|caving! i got so worked! broke my toe! hahaha|
sorry to be writing so incredibly late! today we went straight up caving through some caves in a place called jamul and it was siiiiiiiick. i took tons of fots for you but, alas, forgot my camera in the car. haha. of course. next week! it was way sweet though, definitely good to be adventurous and excercise and shimmy through some tiny caves on my stomach... we are filthy but had a blasty! i forgot how much i love doing stuff like that! it made me think hardcore of the time we were up at aspen and kenny or treebor conned me into going on a "hike" with them.... hahaha turns out it was MOUNT TIMPANOGOS hahaha. like thirty minutes into the hike i asked how much farther and they said we'd just begun... haha. so funny. good times. love my fam!
|My homeless friend Garfield!|
okay so on sunday NO BIG we just had stake conference. it was uber edifying! i know i was a hellian of a child but MAN how could you guys stop going to stake conference?!!! haha ga's just throwing down always... it was unreal. maril k jensen and and elder hiam (sp?) came and spoke to us. they were FUNNY guys too, willy, you would've loved it! okay but first of all, there was this rad youth speaker who threw down the law about for the strength of youth; he started in by saying that, even though they wish it were so, the measurements weren't different for the chargers to make a touchdown. the courts weren't made smaller for tennis players, and the laps weren't made shorter for swimmers... everyone has the same rules and they have to make themselves match up to the rules. i thought it was the sweetest anaology EVER to be show that we all have the same guidelines--what am i saying, guidelines?--COMMANDMENTS from our profeta, yet sometimes we justify because of this or that circumstance. this kid was wise beyond his years; all of us were way edified. modesty is SUCH an issue these days... even at church! sister mendoza always used to freak out because of how short the skirts are here (even and especially at church!!). our prophets give us commandments from God, and we change to live them. end of story. so true. and then elder jensen talked about covenants... if there's one thing i've learned on my mission, it's that covenants are the way that god WORKS. it just is. king benjamin talked about us making the connection between what we KNOW and what we DO and that's by COVENANTS!!!! how we do in the end will ultimately depend on the covenants we've made and kept. he gave a bunch of examples about his life and from the book of mormon about when people made and kept covenants because they realized the longevity of what they were doing... one time he cheated and felt awful, he vowed he'd never cheat. another--when he was leaving to be a mission presidente, his youngest daughter was going into college, so they made her promise that when they got back three years later she'd still be chaste. she was. and ALL the time in the bible people talk about OATHS. and i love that story, i forget exactly where it is, but i thought about it as he talked about this, when the people can throw down their swords and enter into an oath not to fight or get annhilated. and because they recognize how strong an oath is, and knowing they wouldn't keep it and didn't want to break it, they didn't enter into that covenant. even though they were big dummies, i still love that they had THAT much honesty and that much understanding of this ancient principle of covenants. and we've all made covenants with our Heavenly Father. The baptismal covenants are so pure and simple, and the ones that we make in the temple just build upon those. in the end, we are just plain blessed if we keep our promises!!! i loved it. ah.
i think it was also elder jensen but maybe elder hiam who talked about how his wife got him a mountain bike and how he got all into it... and how this one hill would always KILL him and he'd have to put his foot down. so one time his friend said, "pay attention. is it your lungs or your legs that make you need to put your foot down?" so he paid attention as he went up this hill, thinking, "legs or lungs? is it my legs or lungs?" and he found out that it was neither. his legs and lungs could've kept going, but it was his spirit that got tired and then he put his foot down. i thought that was profound. so it made me want to tell you something that president donaldson (love that man!) taught us what "endure to the end" means. i always explain in that "you just keep doing these four things--have faith, repent, honor your covenants, strive to have the hg, etc and that's enduring to the end." wrongo. well sorta. it literally means
TO MAKE EVERLASTING AND OMNIPOTENT.
wrap your brains around that one.
