Monday, December 17, 2012

Departure Dates Extended...

So, have you been made aware that all missionaries return dates have been extended by 15 days?  Because of changes in the missionary department, none of us will come home at our previous schedule.  I should now be back in the middle of November.

I heard about that recent tragedy, it's unfortunate but we must remember that God is never the cause of these great acts of wickedness, he simply permits them.  Elder Maxwell said it best, "the only way to take away the harmful effects of agency would be to take away agency, so yea bad things are going to happen."
We learn in Moses 7:28-33, that the Lord weeps over such acts of violence and wickedness, he truly weeps over the unrighteous use of agency.

To answer that question: no one is born evil, that would be against the laws of Heaven which God must abide.  He will never and can never tempt anyone to do evil, we learn that in James 1:13-15.  Those that rebelled in the pre-existence were simply giving in to their own enticings.  Satan being more intelligent than other spirits (each of us differ in abilities of the spirit and in the gifts of faith) let his own pride overcome him and he sought to take the glory from the Father and inevitably disrupt the order of Heaven, which cannot be done.  For such he was cast down.  Each of us will progress spiritually at different rates, and the pre-existence plays a large part in that. 

"Men are not born equal.  They enter this life with the talents and capacities developed in pre-existence.  Abraham saw in vision the spirit hosts of men before they were born, 'and among all these were many of the noble and great ones.'  It was of that select and talented group that the Lord said: 'These I will make my rulers.'  And to Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, one of the greatest of the Lord's earthly rulers, the comforting word came: 'Thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born' (Abraham 3:22-23).  Alma tells us that those who are faithful high priests in this life were in fact 'called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God on account of their exceeding faith and good works' while they yet dwelt in his presence (Alma 13:3).  To Jeremiah the Lord said: 'Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations'" (Jeremiah 1:5).

It has been said "I believe that a man's condition here is largely the result of his pre-existence, a subject which has been commented upon a little this morning.  A person's future will depend largely upon his life here.  Today's condition is largely the result of yesterday's actions, and tomorrow will be largely affected by today."                      - Samuel O. Bennion

So in short, the capacity to do evil or to do good is not forced on anyone.  But we are all born into different states of spirituality, although all have the light of Christ.  I hope I'm making sense?  Who knows what pernicious acts were performed by those that commit such atrocities, just be thankful you are elect and fared favorably in your first estate.

Well the highlight of my week came as a result of the whole DL thing, ha.  I had to perform a baptismal interview in Sofokrom, and while there I was treated like a king!  I was showered with fresh coconuts and papaya, which I must admit was a little excessive, but granted the hospitality displayed was endearing, ha ha.  I don't know how they could tell I had a soft spot for fresh fruit, ha ha.

You see, when it comes to food, our diet is very limited.  You can only eat rice every day for so long without growing tired of it.  These cravings simply stem from a desire to vary our dietary intake, ha.

I'm looking forward to next week though!  A lot of plans, and a lot of excitement are in store.  We'll be doing a service project, helping to renovate a school for the deaf, and of course we'll be having the Christmas devotional which the whole mission will be present at.  So, I'm excited!

As far as progressing investigators go, we don't really have any to speak of.  But our recent converts are doing well and I'm happy for that.  I'm content with what we've accomplished.  But, I'll be lacking in regards to spiritual stories and experiences unfortunately.  However, no condition is permanent, right? ha

Well, maybe next week will produce a more extensive conversation.  Until then, take care!  

Call you about 2 pm on Christmas day, mom!!  

Gotta go!  Bye!

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