Hello friends and family!!!
Sorry for the lack of communication last week, I was still trying to
figure things out here in Busia and I guess I didn't manage my time
very well. Things are going great and I am getting to know the members
as well as the area quickly. I don't want to spend a lot of time
talking about Busia today, rather I would like to share something I
have been studying for the past week and which has been on my mind a
lot since I came on my mission.
I have been studying about our life desires and dreams, and where they
should be focused. The teachings are so significant that I want to
share them with you even though my computer time is somewhat short. I
want to begin by discussing 3 Nephi 13:19-20 when Jesus Christ himself
is admonishing the Nephites to "Lay up for [themselves] treasures in
heaven." This comes after telling them to stop focusing on things of
this earth, namely temporal luzuries at the expense of spiritual
things. (See also Matthew 6:19-20)
Why is it important to concentrate on the spiritual things rather than
the temporal? Because Jesus teaches us that the things of this world
will remain with this world, and the spiritual things we gain in this
life will come with us as we pass on. Many people all over the world
have a "When I am temporally provided for THEN I will turn my
attention to learning about God and doing his will." Jacob a prophet
in the Book of Mormon points out the flaw in this reasoning in chapter
2 of the book which carries his name. "But BEFORE ye seek for riches,
seek ye for the kingdom of God. And AFTER ye have obtained a hope in
Christ ye shall obtain riches if ye seek them..." (Jacob 2:18-19) Here
we read from a prophet of God that AFTER and only AFTER we obtain a
hope in Christ can we turn our attention to the pursuit of riches.
True, the necessities of life are important, but not as important as
the spiritual knowledge which we have the opportunity to obtain here
in this life.
Paul has some powerful words for us on the subject as we read in 1
Corinthians 8:8. "But meat commendeth us not to God; for neither, if
we eat are we better; neither if we eat not are we the worse" This is
a somewhat morbid way to view life but it is true nonetheless. If
someone has accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives and
has been baptized by immersion by someone who holds the proper
priesthood authority then they have no need to fear. Essentially, they
could starve to death and still be assured of a greater reward in
heaven than the millionaire who rejected the message. There is a great
parable in the book of Luke 16:19-25. Because of time restraints I
won't cite the story, but will give you the opportunity to search it
out and learn for yourself.
If I have only learned one thing while here on my mission it is that
the things of this life really don't matter in the eternal scheme of
things. The things which really matter are found in the 4th Article of
Faith: Faith, Repentance, Baptism by immersion [by the proper
authority] for the remission of sins, Receiving the Gift of the Holy
Ghost, and Enduring to the end. As Jacob teaches, riches take 2nd
place to this much more important purpose. Heavenly Father's "...work
and [His] glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life
of man." (Moses 1:39) By offering His son as a sacrifice for the world
he has given us the opportunity to return and live with him once more.
He cares about our temporal needs but not at the expense of our
I know that we have a God in heaven who not only knows us, but loves
us. If we will devote our lives to coming to know God and his son
Jesus Christ (John 17:3) then the temporal things of this life will
become transparent as glass. We will know what TRULY matters!!!
I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
....here is a little news from some of Brandon's emails to the family
............It's good to hear that members of the ward still remember me. :D As long as the card comes I really don't care when. Being all the way out here in Busia, mail and packages only come once per transfer so anything that the mission office can send tomorrow when President Jackson comes will get to me before the new year.
Christmas decorations are almost non-existent here in Busia at least.
I have seen a few pretty sad decorations in a few supermarkets back in Kampala but we are pretty much resigned to face two Christmases without decorations. We will be going to Mbale (about 2 hours north) Christmas eve to have a Zone Christmas party. Then we will travel back to Busia for the Christmas day church services and a day of rest. Then I will call you guys when you get home from church!!!!!
I really miss all the Christmas performances, they were and will always be my favorite. I hear that the Christmas Devotional was yesterday or sometime in the past week. How did you like that? I know that I always "seem" to sleep through those things, but I really enjoyed them and can't wait until I can hang out with the family again in the basement!!!
In answer to your question, yes, I do enjoy being back in the village.
I made lots of good friends in Ntinda and I will never forget them, but there is something about being in a village away from everything. We truly are OUT THERE!!! Yesterday we went to an investigator family who stays 8km away from town. We were able to take pedal-bodas (see pics from yahoo email) there, but back is all uphill so we couldn't find anyone to pedal us home, so we walked it...:D That is the Uganda Kampala Mission in my eyes. Not hanging out in town with the "same"
amenities as back home. Every p-day here I wash my own clothes by hand. A lot different than back in Ntinda where we had Sister ... to wash for us. I will say that is a good growing experience and makes me really grateful for washing machines back home. haha, when my kids come along, I'll be able to tell them that I washed my own clothes for 6 months (probably how long I'll be here in Busia) of my life and that they'd better stop complaining about having to sort the whites and colors. :D
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