Monday, January 21, 2013

Jan 21th 2013

Hey everyone!!! I must say this is a record for me this year. I don't think I have written twice in two weeks in a VERY LONG TIME!!! I might give you every excuse in the world, but nothing will work, so I won't even try. Let's just say that I got a little chastening from Jesus Christ as I was reading the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. Verse 14 He says: "Let your light so shine before men that they may glorify your father who is in heaven." I thought back on some of the past emails I sent earlier in my mission and remembered how spiritually uplifting they were. I'm sorry that I got too "busy" to let my light shine, but I promise that every week for the next 14 weeks I will write something good to put up on the blog and go out to friends and family. :P

First things first about how my life is going, then something to share with you...We are now in a new transfer and I have been assigned a new missionary to train during his first transfer in the mission field. As I hope you can see by the picture he is TALL!!! I have not doctored that picture in any way. He measures in at 6' 6'' and compared to my puny 5' 7 1/2'' we make quite a pair. Haha ;P He is awesome though and I wouldn't trade him for the world. We've had a great time talking about home, and also how to adapt to the rigor of mission life!!! We had an incredible Sunday yesterday with 15 investigators at church, now to just help them KEEP COMING so that they can prepare themselves for baptism!!!!

Okay...on to the spiritual moment of the week. 1 of 14 to come...;D

I've been reading in the book of Alma and came to a really inspirational story of an incredible man. Chapter 48 speaks of a man named Moroni and says this:

"If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men"
(vs. 17)

The first thing that popped into my mind when I read that verse was "What makes Moroni such a great guy?" I decided to read all the verses that spoke of Moroni and find the different qualities he had which made him so highly spoken of. The following verses will be taken from Alma chapter 48.

1. He was Strong and Mighty (vs. 11):

Moroni was physically and emotionally healthy and powerful. If we want to have more power over ourselves and Satan, we must also become stronger physically and emotionally. To help us achieve this, our Heavenly Father has given us commandments. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have a health code called the Word of Wisdom. It counsels us to abstain from taking: Alcohol, Tobacco, Coffee, Tea, and other harmful or addictive substances. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 89) We are promised by God that if we follow this counsel we will have "Health in our navel, and marrow in our bones" We are also promised the ability to "Run and not be weary, walk and not faint." As we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ and even human beings all around the world follow and obey these words, we will be able to become as Moroni was, Strong and Mighty!!!

2. He was a man of Perfect Understanding (vs. 11)

I imagine that Moroni was a man who had a love to learn. In today's society we see that a majority of young people feel like school is a task to be "finished" someday. If we want to increase in our understanding of all things, we must develop in ourselves a "LOVE TO LEARN!!!" This will create in us a desire to continue to learn throughout our lives even after the days of formal education have closed. Spiritual learning is just as important as temporal education. For those who have it available, we should attend the church's Seminary and Institute programs, as we do that we prepare ourselves for mission and life. If we do these things, we will develop as Moroni did, a perfect understanding of the purpose of life and what we can do to make our lives a success.

3. He did not delight in bloodshed (vs. 11)

We live in a world where wars and rumors of war abound every way we look. The violence of words and action are reported in the news and we even get updates on our nearest mobile device. Moroni, though a hardened general for his nation's military DID NOT delight in bloodshed. He looked upon the responsibility to fight and protect not as entertainment but something which unfortunately needed to be done. In the world today however, we have glamorized war and violence to the point that even children of age 10 and younger feel nothing to see human beings fighting and killing each other. We have contributed to this by the movies and video games we have created. In a handbook of standards given to the youth we read: "Satan uses media to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal, humorous, or exciting. He tries to mislead you into thinking that breaking God's commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others. Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable." (Strength of Youth, 11 [2011]) If we want to become more like Moroni and have more power against the temptations of Satan, we would do well to remove the overly violent media whether movies, books or video games, from our homes. There is no reason to bring violence into the home, inviting ourselves and our children to partake in such spiritually destructive material. As we remove these negative influences from our lives, we will have a greater capacity to recognize the Spirit and we will have a greater love for our families, friends and neighbors.

4. He did Joy in Liberty and Freedom (vs. 11)

Each of us is born with certain unalienable (God-Given) rights. Such rights as cited in the Untied States Declaration of Independence are, but not limited to: "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Moroni was dedicated to maintaining these freedoms and liberties for his people. As we become more devoted to our civic duties and take the time to research the various candidates and issues voted upon each elections we will be better able to preserve the freedoms which by right should be ours. One way we limit our freedom is by supporting ideas, groups and leaders who desire to remove these rights from our lives. We can't do this, when we do we will lose everything we know is good. Another way we can promote freedom and liberty is by sustaining the law and obeying it. Laws as small as a highway speed limits are important. Let us obey the law, sustain our leaders and promote freedom more in our lives!!!

I think that will have to be all for now, I wasn't planning on writing a novel, maybe we'll have to make a part two to come out next week with the last 3 items...haha I just want you to know that the scriptures are full of powerful role models for us to FOLLOW!!! As we do, our lives will be improved and we will be blessed.

Love you guys ALL OF YOU!!!! Have a great week!!!!

-Elder Winters
Crushing G-Nuts to make Peanut Butter

Me and my new Comp

Roast pork, and fried casava

Service Project- Harvesting Casava:  See it on the end.

Signata Water Pumping

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