Monday, April 16, 2012

Pickle Juice Explained

So looking back at last week’s letter I didn’t say really anything, so I'll try to catch up .  .  .
Last Friday we had the baptism of our two new members, Tsend-ayush and Khulun.  We had just picked up Elder Wilson at that point and we ran to the church to start filling the baptismal font.  Unfortunately, the water wasn’t flowing very fast so we were a bit worried about it from the start.  But while we waited for the water to fill we taught some lessons in the church.  One to a man whose only day off for the week is usually Sunday.  He comes to church every week but it’s been really hard to meet with him otherwise.  He has been our investigator for three weeks now, but we taught the first lesson.  It was cool to see Elder Wilson who had been in the country three days bear his testimony and to see the power in its simplicity.  By six o'clock (a half hour before the baptism was to begin) we were getting worried about the water problem.  We prayed...hard.  Then we got to work filling the font with buckets that we filled in the bathroom and then ran to the font.  It helped somewhat, but as we started the baptism there was only about a foot and a half of water in the font.  The meeting started and the turnout was another good one by the ward.  The mother of one of those being baptized is also the Relief Society president of the ward and she gave the talk on baptism.  She was so grateful the entire evening and just kept saying thank you over and over again.  As for the baptism, after a couple of tries, those doing the baptizing had success (that is they were finally able to fully immerse the converts).  The water didn’t even reach the knees of those in the font, so it wasn’t an easy thing.
Now over two weeks ago in the US and a week ago for us was General Conference which was an amazingly peaceful ten hours for everyone who attended.  All of the Americans sat in a large room in the central building and watched it in English.  My thoughts  .  .  Of course all of the talks were amazing and I watched conference like I’ve never watched it before. (Links provided for easy reference.  Read the talks).
Elder Hallstom’s talk on the difference between the church and the gospel (i.e. culture vs doctrine) was timely, because the church buildings in Mongolia are so beautiful it’s extremely easy for people to be excited about church just for the opportunity to go inside.  While the church and its organizations create a wonderful atmosphere for conversion to the gospel, it cannot be mistaken for true testimony and real gospel conversion.

President Eyring ( Wow! There’s not much more I can say.  When you’re faced with a problem realize it’s a hard thing; know you have to do it; and then do it!

Which brings us to Elder Holland and my pickle juice reference last week that some have wondered about (  When others receive blessings, recognition and praise resist drinking the pickle juice.  Feel happy for them.  Be grateful for what you have received, and don’t be jealous because God has chosen to be kind.  And don’t hyperventilate about what happened at 8 am!

Priesthood session is always amazing
Pres. Uchtdorf ( If we lose sight of the why, we soon lose sight of everything.  From the why’s come the motivation to do anything of any worth.  Be transformed by the why!!!

Pres. Monson ( The story of the wounded soldier was amazing.  I think Pres. Monson took it another direction, but I learned the importance of helping another when you are also wounded.  Even though we are in the midst of our own trials it’s important to be focused on the welfare of others .  .  .  always! 
Secondly, don’t be discouraged.  This month might be the month!  You might need to read the talk to get that.

To hear the words of a living prophet is unlike any experience we have.  It is direct revelation from God for the good of those living on the earth today.  It’s available for everyone because it’s intended for everyone.  Listen, read, ponder, and most of all live what you learn.  For it is in the doing that we show our faith and love for our Heavenly Father.
Khamgiin golen Love your family!  Do your duty and try your best!  This week I’ve been struggling to know what "best" really is.  At what point do we allow for our own human error.  How much is truly enough.  I’m not sure I have a real answer.  But as we counsel with the Lord and try our best to never be passive no matter the time of the day, the Lord will accept our service.
I’m so grateful for this tremendous opportunity and the burden of responsibility through which the Lord is “shaping my back”.  I know this church is true and that things it teaches will bless the lives of any who experiment on the Word.
Do something nice for someone else this week.  Forget about yourself and press forward to eternal goals.  I feel so privileged to know so many of you.  Please read these letters as if they were addressed especially to you and know if I could, I would write you each an individual email every week.

Love, Elder Neuberger
PS Leslie, John, Kevin, Jack, Grandma, Nana and everyone else who has written - I love your letters and am trying my best to respond!

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