Well, another week is gone. The last phone call has passed. So little time remains, 'til I'll be home at last.
Ok, so maybe not at last... but it was a good rhyme.
Well, we had the first snow fall today. Nothing big enough to really stikck to the ground but a couple of flakes. The problem is more in the ice on the dirt roads and the frozen mud. Once the snow really hits and starts to melt and freeze, we'll be putting on our ice walkers. I loved seeing all your faces yesterday!!! I was a little bummed about the lack of a good amount of time, but that's life and things move on.
We've seen a hard week. After meeting a whole bunch of people and two new families, we had a record low of attendence in my time here. Nine in total, four being leadership from Rio Grande and two being us. Not the ideal, especially since not a single one of the investigators or future investigators showed up. Despite best efforts, not a big turn out. But we've got another week to really try and stress the importance of the sacrament and church meetings. Something that I recently wrote to Joseph is still on my mind. And it also happened to be the topic I was asked to speak on yesterday, since almost no one showed up.
The topic was really the blessings that I have seen in my life from living the Gospel and the effect it had on my and my siblings. I sorta morphed it a little bit, because I came up with two of the most important things and focused on those. Daily family scripture study and daily family prayer.
We all have memories of the successful and not so successful moments of daily scripture study, and I'm sure Mom and Dad remember more than I or any of the rest of us kids do about those. But I do remember and will value forever the consistancy and lessons learned from those moments. I will also always remember the love felt in those moments. We had our rushed days when we would just read to read, and we had our time days when Dad and Mom would ask us understanding questions and would understand our questions respond to them. I also remember when learning to read the love and patience that all had with my halting language. I also still remember and will never forget that once when it was my turn I misread the word bond for blonde, making the phrase "both blonde and free, both male and female," or something like that. That phrase is said a lot in the Book of Mormon, and every time I come to that point I smile and remember the laughs we had at that! :)
With our family prayers, I shared with the congregation about the twenty to thirty minute prayers that we had and with a mix of tears and chuckles told them of the love I felt and the Spirit that was present. It's something that Dad about a month and a half ago commented to me about as well. Dad, if you ever thought those moments were irreverent, I cherish those moments as some of the closest moments we had as a family. The joy I still feel at the memory is filling. I also shared an experience in which I learned from Mom and Dad, from the two of you, the importance of prayer and the love and blessings that it can provide for your children.
I remember once I had some dort of question and I was coming to you later on in the evening and still being younger I just opened the door without knocking. I saw you two kneeling side by side at your bed in prayer. I closed the door most of the way, but remained standing there and listened as you prayed for each of us in turn and I felt your love for me. I still don't remember what it was that I needed in that moment, but I have a memory of receiving something better; the testimony of love from my parents and the knowledge that they lifted their voices to God for me. The Book of Mormon testifies that children are blessed by the righteous prayers of their parents, as shown by the story of Alma the prophet and his errant son Alma.
I shared those experiences and a few scriptures and ended with a testimony of the importance of the sacrament, which I want to emphasize here a little more. As Elder Oaks taught us several years ago (don't remember how many) the sacrament is the most important part of any of our meetings. It is the time in which we have to renew our baptismal covenants with God, and a time to receive a new forgiveness for our sins. It is in the moments of the sacrament that we can perhaps feel the Spirit the strongest outside of the Temple, as we contemplate the atoning gift of our Saviour and partake of the emblems of His flesh and blood. We take into ourselves, figuratively and spiritually, His flesh and blood, symbolizing a becoming one with Him. The promises of the sacrament I still remember from a Family Home Evening when we lived in Hudsen as AKT-always remember Him, keep His commandments, and take upon us His name. We are promised in turn His Spirit, that Holy Guide and Comforter, as a constant companion, as in the words of the prayer, "that they may always have his spirit to be with them" (Moroni 4:3, italics added for emphasis).
When we do each of these things with diligence and consistency (as in constant, not as in the cooking term for how liquidy it is, not sure of the spelling), we are promised the Blessings of God. "And when we obtain any blessing from God it is by obedience..." for, "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." When we obey God's commandments to study the scriptures, pray, and renew our covenants, we will receive the blessings held in store for us. I know it.
I love you all and will talk to you again next week!