My friends and Family! Happy late mothers day! To my actual mother,and to those that have acted as my mother, at home AND in the mission field! I am ever so grateful for your labors in my behalf! ha. This week was great. i enjoyed getting to talk to a select few of you, was really nice. Last night at a members home we came out to our parked car at around 9:00 p.m. to find all 4 of our tires flat... it resulted in us getting home 5 minutes before bed time having found out that there was a hole in all 4 tires the same shape and in the same place... odd right? Plus, the spare tire was flat because we have been needing to get that fixed for a few weeks now! So that is what we spent our morning doing and why we are e-mailing so late! It was crazy... This week we walked through a park at The Entrance that was right on Tuggerah lake. We saw these HUGE Pelicans! and there a bunch of seagulls too. I just kept thinking of finding nemo... "Jump into my mouth if you want to live..." I got a good laugh out of that! Also, we were at a members house for dinner and they served a few years back and pulled out some old memories to share with us. A missionary drew a funny comic that is scarily true... haha. hopefully all these pictures load... So that is the fun and temporal side of the week.
My core experience with god, besides learning to be more patient with things from having our tires mysteriously flattened, was definitely from my atonement study. I started my personal study thinking "no I am done with my atonement study it was good, I enjoyed it but time for a new topic." I flipped open Conference Ensign on my desk staring me in the eye was a talk I have listened many times and really enjoy but have never read before, "The Atonement" from Boyd K. Packer a few years back. I got the hint. I read it and finally on the thirteenth day of my study of the atonement, I could apply it to My life and My history. I finally pieced a few things together in my life. I had never felt complete in High School. I attended seminary regularly, but I hardly read my scriptures, off and on prayed before bed, and usually avoided any priesthood responsibility. Church was not my first priority. I see now that I had a God before God, a graven image. That I in a sense worshiped football. I put it before any thing and everything, or anyone and everyone. I was always ashamed when I failed or messed up in off season training or during practice. In those days I remember feeling lost, dark, not-knowing what was missing. As Boyd K. Packer puts it, "I do not remember ever being where it was so dark." The answer is obvious now, The spirit and the Healing power of the Atonement is the result I couldn't find because and missed utilizing. I see now. I finished the talk and was amazed. I went out in the back yard and prayed. As I got up from saying a sincere and genuine prayer apologizing for the history of myself and decisions, I stood up and the bright Sabbath day sun was shining on me. I felt a bit like the actor portraying Joseph smith in the church movies when I instinctively put my hand up to block the light from my eyes. I had a voice in my head that I hope was an answer not a thought I wanted to hear..."You are another son in whom I am well pleased. You are free I love you." For the first time in my life I understand the atonement. I am grateful that I was pointed in the right direction to have this experience and to write down to remember. I have seen the healing hand of God.
We are continuing in trying to teach simply. It is easier when we do as I have pointed out before, plan it our before hand. I have been saying I am working on those two things for a long time.. I am a slow learner. We are improving though! We teach and get along well, Elder Orr and myself. I personally could work on being a bit more Bold. i tend to be over-bearing though. Elder Orr is not scared to be bold, so that is good. however we need to both work at it. I love being Elder Orr! he is not scared of what people think of him, members, non-members, everyone. he is himself. I am too nervous about how I am viewed. I am starting to hopefully draw that from him. Slowing down with Judgmental attitude during my 40 day fast definitely helped there... definitely.
I am so grateful for all of yous and your support! you are a bunch of Fair Dinkum Mates!
And I mean that from teh bottom of my heart.