Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28th 2013

Hey everybody!!! Greetings from Gulu (GOO-LOO in case any of you were wondering...haha)

This week has been great!!! Last Sunday I traveled to Kampala for a meeting with our mission president and didn't get back until Wednesday which really pushed us to work hard the duration of the week. The highlight of our week was finding an awesome family!!! We contacted a 20 year old guy during our day and set an appointment to come back and meet him and the family later that evening. We taught them all the Doctrine of Christ and set baptism dates with 7 of the family members. My companion is STOKED about these guys as am I and we have great hopes for them. In fact, the hopes and faith and prayers have paid off, all of the children ranging in ages from 10-22 (6 of them) came to church and enjoyed their time. I love teaching people who are potential missionaries. The fact is, that as we are pioneering things in Uganda here, the best way to do it is to find and teach those who will go on mission, learn and grow there, then come back and strengthen the church in their respective branches. I have loved helping young men (and a few young women) prepare to serve full time missions and I know that the good they will do the rest of their lives will be incredible!!!

Okay, spiritual thought for the week, I hope everyone was able to finish reading last weeks, I realize that I can sometimes be a little long winded and I'm sorry...haha

In the book of Genesis in the Old Testament we read the story of Jacob and Esau. This story takes a very short 6 verses, but there are many valuable lessons to be learned. In this narrative, Esau comes home after a long day's work to find Jacob his brother cooking a "mess of pottage" (or porridge). Esau is exhausted after his busy day and begs some of the pottage from Jacob. Jacob offers to sell the bowl of pottage for Esau's birthright which Esau readily accepts saying: "Behold, I am at the point of death; and what shall this birthright profit me?" Thus, Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.

The two things I would like to talk about from this story apply to our own lives very well. First!!! I want all of you to know that we each have that "mess of pottage" in our lives. There are "...sins which so easily beset [us]." (2 Nephi 4:18) These sins cause us to forfeit our birthright, or in other words, give away the great reward which is promised us. As we are on this mortal journey, we may "think" that we are "at the point of death" as Esau thought. How many times have we heard the young teenage girls complain that if they are not allowed to attend the Senior Prom at age 15 they will "DIE!!!" About a million times...and of course the cemeteries all over the U.S. and other countries are filled with graves of those unfortunate souls whose parents loved them enough to say "NO!!!!!" :D My testimony is that there is NOTHING more important than the spiritual salvation of each every one of us. No amount of money, or pleasure, or fame can make up for a lost soul. Jesus Christ put it well: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26) I personally wouldn't give ANYTHING in exchange for my soul, what about you???

There is one thing which if Esau had understood, would have changed his whole life and probably much of the Bible. That is understanding what your birthright really is. For us, we are literal sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who wants the best for us. He has provided a plan which we must follow to be worthy to live with him again someday. If we follow this plan and hold tight to our birthrights, we are promised eternal life, which is to live with God, and become like him someday. YOU ARE A SON OR DAUGHTER OF GOD, ACT LIKE IT!!!

Please take a moment to examine your life and ask yourself. "Is there a bowl of pottage which has become more important to me than my eternal salvation???" If so, please do all you can to repent and remove it from your life. Speak to your parents, bishop or close friends and ask for their support, that's what they are there for!!!

For some of you who know me you know what a great poet I am...hmmm haha there is not one word of truth in that entire sentence...haha Anyways, I tried to provide a few of the common "bowls of pottage" which affect us, maybe yours is there, maybe not. Either way, we need to remove anything which distracts us from God's great plan for us.


Obscenities (haha, had to force that one a little...)




Gold (or money or anything else of cash value)


Let's act like who we really are, rid our lives of distractions and enjoy the blessings of living the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you want to learn more about how to do this: "Ask the Missionaries" (or parents, or church leaders...haha)

Love you guys!!!! Have a great week. I promise I will!!!!

-Elder Winters

P.S. Congrats to all the mission calls, engagements, weddings, and anything else of interest which has happened over the past week. Keep the news coming, I LOVE IT!!
Zone leader counsel with President

See if you recognize any of these people

Me and my brother training two other brothers

A bag of Utah air I got in a Christmas package.  Yep, I breathed it all in to get a little Utah in me ;)

Nile river in Northern Uganda

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