Monday, October 28, 2013

October 21st Letter

Hello hello hello! Well, it sounds like everyone had a super great week. Please give Marty, Sally, Carrie, Logan, and Grandma Fernie my warmest regards! I had a good laugh at the joke as well!
I'm excited to get this next flat rate envelope. Knowing all you, it's going to be a good one! I've got the greatest family in the world, that's for sure!
As for us this week, we unfortunately didn't have a baptism. J is back in the hospital and has turned off his phone.
As for the referral, L and his wife, U, had us over for lunch yesterday. It was super awesome! They're some super nice people. It was great to have a real home cooked polish lunch as well. It was some really good food. They said we're the third pair of missionaries they've had over for a visit, so the Lord is definitely not forgetting about them.
For District Council this week I want to focus on the Book of Mormon and the role it plays in conversion. I want to focus role plays on commonly asked questions on the street and how to deal with them. Sometimes, we encounter objections or questions that make us step back and realize we don't know how to answer. Finding answers now will help us answer them in the future when we encounter them again.
I could talk about many experiences this week. I've seen the hand of the Lord abundantly in the work and in everything I do. I think the one I want to talk about, however, is last week's District Council. I prepared everything in my studies and had my layout ready to go, but ended up forgetting it at home. I discovered that frightening fact about 5 minutes before District Council was about to start. Suprisingly enough to myself, I didn't get too worried. I had prepared well, and I simply taught without notes. In my opinion, it was the best District Council I've taught to this point on my mission. I could feel the Spirit with me and working through me. I feel like I incidentally made a great step in learning how to teach by the Spirit. Now, in the future, I'm not so sure I want to take my notes with me to teach. Of course, I will still plan and make a layout, but I may just end up leaving it at home once again!
Another lesson I learned was in 3 Nephi 11. I wanted to study about how to better recognize and feel the Spirit in my life, and what I could do in order to do so. Well, in reading about the Nephites hearing the voice from heaven 3 times, I discovered a pattern that allowed them to hear it the third time it spoke. Something changed. They opened their ears to hear it, and were looking steadfastly towards heaven. I thought about that. I think that is comparable to our lives. In my mind, we have to open our hears to the Spirit, which means creating an environment for ourselves which is conducive to his presence. I've heard it said that the Spirit is a perfect gentleman. If he is not welcome, he will quietly leave. I believe it. The second point, looking steadfastly towards heaven, I felt was representative of us aligning our will with God's. If we simply want something to be our way, we're not looking towards heaven. Yet, we when are humble and want to understand what God wants us to do, and not what we want, that is when we look up towards heaven and begin to allow the Spirit to speak to us. Of course, these are lessons I already new, but it was a great experience to see them displayed in such a way and to make new connections about them.
Elder Hardy and I are getting along great. We're becoming great friends. It's a pleasure to serve with him and I'm glad I'm learning lessons from him that I know the Lord wants me to learn.
Elder and Sister Gay have arrived in Szczecin! They're a huge blessing in this branch. I'll be honest, we needed a woman's touch here for a long time. We 20 year old boys sadly just can't quite figure out how to run things sometimes.
I made a really cool connection with my studies of the Atonement this week. I was trying to study teaching in unity, and came to the conclusion that without companionship unity, there is no way that teaching in unity will ever work. I think that's the big secret to teaching in unity, honestly, is having good companionship unity. Well, I thought about how God and Christ want us to be unified with them, and with those around us in our families, wards, areas, etc. As Christ has said, "If ye are not one, ye are not mine." Well, I looked up the Atonement in the BD and realized that the atonement is what brings us back into unity with God. As humans, when we sin, we estrange, or pull ourselves away, from God. The atonement is what reconciles us and brings us back into that unity--it sets us "at one" with God. Of course, we know this already, but seeing it in this new light was a cool experience. It began to make much more sense. The fall, then, also becomes a much better symbolistic teacher when viewed in this light with the atonement. What a beautiful plan the plan of Salvation is. I love it. The gospel is the best.
Keep up the great work Emms! You're a busy girl, but I know it's worth it!
Hannah Doober! We placed 6 copies of the Book of Mormon this week. I can't wait to see your ladybug costume. It will be great. Thanks for the poem!
Heath, it makes me feel old when I don't know who your dates are. Anyway, I'll keep thinking about your dare idea. Keep up being awesome and enjoy high school! Tell Coach Atwood I say hello.
Dad, I ended up being able to download all of conference from the branch computer thanks to Elder Mikolyski's branch president capabilities, so I'm actually good. Thanks a bunch though. I would love a hard copy of Elder Nielson and Elder Dube's talks, however, if that's not too much trouble. You can just email them and I can print them off. Thanks for the spiritual thoughts and advice. I love them and they always help. You're the best dad ever! Oh, hey, any news on the new scriptures?
Mom, I'm feeling a lot better. Don't worry. I'm exercising. Sorry, I'm out of time, but I love you and miss you all. I'm doing well, and am happy and proud to be engaged in the great work of salvation. It's the Lord's work for sure!
With lots of love and hugs,
Elder Vernon

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