I actually do not believe that I have been here for four weeks. The time has FLOWN by! We get our travel plans tomorrow and we only really have twoish weeks left. It is seriously unreal. I am so nervous but this past week has gotten me SO excited to get into the field!
As a district and as a MTC in general we have been discussing the atonement a lot. On sunday Hermana Hansen and I got to teach during district meeting on the atonement. It was an amazing experience. We talked about how everything in the gospel is only and appendage to the atonement of Jesus Christ. Elder Benson (the smart one who loves to ask speculative questions) asked How do you think we access the atonement. My response was: I think we like to make it really heard when its actually really easy. I think the atonement is right here, right in front of us. It is accessed by EVERYTHING we are asked to do as latter day saints. Hence everything else is just an appendage to the atonement. Prayer, charity, diligent scripture study, missionary work....the list goes on, is how we are accessing the atonement! Use the gift! Use the GIFT EVERYDAY!!!!!! I think the beauty of the atonement is that it is easy to access but it takes work on our part to use it and to change. We cant just repent and move on, not expecting something different of ourselves because repentance means CHANGE!!!! If the Lord said, I will die for you and all you have to do just say sorry when you feel like it and require nothing of ourselves, then the atonement wouldnt really mean that much. That the beauty....not only are we are being forgiven but the Lord is giving us an opportunity to learn and grow. We choose to come to Earth to learn and grow!
From Elder Holland (Missionary work and the Atonement):
(As you read this change the missionary words to words that pertain to your life! Make this quote your quote! Its all the same...it has the same meaning)
"Any one who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, why is this so hard? Why doesnt it go better? why cant our success be more rapid? Why arent there more people joining the church? It is the truth, we believe in angels, we trust in miracles. Why dont people just flock to the font? why isnt the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because SALVATION IS NOT A CHEAP EXPERIENCE. Salvation NEVER was easy. We are the church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our great eternal head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, EVER easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and investagators have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and investagators have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please dont misunderstand. Im not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of the price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price,.
For that reason I dont believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry Abba, father, papa if this cup can pass, let its pass, then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical of easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isnt an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone alot greater, and alot grander asked a long time ago if there wasnt and easier way"
I wish I had more time to tell you more but I cant! I would love to hear your thoughts as you ponder the Lords great atonement for YOU.
I know that through the atonement we can feel peace in our lives. I know through the Lord we will be happy.
ALL MY LOVE,