1 is awful lonely without 2! haha 2 new baptismal dates for the week :) God is good and knows how to help His children make the right steps towards eternal exaltation (spelling? its korotus in finnish) I am very very excited. April 1 and April 23. The one became an investigator just this last week. His name is Veli-matt and the other is Anne. Veli Matt has been attending church for the last 9 years!?! crazy, his wife is a memeber and for whatever reason he has not been baptized. We asked him what has changed to make him feel ready to take the next step. He said, well... It just feels wierd to do all the things a member does and not be a member. haha then we talked about blessings and eternal life with him. It went well.... I'm just hoping that he isn't pulling and april fools joke (haha just kidding) Wonderful investigators coming to church and meeting with us... SO BUSY... AND I LOVE IT!!! The Akilie family is amazing! we had a teach yesterday with them and the father had some concerns about this being the only true church (we watch the restoration DVD) and the discussion went very well and the spirit was way strong so I think that really answered his question. I don't know if I told you they are from the Congo... But have lived in finland for a long time, they fled to finland because of the rebels and rebellions and all sorts of crazy things. They all speak finnish... so they have been in finland for a long long time.
Alright, last friday I got a letter from julia (haha fromage I already got the bad news... I very excited for her! that is wonderful tell her and her new hubby congrats from me sometime :) Katelin is a gem! He is a lucky man!) On the front of the card was a quote that I really liked It had a little girl on rollarskates and underneath the picture it said "Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down" *(refer to * at the bottom) This quote and the cute letter really started me off on a wonderful personal study, about which I would like to share some thoughts.
I came to the story about a man who is just breifly mentioned in the doctrine and covenants, President Packer (if I remember right) gave a really good talk about this. In it he explaines a little background of Oliver Granger. Oliver Granger was assigned by the Lord to stay back as the saints left Kirkland and sell the property for whatever he could. I have limited access so I don't have too much background, but I do know that Oliver Granger was partially blind because of exposure to the cold. He was a very faithful man and loyal to the Lord. This is what the Lord says about him:
12And again, I say unto you, I remember my servant aOliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.
14Therefore, let him come up hither speedily, unto the land of Zion; and in the due time he shall be made a merchant unto my name, saith the Lord, for the benefit of my people.
15Therefore let no man despise my servant Oliver Granger, but let the blessings of my people be on him forever and ever.
his name shall be had in sacred remembrance... What a beautiful thing to hear from the Lord through a prophet. The verse I left out is verse 13 which says:
13 Therefore, let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his asacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.
when he falls he shall rise again, for his asacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase... I believe that that is God's eternal truth. When we fall, as long as we rise again and continue to progress towards eternal life, we are doing exactly what God would have us do.
Julia also shared somethings about how inevitably we all face trials, but as we continue to press forward and focus on the good, we able to enjoy life more fully (something along those lines) it was great. It made me think of the times I have felt a little down, and when things haven't gone the best... by focusing on the happy things and joyful things I actually don't remember any specific downer times., by that same token you can bet that I remember every joyful memory. Every smile that lights up an investigator's face. Every truth that hits them and enlightens their understanding... I think that is what life is about... and I'll bet it is even a greater feeling to see your children FINALLY understand an eternal truth you have been trying to teach them for 20 years of their life (lol like me :) )
President uchtdorf says this about not giving up in his talk "the love of God" (oct 2009 conf.)
My dear brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don’t feel downcast or despair if you don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try to believe. Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets; choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us. Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible—and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you.
Progression is what it is all about. Finally another talk by Elder maxwell entitled "concecrate thy performance" Is truly humbling about giving your whole heart to God (haha this is kinda like alma 5 in a sense that if you are prideful and think you have got it... just read this and you are in tears and realize how far from perfection you are)
In pondering and pursuing consecration, understandably we tremble inwardly at what may be required. Yet the Lord has said consolingly, “My grace is sufficient for you” (D&C 17:8). Do we really believe Him? He has also promised to make weak things strong (see Ether 12:27). Are we really willing to submit to that process? Yet if we desire fulness, we cannot hold back part!
Having our wills increasingly swallowed up by the will of the Father actually means an enhanced individuality, stretched and more capable of receiving “all that [God] hath” (D&C 84:38). Besides, how could we be entrusted with His “all” until our wills are much more like His? Nor could His “all” be fully appreciated by the partially committed.
I loev you all and hope that by sharing my personal study with you rather than share my weeks events you are able to learn :) haha maybe next week I will give a good report lol :) haha
Vänhin Thömäs Nielsen
*(haha julia that was the perfect quote because it is almost direct translation how a finn would say that)