Hello Family and Friends!
how is everyone? thank you for all of your mail, i really appreciate it. I cant believe school is starting again! thats the last time it will while i'm on my mission! WEIRD!!! and today, the 5th of september, marks my "sweet 16 months" mark or something like that. :P anyway, i hope all goes well with the remodel. Cara, thats pretty rough with your friend. i was sorry to hear that. I'm sorry i cant really say much to console you at this point, as i'm sure all that can be said has been said. but perhaps i can at least give my 2 cents. I dont know your friend, but Christ does, and he loves her. she is covered by his atonement, and she will have the opportunity to accept it. but you already know that. the important part though, is that the atonement, in this case also extends to YOU. remember in the book of mormon that the atonement is often referred to as "the arms of his [Christ's] love." or when someone was repentant, they were "encircled about by the arms of his love." just they could be, so can you be. true, complete healing comes with time, but that time can be significantly shortened when the atonement is used for ourselves, and then we can feel, quite literally, the embrace of the savior. i know we can, because i felt it, and i have had healing happen much faster than it otherwise could. i encourage you study that, and take advantage of it. The atonement covers anything negative in our lives. whatever it is, christ suffered it, and he can help us through it. [editors note: her high school friend was killed in an accident this week]. anyway, Dad its good to hear from you. just yesterday (today for you) was father's day for Australia. i had the opportunity to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting. i get to do that now that i'm in a branch. Everyone was talking about their Dads and how much they appreciate them and whatnot, and i couldnt help but do the same. it kind of took me by surprise, how well it all fit into the gospel, and how our relationship has been much stronger in the last couple of years. then i was able compare that with our heavenly father, and how basically the same thing has happened. i concluded that i was so grateful for my dads. the full force of everything didnt hit me until just after that though, while we were singing the closing hymn. i found myself all choked up and unable to sing (a first for me) as i reflected on how much you've done to impact my life for the better. how i find myself trying to figure out what you would do in certain situations. i am so grateful for you, Dad. I love you.
ok, emotions back under control, i'll tell you about my week. it was difficult. although, in a different sort of way. we were, however, able to have the lesson with the Gunderson Family like we had anticipated. The Gundersons are a very active family in our church, and are from the states, here temporatily for with sister gunderson's family who are Kiwi. none of them are members, but almost all have, of late, expressed interest in the Gospel. Most of all, sister gunderson's sister-in-law, who was the one who got the ball rolling for us. however, she was unable to be there this last tuesday, but we were able to teach her nephew and his partner, and her niece. we taught the plan of salvation, and it was awesome. just before this, we were trying to decide if we should teach the plan of salvation, or the restoration. usually, the restoration comes first. but for some reason i couldnt shake the thought that the plan of salvation needed to be taught. but i just wasnt sure. i kept praying for confirmation, but didnt seem to be getting anything. then, we got a call, out of the blue from sister gunderson. she told us that those that we were teaching had recently lost a Grandfather who had been a major part of their lives, and asked if we could do the plan of salvation for them. it was such a simple thing, and yet it made a world of difference for me. again, close to tears. God really does answer prayers, and he answered mine. and the lesson went very well, and all 3 people are still very interested to learn, and we are excited to teach. that was the best part of this week. unfortunately, the rest of the week was a bit harder. we decided to make this transfer better than the other 2 we've had together, and have made the appropriate efforts, but as we all know, satan has so many ways to divert us from what we need to be doing. if he cant get us the way he normally does, he'll work through someone else. and so he has. this week seemed like we were constantly arguing. nothing major, nothing like a massive fall-out, just little arguments over little things that dont matter. it's quite frustrated me, because this is a problem that i havent really ever experienced. sure, one or 2 arguments here and there, but never like this. I found mostly that it was I who had the short fuse in most cases which also frustrated and concerned me. but we are fixing that as well. this transfer we are going to baptize some important people, and satan doesnt want that, but thats not going to stop us. I'll change everything about me if thats what is required to do what needs to be done, but this time- THIS TIME i refuse to lose. i dont need to see the baptism necessarily, but i need to make sure that it happens. and i certainly will. and by "I" i mean with God's help, God willing. so that's basically how this week has been.
Anyway, thats basically all for this week. I love you all so much! i know this is where i'm supposed to be, and i know that this is God's true church. there is no denying it, it simply could not be the church of any other person, thing or entity. the joy is too real, the change too complete. this is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ!
love you all!
Elder Tayler Christensen