Monday, February 27, 2017

Email from February 13, 2017

Man I feel like I haven't written an email for a long time! Haha.
So this week was a week full of trials and moments of joy. It goes to show that even though you have trials in life you can still find joy, you just have to focus on the joyful moments.

Scripture learnings.
The past couple of weeks I have been studying the Old Testament like crazy. I have read the books: Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus.
So I have read over 100 chapters in a couple weeks in the Old Testament.
I haven't honestly really gotten too much out of it. I have learned a lot but my spiritual strength has not grown. I had been feeling weary when I was focusing on the Old Testament.
So on Tuesday and Wednesday I spent all of my studies reading the Book of Mormon. I felt so good on Tuesday when and after I had my studies in the Book of Mormon. Same story on Wednesday. I wrote in my "small plates" (revelation, inspiration) journal, "Light has filled my soul! The Book of Mormon teaches all men that they can be cleansed from their sins and that Jesus is the Christ. That we need to do our very best and we will be ok. I have learned more in 2 days from reading about 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon than I have from reading over 100 chapters for a couple weeks in the Old Testament. I have, also, had so much more spiritual nourishment from reading the Book of Mormon than the Old Testament."
When I read the Book of Mormon I learn so much. Infinite and wonderful are the this to be learned from the Book of Mormon.
I said I have been in the midst of trials. Jacob 2:8 says, "And it suppose that me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which health the wounded soul." I bear you my honest testimony that the Book of Mormon is the pleasing word of God which heals wounded souls. That is what it did to me in the midst of this trial. I have read the Book of Mormon a lot and I have found such strength and comfort in it. (Jacob 3:1-2)
The Book of Mormon always can be applied to you and the situation you are having in your life. For example I am weak and I often wonder how I'm going to keep going. So I read Jacob 1:17-18. So what I got from this is, "you have obtained your errand from the Lord Elder Segon (verse 17). So magnify your office unto the Lord, be diligent, and labor with your might (verse 19). Also while reading in Jacob 2 this stuck out to be from verse 10, "But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task. I must do according to the strict commandments of God." So this thing I face is hard but I just got to square my shoulders and tackle it.

Scriptures and Eye Witness.
So we went and helped this family who was going through a divorce move. The mom and the daughters were so kind and nice and great and amazing. I loved them so much. Charity is real. The father of the kids and husband of the wife however, wasn't nice or kind or anything to be frank. I wasn't happy with him. Agh. Anyways you get the point.... he was just ... mean. And I was so distraught all day thinking about that man and how he treated his kids and soon to be x wife. How could someone treat their family like that? Their own kids, and the person they have been married to for a long time?
So literally that night I read Jacob 2, which is Jacob telling the nephite men that they need to repent because they have been bad husbands and fathers. Verse 31-33 really show that the women are daughters of our King. And He loves them so much and He hears their cries and listens to their sorrows. Verse 35, "Behold he have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because the  of the strictness of the word of God, which comets down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds." This really shows the importance of husband and fatherhood to me. "Ye have done g
reater iniquities than the lamanites. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives and lost the confidence of your children."
I just want to be the best husband and father in the world after experiencing what I had and reading those scriptures. The role a father has in a family is so important. I just want to be the absolute best I possibly can be, which isn't that great so sorry future family;). But seriously. I'm going to treat my wife so well. She will have my heart. I will carry her heart with like bubble wrap wrapped around it a thousand times so I will never break it. Haha;). Seriously though. I'm going to love my children and nurture them. I want my family to be able to say they have the best husband or father just like I can. My dad is the best. I love him so much. He is a perfect example and he is seriously a hero in my eyes. Love you dad!

Cool experience.
So Elder Cowan received an impression to call this member that we have never met. So he called and set an appointment with the man. We went to the appointment and met him. We found out he hasn't attended church for a long time and hasn't had contact with the church for over 20 years because of an incident that happened. He was super mad at God and said God doesn't exist and if He did that the man had a few words to say to Him. We asked some inspired questions and now Elder Cowan and I know he still does believe in God deep down and does have a testimony of everything. So after a few gentle, unpushy questions to understand, we just talked to him and asked him if he likes board games and such. This touched me so deeply, let me explain.
1. I have been praying that the hearts of the people here would be softened and prepared to repent. And look what happened. Someone let us stop by that hasn't let any contact with the church happen in a long time.
2. Listen to small little promptings. If elder Cowan didn't listen we would have never met this man and gotten the opportunity to be his first contact with the church in such a long time.
3. Heavenly Father trusts us. I am so inadequate for this work. I don't do anything nearly as well as I should. But the lord used me as a tool to reach out to this man who has not wanted anything to do with God or church for a long time. How can it be that He would trust me, elder segon, to be the first contact the man has had in such a long time? I don't know. I don't understand. Maybe it's because my mood is light. A lot of missionaries are super serious and stiff but I'm a little loosy goosy. I don't quite know if that's a good thing but I like to keep the mood happy and fun. Maybe that's why. Maybe this man needs a friend not a preacher.
Honestly it makes me emotional thinking that the Lord allowed me to take that opportunity. The one visit this man has had in over 20 years with the church, seeing if he should even think about god again, and the Lord allowed me, elder segon, a weak, inadequate, speechless, young, kid to reach out to this man with love. I just don't understand but I am shocked, amazed, taken aback, touched, moved, and honored at the trust the Lord has for me.
Experiences like these get me through the hard times. These are the joyous moments found in the midst of a trial that can illuminate the way until you reach the next illuminating experience. God loves us all. I seriously know that. I know it with all.... all of my heart and mind. If you don't have this knowledge read the Book of Mormon, look at the experiences in your life and see His hand so clear. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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