Monday, June 23, 2014

4 Months in the Gila


Sorry for not getting the big email put together last week. But now I have a real excuse! So after our little car accident Saturday night en la semana anterior I had just been feeling out of it so finally I was like okay I'll go to the doctor. I went in on Friday and explained my symptoms. He wasn't too sure if it was just dehydration until I said, "Well, for the first time in my life I can think of nothing!" He immediately responded "Oh yeah that's a concussion," and told me don't hit my head and drink lots of water. But seriously you know how boys can sit and think of nothing and girls usually can't? I finally know what it's like to not think. And it's kinda nice sometimes, except in the middle of a lesson or a basketball when all of a sudden you realize you stopped thinking and have no idea what's going on. But the doc says I should be fine in a couple more days.

This week was CRAZY. We taught 31 lessons, which is the most I've ever taught - and I've only taught 31 twice before. We just had so much going on. Our investigator, Sean, who's getting baptized on July 5th, came to a baptism on Saturday and was just like "Alright now it's my turn to get in the water." He's a funny guy, but he will totally be ready in a couple weeks.

We had a super cool lesson with Johnny yesterday about the sacrament, and for the first time ever he committed to come to church. We basically challenged him to come 3 times and see if he felt a difference, and he was like, "I'll be there!" It was different than a usual church attendance lesson for us because we basically were like, "Okay Johnny. We know we've invited you and told you to come to church a million times. And this is our bad because we haven't told you why." And we were super straight up about how yeah it's hard and sometimes it totally sucks waking up on Sunday morning to go to church, but that it's something you'll never regret. I think he really appreciated that we were honest and now actually understands why on earth we keep telling him to give up 3 hours of his Sunday. #comingtochurchonsunday #gonnagetbaptizedsomeday

Elder Petersen (he's in my zone) was a pitcher in high school and could throw a baseball 95mph! So today we're playing softball because he and I decided it would be fun and I was like okay! and got equipment and planned it and invited everyone. #zonemom It's gonna be hot and we only have like 12 people total, but hey it's fine. I don't even know how to properly swing a bat. Or throw. Or catch. Basically I don't know how to play this sport, but I figured we'd all have fun and get some good laughs.

This is President Killpack's last week! Exactly 7 days from now it will already be President Passey. Change is a little scary, but it should be good.

We had the SICKEST zone conference on Tuesday! My favorite part (well...President and Sister Killpacks' dying testimonies were my favorite but besides that) was this throw down discussion led by President. Here's the assignment: Read 1 Samuel 15 with the mentality of "spirit of the law vs. letter of the law." You may have recently learned about this in Sunday School, but if you didn't read the chapter, read it, and if you did, do it again. In the end Saul keeps the sheep and cows with the intention of sacrificing them. Sacrificing is good because it keeps the law of Moses, but that's not the point. He broke the commandment to destroy everything the amalecitas (I'm not sure what it is in English) had. Ready for the throw down? So how many times do we justify breaking a law/commandment by saying something like, "Well what I'm doing [is more important, is also good, doesn't apply to this rule, etc.]"? We do it ALL the time. It's justification. We even go as far as to say, "I'm following the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law." FALSE! You can't do one or the other. You have to do BOTH. The "spirit of the law" NEVER justifies breaking the letter of the law. The spirit of the law is simply understanding the why of the letter of the law. Take for example the Jews (escribas y fariseos) in ancient Jerusalem. They were all about the letter of the law - to the point that they made up their own rules to "enhance" the letter of the law. But they completely were unable to recognize who the Savior was when He came. Why? Because they didn't have the spirit of the law! They had no idea why they were keeping those commandments. Now let's flip sides of the world and look at the nefitas here in the Americas. They most definitely kept the letter of the law, but they knew WHY they were doing it - to be ready for the Savior Jesus Christ! When he came here, they knew Him and received so many blessings because of their righteousness. So what do we take away from this? As President Killpack said, "The spirit of the law is nothing without the letter of the law, and the letter of the law is nothing without the spirit of the law." If you classify these things separately and use the spirit of the law as justification, you are sorely mistaken my friend. Read 1 Samuel 15! You'll understand.

Love you all!

Hermana Blackford


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