This week was a fun week. We had a lot of training meetings though. We were super busy, but surprisingly we were able to use the time that we did have really effectively and get quite a bit done. We had an excellent week, and we were able to help out a lot of people.
On Thursday we had some people from the missionary department come and give us some training. Brother Lee Donaldson and Roger Web came to speak with us. That was really fun, but it was really long though (haha). It went from like nine in the morning to four. It was a really nice meeting, and helped me to focus a lot.
On Friday we had our specialized training. We have one of those every other transfer. It was nice.
On Saturday we got to do some service. We got to help out the post office with their service food drive, "Stamp Out Hunger," I think it was called. All the mail carrier trucks would go out and pick up the food from the mail boxes. They bring it back and we helped them sort everything out and unload all the cans and boxes. It was fun.
We were also able to Skype you guys. It was a nice highlight and nice Mother's Day.
We pretty much play basketball every P-day. I need to start taking pictures -- my bad (haha). I will make sure I get some pictures before I leave Anchorage. Exercise is nice.
We were able to start teaching this little nine year old girl. It's kind of fun. It's like being back in Primary. She is very nice and very quiet. She is very smart and it's fun to teach her. She is the niece to one of the members in the ward. We had a lot of people to Church on Sunday. It was really nice. Sunday was packed, because in the Samoan culture, Mother's Day apparently is a really big deal. I'm guessing that's why we had a ton of people. They also changed the bishopric a little bit. Not entirely, but a little bit. We had some people there for the first time, who had never been there before.
Studying... I've been reading the Book of Mormon. I have been going over that training because I recorded it. I've been listening to it over and over again. Oh!! I really liked D&C section 19, because that is the only first hand account of the atonement. There is a particular part in their that I like. In D&C section 19 verse 20 it says:
"Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit."
So when we feel that suffering, you know that punishment for sins or whatever, that only happens because he withdraws his spirit because the Spirit cannot be with us when we are being wicked. So he says, "in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit." I reference that to Mormon chapter 2 verse 13 where the people are crying out. Mormon gets happy for a sec because he thinks they are repenting, but they're really not. They are just miserable because of their wrong choices, because God is not going to always allow them to take happiness in sin. Since he withdrew the Spirit from the people because they were so wicked, they became really, really miserable. That's just what happens when you sin, it makes you miserable even if you don't realize it. And that's only because God withdraws his Spirit because he can't be there. It's not because he is punishing you or anything, it is just because he can't protect you anymore because you won't let him.
Brother Donaldson gave a little insight on verse 18. When the Savior, talking about the atonement, says:
"Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—"
Regarding the ending dash "—", he said, the Savior was either going to say more and didn't -- because it just ends -- or after eighteen hundred years it's still too painful to talk about. I thought that was kind of neat. The words on the page are from someone with feeling talking.
Anchorage is starting to get really pretty, so I will start to take more pictures. It's starting to get kind of green. The trees are starting to blossom.
I want to bear my testimony that I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know the Church is true. I am thankful to be a missionary. It's helping me out a lot, especially with my focus (haha). Although I'm still not very focused because I'm still really tired. But it's really nice, and I enjoy it. I know that as we do our best, the Lord is there for us and will help us out. When we do sin, and he withdraws his Spirit, we can repent and do better. Mostly through not doing that thing again and going to Church and partaking of the sacrament and reading your scriptures -- that helps a lot too.
Love, Elder Record