Lots of amazing things this week,
One of the highlights was a very cool, slightly traumatic, experience that makes a perfect metaphor for the Atonement... We were over at a friend's house helping her paint her room and had just moved the drop cloth from one wall to the other. The paint bucket somehow ended up underneath the cloth and as I tried to move the bucket it tipped. The lid looked like it was on at the time, but as i tried to move it I spilled over half a bucket of charcoal gray paint on a cream carpet. A feeling of dread and guilt and horror swept over me and I immediately stood the bucket back up and started trying to scoop the excess paint back in.
|My paint fiasco|
Within moments my companion was helping me and we got the majority of it off the carpet... but there was still a huge stain on the carpet and I really didn't think it was ever going to come out...and neither did anyone else.
The thoughts going through my mind were, "Dang it! What have I done? This stain is never coming out. I'm going to have to buy her new carpet...I wonder how much that costs?" Our friend started googleing solutions and we tried option one: squeegee with butter knives--it got some more goop up but didn't remove the stain. She then called her mom and her mom told her to peel the carpet up, put towels underneath and flush it with water and scrub with soap. So we did! We poured half a bottle of Dawn soap and some water on the stain and started scrubbing with our hands. There were a lot of dirty suds but it didn't look like it was doing anything at first.
We kept scrubbing and it started looking a little lighter. We kept at it for a full hour repeating the process of applying soap, water, scrubbing, removing the dirty suds and with a lot of work from lots of people we got it clean. Our hands were pretty smooth by then end of it and all 5 of us were exhausted.
The towels underneath the carpet were soaked, stained, and needed a good cleaning too, but the stain on the carpet was gone.
So the moral of the story is that paint comes out of carpet and sin comes out of sinners. Dawn soap=The Atonement. Some insights I found were that if you scrub without the soap you won't get anywhere, but if you apply soap and don't work to scrub you won't get it clean either. Sometimes our sins effect others (like the towels) and we have to get those clean, but Dawn soap fixes everything. And even when you think a stain won't come out, there's still hope. There are more parallels you can draw as you think about it, but it was an amazing analogy from a crazy experience. We're also getting to teach the girl later this week :)
we went blueberry picking for a ward activity. Probably the best activity ever. We brought home a lot of blueberries and they will all go in our smoothies :) We had some less actives and an investigator come to it, so I'd count that as successful. We're working on getting more people to activities like that in the future, but it's a process. And the work in this ward is rocking anyways. We've had people bringing friends to church and FHE all the time. It's almost hard to talk to all the non members that are there sometimes (I'm not complaining! :D). The challenge is to follow up with everyone and actually set appointments, but that's going great too. Not everyone who comes is always interested in learning, and not everyone keeps appointments, but there are so many good things happening. Remember what I said in my last letter? Y'all are the key. Keep inviting :)
Also, this week we also had specialized training with President and we talked a lot about the importance of The Restoration. We read this talk, which is a phenomenal one to read if you haven't: https://www.lds.org/
broadcasts/article/ces- devotionals/2014/01/what-is- the-blueprint-of-christs- church?lang=eng
It's called "What is the Blueprint of Christ's Church?" It explains all the identical features between the church described in the New Testament and the Restored Church today.
President also asked us a question, "How would my life be different with out the Restoration?" something good to think about. As I thought about it, I couldn't even begin to fathom what my life would be like? The Restoration and the influence the Church has had on my life has been so significant and effected every facet of my life it's hard to think of what I would be like with out it. I am so grateful for the blessings that come from the Restoration to name but a few, The Book of Mormon, Priesthood, Living Prophets, Temples... the list could go on and on. Take a minute and think about all the blessings that have come to your life because of the Restoration and the understanding you have because of it. There are so many people who don't have that, and that's why missionary work is so exciting. Because we get to share our unique message with the world. The Light and Knowledge and Truth that so many people don't have. It's such a blessing. Think of someone in your life that could use a little more understanding (shouldn't be too hard) and think of how the doctrine of the Restoration could bless them.
Love you all! Wish you the best! Happy Belated Father's Day to my own Dad and to all the other dads out there :)