Monday, October 17, 2016

October 3, 2016 -Good Things Come From Bad Things

From Dad:

Dear Joshua,

It’s been an exciting week. We’ve made some good progress on the house, at work we finally released a year and half long project to the public and we got to watch conference.

I imagine you had the opportunity to watch the sessions of conference. I remember watching conference as a missionary and just soaking it in. So much great counsel and reminders of the power and potential of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Does this scene look familiar:

These were some quick thoughts I had while watching conference:

1.       Common Judges – Bishops have the keys not to shut us up in spiritual prison, they have the keys to open the spiritual prisons we put ourselves in through sin. I’m grateful for the bishops in my life that have helped me unlock some spiritual prisons I’ve locked myself into.
2.       Jesus is the Mark. If we elevate anything above the cause of the Savior we are “Looking beyond the mark”.
3.       Loved the talk by Elder Uchdorft about the example of Alma the younger and Amulek. How many Amuleks are out there just waiting for an invitation to come back and help build the kingdom.
4.       How much do we know the Savior vs. just knowing about him.

Found this Calvin and Hobbes that struck me as how we picture and often do our home schooling. Thought you would enjoy this.

With Ben going to school and Sam working, we are back to getting up early to read scriptures together at 6 am. Even though we’re all not super excited about it and it is getting cold, it is drops in our bucket that will bind our family together forever.

Here’s a few pics of backfilling our house and a picture of our septic mound out behind the house.

Part of Abby and Amelia’s homeschooling this year is cooking. Abby made some fantastic lemon cupcakes with home made lemon sauce and merangue. She was so proud of it.

Mom is now 44! For her birthday, I took the kids out of the house and gave her some alone time. As part of that, I decided to treat the family to KFC chicken. Growing up it was always a treat for our family, but we are a bit spoiled these days and though everyone tried it, it is probably a onetime event for us.

I hope you are doing well, my son. I love you and am so proud of you. We will be contacting the mission office today as we will likely have to have a quick call with you today or tomorrow to resolve this accident report that is becoming critical that we get all the facts from you and so we may have to request a break in protocol and have a quick call.

I also want you to know how thankful I am for you Mom. Lately we have been seeing many of our old friends breaking up their marriages and it is sad to see. The eternal family we are building is so critical that Satan is working overtime to break up families. The skills you are learning on your mission to communicate and have good companion relationships will help you as you transition to building a family in the next couple of years.

We are looking forward to the house coming this week. We are praying for good weather so there will be no delays. Scary and exciting all at the same time. Your going to come home to a whole new world J

Have a great week, Josh.


From: Mom

Hello, my boy!

Guess who I just got off the phone with? Pres. Henrie. Yes, it's true. I had to call him to ask permission if I could call you. So, we need a new accident statement with quite a bit of detail. I sent your last statement in to our insurance company and they responded with some more questions, which we don't have the answers to some of them. Pres. Henrie gave me permission to call you tonight around 9:00 California time as long as it was a one time thing. I assured him that we feel strongly about you spending your focus on your mission and don't want to disrupt. So, the hassle of this accident means we get an extra phone call in! Only one, but it's necessary.

And hey, don't let this stress you out in any way. To be honest, we were reading in Doctrine &Covenants 123 this morning. Joseph Smith is saying that the Saints needed to record grievances and prepare statements regarding the abuses they received. So, "let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed" (D&C 123:17). I, personally think that the people pressing charges and "claiming injuries" are looking for some money. Our insurance will cover it but we need to do all we can to present our side of things.

Love you lots! We love hearing your stories about Van Nuys and Elder Orchard, too. Work hard. Access the power of the Spirit and enjoy the process. Talk to you tonight around 9.

Love forever,

From Josh:

Thanks for the advise on the standing still part this all is a little bit stressful, this morning I read in the Book of Mormon where the Lamanites come to kill the people of Ammon and they just lay down and pray, thanking God for their blessings, it teaches a powerful lesson to us that no matter what our circumstances may be we can always stay grateful to God and praise his name, "why should we mourn and think our lot is hard, tis not so all is right." hymn #30 No matter what comes we all can find joy in God.

