Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 9, 2011 ("...and I said to myself... What a wonderful world")

Dearest Family,

I do thoroughly enjoy the ward here in Espoo... Quite likely one of the greatest wards for missionary work that I have ever served in. I Wish I could tell of all the good things that the Nutin Family is doing. The mom, is a very good mom, and the dad is a very very inspired dad. They remind me a lot about our family. haha. They have 5 kids haha... they are all great. We have an investigator who just became and investigator last week and they are doing such good things for her. We are going to try and line up a family night together... Katsotaan.

Life is such a beautiful gift, and what makes me happy is to know that the giver of this gift wants us to be just as happy as He is. He really knows how to save his children. A lot of my thoughts today are focused on obedience to God, and why it is important. Obedience is something that a missionary is taught clear from before the field. I feel like just know I am beginning to understand more thoroughly the all-inclusive blessings that come through obedience. Obedience is something learned simply by being obedient. For me it is one of the greatest things we are to learn here in mortal life. It is an enabling force for good. It allows us to become like him, and with it we are promised protection from the enemy of all that is good... in whatever form his fiery darts come. If you remember a few weeks ago I shared something I learned as we taught a recent convert. Vahur Saer. He shared about building a hut. If we want it to turn out right there are certain principles or laws we have to abide (live... are those words interchangable) by. Although we have many different types of buildings, many insane architects with crazy-cool ideas... They all follow, and are obedient to, specific laws of nature. God wants us to become like he is. That doesn't come by simply making it through life uneffected, but by being his hands to bless the lives of those around us.

Preach my gospel says the following refering to obedience:

"Obedience is the first law of heaven. It is an act of faith. You may sometimes be required to do things you do not completely understand. As you obey, you increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom. Strive to be obedient to the Lord, the living prophet, and your mission president"

The simple promise her is that we will be able to grow and become more perfected
"faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom" are all essential for that.

More promises for the scriptures include:

D&C 130:20-21
20There is a alaw, irrevocably decreed in bheaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all cblessings are predicated—

21And when we obtain any ablessing from God, it is by bobedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

And D&C 82:10

10 I, the Lord, am abound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no bpromise.

So obedience is really really really essential... and I don't really have time to share everything... but this is a good part of it.

It really has brought me such comfort to know how much you guys love God and strive to follow His will. I think that that knowledge can give us comfort and understanding regaurdless of the situations we are in, abroad or right smack-dab in the middle of mormon-ville. God loves us and knows what he is doing, and we will become better and progress as we are obedient. It is kind of like we are all investigators. Progressing investigators are the ones who make and keep commitments including reading and praying about joseph smith, the truthfulness of the book of mormon... Etc. We like progressing investigators :)

Lol... Sounds like you are all doing well, I do enjoy your emails. Thanks everyone who sent them :) may the book be published and 50 paintings painted! that is a big goal! wow! As for dad's question, I agree with you answer that we will still have the veil of forgetfulness over our eyes. To me there are three acts in the plan of salvation and the 2nd act doesn't end until judgment... part of the 2nd act is to not remember the first act... I'll look for doctrinal clearence on that :) lol

I really do love Finland, and feel bad that you guys don't get to live here year round :) the "coldest winter in 1000 years" forecast that was given is not holding true... this is actually WAY warmer than last year.. I remember -30 degree days last year! haha it was cold!

Keep going forward and I hope I can share more funny things next week... Lol because they happen every single day... and a whole lot of them... Elder sharp is teaching me to juggle in our "free" time :)

Love you family,

Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

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