24 February 2008

24 February 2008 – Sunday

Scripture to ponder today: Alma 32:21 – Hebrews 11-12:1

I did not spend much time yesterday pondering my selected scripture, but this morning as I thought about it again, I felt that for some things the Lord wants me to ‘figure it out’ in my own mind and then ask him to confirm my decision. For others the Holy Ghost prompts me to do the right thing – often times without me even considering the guiding source. Then there are times when I either do not ask or ignore the prompting of the spirit and just go ahead and do things. Sometimes it works out fine but more often as not I have to repent and try again.

Woke early enough to spend some time trying to read a conference talk by Elder Snow on service. There were a lot of words I had to look up but others that I could get from the context. In the introduction part of his talk, he told how as she lay dying her only regret was that she had not done more service to others. Elder Snow then went on to show that she had served others all of her life, but her spirit was such that she wished she had done more. I thought of the times I have hesitated to serve others because of personal selfishness of not wanting to give up the time or the effort to exercise Christlike service.

Because we did not have a car, we went to the English branch for our meetings. Although we would have liked to go to one of our branches, this did give us a chance to start getting ready for the next Intensive English Class – I want to do better in planning ahead so we do not have to get homes for them to go to at the last minute.

As the sacrament was being prepared we sang the hymn“God loved us, so He sent His Son” and instead of stopping at the end of verse three we sang all five verses. As we sang verse five with the worlds ‘Partaking now is word for deed, that I remember Him my Lord’ I felt something special. That it not what I say that shows my love for my Savior but what I do. It tied in so well with the general feeling of the week for me.

During the meeting I tried to pay more careful attention to the speakers and took notes. The first two speakers had the subject of personal revelation and the District Council speaker spoke about the need for Wisdom. Among the things I wrote was: Man did not create God! and ‘We need to get a PHD or Master degree in righteousness. As I listened I had the thought that the internet is not the information highway for truth, the Holy Ghost and personal revelation is the real source of all truth and guidance.

As usual Sister Ventura’s SS class was great.  She is so well prepared and many of the class comes ready to participate. The lesson was on the resurrection and she gave me a couple of things to think about. Before the block started Mary told me that sister Ventura’s white board was a black board so I took my trusty WD-40 and a towel and cleaned it for her. Brother Wiser taught the PH lesson and he chose President Monson’s talk on the resurrection. I guess it was our day to ponder about the importance of the atonement and the resurrection.

The English branch here in Jakarta is unusual – at least seems that way to me. It has members from two nations in Africa, Korea, England, Canada, Philippines, Scotland, Indonesia, the US and probably a number of other countries. What they have in common is the Gospel and being able to speak and hopefully understand English. I say hopefully because I know there are some that do not have enough English vocabulary to follow all the talks and lessons. Another universal ‘language’ is music. I am surprised at how many members – young and old – like to sit down and play or try to play the piano. Also most members – especially the younger ones – love to gather around the piano and sing. Any number of times I have been walking in the hall on my way to one of our Intensive English classes and have heard the students singing hymns while one of them played.

After church we had our ususal Sunday activities of reading, working on English – Mary prepared a very detailed lesson plan for Sister Marchant so she could substitute for Mary on Saturday, and napping. We got a nice surprise when President Marchant called us and asked if we could come to dinner at the mission home. When the cab came to pick us up, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was the same driver that took us to the mission home earlier in the week. He thought that it was cool also.

Dinner with the Marchants, Walkers, and elders Teng, Bastian, Rowberry and Smith was not only delicious but good for our spirits. Unfortunately there are a couple of missionaries who are quite sick – one seems to have the measles and one has been running a high fever. I noticed that the President really depends on his Assistants to help him – it should be great training for these young men to have so much responsibility. I don’t want it to sound like the President doesn’t make the final decision, but that he does not micro-manage the mission. It reminds me of the scripture that says that we are free to act and not just be acted upon.

Unfortunately the President and Sister Marchant need to go with the Walkers to Medan this weekend for a hand-over ceremony so the office elders will teach the HS English class. At least they have a complete lesson outline to get them through.

When we got home we had time to read the Kitab Mormon again before heading off to bed. It was a good Sunday. What I did not do is spend any time pondering the scripture for the day. I just did not take the time so I will carry it over to tomorrow.



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