Hey all of you,
I awoke last Thursday and prepared to go out into the world. Little did I know that overnight, it had cooled off considerably and was in the 70s. Elder Hatefi is from Las Vegas and so stepping outside was like stepping into ice water for him. As we biked throughout that day, I felt incredibly refreshed and started missing the fall season. This week, the heat is picking up again. I have felt the summer moving by at a rapid pace, but I hope all of you are enjoying it.
In other news, we killed 5 spiders in our apartment last week. Not fun.
We met with a couple who have been interested in family history research. They already have a lot of information about their ancestors and it was great to share stories and talk about where everyone was from. The husband was descended from Joan of Arc! It may be interesting to some of you that I and my family are descended from one of the women who were accused as witches in the Salem Witch Trials! I'm a wizard! Establishing these connections across generations is fun for the stories, but it is also a great resource for help and strength.
Out here in the West, a few states celebrate Pioneer Day, which recognizes the sacrifice and success of the Latter-day Saint pioneers who trekked across the plains and mountains to the Salt Lake Valley region and other areas. Many people who live here have ancestors who were either part of those Mormon groups or part of other groups seeking for a better future in the West. Their stories of courage inspire and teach the current generations. This is one great motivator for family tree research.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that all people will learn about Jesus Christ, whether in this life or in the next. All people will have an opportunity to accept him and manifest that through essential ordinances such as baptism. We have a practice called baptisms for the dead. This is performed in temples of the Church. A person is baptized on behalf of someone who has already died and cannot be physically baptized themselves. This is spoken of in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 15:29. We do research on our own family tree and find people who were not baptized. (http://www.mormon.org/faq/baptism-for-the-dead) This is also a strong motivator to find ancestors.
familysearch.org is a great website with more information about family history.
We knocked on a door that I had felt impressed to go to and started talking to the lady who answered. She was very nice and even let us grab some water since it was over 100 degrees outside. We do meet very kind and loving people. Another time this past week, we stopped for a rest outside an apartment complex. Sitting on a concrete bumper, a lady came out and asked us if we needed some help. After telling her we were just resting, she told us that we could have our rest, but that she wanted us to leave afterward. Yes, there are the frustrating experiences and ones that don't make sense in the least. Maybe she was having a bad day.
People have agency, the freedom to act. God has given us this gift. I hope you all have a great week and make the most of the time you have to do great things and help others!