Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014 1 Corinthians 15:10

Hello my amazing family!

How are you all doing?  Congrats on your successful cut-overs Dad, that's so awesome!  So Savannah, tell me about Star Wars rebels!  Don't spoil it, but how was it?  What are the storylines and characters like?  Has Ahsoka come up in the series yet?  No spoilers, but let me know!  What's the status on Paraguay, Landon?  Is it a go?  How's school going for you both?  Well, the language is coming along really well.  My companion and I are trying to gain a decent facility with the past-tenses right now, and it's coming a long.  While we were on our Sunday walk at the temple a guy came up to us and started speaking in Portuguese.  We able to understand and talk back!  It was so cool!  We've still got a ways to go, but it's coming along quite well.

I have gotten some news on my Visa.  I know that the Brazilian Government has received the application.  The next phases, or 'landmarks," if you will, are processing, granted, and ready for pickup if I remember right.  One of the guys in our Zone got his Visa yesterday and shipped out to Brazil this morning.  They don't waste time here!  Our Zone leaders also shipped out today.  Elder N.... and Elder B..... were re-assigned to Virginia as Visa wait-ers, and Elder G..... was reassigned to Indianapolis waiting for his Visa.  Several of the guys in our Zone did a haka for them last night.  One of our Elders from New Zealand, Elder P...... taught and led the haka.  I've never seen another person who can do a haka like that, the only word I can think of to describe it is terrifying.  He did it so well. If I can get my hands on a recording of it I'll let you know!

Elder N...., the guy we met in Capitol Reef, and I are talking about meeting up in Capitol Reef after the mish.  It would be so cool to do that, so we should make it happen!  Capitol Reef has an ability to permanently capture people's hearts like no other place I've ever heard of.  Elder N.... and I were talking about how beautiful the storms there are, and he mentioned how stunning it is to see the water start running over the cliffs.  You've got to be careful in that situation, but I would love to see the park like that someday.  There's nothing quite like storms in Southern Utah!

I'd be at a bit of a loss to give you my favorite scripture, there are just so many that I love.  There is, however, one that definitely stands out as the one that I want on my plaque.  It is 
1 Corinthians 15:10 - "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which  was with me."
I love the phrase "but by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain."  Isn't that just beautiful?  One of the things that I've thought about a lot is what does it mean for Christ's grace, which was bestowed upon us, to be in vain?  This is the best I've been able to come up with, so feel free to share your insights as well!  Christ has paid the debt for our sins, regardless of whether or not we accept the fullness of the blessings of the Atonement so that we won't have to satisfy justice ourselves.  All of us receive the blessings of resurrection; every man, woman, and child that will ever live gained that blessing when they accepted God's plan in our pre-mortal lives.  In this life we must be baptized, and repent when we sin for "He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them [our sins] no more." D&C 58:42
Finally, we can all have access to the transforming power of the atonement.  We must never lose sight of the purpose of everything in the restored gospel: helping us become Christ-like people, or making the character of Christ manifest in the way we live our lives.  If we keep this end in mind always, then every commandment, ordinance, and covenant will fulfill its purpose in us.  There is a very real transforming power in the atonement, and we can feel it in our lives as we keep our covenants with God and repent when we, inevitably, fall short.  I know that as we do this, we will feel Christ lifting us up to be more than we ever could be on our own, and we "shall know that it is by me [Christ] that [we] are led." 1 Nephi 17:13
I love you all so much, and I know that I am were God needs me, feeding his sheep.  Have a wonderful week, and I'll see you all soon!
Elder Logan Sweet

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