Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Week

From Elder Paul Freeman, dated August 6, 2008

Dear Mom,

It's been another excellent week as far as the work is concerned. We've got two baptisms coming up on Saturday. Actually, it will be a total of 3 people being baptized but on account of scheduling conflicts there will be two separate services. We're excited. It truly is a blessing to come into the area with 3 people already prepared and committed. All we've got to do know is get other people moving and progressing in the gospel in preparation for more baptisms.

We're currently working with several people and the traveling elders came through and provided several more new people for us to work with. Elder Lestarge is doing very well also. He's far more helpful than I was when I first started. We're having a good time too, even though we're on bikes out here in the arid desert of Victorville. We've developed pretty good tans. I also like to think it's helping shed the extra pounds. Even if I am or not I still had to end up buying two new shirts. So, thank you very much for the additional funds.

I also couldn't resist a book called "The Inevitable Apostasy and the Promised Restoration" by Tad R. Callister. It's pretty amazing. He paints a pretty clear picture of what happened to the primitive Church. His primary source is the scriptures as well as modern day revelation from prophets. Even more amazing is the cherry on top he includes as writing from first century saints. President Sanches actually approved it as well.

It seems to be one of the major concerns that people face when learning the restored Gospel. It's difficult to accept that the authority to teach the gospel and perform its saving ordinances. People see it as God turning his back on the people, or refute it on grounds that there have always been Christians since the time of Christ. What is difficult to explain is how the people in the early days of the church actually turned their backs from the original teachings of Christ and polluted it with their own philosophies. It's hard for people to accept even when the majority of the New Testament was written because of that fact. The epistle were written in hopes to bring the people back in line with the original doctrines. Even the Book of Revelation starts off with the Lords admonitions to the Seven churches of Asia. He even warns the saints that if they don't repent he will take away their church.

But, still no matter how much evidence we produce, people will never believe the truth until they are humble enough to rely on Heavenly Father to show them the truth. The Savior Himself taught us to rely on our Father. That's the key to everything we do, and if I haven't got it then I wouldn't have made it this far.

Thanks again Mom for your constant support and prayers.


Elder Freeman

Addendum by separate cover (response to questions posited):

1. You already dumped more than enough in my account to qualify for a birthday present. [note: Elder Freeman's 21st birthday is August 26th).
2. I'm almost positive they have purchased a plane ticket for the 14 of October. (That means hold off your birthday festivities for at least a day). I am positive I finish on the 14th and the secretary did call and ask about which airport.
3. I took 6 pair of unopened garments I've had since I left and traded them in for a size bigger at the Beehive clothing in Upland. I'm fine mooching off my companion for sunblock, and yesterday I pulled out 3 sticks of Chapstick from of my bag.
4. I've lost the cable for my camera. So, I've got to go get prints from Walgreens. And buy stamps and envelopes.
5. You're the greatest. Love you
Elder Freeman

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Church is True and Life is Crazy!

From Elder BJ Bernards, dated August 4, 2008

Dear Mom,

I don't want to put any undue stress on you but I really need garments. I heard that if you put what you really want in the beginning of the letter it shows how important it is.

Thank you for supporting me on my mission. It is going great! We are really working hard and feeling the Spirit guide us and inspire us every day and this district were leading is doing better than ever, and so is our area. We have been able to find two more families to teach as well as a couple individuals that are really neat, spiritual all, and we got to watch them teach themselves with the Spirit.

I am excited for the move thingy but sad too. Not sad like I'm gonna mope around all the time kinda sad, but the sad that it's the end of a beautiful phase kinda sad, like you wish a awesome day or time would never end but you've got to say goodbye I guess. I say goodbye, I committed my life into the hands of the Lord and just like He is preserving you and Dad and the family from day to day and even though I miss your goodness and all the changes that are happening I know that I will be fine. God has never ever ever let me down yet and I don't think he plans on doing so anytime soon. Life passes me by, and I will wave bye-bye with sweet gratitude for my Savior and this most compelling and mind-absorbing work of his. I leave my life and give my life so that others might achieve theirs, and in doing so I achieve mine. It's true that the more you sacrifice the more committed you are to it.

Can I get some pictures from you? I would want pictures of the house, the changes made to it inside and out, my bedroom please as well as the loft and pictures taken from the windows looking out at the vista of Alpine. Pictures of all the kids and you and Dad. That may be the only time I'll ever have to look from those places with those people ever again. Would you do that for me? Or assign someone else to do so? To tell you the truth and to be frank and honest with you, I feel like my requests get sucked down a black hole and never get back. I have to fight so hard in the short space I have to get what I need. I know my problems may not be as bad or as dire as some other people, but if I could get those things I would feel grateful to you and the family.

And I always do. You have given me the things that really get me through. The supplies that never run out and the nourishment that never ceases.

I really have to go.

Thanks, Please send me that stuff if possible?

Ben sent me some pics which was really awesome, I saw Kiki had a camera. Maybe Kiki can send me some too. Don't forget!


Elder Bernards