Saturday, February 22, 2014

Part 2

Okay, where was I?

Analyzing the scriptures, what it tells us about taking two sides is the following:

No man can aserve btwo masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I think I'm inheriting Dad´s "relate everything to the Gospel," senses. It really is cool how it relates though. Trying to serve both gets us nowhere. It's a state of constancy, and that's just what Ecuador is...constant. The sun rises and sets at the same time every day, the only real change in the weather is if it rains or not. Nothing changes here. While thinking in terms of weather, that may be nice. When related to progression, it is the worst state to be in.

This life is about progress, not stand-still, constant performance. It's like saying we should stay in elementary school our whole lives-- it's easier, but there would be no real progress. We always need to be improving. Life isn't a time to stand still.

In Alma, we read:

 32 For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors.
 33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so manyawitnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do notbprocrastinate the day of your crepentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the dnight of edarkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
 34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

These words that he speaks to his son help everyone to realize how important this life is. We have been given free agency, and now is the chance to be tested. Every decision is so important, so key. We must choose to progress; it's not something that can be forced upon us. Change is a choice as is progress. In the book of 2 Nephi, this principle is explained very well.

27 Wherefore, men are afree according to the bflesh; and callthings are dgiven them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to echoose fliberty and eternal glife, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be hmiserable like unto himself.

So, there we have it, the two basic decisions: follow the Savior or follow the devil. Which can easily be related to the experiments at the equator. One way or another, we need to act. If we try to take no sides, we will be "cancelled out," essentially not accomplishing anything worthwhile in life. But, whether we choose the Lord or the enemy, we will be progressing forwards or backwards.

It doesn't take a lot at first--with just a slight change of 8 feet, we saw immediate results. With us, it is the same. Whichever way we're going, it doesn't take a lot to see the results. Dante, our investigator, started praying every day, and that little change in behavior brought him to baptism. Little things do add up. Every decision counts. When we are indecisive, we feel like we're not progressing, because we aren't. By neither choosing the Lord nor the enemy, we cannot go anywhere. So, those are our choices: the Lord, the enemy, or a whole lot of nothing.

Not sure if that makes sense. I'm a little delusional with lack of sleep, but I hope that I got my point across. There are many ways to interpret the stuff at the Equator, for good things or for bad things. For example, the consistency of the sun could be compared to the consistency of the love and aid of a different kind of Son. But, for today, we'll focus on what I talked about.

We had a good lesson with Dante today about the priesthood, he'll be ordained next Sunday, and hopefully in April he'll be ordained to the office of Elder. He's doing great and looks awesome without his piercings. He came to church in a shirt and tie today, so great. He has his own scriptures now, and he's marking them up. Our Gospel Principles teacher is outstanding, he's a college English professor and he really teaches well. He's helping us out a ton with our investigators, they all talk about his class when we ask them how church went. Our bishop is really great, too, very calm and very helping. Good leaders make such a difference in the work that we do. It makes it very easy to keep people coming to church after the missionaries leave.

We have changes tonight, we'll leave soon for President's house to get them taken care of. We show up, he shows us the changes that he did and why, we pray about them together one last time, then we make the calls to everyone. There will be a lot today. We need a new secretary, a few new zone leaders, new district leaders, 20 trainers for the new missionaries coming and we're opening up 6 new sectors. Yay, changes! It'll be sad to see Elder Morton go, he was my running buddy. We get up at 5:45 every morning to run for about 40 minutes in a really pretty park. I'm gonna go with another one of the secretaries, Elder Hess, once Elder Morton leaves. Dad, I don't know if I told you, but Elder Hess, the missionary you met in the airport in Lima, is one of the secretaries now. Small world, eh?

Well, I think that's enough for this week. Wish me luck with the change week, it's the craziest one of them all. I can't believe that I'm already in my third change here, it feels like just yesterday I was sent here.

Love you tons!

Elder Thomas

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