Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Bryce

Thanks for the Christmas music! I've listened to the other Reprise CD so many times. It's great to hear another one.
Saturday and Sunday we went to stake conference. The last speaker, Elder Cruz, among many other things referred to examples of youth in the old testament to teaching how we are capable of staying away from the depraved things of this world. Daniel and Joseph of Egypt were the two that demonstrated obedience to commandments that are most attacked in our day--the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. I enjoyed seeing high relevance in between ancient scripture and modern living.

I saw a direct application of the counsel in Doctrine and Covenants 46:2 to "conduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit." during the conference. Elder Cruz asked the choir to perform a second time the opening hymn "This Is The Christ" between the first and second parts of his discourse. He encouraged us to pay special attention to the words. I was always curious about the full meaning of that verse in D&C, but I believe I understand it a little better now.
After much searching this week, we found a two less active members that invited us in. After getting acquainted with them and sharing a scripture, one of them said they will go back to church this week. That was the greatest part of my week. Idamar has been helping us do visits, too. He's so excited. He animates me.

Last night we participated in a family night with João Vitor and part of his family. We read the story of Moroni and his title of liberty, and then asked everyone to make their own title of liberty to post in some place in which they will always see it. They were so excited.  I am continually taught by the sincerity of children. I marvel at how attentive they are in the right moments. One of the most palpable lessons I have learned so far is that a strong stable home makes all the difference in the future of a child. I have seen teenagers teaching little kids to smoke while listening to poisonously affective and crude music while walking on the road. You can see the uncertainty on their faces. I have also seen two little cousins holding hands skating down the road to greet us and tell us about a family night activity they have planned with eager smiles on their faces. The difference between those who understand the importance of a firm family and strong home, and those who are lost in poory aimed curiosity is tremendous. It is sad to see, but very affective in teaching observers why we are living--what we're here for. I am glad that I have learned this lesson here. I hope to be able to communicate clearly this truth to future generations.
What I'm learning here feels like the continuation of a long observational learning process that started a long time ago. I don't have any short specific to-the-point experiences this week for you guys, but I do know that even though we don't see many of the results, missionary work is important and I know that God really cares about all of us individually. He uses imperfect beings to accomplish his perfect purposes. We are his tools and he sharpens us by sanding off our rough edge weaknesses. We get dull faster than any cheap knife, but he still chooses to help us and use us the best he can.
Have a hungry thanksgiving break.
Elder Young

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