Tuesday, May 26, 2015

56 - From Concern to Comfort

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day! It impresses my how different this Memorial Day was compared to last year. Reflecting back, I remember last Memorial Day being an emotional roller coaster, as well as a pivotal point in my mission. 

This year it seemed to be strikingly inverse. I stood with confidence while tracting, unlike last year. I was the one comforting as apposed to the one being comforted. 

It is striking the difference this year has made on my character and my ability to be a missionary. I always had the capability, but now I have had experience under my belt and have become more of what my Heavenly Father wants me to be.

So the weather! 

Has been absolutely wonderful!

So wonderful that you see kids at dinner playing in the mud, cuz that's just what you do in the summer time!

Nice and mud caked. It's the best.

And with the great weather came a great Luau!

This Luau has been being planned for quite some time. 

This is the third time I think that the wards have put this on. 

It was absolutely a blast!

Serving food is a great way to put your card into the hand of the people! 

I would say "If you're a member, give it to someone who's not!" 

They don't call it a passalong card for nothing!

It was a super fun night!

And SOOO many People!

In the beginning of the week, we drove all the way to Bismarck, about four hours away, for a zone conference. 

It was long but good, and hey! 

It was in Bismarck! 

And I got to stay in my apartment again!


But it will be the last time because Elders will be living in this apartment now. 


But I made some contributions to this apartment!

And the mission home is in Bismarck now which is weird.

And guess what?

We got to go to the temple! 

It was awesome! 

This is my third time on my mission, but Sister Barrett's first time!

Dan -- DUDE!
Darn, so little time. Now, a story.

So remember dude? Well, I have a story about him.

One awesome Sunday he got up in fast and testimony meeting and bore his testimony. While he was up there he said that this was the first time that he was every baring his testimony. He said that he's done a lot of bad stuff. He's screwed up a lot. And he didn't believe in God that much. But one day he came home and he sat on the couch and the T.V. was going, commercials playing, and he got annoyed with all the noise that is in this world, and he turned it off and just sat there in the silence. And then, as clear as day, a feeling came over him, and he wanted to cry. God spoke to him right then. He now knew that God was real, and that he loved him. Just in that moment of silence.

We were teaching him a lesson later and this concern came out.

"Remember when I bore my testimony on Sunday and I felt that God loved me? Well, I was a little high on weed. So I don't understand, if it brought clarity to me, why is weed, just in moderation, a bad thing?"

And I was prompted of a story.

"Dan, I'm going to tell you a story about some people in the Book of Mormon."

"And now behold, I have somewhat to say concerning the people of Ammon, who, in the beginning, were Lamanites; but by Ammon and his brethren, or rather by the power and word of God, they had been converted unto the Lord; and they had been brought down into the land of Zarahemla, and had ever since been protected by the Nephites.

"And because of their oath they had been kept from taking up arms against their brethren; for they had taken an oath that they never would shed blood more; and according to their oath they would have perished; yea, they would have suffered themselves to have fallen into the hands of their brethren, had it not been for the pity and the exceeding love which Ammon and his brethren had had for them.

"And for this cause they were brought down into the land of Zarahemla; and they ever had been protected by the Nephites.

"But it came to pass that when they saw the danger, and the many afflictions and tribulations which the Nephites bore for them, they were moved with compassion and were desirous to take up arms in the defence of their country.

"But behold, as they were about to take their weapons of war, they were overpowered by the persuasions of Helaman and his brethren, for they were about to break the oath which they had made.

"And Helaman feared lest by so doing they should lose their souls; therefore all those who had entered into this covenant were compelled to behold their brethren wade through their afflictions, in their dangerous circumstances at this time," (Alma 53:10-15)

These people, they wanted to go to go and fight for the people who took them in. They were moved with compassion. They had the right motives, and other people were fighting, right? But it was a covenant that they personally had made with the Lord. And they knew that if they broke it, they would likely be pulled back down, because it was a weakness. So then, what is the right thing to do? 

They knew the right thing was to keep their covenant that they made with God. And God made it possible for them to prosper AND for them to keep their personal covenant, and you can read on about how that happened. And it was hard, but it was possible. It may be hard for you to feel the spirit sometimes without having that little high. But is it worth going against the word of the prophets? You need to decide what your personal covenant is.

"That made a lot of sense," he said, contemplating. "Thank you."

I felt the spirit working through me SO strong in that lesson.

Unfortunately the elders teach Dude now because he's in third ward. He's a little concerned about having Elders, but I'm sure they will do a great job. Dude is well on his way to cleaning himself up. He comes to church faithfully and the desire is so present! So cool.

Well darn it, I'm out of time and I had more to say, another story. ...We only have an hour instead of the usual two hours while it's summertime. It's lame. But oh well. Till next week!

P.S. We are going to have a baptism on Saturday! She is so ready! So you'll be getting pictures of that next week!

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