Monday, January 9, 2012

Jan 9th 2012

Well friends and family!!!! Another week has come and gone!!! I guess a little news about me before I share some of my studies with you. The last half of this week I was pretty sick. I don't know exactly what it was, but I had flu like symptoms. I was very weak, and threw up every time I stood. Needless to say, this was not a fun experience but all experiences shall be for your good right? haha. Okay, Busia is HOT!!!!! January (contrary to popular opinion) is the hottest time of the year here. Whenever I tell people that it is 20 degrees below 0 (Celsius) they laugh and don't believe me. But you are probably saying the same thing about me being here in 90 degree temperatures. I think I need to tell you (for those who read my blog), the weather gadget I have on the sidebar is for Kampala, I think they have been averaging 80 or so, for Busia add about 10 degrees Fahrenheit and you will be just about perfect!!! haha.

Okay, now for my studies of the week. I want to share some very small insight with you as to why the Sacrament is important. When we were baptized we were cleansed from the sins we had repented for. We became clean in the eyes of God and were prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now, because we are all human we naturally make mistakes some of which qualify as sin and make our spirits unclean. We distance ourselves from God and remove ourselves from the influence of the spirit. Because of this condition, known as Spiritual Death, we lose inspiration of the Holy Ghost for a time. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent his only begotten son to the world to perform the atonement to provide us a way to allow us to come back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. We have the opportunity to repent for our sins. God promises us that "As oft as [we] repent and [seek] forgiveness with real intent, [we will be] forgiven." (Moroni 6:8) That however is all that happens when we repent, we are forgiven. Our spirit is still essentially unclean, and as we read in Helaman 4:24 "The spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples." It is good to repent and be forgiven, but we must complete the repentance process by doing something more. This is called partaking of the sacrament. This ordinance is something we do to renew our baptismal covenants and cleanse our spirit and in essence become holy once more. I find the promise in the sacrament prayers interesting. "That they may always have they spirit to be with them." We receive a promise to always have the spirit as we remain worthy. When we sin during the week we become unworthy again and it is requisite that we take the sacrament again, and renew those baptismal covenants to regain the influence of the spirit in our lives. I testify that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins that we need not suffer. Let us take His hand and repent.

I pray that everyone has a wonderful week. Enjoy the Winter!!!


Elder Winters

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 2nd 2012

Hello friends and family. LONG TIME NO SEE!!!

Sorry I've been a little slacker when it comes to keeping you guys
informed. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope everyone has recovered from the
Christmas and New Year celebrations. I know I have...I guess it was a
little easier for me. We didn't have any celebrations...haha New Years
Eve we had to be in by 6pm.

As usual, I would like to share something special with you from my
weekly studies. I love the book of Mosiah (as you probably already
know) especially the address of King Benjamin to his people at the end
of his life. It is from that address I would like to take today's
comments. Interestingly enough, the lesson I learned this week was not
taken from the actual words King Benjamin spoke, rather it will be
taken from 2 verses which take place prior to King Benjamin even
standing up. At the end of Mosiah chapter 1 King Benjamin commands his
son Mosiah to make a proclamatin throughout all the land that the
people should gather themselves together at the "temple to hear the
words which [King Benjamin] should speak unto them" (Vs. 18) This
powerful lesson is learned from the people and their reaction to the
call to gather. First in Mosiah 2:2 we learn that they came in great
numbers "So many that they [could] not number them." Everyone who hear
the call, came. Lesson 1.

Lesson number 2. They brought the "Firstlings of their flocks, that
they might offer sacrifice." (Vs. 3) The people were grateful to the
Lord for all He had done for them and outwardly showed that gratitude
by offering sacrifice.

Lesson 3. This is the most valuable lesson of all and the one I would
like us to focus on. Mosiah 2:6 "They pitched their tents round about
the temple...with the door thereof towards the temple." Why is this
significant? Because even with the other two lessons learned (Heeding
the call to gather, and being grateful) our lives would be worthless
if we did not do this one thing. I want you to think about the
question. "Where is my tent facing?" Are you facing the world and its
temptations? Or are you facing the temple, (i.e. The Lord's prophets)?
Before King Benjamin even spoke, we learn something from the example
of his people. They ALL faced their tents toward the temple, and they
were blessed to hear the words of their king.

At the start of this new year I want us all to contemplate that
question. Where is my tent facing. If it is facing the world, let us
seriously consider turning it around to face the prophet and his
counsel. As a messenger of Jesus Christ I want to tell you that there
is only ONE way we can receive eternal life and eternal happiness.
That is through our Savior Jesus Christ and strict adherance to his
servants the prophets. I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's living
prophet on the earth today. He walks and talks with God and brings
that message to us. If our tent is facing the other direction, there
is no way we can receive the message. TURN YOUR TENT TO FACE THE
PROPHET!!! I promise your lives will be blessed because of it.

Have a great week and a great year!!! I love you all!!!

Elder Winters

Lake Victoria, I felt like I was in San diego

Baptisms. The 3 in the middle were ours

Christmas dinner!!! Notice I had potato chips and chocolate chip cookies!!!!
Courtesy of the senior couples ;)