Monday, July 23, 2012

Finishing the White Wash

I think on your mission you recognize more than ever the truth in the words of King Benjamin when he speaks of unprofitable servitude:

20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
21 I say unto you that if ye should aserve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

The more I try to push a little harder and be just a little bit better the Lord pushes hard with increased blessings. It is then when we realize that in this zero sum game the only way to keep yourself from going more fully in debt  is by helping others.  Truly saving souls is of the greatest worth to our Father in Heaven.

We started the week by meeting at the end of P-day with the greatest family of all time.  On our records the family was less active, but it became immediately apparent that it was only their work schedule that was keeping them away from church. After talking for 45 minutes about their small business and their lives we turned the conversation to the gospel and read a few scriptures from the Book of Mormon. The wife got excited and started talking about how much she loves church and especially paying tithing.  At this point she is talking a mile a minute and just beaming.  I’m also beaming as she talks about the blessings she has received in every aspect of her life from paying tithing.  Now at this point it may just seem like an awesome tithing story/testimony, but it’s not over.  She then started talking about the tithes and offering slips in general and all of the other donations that it is possible for church members to make.  She said and this is pretty much word for word except she wasn’t speaking in English, "I figure the general authorities of the church wouldn't include them on the slip if they weren't important, so I just donate to all of them!" 
The rest of the week included Elder Robbins catching a bug for a couple days that put him under the weather. I also started teaching English again this week which was a bit of a surprise, but has turned out pretty good.  I’m teaching three times a week to my sponsor’s husband who is in parliament.  He loves talking and is anxious to learn English, plus teaching just the one person is so fantastic the time goes very fast.
We met with more and more members from the new ward and were aided again by the help of the branch missionaries who are lifesavers in white wash situations.

Oops! The internet dropped and I’m trying to finish before it does so again...
In closing I just want to include some experts from a Bishop Edgley talk entitled "Faith, The Choice is Yours"  (read the whole thing!)

“Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. Choose faith. Choose faith over doubt; choose faith over fear; choose faith over the unknown and the unseen; and choose faith over pessimism. We are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours.
While I don’t know everything, I know the important. I know the plain and simple gospel truths that lead to salvation and exaltation. I know that the Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all repentant people can be cleansed from sin. And what I don’t know or don’t completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I bridge the gap and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the gospel. And then, as Alma teaches, our faith brings us to a perfect knowledge (see
Alma 32:34). By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord.”

Like Bishop Edgley I also "have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and
forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed."

Through our faith--And because of my faith—even in the seemingly worst of times—I recognize with peace and gratitude that in reality it is the best of times.

Have a great week

Sorry for how short this was
Elder Neuberger

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