Monday, March 25, 2013

Be Not Weary in Well Doing

The biggest news this week was definitely hearing about Brett's mission call!  I wish I could explain how happy that made me to hear.  The last 21 months when people ask if I have friends on a mission, I've had to say that all my friends but one went.  Brett, I hope you know that this was definitely an answer to my prayers, as well as those of many others, I'm sure.  Anyway, I'm sure proud of you, and I don't want to see you at my homecoming. 

Aside from that, it's been mostly a slow week.  We're starting to get a little more help from members, but it hasn't quite given fruits yet.  If all goes well, though, we should have a couple of good people to teach.  I'd rather it were a couple of good families, but that will come eventually.  It's certainly better to just be grateful for the help they do give.  We had good church services yesterday, as well.  There wasn't anything particularly standout about it, but I just felt the Spirit very strongly, and I really needed it.  I had the impression to look at Joshua 24:15 and had a good little thought come to mind.  It isn't just "choose ye this day whom ye will serve", it's "si no os parece bien servir a Jehová" (I didn't look it up in English...) then choose who else it'll be.  Elder Maxwell talks a lot about if we don't choose the Lord, then it really doesn't matter what else we choose.  That was a good connection, and a reminder that the Lord is always first. 

It sounds like everyone's staying pretty busy at home.  I'm sure glad Dad passed his test.  I've talked to lots of Mexicans who are in real estate, and they don't have to do anything to be able to work in that.  Although things are much more difficult in the US, I'm sure glad we make sure people are qualified to do their work.  I'm sure glad Jonathan made some good progress in his mission.  It's always amazing how much being in the Lord's service can change a person.  I know it has for me.  I don't remember where Brian is going to serve, but that's great that he's heading out.  What day are Trent and Sally getting married?  I just heard that they were engaged, but I never heard the date.  

As far as working when I get back, I had planned to see if I couldn't get in at the MTC (knowing there'd be a need with so many new missionaries coming in).  I don't know if there's any way to apply or look into that now or soon so I can know what I'm going to do when I get back.  I imagine I can only do one or the other between that and early morning custodial work (both being BYU jobs), so I'd appreciate it if you could look into that for me.  If I can do both, that is the ideal.  If not, MTC is first choice, but I'll be very happy with working with Wendy if I can't work that out.  That being said, if you can get my classes all at one time, that would be wonderful.  I'd prefer to just have everything in the morning (and I think the music classes are only really offered in the morning).  If not, do what you can and I'll live with it.  If I have to go back to work at Bert Murdock, they'd rather I be there in the afternoon to go to rentals at schools and stuff like that, so having an open afternoon would be preferred.  

Happy Birthday Savanna!  I can't believe you're already 4 years old.  Fortunately, I'll be home before you get too much older. 

Here's the Ward letter: 

Windsor 7th Ward,

What a special time of the year.  This is a precious opportunity to focus on and remember the life, mission, and Atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I think we often take for granted how much He really did for us.  We know that we can be forgiven of our sins and that we'll resurrect one day, but do we ever pause to think of the other blessings of the Atonement?  I've spent the greater part of my mission studying and pondering the Atonement, and I've come to understand a small amount of just why this sacrifice is so important.  Beginning with the last supper, Christ outlined some of the consequences of His Atonement.  The Spirit would be granted to His disciples if they would keep their covenants and remember Him.  He prayed that they, through the grace provided by His sacrifice, could be one with Him and the Father.  He promised that He would never leave them alone, and that through their enduring faithfulness, He would visit them personally in all His resurrected glory.  He then went to the garden of Gethsemane.  After retiring Himself from His disciples, He was "sore amazed", fell on His face, and began to suffer incomprehensibly; so much so that He, the very Son of God and a God in His own right, pled that the cup might be passed from Him.  I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon's aclaration on His suffering in Alma 7:11-13.  He not only took upon Him the punishment for our sins, allowing mercy to overpower justice, He took upon Him all of our infirmities, diseases, sorrows, pains, and afflictions.  He "descended below them all".  There is nothing we will every experience that He did not suffer more "that He might know how to succor them in their infirmities".  He was then taken, beaten, scourged, and put to trial in an illegal manner.  He was condemned and taken to Calvary.  He was nailed to the cruel cross and lifted up in similitude of Moses's brazen serpent.  On the cross, He suffered again all that He suffered in Gethsemane, but entirely alone.  The Spirit withdrew, and He was left with no defense against the entire onslaught of Satan but His own Godhood.  He exclaimed in victory, "it is finished", and commended His Spirit to His Father.  While a Spirit, He organized His forces in the Spirit world to make His redeeming power truly infinite, granting salvation to all of God's children should they choose to accept it.  On that glorious Sunday, the last enemy was conquered.  With the power given Him of the Father, He broke the bands of death for all mankind.  I would encourage you all the ponder on the significance of the Atonement in your life.  What does it mean to you?  How much do you apply it?

I testify to you with all of my soul that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  All that He did for us can never be repayed.  Fortunately, He doesn't deal in quantities, but rather in proportions.  Christ literally gave all of Himself, and all that He expects is that we give all of ourselves.  Our offering will be nothing compared to His, but it is all that the Father asks in order for us to obtain "all that the Father hath".  How I love the Savior.  How it pains me to know that I was the cause of so many drops of blood being shed for my sins.  I am eternally grateful to Him for this eternal, supernal gift.

Elder Facer (for additional reading, see Elder Bruce R. Mckonkie, "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane" from the April 1985 conference)

I think that will also suffice for my testimony this week.  I love you all so much, though I don't express it nearly often enough.  I'm so grateful for all of your support and especially your prayers, which I feel increasingly more powerfully every day.  I look forward to being with you again in 3 short months, but for now, there's work to be done.  The Lord's work never rests. 

Elder Facer


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