Alright, so remember when I was talking about the endless rain that was going on here in Ascoli . . . ? Well that has now come around to bite us because the sun is out, the heat is on, and the humidity is fierce. But still we persevere.
It was a better week. Nothing major but I found joy in a lot of small things. When trials come our way knock us over, I have learned (specifically during my mission) it’s a lot better when we choose to get back up and push twice as hard back.
We had the chance to see Jackie again this week and we even met her partner John. He is a really cool guy, I hope we get the chance to know him better in the future. They were hosting a small little barbecue so Anziano Anderson and I relished in the opportunity to go up into the mountains and eat grilled meat. It was a good visit and Jackie is making great steps in her faith, and it’s all because she has been reading and praying regularly!! Then later on in the week we saw Angelina. She is doing okay, but unfortunately has not been reading and therefore is not growing in her faith and is having doubts. We focused completely on the reading of the Book of Mormon and how it is central to gaining any kind of surety that we are teaching is true. I think it is comically difficult to convince people to read the Book of Mormon.
Everything we teach and represent is based on that book! But I understand the complication of simultaneously being curious of truth yet not having a desire to change, I was that way for a long time, so I can’t blame them, all we can ever do is invite people to expand their horizons and accept the opportunity for growth to take place in their lives. We saw Randy as well. We were planning to also see his wife Rose with him, but she was out doing stuff. It was actually one of the coolest lessons I’ve ever experienced. We focused on two major things which is actually what I wanted to talk about this week.
There are two fundamental principles that I realized are foundational to anyone ever gaining a testimony of the truthfulness of our message:
- Believing that while God is the creator of all things, He specifically and intimately knows YOU. I don’t think there is a greater ignorance that exists in the world today than this. People, God is our father! I don’t know why but for some reason I feel like the legitimacy of this is lost when we use the word “father” so I’m going to say dad. God is literally our dad. Maybe that helps with understanding the true nature of our relationship with Him. Why does this matter? Well some of us have awesome dads, I know I personally look up to my dad a ton. And some of us don’t have a dad or our dads aren’t who we want them to be. The incredible and vital fact to remember is that He – God, our Heavenly Dad – fills any gaps we long for in our present our absent earthly fathers.
- There is such a thing as authority. In every society on this earth, whether it be among the great nations or the small villages that are completely isolated, there is some form of authority that exists. It is unavoidable. Now, if something so foundational exists among all people, no matter what their origin, is it unreasonable to say that authority is an eternal principle? And if it be an eternal principle, it must come from an eternal source. And if that source be good, than it is of God. So God has an established authority through which he works in all things. Through this we receive of His laws and His blessings. Because we must not forget that while laws govern, they also bless. It is inevitable. Why does this matter? Because just as a functional society runs off of laws and authority, so does our Heavenly Father interact with us through laws and authority. If we want the blessing of the intimate relationship with him as mentioned above, we must go through the proper channels of authority to receive it.
I love you all so much! Hope you have great weeks.