11 March 2012 – Sunday
I was surprised when I woke and the clock read 8:18 – it did not seem that I slept that late. But a little later Mary mentioned that all the clocks were wrong because it was the start of daylight savings time. However we found that except for the small clock and the atomic clock in the bedroom, all the clocks were correct. In fact the one on the kitchen stove which has always been an hour fast is now correct.
As I prayed this morning I felt that the spirit was telling me that I needed to read the scriptures and not the Book of Mormon – which I read for Sunday School – but the New Testament because I needed to study and ponder ChristÃ¢Â€Â™s teachings and life. So I read the first four chapters of Matthew stopping just after he has called his first 4 apostles to come follow him. I wonder if I would have left my nets and followed him. But maybe in a way we have as we have left our home and come to Florida.
I was reading an article in Church News about Elder and sister Oaks along with Elder and sister Hallstrom visiting Japan a year after the great tsunami. There was a picture of sister Hallstrom, who served a mission in Japan, giving a talk and I remembered her speaking to us in a conference in Indonesia. I could not remember what it was about only that I thought it was much better than Elder Hallstroms – at least I felt the spirit more.Â
To find out what she spoke on – I thought it was her experiences in reading the Book of Mormon – I started looking through my blog posts from Indonesia. As I was reading,Â I was surprised to find that March 11, 2007 was also a Sunday. It was interesting to read about our experiences of that day and what I felt to write about. I decided that I would copy the post and re-post it for today. This was the last paragraph from that post with accents added today.
Ã¢Â€ÂœLooking back it was a good Sunday.Â The highlight was the men choir that sang during sacrament in T2. I chickened out and did not join them but sat and enjoyed their singing. As I looked over that small group of humble PH holders standing shoulder to shoulder, the spirit touched me. These are the men – young and old – that will someday see Indonesia a fruitful place for missionary work. Some will live to see a temple built here. The strength of the LordÃ¢Â€Â™s church is in the hearts and hands of these people. It is wonderful to be able to add even a little to the growth of the Kingdom through our missionary work.Ã¢Â€Â
It will be interesting to see what I write today. However I did not find the post about the conference where Elder and Sister Hallstrom spoke. I will try again later.
As I was typing the above Mary called out to tell me that the New Guinea impatiens were drooping from a lack of water. This has happened a number of times and luckily they always recover. This time I remembered to take a before – while they were drooping – and will take an after to show how they recover – if they recover.
My bathroom reading for this morning was Elder WaddelÃ¢Â€Â™s conference talk on missionary work. As I read the paragraph below I thought of Adam George and felt that I should send it to him…not sure why but I did as the spirit suggested and hope Adam figures out why.
Ã¢Â€ÂœA few years ago, while Sister Waddell and I presided over the Spain Barcelona Mission, I would extend one last assignment to each missionary during their final interview. As they returned home, they were asked to immediately take time to consider the lessons and gifts provided to them by a generous Father in Heaven. They were asked to prayerfully list and consider how to best apply those lessons in post-mission lifeÃ¢Â€Â”lessons that would impact every facet of their lives: education and career choice, marriage and children, future Church service, and most important, who they would continue to become and their continued development as disciples of Jesus Christ.Ã¢Â€Â
I went back to looking for sister HallstromÃ¢Â€Â™s comments that she gave in Indonesia but before I started I gave a short prayer asking for help in choosing the right month. The very first month I opened had my journal thoughts in the second post down the page…prayer does work. Here is what I wrote:
Ã¢Â€ÂœI was very impressed with sister HallstromÃ¢Â€Â™s talks – she gave one in the first half and one in the second. In both of them she used the scriptures to make her point. Now many speakers read the scriptures when giving a talk but she wove the scriptures into hers like a true artist would weave material. She used Jeremiah 20:7-9 and Alma 48:7-9 for her second talk. My favorite thought from her was Ã¢Â€ÂœDo you have fire in your bonesÃ¢Â€Â for your mission.Ã¢Â€Â
We went to Weston WardÃ¢Â€Â™s missionary meeting and as usual they spent all the time as they should – talking about people and how they are doing. All the converts were covered, less actives were discussed and reports of visits were made. Also plans on what more could be done to help the less actives and new converts.Ã‚Â
For sacrament there were four talks on Chastity and I think the best ones were given by the young brother Bartholomew and brother Johnson and new move in to the ward. The young man semi-read his talk but it was very well written and he did not actually Ã¢Â€Â˜readÃ¢Â€Â™ his talk. Brother Johnson was the last speaker and did not have a lot of time so he gave a very compact but spiritual talk.
He told a story about a large spiderweb outside his home that the spider rebuilt each time he took it down but in another place. He likened that to how Satan builds webs to trap us and if it does not work he tries another.Â
Brother Packard taught a good SS lesson. While we were sitting in the chapel brother Draper – the second counselor in the bishopric – came and got Mary. She was official called as RS pianist. I pointed out to her that she was not really a member of the ward and that technically she probably could not be called but if they feel they want to do it that is OK also.
Mary had one more experience today. During the opening exercises of Sacrament brother Silva held up a watch and said that it had been found in the chapel a month ago and if anyone lost one to come see him. We were pretty sure it was MaryÃ¢Â€Â™s that she lost 6 weeks or so ago and sure enough it was. So now she has 2 watches.
Priesthood was a lot of fun and also spiritual. There were only 8 or 9 of us and so we pretty much sat around and talked to each other. Mainly about the temple and how it would be built. With about 15 minutes to go we started lesson 5 about the Priesthood and once again we pretty much just talked about the PH. The teacher suggested that perhaps we needed to make the receiving of the PH to be a more memorable thing and made some suggestions such as a plaque, a big party, etc. The rest of us thought that while a father should prepare his son and make sure they know how important it is, we did not think it should be come ceremonial at all. I pointed out that greatly appreciated the simplicity of gospel ordinances and yet how important and powerful they are.
It was a good block meeting for me.
The parable of the drooping impatiens…
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As I mentioned above my beautiful New Guinea impatiens started drooping this morning. I am pretty sure they looked fine a couple of hours before the first picture was taken so in a short time they went from being a beautiful plant to a dying mess. But within and hour after I watered them well they were once again standing up right and looking wonderful. I thought how sometimes we look to everyone like we are in good shape but because we are lacking the water of life – the gospel – and burdened down with sin we suddenly visibly droop. However after repenting and again keeping the commandments we can take the sacrament and we are soon we are again a ‘new creature.’ This is the great blessing of the atonement for which I am so thankful.