Monday, November 7, 2016

October 31, 2016

From Joshua:

The start of my year mark transfer is scary and exhilarating! I have been a missionary for nearly a year and I am almost starting the countdown home!... not that I am but honestly it is the down hill rush from then on. 

Time flies when you are having fun... or working hard, but if you don't enjoy it then it isn't the greatest time spent, for me I have loved my mission, i have had my high times and I have had my low times and there have always been the in between, where I just don't care. It is true that missions are mini lives and are the best and hardest experience.
A few days ago we were knocking a street where no one was interested in the least and I could not find the words to say to help them understand that this Gospel is wonderful, it was a struggle for me on one of the doors a child opened up and said hello and from the background we heard the parents say they weren't interested and as the child closed the door the simple words "looks like we don't need you" sounded from her mouth, and I walked away with a heavy heart, because the young girl had spoken aloud the words on so many peoples mind to God, to religion, to help, to forgiveness, We don't need you, we don't need God, religion, help or forgiveness, we can live on our own... are there times in our lives where we feel we don't need things? Jeffrey R Holland Said, "aren't we all beggars? Don't we all beg for forgiveness?" Never should we feel like we can live this life on our own, we all need help from our savior, we cannot do too much on our own, we are dependent on God for everything, for every breath for every step we take, for everyday we wake up and are well, for a wonderful family we have and all the many things we have been blessed with, for the fullness of the Gospel that is living in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, may we all take the opportunity to humbly bow and thank God for all we have, and when we pray, make sure we mean it, too many times when I bless my meal I shoot off a hurried prayer "Thank you for this food, please bless it." So focused on the food that I forget who I got it from, and I find that far too often I have no gratitude in my voice, no love and appreciation, just words that are automatic and empty. 
So I have determined to catch myself every time I say an automatic prayer, and to put much more meaning and respect to the God whom we are indebted to in everything.

Speaking of New experiences we were going door to door on a different day and started talking to this lady who believed in lots of gods, (first person I have met that believes such a thing) and why does she believe in lots of gods? because the God of the Hebrews is too harsh, he is a wicked God who kills people by flooding the earth, we tried explaining how he is actually a loving God in fact it says in the New Testament that "God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son" she in turn presented a scripture that showed in her view that God hated Jesus "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" she used that to show that Jesus was forsaken by God and that he was so loving that The God of the Hebrews didn't want him to be loving. So he forsook him, then we shared how Christ commended his soul to God as his last words, she again refuted that idea, so after ten minutes of trying to persuade her that God was a loving God that he was the one person we should worship and none other, we finally gave up because she was convinced of the evilness of a God she didn't know and would never try to know because of the things done in the Old Testament. But the answer I came up with for myself was without an eternal perspective a lot of things in this life seem limiting, and horrible, but when we take a step back and look at the marvelous plan of salvation in which God has laid for us, we see that the hardships we go through in this life are to prepare us for the life to come, and those who die in this life without having had the chance to hear the Gospel will be given that chance in the spirit world, Moses 1:39 "This is my work and my Glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." and I am blessed to be part of that work and glory. 

Elder Blodgett my new companion is a boss, he served a year as a service missionary and is now nearly done his two year mission as a full time missionary, his dedication to the Lord is so amazing, we were biking to visit a Potential investigator and it started pouring rain for the first time in 9 months in fact it was the only water from the sky we had seen in that period of time, needless to say we were not prepared and biked in our white shirts and ties till we were soaked through to the skin, I felt we should go back home and dry off, but he kept trucking onward determined to meet the man we planned to visit, we got there and we were greeted by a woman claiming to be atheist and said he wasn't there at the moment, so we got back on our bikes and headed home fruitless but knowing that we did what we could, rain or shine. 

I love you all please keep yourselves safe and will be seeing you in only another short year.


From Mom:

Dear Josh,

We're deep in the heart of fixing up the house for rental. Pray we'll find a good, responsible tenant. I hear what you're saying about people feeling like they don't need God. And maybe that's the big problem of our day ... Pride. And I'm speaking for myself as much as anybody else. I've been praying lately for help to choose humility more often and it's a dangerous thing to pray for so I specifically asked God to not give me a devastating life experience, but a gentle one... to open my eyes to the every day stuff. Oh, man, do I ever see a need for improvement. But the funny thing is that I'm appreciating the experience as a refining one. I'm learning to think before I speak, too. Don't I wish I learned this lesson earlier in my life....

Anyway. The secret is in the striving. Don't give up. Find joy in the process. Endure well. Totally and completely worth the peace of mind. I think when discouragement strikes, a good practice is to ask Heavenly Father to open your eyes to His tender mercies. They abound. They really do.

A giant tender mercy for us my parents being here. They've helped us so much, more than we could ever do on our own in so short a time. Pictures to follow. 

I love you a million. And I'm so honoured to have you for a son. I'm not sure if there is anything better in this world than to see your children walk in truth.



From Dad:

Sorry we didn't get a letter off today. Busy week-end with Grandma and Grandpa Bruce here helping to renovate. Also have the Ames here for Halloween. I'll send some quick pics off to give you some idea of what we're up to. We love you and are proud of all you are doing.


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