General conference was amazing, dad you were so right it is something so spectacular and something I took for granted my whole life, we truly are walking on a road of diamonds and esteem them only as pebbles. Its such a blessing to have the restored gospel in our lives, let us live up to those blessings by showing appreciation to what we have, the Book of Mormon is such a strong testimony builder, never put it aside, I was reading in a copy of The Book of Mormon and in this copy I wrote my testimony in it in the front, and reading it over again I realized that it was lacking a ton, this was during the time when I was struggling with what I believed, My testimony at the time was,

I know God answers prayers, I know Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, I want to believe Joseph Smith is a prophet and that this is truly Gods church.

And that was it, then I read The Book of Mormon and wrote my testimony again this time it was much more spectacular.

I know that God answers prayers, that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God that Joseph Smith truly translated these words by the gift and power of God, I know the Church is true that it is led by a Prophet of God and that Gods priesthood is on the earth once more, I know all this and so much more from reading the Book of Mormon and the spirit has testified to me that it is true. 

I know the Book of Mormon has the power to transform us and build our testimonies, what a wonderful opportunity we have read such a book an come to God more fully. it is up to us to read it and build our testimony upon the Rock of our redeemer. 

Just after conference on sunday we were visiting some potential investigators and this guy came down the street screaming "Call 911! help me call 911! I can't breath, my heart is going out of control!" we rushed over to the other side of the street to assess the situation as soon as we got there he said he couldn't see straight and his mind was going crazy, we invited him to sit down and he leaned against a tree and started laughing, a little wierded out we tried to talk to him, he mumbled something that we didn't hear, then he looked at our name tags and laughed calling us by name, then he started crying and told us that his life was messed up and he couldn't take it anymore, he told us that we was looking for a wife and was single and started babbling between spanish and English and finally he started laughing again and told us he was fine and that we should leave and so we left, he must have been high on something, right after that we were passed by a couple cops and we tried to wave them down but they just kept going. 

I got my first flat tire the other day on our way to Wendy's for lunch so we had to walk home and got a ride from our zone leaders to get a new tire, once that was done we realized that the bikes rim was bent out of shape slightly so we had to loosen the back brakes to be able to ride it and so that it wouldn't rub anymore, so... i just need a better bike... but over here most bikes are over 400$ and I don't know where i learned to be a stickler but I just have to rip off the band-aid and get it over with. I am looking for a bike site where they sell good bikes that I could use my Canadian bank card at, that or find a ATM that I can pull money from... though I am hesitant to be carrying around over 400 here in the armpit of socioty I swear people can smell how much money you have on you, and so taking four hundred in cash makes me feel like I am going to get murdered for it or something. So there are a couple options, you could take out money from my account and send it here to buy a bike, I could take out money here to buy a bike, I could look online to buy a bike, or you could get a bike up there from my money and you could ship it down here to the mission office... I don't know what do you think I should do?

While watching General conference there were a few points that confirmed a few of the discoveries I have made on my mission, three times it was stated that we need to live a celestial life now, a lot of talks emphasized gaining a testimony in your your (Sam, Ben, Abby, Mia) and the importance of families... do you know what is messed up about here? the welfare program of California makes it so it is better that you don't get married and just live with your parents after the age of 19, so indirectly the state encourages being single throughout your life and living in your parent's basement, lets not do that Sam and Ben, let us do what Lehi told Laman and Lemual, to rize up and be Men.

I love you all a ton and hope everything is going well, I will be seeing most of you in person in about 14 months! my how time flies. I have been out nearly ten months already. 

Reply from Mom:

We'll send you money for a bike. In fact, I might send money to Steph and have her get a money order from a bank that California will recognize and have her mail it to you. You'll just have to wait a bit but I'm on it.

Something that I'm noticing about stressful times is that fearing the consequences prevents the ability to act. It actually takes away our agency. Satan's plan, right? Which is why faith is so important. Faith says, "do what you can and things will work out. God is on your side." Something that really stuck out to me from conference is that we cannot be saved in the kingdom of God without TRYING. Trials certainly stretch us but we learn so much from them and we know they are all for our good. So don't fear or stress. We'll do what we can then stand still and watch for God's hand to be revealed.

I've always appreciated how you allow your stressful times to teach you. And you get better and better. Talk to you tonight.

Love, Mom