Sunday, September 13, 2009

Family ties and the Gospel

this is Collin's hat that I knitted for him... here's his latest email:
Not a lot has happened since the last time I talked to you-- 3 days ago. We did service for a less active member- she moved and so we moved all her stuff. Their family is sad- and it made me so very thankful for mine. We talked to the mom lady the other day- she owns a tahitian pearl shop, so she's decently loaded. She has nice cars, nice apartment, etc.. And the money really got to her head. We were talking to her the other day and she said she's currently going through a divorce and it's hard.. She said the reason she's getting divorced is cuz her husband wasn't a worthy priesthood holder and that the reason she doesn't go to church was because she didn't want the members to call her by her husband's last name. Well, turns out she's really more of the reason for the divorce- because she's having an affair.. She has 3 little daughters- 16 yrs old, 14ish and 3. And it's really really tearing apart the family. The 16 year old is amazingly strong, and has a ridiculously amazing testimony. Even though no one else in her family is really active and stuff, she really does her best. I really admire her- especially since she's only 16 years old. You can tell that the divorce and the affair is really affecting her though. All this garbage made me realize two things- number 1. i'm really blessed. She was talking to us the other day and said me and Elder Green are really blessed. And we're like yeah yeah.. And she's like no, are your parents sealed in the temple? How far away do you live from a temple? Do you get to go to conference in the conference center? How far do you live from the prophet? She said she's going through a lot of trials in her life.. And we could do nothing but say we're sorry and to keep doing the best she can. But it really made me think.... I am blessed!! My family is together and we love each other.. We are practicing members of the true church- and we are enormously blessed because of it. How great is that? I love you guys. But then the other thing I learned-- number 2: Her family situation sucks- her parents don't care, and actually complain about taking her to church and seminary. But she is there every week without fail. Her family doesn't pray or read scriptures together- and yet she does. We can be strong wherever we are- and we should never make excuses about our situation... We always have the choice ourselves to be good and to keep the commandments, or not. Let us not make excuses for our situations- but let us be strong and create zion in the midst of babylon.

Other than that, we had a lesson with Soane and Vaea and a member named Frere Tuahiva (kind of-- his name is actually like 20 syllables, so he goes by a nick-last name.) He's great, and he helped us a lot. One really cool thing about being a missionary-- is that I know I'm not like amazing necessarily-- I don't have any magical powers and I don't know anything about anyone's problems or their lives.. Sometimes I have to pretend to know stuff about how to solve problems- but really all I can do is rely on the Lord. I don't know anything about how to fix Soane or Vaea's problems- but we do the best we can to teach them how to fix their own problems.. And it works! The last lesson I told you about- Vaea was having a really crappy time and we tried to help her the best we could.. she was looking for us to help her fix her problems. But the best answers we had were prayer, scriptures, and repentence. She didn't seem to like that answer because it sounded to vague- or so I gathered. But then the next time we came over with Frere Tuahiva- they were both doing SO much better. That was the first time I've seen her smile in a long time. She was happy- and participated in the lesson. Soane was doing good too. They said that they talked out their problems with each other and with the Lord. And even though I couldn't solve their problems- He can. And will. And did. They're doing better and going great. The kids are still awesome.
Frere Tuahiva helped a lot- he shared his experiences about how the gospel ahs really helped his family and that he is happy. I saw a huge contrast- you could tell that the rich lady isn't super happy, and nor are her kids. But then Frere Tuahiva just has an average manual labor job, a smallish dumpy house, and a so so car. But he's so happy- all the time. His family is happy. They love each other. Money really doesn't buy happiness--- we really need to realize that happiness comes from the Lord and His gospel. Reminds me of that quote from CS Lewis from general conference- can't remember who said it- but CSL said that life is a neverending struggle of man trying to find something other than God to make him happy.
Also during the lesson, Tiro, the little kid, drew us a picture.. it was so cute. he drew me and elder Green and the church- and he wrote (in funny kid-bad spelling) You are the best missionaries in the world and you teach us! I'll have to make a copy of it and send it to you.. It's hanging up on our fridge at home.

So that's about all that's happened since we last met.

I'm glad this primary thing is getting off the ground.. I'm glad Sister Gaya was so gung ho to do it.. I haven't had to do anything.. ha ha. If there's anything I can do though, I'd be happy to do it.

I'm excited for the package. Thanks a million!

Well, thanks for everything, I love you a lot. I'll see you later!
elder winget

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