The work is pressing onward, ever onward here in Steilacoom. Missionary work, like life, has ups and downs, but by Monday mornings, as I write to you, I can never remember the downs. I guess that's what happens when you live the gospel and keep the commandments. It is not easy, and you still have plenty of struggles and challenges that, in the moment, are so difficult. But when you look back, having endured, you only can find the growth and the joy and the blessings!
There was a LOT of rain this week. Not super heavy rain, but this continual shower. And if it's not raining, it's always doing this weird sort of misty gentle semi-rain that doesn't seem like much but then 30 minutes later you realize you're soaked! But my rain coat works great so don't worry mom. I also wear thermals every day now, not that it's that cold, but once you start, you don't go back ;) The rain is fun. I love Washington. Every thing grows here, and then moss grows on that. And then moss grows on the moss. I think I will come home green.
|Elder Webber and Elder Schaffner|
The very exciting thing he said was that when they return back to China, the Chinese government will allow Haopeng to teach his immediate family about the Church (no one outside China is allowed to do that), and can even baptize and give them the priesthood! It is amazing to see how Heavenly Father is reaching out to all of His children, and how the work in China is growing! We like to think of Haopeng as a modern church pioneer for the Chinese people, ha ha.
We have a newer investigator, Rebecca who is a married mom of two and is really looking for a church. She did not have a Christian background but believed in God after her 3 year old daughter (who suffers from brittle bone disease) fell 33 feet out of a building and lived. She is now a freshman in college. She wants a church that has a family feel and fellowship. I think we can help her :)
Lastly, I would like to bear my testimony. I should do that more :) but yesterday in church we learned about the new 2014 youth theme "Come Unto Christ." I had my testimony strengthened as I learned what that means:
All have fallen, and come short of the glory of God. Christ saved us, in that He overcame both physical and spiritual death because we will 1) all be resurrected and 2) return to the presence of God to be judged. However, because we are accountable for our own sins and because Heavenly Father wants us to receive all His blessings and become like Him, we must follow His Plan. That Plan is His Gospel: of faith unto repentance and baptism for the remission of sins followed by the gift of the Holy Ghost which retains our remission unto the end if we endure! This is the ONLY way back to Heavenly Father and the ONLY way to be free of sin so that when we overcome spiritual death we don't have to suffer the second spiritual death. It is the ONLY way we can live with our families forever in the celestial kingdom of our God.
I know Christ lives. I know because I have felt the Spirit testify truth to my heart. This communication is more pure and real that any other communication to our natural senses. Any of us can also know this is true by doing the will of God. Trying it out for themselves.
In summary, come unto Christ, and (then) be perfected in Him, and deny yourself of all ungodliness... then is His grace sufficient for you, that by His grace ye may be perfect in Christ. Trust God. It is all true. My deepest love to all of you,
Scripture: Moroni 10:32 and Matthew 11:28-30
Elder Webber making one of his favorites that his mom used to make. He's all grown up !
|Elder Webber preparing parmesan chicken|
|Parmesan chicken plated|
We also received a great e-mail from Sister Weaver, the Mission President's wife about her interaction with Tommy when his new companion just three days out of the MTC was riding his bike with Elder Webber at night, in the rain and crashed against a curb and needed 5 stitches in his chin.
I had the privilege of meeting with your sweet Elder yesterday. What an awesome young man. He is an outstanding missionary. He seems very happy with his new missionary. He is a great trainer. We are hopeful he will train many to be just like him. I'll share a with you just how good your missionary is. The other evening when I arrived at the Emergency Room, Elder Webber and Elder Schaffner were already there. When I walked in I noticed a TV up on the wall. Elder Webber and Elder Schaffner were sitting with their backs to the TV. Elder Schaffner later that evening said to me how much he appreciated Elder Webber. He followed Elder Webber's example. He said it actually was a show that he loved to watch at home. How grateful he was for Elder Webber sitting such that he wasn't tempted to watch it. He is so obedient, and as you know has such a desire to serve the Lord. I was also proud of Elder Webber. I realized later in the evening just how hard blood, etc is for him. He was so good in helping Elder Schaffner at his time of need. He is awesome!!
Hope you have a beautiful new year.
Tommy reported that Sister Weaver stayed at the hospital from 10:00 PM until 2 AM when Elder Schaffner was released.