Well, tomorrow, I will finish 11 months since entering the mission field. This is weird. Time has flown by and I have the promise from many people that it will only keep going faster. I'm slightly annoyed by that, but I can get over it I guess.
Something that I want to share with you is that we were able to take an investigator on Thursday to the Temple open house. It was amazing. The Temple is divine, and as the building says, it represents and is "Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord." We've met with several people who have gone and they describe their feelings in many different ways. Beautiful, marvelous, divine, peaceful, forgiveness, love, tranquility, etc. The words just kept coming. The architecture is stunning, but the Spirit that one feels. even in the gardens on the grounds, is something special. Once I get the chance, I'll send some of the pictures that I took.
In my personal studies this morning, I was reading in the 6th chapter of John and had a "duh/ooohhhhhh/Way-to-go-Idaho" moment. I made a connection that I have been taught for years, that never sunk in. After Christ feeds 5,000 (which counts only the men in the crowd) He and His disciples sail to the other side of the Sea of Galilea. When the crowd wakes up in the morning, they follow Him and find Him in Capernaum (my spelling may be very spanish, because I don't remember how to spell these names in English). He then goes on to teach a doctrine about the difference between worldy bread and Mana, which feed the natural body, but do not give life, and the Bread of Life. Fir the first time I really began to understand why it is that we eat bread and drink water when we partake of the Sacrament. Christ teaches in this chapter that He is the Bread of Life, and that he who goes to Him will never hunger nor thirst. Then he gives a commandment that up to now has not been taught, as far as I understand it, in the Hebrew/Jewish culture. In verse 53 is says (quoting from the spanish) "If ye eat not of the flesh of the Son of Man nor drink His blood, ye have not life in you." He goes on to promise that " he that eats of my flesh and drinks of my blood has eternal life..." The Joseph Smith translation shed further light by continuing the phrase in this manner "...and I will raise him up in the resurrection of the just in the last day." From this I finally understood that the Sacrament is just as important as baptism. Indeed, baptism is required to enter into the way, but it is the renewal of our covenants by partaking of the bread and water each week (which represtent His flesh and blood) that we remain pure and can be raised up in the last day. This doctrine was so disturbing for some that most of His followers "turned back and walked not with him." But for those of us who understand, this can be and is the greatest gift that we can receive, the possibility to have eternal life (Doctrine and Covenants 14:7).
If I had more time, I'd continue to share more, but I have run out for the day. I love you all!!! Stand firm in the faith. I pray for you always!
Elder Matthew H. Dewsnup
Misión Buenos Aires Norte
Gral. Lavalle 1828
1646 San Fernando
Buenos Aires, Argentina