Dear Family and Friends, May 10, 2010
Well, I called home yesterday, so I'm not entirely sure what to write about.
We've been working with a wonderful family, the Ms. The father is a journalist and the mother is a Baptist. They've been remarkably accepting. I've gained an appreciation for the cause-effect nature of the Gospel. Especially with the dad, we've focused on D&C 130:20-21. If you want the blessings of eternal life, live the conditions. If you want to get a job, live the Lord's principles for finding work. If you want to develop a particular virtue, there are principles for that too. To me, this brings a tremendous amount of order to the Plan.
We had a conversation with one girl, Lina, from Germany. She pointed out it seems foolish to think God thinks or acts like a man, if He is supposed to be so much higher. At first, this seemed like an excellent point. But then, we need to remember that God's whole purpose is the immortality and eternal life of man. Clearly, something needs to be communicated to said man, if he is going to be able to make choices. God, with infinite reason and understanding, would by definition be able to put said instructions into a form that man would be able to understand, recognize, and then act upon. If not, why bother talking to man at all?
We've also been working with one man, named T. T instinctively understands the gospel. He's not really a part of any church because he was bothered by this notion of "Blessing" and "Prosperity". "If we are not obeying our earthly fathers, we don't expect things. If we are sinning, it doesn't make sense that God would still bless us." Can I get an 'amen'? He just has a bit of a problem with the Word of Wisdom... and the Law of Chastity. But what gave me up is when he pointed out "The last time I did those things, I felt really empty. Whenever you guys come around, I feel... full... again. I hope you're getting me." We explained to him that that is the Spirit he was feeling. God promised the Spirit as an "earnest" or a foretaste of eternal happiness. How much more should we be seeking these feelings?! I can't remember if I said it last week, but I've noticed that 99% of the commandments are just about keeping us spiritually sensitive.
We should be moving out to Buduburam Friday this week. That's the unofficial word on the official Elder Farnbach information network, a system of APs, ZLs and Office Elders that keep the news flowing to this poor missionary out in the boonies. Seriously, the nearest companionship is an hour away. Many jokes are made about us being the last desperate outpost in a never-ending war on sin. We are winning, by the way.
Also, transfers aren't for forever, but the speculation is that Kasoa is being opened up again. This is dangerous news, because that means they could leave me here another transfer to orient the new elders. I love Buduburam and all, but... man, I've been in Kasoa for 9 months already. It would be nice to have other elders in my apartment.
We had a great lesson the Abrahamic Covenant yesterday at church. A lot of speculation goes into this... the Abrahamic Covenant is that Abraham received all the ordinances of the Gospel, the Priesthood and that this would be open to his children too. This means baptism, confirmation, endowment, and eternal marriage, and the Melchizedek Priesthood. Isn't that really simple? The Gospel is just that, though. Line upon line, step by step, it's really easy to understand. As a missionary, I'm really beginning to appreciate this. I think it was Harold B. Lee who said we must teach the Gospel in more then just a way that can be understood, but in a way no one can MISunderstand. As we've tried to keep it simple, we've realized it's already been made simple for us. Curse generations of know-it-alls and theologian theories!
Anyway, I wish I had more to write about, but like I said, I called yesterday, so... Love you all! Also, I fixed my voice recorder. At least, I think so...
Elder W. Farnbach