Hey hey hey!
It is very warm and very humid here. The dang cool and dry climate of Montana has taken away my tolerance for the hot and humid climate of the east coast. I see that tomorrow is the "First day of Spring". HA! We've jumped right into summer. No wonder everybody slams their doors on us. I would to if I saw two extremely sweaty men walking up to me. But anyway I'm getting distracted. Despite the hardships of missionary life, there is much joy in the fact that in Colonial Heights is located the largest Arbys in the world. Yup. Why they chose Colonial Heights for their location I have not a clue but there must be a higher purpose for it...namely, my stomach. This is not your regular Arbys either. It has a section that is extremely similar to a Chipoltle (but in my most HUMBLE opinion is far better than Chipoltle), and they have many many more items of their menu that isn't regular fast food. This place is a really nice restaurant. Yeah, I'm spoiled.
So, remember that family that we were able to baptize? The father just received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday! It. Was. AWESOME! Plus he said the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting and it. Was. AWESOME! It's been an amazing time here in Colonial Heights. The work is moving forward!
In my personal studies, I was reading a parable that Christ gave. It goes as follows:
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house...said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. (Luke 14:16-24)
This is the Parable of the Great Supper and there is much to learn from it. God is the "master of the house" and the Church (or Israel) are those who were first bidden to Supper (Eternal Life). We are privileged to be the first to be bidden to sup, or rather, to have a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be members of the True and Restored Church of Christ. Yet, far too many times we let our priorities get mixed up. Notice the responses of each of those who were invited, (1)"I have bought property", (2) "I have posessions" (3)"I have family to take car of". There is nothing wrong with these activities or desires and we aren't sinning when we do such things, however, we do mistake if we think that these things can at anytime take precedence over God's commandments. We are commanded to put God FIRST. We are commanded to put aside our personal interests and first concentrate on the Lord. How many times do we place our own personal desires in front of God's desires and commands? How many times do we justify and rationalize our recognized sins with "Doing it on Sunday is ok because we're doing it as a family." or "I can't pay tithing because I won't be able to get what I want. God wants me to be happy so He'll be ok with it this one time." We are to follow the commandments of God with EXACTNESS (see Alma 57:21). Christ is knocking on our doors, and He will only knock once. If we don't answer, "none of those...which were bidden shall taste of my supper." We are representatives of Christ. We took upon us His name when we were baptized. With such comes the sacred obligation to do all that He has done. "Be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect."
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.