This week was a pretty busy one.
When we found out that some missionaries were going home early we only had two days to put together a going home video for them (as a gift from the Lattin's to them at the end of their missions). So we spent most of our P-day last week and all of Tuesday helping Elder Bodell do that. It was a lot of fun, and we got the last of the DVDs burned Tuesday night at nine o'clock. The next day was the missionaries last day. We were pretty proud of ourselves.
We had zone conference this week, so we had a bunch of missionaries in L'viv. It was nice to see everyone. Our conference went really well and I learned a lot.
On the 8th of March was Woman's day. So we (the elders quorum of the branch) put on a suprise activity for the relief society sisters. They had an activity planned, we came and set up ours for after theirs got over. We brought some food, flowers, and we prepared a few songs. It was a lot of fun. You might have seen one of the videos on one of us singing on Facebook. The brother who put it up knows English and he wanted us to sing that song with him. It was kind of like karaoke haha. We also sang a really famous Ukrainian song called "Chervona Ruta (Червона Рута)." I really like it. Mom, he asked me to ask you to add him on my facebook as well. He called me last night and said that you had him tell me that you love me. Thank you so much. He also called me a second time to tell me that Jessica liked the video. He is a very nice man. We have became friends over the last few transfers.
We have a family home evening set up with him (and hopefully his wife who is not active) at the Bodell's (the senior couple) next Monday, so I am excited.
Here is a cool phrase that I heard this week that I used in my talk on Sunday:
"A sinner is not someone who sins- a sinner is someone who does not repent."
I had an opportunity to give a talk this week at church. Someone had backed out on giving a talk because they were sick so I was very happy to fill in for them. Plus when you are a missionary you can't really say no, even if you get asked to speak at church and you find out about it Friday night. That's no big deal though because the spirit does all the work anyway. As I thought about what topic to speak on, I thought about forgiveness and repentance. I gave a talk on how they go hand in hand. It was a pretty powerful experience for me. I shared a lot of scriptures, and also, going along with what I shared last week, I shared a story from conference that really touched me about forgiveness:
"Corrie ten Boom, a devout Dutch Christian woman, found such healing despite having been interned in concentration camps during World War II. She suffered greatly, but unlike her beloved sister Betsie, who perished in one of the camps, Corrie survived.
After the war she often spoke publicly of her experiences and of healing and forgiveness. On one occasion a former Nazi guard who had been part of Corrie’s own grievous confinement in Ravensbrück, Germany, approached her, rejoicing at her message of Christ’s forgiveness and love.
“How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,’ he said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’
“His hand was thrust out to shake mine,” Corrie recalled. “And I, who had preached so often … the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
“Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. … Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.
“I tried to smile, [and] I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
“As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.
“And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
Corrie ten Boom was made whole."
Repentance and forgiveness are both easier said than done. But I guess the more valuable thing is our actions over our knowledge. You could have all the knowledge in the world, but unless you do something with it, it will not render you anything. I mean take for example Satan. I am sure he know the bible way better than I do,but does it do anything for him? No, not at all. I know that as we forgive other we are promised that we can receive forgiveness. And I know that as we pray for forgiveness and love for others, God will give us His love and forgiveness for them.
The Saviors plea is to each of us, "Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? (3 Nephi 9:13)."
Have a good week!