, God will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become. Truly He loves us, and because He loves us, He neither compels nor abandons us. Rather He helps and guides us. Indeed, the real manifestation of God’s love is His commandments.
We should (and we do) rejoice in the God-ordained plan that permits us to make choices to act for ourselves and experience the consequences, or as the scriptures express it, to “taste the bitter, that [we] may know to prize the good.” We are forever grateful that the Savior’s Atonement overcame original sin so that we can be born into this world yet not be punished for Adam’s transgression. Having been thus redeemed from the Fall, we begin life innocent before God and “become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for [ourselves] and not to be acted upon.” We can choose to become the kind of person that we will, and with God’s help, that can be even as He is.
The gospel of Jesus Christ opens the path to what we may become. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His grace, our failures to live the celestial law perfectly and consistently in mortality can be erased and we are enabled to develop a Christlike character. Justice demands, however, that none of this happen without our willing agreement and participation. It has ever been so. Our very presence on earth as physical beings is the consequence of a choice each of us made to participate in our Father’s plan. Thus, salvation is certainly not the result of divine whim, but neither does it happen by divine will alone.
Justice is an essential attribute of God. We can have faith in God because He is perfectly trustworthy. The scriptures teach us that “God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round” and that “God is no respecter of persons.” We rely on the divine quality of justice for faith, confidence, and hope.
But as a consequence of being perfectly just, there are some things God cannot do. He cannot be arbitrary in saving some and banishing others. He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” He cannot allow mercy to rob justice.
It is compelling evidence of His justice that God has forged the companion principle of mercy. It is because He is just that He devised the means for mercy to play its indispensable role in our eternal destiny. So now, “justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own.”
We know that it is “the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom [the Father] wast well pleased; … the blood of [His] Son which was shed” that satisfies the demands of justice, extends mercy, and redeems us. Even so, “ the plan of redemption could not be brought about, ” It is the requirement of and the opportunity for repentance that permits mercy to perform its labor without trampling justice.
Christ died not to save indiscriminately but to offer repentance. We rely “wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save” in the process of repentance, but acting to repent is a self-willed change. So by making repentance a condition for receiving the gift of grace, God enables us to retain responsibility for ourselves. Repentance respects and sustains our moral agency: “And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.”
Misunderstanding God’s justice and mercy is one thing; denying God’s existence or supremacy is another, but either will result in our achieving less—sometimes far less—than our full, divine potential. A God who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist. A world without God, the living God who establishes moral laws to govern and perfect His children, is also a world without ultimate truth or justice. It is a world where moral relativism reigns supreme.
Relativism means each person is his or her own highest authority. Of course, it is not just those who deny God that subscribe to this philosophy. Some who believe in God still believe that they themselves, individually, decide what is right and wrong. One young adult expressed it this way: “I don’t think I could say that Hinduism is wrong or Catholicism is wrong or being Episcopalian is wrong—I think it just depends on what you believe. … I don’t think that there’s a right and wrong.” Another, asked about the basis for his religious beliefs, replied, “Myself—it really comes down to that. I mean, how could there be authority to what you believe?”
To those who believe anything or everything could be true, the declaration of objective, fixed, and universal truth feels like coercion—“I shouldn’t be forced to believe something is true that I don’t like.” But that does not change reality. Resenting the law of gravity won’t keep a person from falling if he steps off a cliff. The same is true for eternal law and justice. Freedom comes not from resisting it but from applying it. That is fundamental to God’s own power. If it were not for the reality of fixed and immutable truths, the gift of agency would be meaningless since we would never be able to foresee and intend the consequences of our actions. As Lehi expressed it: “If ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”
In matters both temporal and spiritual, the opportunity to assume personal responsibility is a God-given gift without which we cannot realize our full potential as daughters and sons of God. Personal accountability becomes both a right and a duty that we must constantly defend; it has been under assault since before the Creation. We must defend accountability against persons and programs that would (sometimes with the best of intentions) make us dependent. And we must defend it against our own inclinations to avoid the work that is required to cultivate talents, abilities, and Christlike character.
It is God’s will that we be free men and women enabled to rise to our full potential both temporally and spiritually, that we be free from the humiliating limitations of poverty and the bondage of sin, that we enjoy self-respect and independence, that we be prepared in all things to join Him in His celestial kingdom.
I am under no illusion that this can be achieved by our own efforts alone without His very substantial and constant help. “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” And we do not need to achieve some minimum level of capacity or goodness before God will help—divine aid can be ours every hour of every day, no matter where we are in the path of obedience. But I know that beyond desiring His help, we must exert ourselves, repent, and choose God for Him to be able to act in our lives consistent with justice and moral agency. My plea is simply to take responsibility and go to work so that there is something for God to help us with.
I bear witness that God the Father lives, that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Redeemer, and that the Holy Spirit is present with us. Their desire to help us is undoubted, and Their capacity to do so is infinite. Let us “awake, and arise from the dust, … that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto [us] may be fulfilled.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
LOVE YOU GUYS!! THINKING OF YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!
HAVE A GREAT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Con mucho amor,
Don’t worry that bullet hole was there before we got in the taxi hahahaha all good, just another story!!!!!!!