All right so a lot has happened this last week and to be honest, I have just spaced out on writing in the journal till about Saturday/Sunday night. So I’m going to go through the week and tell you all about it!
So the start of the week was pretty great just having P-day and I don’t remember what we did for P-day besides just go looking around Orkney. It was a lot of fun though.
Tuesday we had District meeting and we had an awesome breakfast at the Smiths, we did our District meeting over Skype. I really look forward to District meetings, because they are always what I need to hear that week to improve myself for the coming week. So this past District meeting we talked a lot about faith and why we should teach it to people. So this was a lot of fun to think about. Faith is a gift from God and it can do so much for us. As we help our faith to grow we are able to reach higher goals then we thought we ever could. Just as Alma talked about faith in Alma 32 “How it is that seed and that it does live and die depending on how we nourish it”. So later on Tuesday night we went and taught this to one of our investigators here, and he is an interesting guy. He has a lot of questions and I mean a lot. We have given him the answers but he doesn’t accept, then he goes on with some more questions. I know the answer to all his questions and all his questions can be answered by the Book of Mormon. The interesting thing with questions and the Book of Mormon is when we apply the faith, so we search with the expectation of receiving the answer then we will find it. It might not be right away, but the answer will come and when it involves the Book of Mormon then you will receive the answer that God has given.
So then the rest of the week was going by pretty normal. Then I had a pretty cool thing happen. We were able to teach a guy named Mark. Now Mark’s uncle Magnus was baptized just last year and is an amazing man. So we were able to bring him along to our lesson and we sat down with Mark. We started to teach the Restoration and I thought it was just a great lesson, Mark really seemed to understand it all. During the lesson when seeing Mark learn about this, I had just a small moment were I didn’t see Mark as just another person, but saw him as a Son of God. Sometimes as missionaries we often say to imagine your investigator already in white twice and I felt like I really saw that when I was teaching Mark. It was just wonderful. So later that night we went out chapping and we were able to chap into a lovely little older lady that had just had a hip surgery and we’ll be going back in a few days to go and see her. I’m looking forward to seeing her and being able to teach her because I know how much this Gospel could change her life and just bring a smile to her.
So the week goes on and we had a great BBQ with the branch and I loved it. The food was great and we got to talk to people and it was just a lot of fun. So then today was also really great and I really enjoyed my morning studies as well. So I was reading through the New Testament and I came across this scripture. 2 Cor 12: 2 which says in one part of it ‘Such an one caught up to the third heaven.’ Well to myself I’m like this is just basic gospel Doctrine, but it stood out to me that the Bible is teaching me that there is a third heaven, and of course this scripture linking over to 1 Cor 15: 40-42 talking about the different degrees of bodies AFTER the resurrection. The whole Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians is about the Resurrection and what happens after because I guess these people we were having a hard time with that doctrine. So I was thinking about what else can I learn that pertains to the Plan of Salvation. So I started to go backwards in the plan but only focusing on the Bible and its teachings. So I get to the Spirit world. Simple, so I know where it talks about Spirit Prison 1 Peter 3: 18-20. After the Death of Christ he taught those in spirit prison and the reasoning is found in the next chapter in verse 6. So we have the prison but how about the spirit Paradise? Well Christ teaches us about Paradise. On the cross he says to one of the thief’s that ‘To day shalt thou be with me in paradise’ Luke 23:43. So now we are told that Christ went to Paradise but then went to Prison to teach the Gospel to those that haven’t heard it before so that they might be judged in the judgement day? Well these two places have to be next to each other, and I was wondering how some people don’t know this mostly because I have found that there are a lot of people that just think that Christ went to Heaven for a few days before his was risen. However, Heaven is where God dwells and Christ when he was risen and appeared to Mary said ‘Touch me not for I am not yet ascended to my Father’ SO… Christ did not go to Heaven after his death because he did not go to the place where his Father dwells. SO Christ went to a place of Paradise and Prison in the spirit before being resurrected. Christ’s example teaches us about the spirit world. I thought it was all really cool. And from there I was able to find more evidence for explaining Salvation and the Baptism for the Dead and a whole bunch more! it was just a great study this morning! So more of less this was just fun to think about for explaining the Spirit world with just the Bible mostly, because I usually turn to Alma 40 to explain it but it was fun to think about using the Bible. Then the rest of the day was great, Church was just a great time I really enjoyed it a lot. Then the rest of day was finding and helping a lady find a cat and having dinner. It was a good day.
Well I guess that’s my spiritual thought for you from my studies.
So I’m going to spend this next week reflecting on this past year and I guess my goals for this next year. To me it almost feels like at New Years Eve, so going to make some goals and hope they last longer than a week!
So Orkney is just great, I love the scenery and I love just being out on this island. Everywhere I go I just see the ocean and it’s pretty nice. Then the rolling green hills there is nothing really like it. I like it when I see how green it is as I often think of what Rey said in Star Wars “I never knew there was this much green in the whole universe” I hope I got that quote right. But it is great. So this morning I was listening to a talk about how the solar system and the universe goes together. Because there are a lot of us out there that seem to put a wedge called science between us and God. When to myself they go hand and hand. The sciences explain how something happens but the religion teaches us why something happens. So when I look out in this world and see tons of people walking past each other while there is this amazing landscape around them and they just don’t notice or give time to admire it. It is a bit upsetting. This world is beautiful and wonderful and is full and amazing things. I love to look at this world and look at the small things and see the evidence of God. I like it most when Alma is teaching Korihor the anti-Christ and very simply he says to him, “The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” Everything around us is here to help us see the beauty of the world and really it’s not till we all can stop and pause and admire it do we really see the great blessing of our home. A place of learning and growth. Scotland is an amazing place I love it very much.
So I can’t name all the members of the branch because I’m really bad with names and I’ve been able to see most of them on Sunday. But I can almost name them all. We do only have 3 priesthood holders and one of them lives out on one of the smaller islands so he doesn’t come out to church that often. But he was here this past Sunday and we did a combined priesthood/ Relief society lesson on family history and how to do it and about indexing it was really cool.
So the people here are interesting. They have a different accent. It’s Scottish but then it’s not Scottish. It sounds more like Norwegian or something. There are tons of tourist here every day because the cruise ships stop here in Orkney. So just a few days ago there was a cruise ship from Germany and it was just full of Germans, everyone around us was speaking German so we just went over to the next town where there was this festival going on in Stromness.
But over all just like the mainland Scots they are very stubborn and they enjoy their drink. But people up here are also really nice and friendly. It’s interesting because there are no beggars here at all. The council will house all homeless people. So it’s just like this nice little place where nothing to exciting goes on. Like in newspaper a member was telling us that the most exciting thing is a man trying to rob a bank with a banana and he got told to wait in line and so he did.
So I do believe that’s it for this week I don’t really have anything else that happened besides just got super busy in the evenings and what not, so this week should be better than the last because it’s my new year! And that means New Year goals! So I’ll tell you all about my thoughts of this past year next time.