Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter

E-mail from April 14, 2014

Hi Family!!
How goes it? Is everyone as excited about Easter Sunday as I am? (If not, YOU SHOULD BE!) Why is Easter so important? Rather, why should it be so important? If you don't have a good answer for that, go here --> Mormon.org/BecauseofHim
If any of you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media page, please share the above link and #BecauseofHim. The more we can get this out here, the more missionaries and members will have the opportunity to share our faith with others. Many of those you will share this with may not know that we are even Christian. Take courage, and share your faith with those around you. You do not need to start off telling them all about the Plan of Salvation or temples or the Book of Mormon. Simply share your faith in Christ. The rest will follow.

In case anyone has forgotten, this Sunday is Easter! Here is what It think about Easter:

Easter should be the single, most important holiday on our calendar. It is the reason that we are here. It is the reason that we can find peace in a troubled world. It is the reason that we hope for a better world. Easter is the Day of Atonement. Not only can our sins be forgiven, our pains and illnesses made right, but it is the proof that we are infinite creatures. We existed with our Savior before this mortal life and we WILL exist again because of His great Sacrifice and Resurrection. Not only can we exist, but we can thrive and progress and live in a fullness of Joy, which only our Savior can give us.

Nothing that the world has to offer us will ever fill the emptiness that is in our hearts. The world will continue to fight against those that believe. They will tell us that we are nothing, that we are wrong because our morals and values are out of date. It hurts when they say these things, when they tell us that we are racist, close-minded, sexist, ridiculous, pretenders, part of the occult, or freaks. I know- I've been there. Every day missionaries and members alike deal with these hurtful accusations. Let me remind you: they are FALSE. We are not racist, close-minded, sexist, pretenders or any of the other hurtful things that they will try to throw at you.
We have more knowledge than the majority of the world- and not pretended or made up knowledge. It is fact given to us from God by way of revelation. It is our responsibility to share it with those that are around us. Sometimes they will accept it, most of the time they will lay it aside as a thing of naught. That is their choice. We shouldn't allow what they say and do to affect the faith that we already have. President Uchtdorf told us in October 2013 General Conference to, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."

We have been given these legal representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven to guide us in these latter days. They will never lead us astray. If you are not sure if they truly are called of God, ponder their teachings and pray. Ask your Father in Heaven if what they are sharing is true. Ask them if they really are representing Him and doing things in accordance with His will. Sometimes they make mistakes- they are not infallible just as we are not infallible.

This is why we have the Atonement.
As you study the Doctrine and Covenants, pay attention to how many times Joseph Smith Jr., Oliver Cowdery and others are first forgiven for their sins and then they receive revelation. None of the men or women in the early Church were without fault. No one in the history of the earth as been without fault- save One.

The Sacrifice made by Christ was Infinite in scope (Alma 34) and active, even before his birth (Alma 39). It is there for you. Do not forget that Christ, as he suffered, did it for you. You as an individual brother or sister. He felt your individual pain, guilt, suffering and sin. He knows you and loves you more than any of us can comprehend. Please don't turn away from him.
This year, don't get caught up in the trends of society or commercialism. I'm not saying we can't have fun surprises or gifts for loved ones, but do not place such a focus on it. Study the scriptures surrounding the gift that Christ so lovingly gave us. No matter how long we live, we will never fully comprehend the magnitude of the Atonement in this life, therefore we must do all that we can to increase our knowledge now so when we go into the next life, it can be completed and perfected.
If Christ isn't your best friend right now- stop whatever you are doing and change it. The world can wait, I promise you that.

Now that my blurb is over, quick summary of my week. Ups and downs galore! Getting cussed out by an investigator you think is golden and having them tell you that you're racist and that women are the worst thing to happen to this earth hurts. It hurts bad, but it's not because of what they're saying about you. It hurts because of what they are saying about Christ (we being his representatives) and it hurts how much they are missing out because they are so close-minded and unwilling to allow the Spirit testify of what we are saying.
On the other hand, we found someone that is just soaking up the Plan of Salvation. I've said it before and I'll say it again- the Plan of Salvation either hooks people to the Gospel or is drives them away, depending up on their openness.
Last night we had scones and I mean UTAH scones- fried bread with honey and butter! Yummy! We also went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders on Wednesday and had a pretty crazy day. Sister London spent the day in Brazil (said Bray-zeel if you wanna speak Hoosier). She had a lesson with... A wonderful daughter of God who is very open to the truth but makes it very difficult to get a word in edge-wise. She also has some interesting views on the book of Enoch (which is not even apocrypha, it's pseudepigrapha and if you don't know what that is, look it up on LDS.org), and she also believes in Nephelums (no idea how that is spelled) and aliens and conspiracy theories galore. Thing is, there's a hint of truth in everything she is saying and believes in so we have high hopes that the Brazil Elders will be able to cure her of her... awesomeness. :D Really though, she is awesome!
The same day Sister London was in Brazil I stayed in town and ended up getting molested by a 7 or a 9 year old child. Yeah, let me tell ya, highlight of my week, getting slapped on the butt! It's scary how far downhill the youth are going.
Well, if you've gotten through this epically long letter, you deserve a reward. If you don't know who Neon Trees is, you really should. Go here --> http://www.mormon.org/elaine to learn more about how awesome a certain drummer really is.
C'ya in the Celestial! ;)
JK!
But really....
Sister Ruth

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