This week was decent. I don’t have a ton of time to write because we are now writing our mission president in German. But I just wanted to tell you that I love you guys.
This week was decent, but nothing spectacular happened. We’re still struggling to meet with those darn students.
Anyway, probably the high point of this week is when we met with M. He just shot an elk last week and was way pumped about it, so he invited us over to eat some with him.
Yes, it was ridiculously tasty, and just after that, we finally broke through a barrier. We taught one whole entire lesson with M, and he understood everything! This is truly an achievement, and I think that he really is starting to get the hang of this whole “spiritual” thing. We taught the restoration; I think my favorite thing about teaching M is that he is always really engaged and thinking as hard as he can. That makes him sound dumb in a way.
No, M’s a stud.
He just literally no religious background, because he grew up in essentially a part of the USSR. But anyway, we gave him an analogy to explain the importance of priesthood authority. We asked him what he would say If an ice cream man pulled him over for speeding and gave him a ticket, how would he respond? Then how he’d respond if that was a policeman. He said,
“Yeah, but how could I tell if someone is a real policeman? What if they’re a fake?”
We said in real life, you could check papers or badge until more or something, but you would use your physical eyes. When we need to find out something spiritual, we need to use our spiritual eyes. He didn’t really understand that, so we compared it to love. Even if someone is trying to fake loving you, you can definitely pick up on that, but it has nothing to do with the senses. He liked that. It’ s kinda like a quote by Marion G. Romney:
“I always know when I am speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost because I always learn something from what I’ve said.”
In these next couple of weeks, Elder Allen and I will be trying for the impossible – we are going to try and change a bunch of Germans’ minds. Our ward starts at 9:30, a pretty typical time here, but completely unnecessary. It makes it hard to get college students to church, and there has been a recent grumbling, and so we have seized the opportunity, and the ward will hold a debate during ward council in a couple of weeks. I’m really excited. I’m considering making a PowerPoint.
One last thing:
Nephi and his brothers were trying to obtain their peoples records from the wicked Laban, and they failed.
Right before that (scripturally) Nephi said his famous:
“I will go and do the things God told me to do, because I know he would’t tell me to do them unless he was going to make it possible.”
But then he failed.
Laban said no, and tried to kill them.
1 Nephi 3:14 “But Laman fled out of his presence, and told the things which Laban had done, unto us. And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.”
That’s the difference between a man of God a man of men.
So then Nephi thought, “Aha, it won’t be easy. But I just have to think of a better way. I’ll show the Lord I choose him over riches,” and they gave up all of their family heirlooms for the plates. And Laban tried to kill them and stole all of the treasure. His brothers were ticked and beat him with a rod. An angel came, and we always look at this from Laman and a Lemuel’s perspective, but think about Nephi. He has got to be thinking, “Well why isn’t this working? I’m obedient, I pay my tithing, I go to church, I hold family home evening, I pray and read my scriptures, God told me to do this, I knew he would help us, but twice now we’ve tried and nothing has worked.”
And to top it all off, his brothers were being little dweebs and whining about it.
Jeffrey R. Holland wonders if Nephi might’ve said here “Please – hit me again! I can still hear you!”
But then an angel came, and Nephi’s testimony was strengthened, that yes, this was the right path. And he just walked to Laban’s house, probably saying something like “you stay here, I’ll come back with those plates, even if it takes all night,” and, as we know, he did.
He gives one reason as to why he had the strength to go on:
1 Nephi 4:2 “Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.”
He remembered his scriptures. He tried to be like his scripture heroes. Little did he suspect at that time, that missionaries and members all across the world would one day say “let’s be like Nephi, strong and courageous and above all faithful.” He put obedience above comfort, dealt with trials of death from his family, wore himself out trying to help them remember God, and took his family across the ocean with his faith literally being the wind in their sails.
Have a great week!