Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A note from Noah's mom
We finally got pictures from Noah, so I can use them on this blog. Here, you see evidence of Noah and other Elders getting plenty to eat, despite anybody's 15 steps.

Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:18:31 PM
Subject: a letter

Hello everyone.

Elder Gunderson and I are setting goal to be more diligent. It's so easy to just not do anything productive while you wait for things to happen, and just not talk to anyone on the bus, and just not go finding when you have free time. I think it's also pretty easy to go to the terrestrial kingdom. I remember thinking in the MTC that maybe the difference between going to one of the two extreme kingdoms or the middle one is work vs. not work. Are we doing good things? Are we doing bad things? Are we doing nothing? I don't know. Just a thought I had. Ok, more than just a thought. There was also several sketches and graphs and pictograms. A well thought out 'just a thought'. But just a thought, none the less.

And so, of course, we are already seeing the fruits of our redoubled efforts. It seems too quick, but that's how God works. For some reason I've fallen into a trap of often thinking that no matter how hard I work, God will just wait and bless me later. I know that if I'm good I will inherit glory after this life. What constantly surprises me is the blessings I receive now from it.

I clled an investigator the other day who gave the phone to her friend (Giving us 1 refferal received and 1 referal contacted in one swell foop). Her friend wants to learn English and become a Christian. We met her at English class and told her about how we teach people four lessons and then, if they think it's true and can keep the commandments, they can be baptized. She asked if two months is enough time, because then she is moving. According to our mission president, three weeks is enough time, so we said yes. It was awesome.

I met a man from South Africa the other day. He was Christian and very proud of me as a missionary, until I mentioned 'Mormon' and what we actually believe. After talking to him for a while we said we had to go, but we could meet with him again. So we met with him again. He didn't come to listen. I went there with a determination to not get angry, but he was like a Pharisee, setting up traps for us. We are not as good at preaching as Christ was. He kept saying that works have nothing to do with salvation, he can "sleep with as many women as I want" and still be saved, that people just feel guilty if they don't do works, and that God doesn't love us any more for what we are doing. Oh boy. It was rough. In the end he wouldn't accept anything from us. Not the Book of Mormon (which he said could very probably be true), no pamphlets, not even our number. But it was still a good experience for me for two reasons. First, it helped me to understand that some people really don't care how much more clear and sensible our doctrine is, they won't listen to it. It also (still part of the first reason) helped me really think about our doctrine and what it really means and how sensible it is. The second reason is that in between meetings with him I was reading "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard and I felt I should offer it to him. At first I told myself that that was silly, we just need to give him a Book of Mormon, that is the most important thing. But after praying about it I decided to bring a copy along just in case (we have extra from old missionaries in our apartment). When he wouldn't accept anything from us I pulled it out and explained that it was written by a member (I didn't mention that he was a leader) and it was just to help people understand Mormons as a people better (as it says in the beginning of it). For some reason he accepted that and promised to read it. I don't know if he will, or if it will help him, but it was still a really cool experience for me. Maybe it will help him, maybe it will help someone he knows. I don't know. But I believe God wanted him to have it and it felt really good to follow that prompting.

I am trying to follow the '15 steps to eating healthy' written by Sister Bird in our district. It is based on the Church's 15 steps to quit smoking. She says it will help me to lose weight and be healthy. Some of it is stuff I don't want to do, like don't eat sweet things (soda, candy, cake) EVER. I think I can give up soda, but NEVER eating cake or ice cream or chocolate again is not something I want to do. It's not worth it. Just eat a tiny bit maybe, but complete abstinence is just silly to me. She says not even 70% chocolate. Hah.

Well, I love you all. I know the church is true. My mission is already more than 1/4 of the way over and that freaks me out.

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