Favorite Scripture

Favorite Scripture:

“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:37)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Leave Our Nets Behind

Dear Family,
Wow, another week down.  I can't believe it has already been a month here.  At times I really can't remember not being here and at times I can't believe I have been here so long. It is very hard to explain.  haha! Chinese feels like It has slowed down... Its getting harder to learn I feel like... but it’s not as overwhelming.  I have a goal this week of speaking nearly only ZhongWen and trying to memorize all the words I need in the First Three lessons.  I can teach the first lesson with no notes, no problem.  The plan of Salvation is a lot tougher.  However, our teacher was telling us about the Plan of Salvation and teaching it- he also served in Taizhong - but he was likening teaching the plan of salvation to trying to explain baseball bunt coverages or some sport lingo to someone who has never heard anything about it.  You just can't go into depth like you want to.  ...but that doesn't mean you can't help them understand and fall in love with the game, or in this case the gospel.  So starting off with Adam and Eve, they don't know anything about that... so there is no reason to confuse.  However the story is very important.  That is why we are all able to choose for ourselves and that is why the atonement has been given to us. 

So he taught us to just keep it simple.  Even if it is just, Adam and Eve were our first parents sent down to this earth.  Because they like us were subject to temptation and making mistakes, Our Heavenly Father created a perfect plan, a plan that allows us to be forgiven when we mess up.  ....So something like that.  It gets the point across and helps them kind of gather that Adam and Eve were our first parents and it leads right into our mortal life and the Atonement.  It can be just as powerful.  The ultimate goal is to get these investigators to church where they can feel of the Savior's love and better understand in depth these topics.  ...however, that is the thing I have realized in this gospel.  It is so simple.  When teaching, we truly must bring it to the level of a small child... The gospel is most effective when even we as members remember how simple the gospel is, and the simplicity of prayer and scriptures and obedience.  It has been a neat thing being able to teach these things in their most simple forms.  They have helped me even more. 

To answer a couple of your questions from the emails... I actually have Hosted twice already and actually sing in the devotional choir every Sunday! The choir director is amazing.  He shares the most incredible stories.  He shared one a couple weeks ago about the song sweet hour of prayer.  I always thought that was kind of a stupid song... haha kinda bad to say i know! I just knew it was the easiest to learn in the Hymm book... haha but he shared a story that changed me.  The person who wrote this song was blind, and was his whole life.  He had a man read him the bible every day and this blind man memorized the bible. He actually memorized the Bible.  Amazing.  He wrote this song.  Listen to the words... " in seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief. " Wow... can you imagine being blind.  This man truly learned the importance of prayer.  He then went on to tell us a story about his wife almost dying... and in his last effort cried to Heavenly Father.  He then told us that we would find ourselves in this situation someday if we haven't already.  Where we would have to call upon our Heavenly Father in desperate need.  This is the sweet hour of prayer. Amazing. ...so yeah... haha i kinda like choir. ;)

Sunday during personal study I began reading about John the Baptist.  I find him truly amazing.  I wondered where he got the power to Baptize Christ.  I then found that he was ordained when he was only 8 days of age by an angel.. haha. Pretty neat huh?? One of the most powerful things that I read was how he prepared the way for the Savior and he himself had a lot of followers himself.  Then when Christ came, all his followers followed Christ.  Naturally, that was what he was doing. Preparing them for Christ.  What struck me was that Christ then called his apostles and John, the man who prepared the way for Christ and had a ton of followers wasn't called as an Apostle, and at least two and probably more of the people he taught became Christ's apostles.  Here John was, prepared the way, trained Christ's apostles and then baptized Christ and wasn't chosen.  This is what I love.  It said that John had no feelings of jealousy or anger.  Wow.  He then was sent to prison and later beheaded.  Christ says about John that he was one of the greatest prophets to ever live.  Wow.  The Savior said that.  To me John the Baptist knew his role as a missionary and thrived.  Man... I thought that was so awesome.  

The last thing I wanted to share was when Christ told Andrew and Peter to follow him, they right away left their nets.  Their nets could have very well been their lively hood, and they left them right away to follow Christ.  Notice how it didn't say that they folded up their nets and took them home, they left them and followed Christ.  This is like the mission.  There can't be a lot of time to look back, or fold up our nets.  We don't take our nets with us... we follow Christ and ask others we teach to do the same.  I loved that.  That was in Mathew chapter 4 btw. 

This week has been great, Elder Lloyd is amazing.  He has gotten me through some rough days.  I am so lucky to have a best friend like him (here at the same time learning the same difficult language)!  My district is doing great.  We are super close and love to play 'would you rather' at lunch. Hahaha usually this revolves around disney movies! hahaha I love them all.  

I love you guys!! Keep the faith and always know that the Atonement is perfect and can and will cover us all.  It has the power to make us strong beyond belief.  I am still learning this.  I love you guys!!! 

Love always, 

Elder Redding

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