Monday, March 5, 2012

Best "6" Weeks EVER!

Well everyone,
My first transfer period is over. I have been out in the field for 6 weeks and has been great. I'm halfway over with my "Greenie" phase. After 3 months in the field (I'm halfway through) a missionary is no longer known as a "Greenie". I can't wait till I lose that title....ANYWAY. This has been a super fantastic week. Guess what? We had our first baptism. A family of four that we have been teaching was baptized last Saturday and confirmed yesterday. As a bonus, the father stood up and bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and it was POWERFUL. Words cannot describe how much joy one receives when they are the one privileged to help someone into the waters of baptism. There is nothing more satisfying than missionary work. EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT!

Other than that, there are no stories that I can tell that will be interesting to yall other than the fact that we are currently teaching someone who is the son of a Southern Baptist preacher. Yup *devilish grin*. He knows his scriptures well but at least he's open to the message. He even said he felt the spirit when he was reading the Book of Mormon. We're off to a good start.

The weather here has been really weird. We go through a week of warm, somewhat humid weather snows...yeah. It's pretty crazy here in Virginia.
At our last stake conference (which was a broadcast) we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve (his nephew is our Stake President by the way). He spoke on the sanctity of womanhood and of how important and precious God's daughters are to Him. I would like to echo his words.
We have been told countless times that woman is God's supreme creation. She was saved to be the climactic end of the creation of the world. It wasn't until after the God placed all the animals and plants on the earth, it wasn't until after he placed man on the earth, did he place his crowning achievement: woman. Women have such a supreme and divine nature of which is a huge part of their divine role. You're divine nature is one of gentleness and nurturing. The supreme role of womanhood is motherhood, to help nurture and care for those around you, and to help soothe the coarseness and roughness of the world of men. Satan has unleashed a powerful campaign against the sanctity of womanhood. The world today would have you stoop to the level of men with the empty promise of "equality". Why would you step down from your exalted station in an effort to be "equal" with men? The world has taught that the only thing that is attractive, and therefore, the only that is important about women are the natural physical features that they are endowed with. Do not be deceived. Your importance and beauty comes from deep within you. Do not waste such precious and divine gifts. Do not flaunt and degrade yourself by attempting to appeal to the wicked lusts of the world. You will not gain the respect and honor you deserve from men, unless you respect and honor yourself. Don't settle for what the world will give you: Nothing.
Men: treat every daughter of God around with respect and love. Encourage every woman, whether it be wife, sister, daughter, mother, in her divine role and worth. We are nothing without them. They bring out our better halves and help us rise above our natural, carnal selves.
Pleasure is often mistaken for happiness. "The present is an age of pleasure-seeking, and men [and women] are losing their sanity in the mad rush for sensations that do but excite and disappoint. In this day of counterfeits, adulterations, and base imitations, the devil is busier than he has ever been in the course of human history, in the manufacture of pleasures, both old and new; and these he offers for sale in the most attractive fashion, falsely labeled, Happiness. In this soul-destroying craft he is without peer; he has had centuries of experience and practice, and by his skill he controls the market. He has learned the tricks of the trade, and knows well how to catch the eye and arouse the desire of his customers. He puts up the stuff in bright-colored packages, tied with tinsel string and tassel; and crowds flock to his bargain counters, hustling and crushing one another in their frenzy to buy. Follow one of the purchasers as he goes off gloatingly with his gaudy packet, and watch him as he opens it...He has expected fragrant happiness, but uncovers only an inferior brand of pleasure, the stench of which is nauseating.
Happiness leaves no bad after-taste, it is followed by no depressing reaction; it calls for no repentance, brings no regret, entails no remorse; pleasure too often makes necessary repentance, contrition, and suffering; and, if indulged to the extreme, it brings degradation and destruction.
True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of unholy pleasure may leave a barbed sting, which, like a thorn in the flesh, is an ever-present source of anguish." (James E. Talmage)
Pleasure is what the world offers, happiness is what God offers.

Elder Hyrum Smith

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