Happy Holy Week and Easter everyone!
What a wonderful week we are within and have ahead of us! I hope that each of you are doing well; staying healthy and your spirits up! I am so grateful for this time of year.
I finished another journal this week. I ran out of pages to write on. I moved on to the next one. The journal looks the same as the previous one. Plain black cover with large, completely blank pages within. I realized that I had no idea what events would transpire within the next six months that this journal will most likely hold. All I can do is record whatever happens and try to learn from it. Yes, I have a general idea of what will happen, but only the Lord knows exactly what can and will happen. It's exciting! Keeping a daily journal and accounting of what has happened and how you feel about it is an amazing thing.
Over the past year, I've realized that my emails have trended to more spiritual matters rather than dwelling on the daily experiences. I think this is because the basic constitution of those daily experiences are, for the most part, spiritual. It is difficult to broadcast those experiences through an email, at least for me it is difficult to adequately put into words those experiences. Merely recalling the physical content of those experiences doesn't do them justice. For that, I apologize for my own weakness in reporting those details of my mission. I do feel that the most important thing that I could share with anyone are those spiritual insights, tender mercies, and small movements of God throughout my mission.
This past Sunday, a returned missionary gave a talk in the sacrament portion of our meetings. He had returned from serving a Spanish-speaking mission in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission. He spoke on sacrifice. I suppose people were expecting to hear many stories, but most of his talk centered on the doctrine and spiritual knowledge he had gained from his mission. Near the end of his talk, he shared one experience. This experience bore witness of the truth of the doctrine which he had shared. I realized that is the purpose of a story. A story for a story's sake is pointless. Jesus Christ taught doctrine. He taught that doctrine through the use of parables. Our lives are full of parables. We experience the physical and tangible, but it is nothing unless we see the spiritual, the meaning behind those things. Paul taught that works without charity (love) is nothing (1 Cor 13).
This man's younger brother, who was just called to serve a mission, gave a talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is a doctrine that has been sinking into my heart more and more recently and I am grateful for that because it is the most essential thing to understand and use in life. Indeed, it is what gives us life daily and what promises us life eternal.
Elder Barker and I have been walking around quite a bit (to my knee's chagrin) and sharing with everyone we meet the truth that Jesus Christ lives. He is alive and He has a body and that matters because it means that we all will be resurrected and live forever as well. We have been sharing a short video that effectively encapsulates all that the Living Christ means in our daily lives.
The video: https://youtu.be/BZqTRSVA1YA
It's a great video and I hope you each view it. It is a physical thing, something we view with our eyes, but again, "it is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing" John 6:63. The feelings, thoughts, and motivations that come from within is that which is worth paying much more attention to.
I hope that you have a wonderful week, no matter how you celebrate this time of year. It is a great time to be alive. I will be celebrating this week particularly through listening and applying the counsel from the Church leaders who will be speaking at the Church's General Conference this weekend. https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng