February 15, 2010
Hello from Murray Bridge!
Michael and Leigh have been going threw a rough time lately. The night we committed them to be baptized one of their 10 cats got ran over. It actually helped us commit them. I said, “See how fragile life is? You never know when you are going to go.” But that was just the start of their trials. Michael’s pet parrot died, it was his birthday present. One of their ferrets died. One of their peacocks got stolen or flew away. Two of their dogs ran away. A cat ran away after Leigh smacked it for getting into their rat cage and eating some of the rats. They went into Adelaide to get their birth certificates so that Branch President Smith could sign their wedding forms, you have to have these signed before 30 days and then you can get married. No Vegas weddings in Australia. They got pulled over by the cops and their car was found to be defected. Their car was deemed unworthy to be driven on the streets. So it got impounded. Unfortunately their birth certificates are in the car but the police will not let them get anything out until next Friday. It was promised to them that Satan would bring about trials and afflictions to keep them from getting baptized. Because of this they realize the church is true. They are still solid and are not too discouraged. They look forward to March. It was will be a very good month for them. Krystal will turn 8 years old, they will get married and then they will get baptized. Leigh has read some Relief Society book in like 5 days. Michael is down to just 3 cigarettes a day, he is on the nicotine patches which the Branch is paying for them. Hopefully he can overcome his habit in one month. We had a good lesson with them yesterday. We read from D&C 121. This is when Joseph Smith was unrightfully imprisoned in the city of Liberty during winter time. There was no insulation and the roof was about 5 feet high. We talked to Michael and Leigh about the conditions of the rest of the Latter Day Saints, what was happening to them. How they were driven from their homes and forced to the mercies of the elements outside. How they were massacred and persecuted. And yet Joseph, the leader of the Church could do nothing to help his friends and family. So trying were these times that Joseph prayed to god and pleaded with him, asked him basically where are you? Why do you let these injustices happen to your Saints? How long shall thy hand be stayed? Our loving Heavenly Father does not forget about us. He is watching us. He answered Joseph’s prayer in one of the greatest revelations I think. God comforted Joseph, he said Peace be unto thy soul, for these trials and afflictions will be for but a small moment, and if thou endure it well, I will exalt thy on high. You are not yet off as was Job. Who lost his family, animals and even suffered skin boils. God comforted him; Thy friends are still with thee, they do not condemn you that you transgressed the lord. Later in the revelation, we learn about the priesthood and how it must be used in righteousness. How marvellous this revelation is, to think that if was received in the situation that is was received. I love reading D&C section 121. I hope Michael and Leigh further understand the Plan of Salvation. That this existence here on earth can be compared to why we would send our children to school. We all love our children; perhaps we do not want them to leave us. But we know sending them off to somewhere without our immediate influence at home will indeed benefit them. They will be able to interact and learn at school. We are happy when our children return back to us, better, smarter, wiser. They have experience and learned things perhaps they wouldn’t learn just at home. The same is this life right now. We lived with god as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. We lived a blissful life; we could only progress so far. We didn’t have authentic happiness because we couldn’t experience authentic sorrow. You have to know one, to know the other. God created this earth to act as a school. Where we could learn and grow. We will leave him for a season and return to him. But we have progressed so much with the experiences and knowledge that we have gained. God has given us these trials on earth for our benefit. And if we endure them well. We will be blessed and live with god. The beauty of the Plan of Salvation is that it is perfect. It was created by a fair and loving god. If it is explained fully and correctly everyone will see it. Everyone will have the chance to experience the Joy of their Redemption.
Michael and Leigh are still looking forward to their baptism. We are going to bring members with us to every visit now. We want them completely fellowshipped into the Branch. We want this to be a 2nd family to them. Its no good if you don’t know anyone at church.
I talked on the phone with Lily just before she flew to China. She said if the plane crashes and she and her daughter die, she wanted to make sure that she was baptized for the dead. I taught Lily the Plan of Salvation maybe 4 times. Hopefully she will be able to teach her family back home. We gave her pictures representing the Plan of Salvation. She should be back late March or early April. Kevin and Bart are awesome as. I got to go. We are going to Mt Barker for Pday today.
Love ya heaps