so. think about how sometimes you're tired. your'e going up that hill and you end up needing to take a break, put your foot down. but, in reality, you could've kept going. THIS is enduring to the end, it's becoming more like our Savior Jesus Christ, more omnipotent and everlasting, but only through Him. and the onlyyyyy way to do this... is through covenants. that's why it's SO important that we are making, keeping and renewing our covenants. those people who are less active and not coming to church or whatever and you're thinking about what to do for them--what will help them the most? PARTICIPATING IN ORDINANCES!!! get them to partake of the sacramant. through ordinances we make covenants. we have to renew those covenants through ordinances. and that's the only way to receive blessings that MATTER and to be made omnipotent and everlasting. will you keep this on your mind as you are being missionaries this week? How can we help our brothers and sisters make covenants? I know it's hard in utah since "everyone" is a member, but there are TONS of people who need ordinances to make covenants. think about it. pray about it. execute it. will you?
okay so quick story/miracle that will go down in history for sure. yesterday i was on exchanges with one of the group leaders here at the battalion. what we do is go on exchanges in our area, etc, like norm, but then we come to the battalion and evaluate and execute here. it's amazing. i love it. but so yesterday we'd just finished taking a way awesome tour, and i was standing by the camera and sister nielsen was going to leave with our tour to show them how to pan for gold. in walks sister brenchley (a senior missinoary whom i LOVE!!) with a couple speaking quickly another language. they didn't want a picture and they were just breezing past all of the amazing cases that hold sacred artifacts that we use to demonstrate the faith, service, and sacrifice of the mormon battalion. she kinda stood and watched them, and i felt that little guy inside of me telling me to just stay put. so i did. i motioned over to the bom/biblia in the case and then BAM lightbulb--sister christensen there is an italian bom in the back. so i ran and got it, and also my pmg for some reason. i showed them the book and talked about it and testified a little (i was speaking spanish real slowly bc they're sorta similar). then i asked if they'd like one and they said YES. never happens! so they started filling out the card, and i realized that i had my family tree in my pmg in the fifth section of ch3 about fam history/temples. so whipped it out and showed them my italian side and they got SOOO excited about it. i can't even really explain what all happened. but the spirit of elijah was there, and the spirit of their ancestors and mine and the battalion and the holy ghost and AHHH it was just a beautiful explosion of joy. by the time they left there they had my address and i had theirs as well as an invitation to come live with them from the woman who was crying saying she wished she was my daughter because they'd never had any. it may sound strange, but it was amazing. i was so speechless and just... ah. so full of love afterwards. destiny. and the missionaries are going to take over di libro di mormon and those two will remember that feeling and i HOPE when i go live with them we will all go to church together. :) Heavenly Father's got a plan. It's a perfect one. And He's got alllllll the details worked out so we are where we need to be and when we need to be there. I love Him for that.
Oh. I should mention we are having two baptisms this weekend. Well, three as a branch. Brace yourselves!
period. exclamation mark. i love being a missionary. smiley face. asterisk. the church is true.
***elder hiam also said a few things that reminded me of you, willy. "what we need in the church is great music and more of it, and great talks, and less of it." also, "the best synonym for love is WORK." that's what you are, that's what you do and that's what you've done for our family to show us that you love us. and we know you love us because of how hard you work! i love you so much! i hope your father's day was wonderful!!!!
***broseph i LOVE you! how are things going?? talk to me talk to me baby. i've been thinking about you a lot lately. on exchanges yesterday, sister neilsen said her bro had some astronomical experiences in the office and that it was the favorite time of his mission. :) sisters here always ask about you, and i'm always so excited (and proud!) to tell them about how wonderful you're doing and what a strong example you are. i love you so much and am praying for you!
***kay, colb, tab. THE HOUSE!!!! i have been pendiente for you guys allll week! and i have a little pic of tab in my apt and some sisters were just oogling over her the other day. :) she's beautiful! i love you two! please let me know if there's anything i can do for you!!
***kristen!!!! i got some sweet pics of you on my hike today--toms and all--like the ones you sent from europa. i can't wait to start a collection. and i need your help--would willy wear toms? ha. :) but seriously! i need you to tell me because i don't think he will. honestly. AND. how are you? thank you so much again for the little goodies with the roneys a few weeks ago--still going away at that for sure!