Monday, August 27, 2012
You didn't say whether or not you had much of a chance to talk to Michael or not. Hopefully, you got to say more than "hi" and "bye." I think that is great--two cousins in the MTC at the same time.
It is great to learn that you "did a lot of studying, and have been eagerly trying to complete a task in Preach My Gospel." It sounds like a good use of time and effort. I think I should try that myself.
Tuesday sounds like it was wonderful for you. Thanks for sharing Elder Neil L. Anderson's nine things that he said President Monson would say if he had been there.
On Tuesday, my day was not so great. I found out that I have Type 2 diabetes. That has been a difficult idea to accept. I am on a sugar ban for 10 days. I will take a class in just a few days that will help me know how to live for the rest of my life. I will be allowed "good" carbs and will not be allowed "bad" carbs. I can eat all the veggies I want. There are starchy vegetables that turn into sugar and so they are out. What fun. I am 71-years old. You would think I could have made it just a few more years before this, right? ;)
We had a really good couple of days at the temple on Friday and Saturday. We were as busy as could be. That is always wonderful when so many people come to the temple. We had large sessions as well as lots of weddings and sealings of living families. Many times the temple is crowded all day but the sessions are small because all of the people are just coming to view the weddings. A goodly number of them also want to see the spiral staircase which means they have to be guided in small groups and that takes more of us in order to accomodate. I love the temple. I love working there.
We had another missionary homecoming today. It is different here in our ward with our new bishop. He does not assign a topic but tells the returned missionary to speak about their mission, not in an traveloge style, but in a faith-building manner. This missionary did an excellent job of that. He told us how he had learned to listen to the spirit and used several examples.
One of the nice things about serving in the states was that several of his missionary companions and a convert family were able to be there for his homecoming. The family still lives in Texas but the missionary comps are at BYU.
We had an interesting discussion in Sunday School today. Our instructor, Paul Sutorius, is a retired seminary principal. He was telling us that as we read about Moroni in Alma 46 we should remember that we are being told about a covenant people who are making and keeping sacred covenants. I suppose having been to the same class yourself, you also were given the understanding of the direct association of the Joseph of Egypt story when his brothers, who had sold him, rent his coat. Moroni's rent garment is clearly symbolic of Joseph's coat, which was "rent by his brethren into many pieces" (Alma 46:23).
Bro. Sutorius told us that :"The rent coat or garment was an essential part of Moroni's covenant of liberty. Moroni rent his coat and rallied the people; then the people rent their garments 'in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments' (Alma 46:21)."
Many of the wars between peoples through the ages have been, and still are today, over "dirt," he said. So it was in the times of Moroni. In order for the Nephites to take care of their families, and keep the covenants which they had made, they needed dirt. They needed a place of their own to grow crops. Even today, the church will not build a temple or a chapel on leased ground. The church must own the ground the building stands on. Just as the Mormon pioneers located in the West, away from the problems of the East, so they could keep their covenants, so did Moroni recognize the need for his people to have a place of freedom where they owned the dirt.
Bro. Sutorius built a huge flag pole in his front yard. He flys the American flag and a BYU pennant. He played football for BYU.
We will continue to pray for you and ask Heavenly Father to bless you and help you to learn the language easily and well. We do love you!
Grammy and Gramps