It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do because of illness the last two weeks. I am feeling much better, almost perfect! Between the stomach bug that has been passed around and eating something moldy 2-3 times this past week, I feel very blessed to feel this good right now.
New Jersey has been such a fun place to live in the past little bit. The weather has been like nothing I have ever seen before. We have had so much snow that the whole state has been in a "State of Emergency". Everything seems to be shut down. They will shut down all transportation systems, grocery stores, driving will be forbidden because our cars are buried in snow, or it is too dangerous to drive as the rain freezes before it hits the ground. It's really remarkable what Heavenly Father has created. Personally, I think the earth looks better when it's dressed in white ;)
It has been beautiful to see all of the changes that are happening. There are even many changes that are happening in the mission. On Thursday I was privileged to go to the Mission Leader Council where Brother Donaldson (the Mission President when District 2 was filmed, and also the Church Missionary Chair -or something like that) and Brother Stevenson (the Provo MTC Missionary Trainer) were present. They both gave instructions on how we as leaders should be applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how ALL of our work revolves around the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As Brother Donaldson spoke, his words were riveting. I felt a burning in my chest that I haven't felt since the MTC. It was amazing. In 9 hours, he walked me through the first three missionary lessons and applied them personally to me, simply by rooting them in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If he could do that with a missionary and teach me how, I am positive that I can do it with my investigators. I came to realize and love my Savior even more than I did before. I felt lifted. Because that's what the Atonement does.
I forgot all of my notes at home, but I'll bring them next week. I want all of you to know exactly what I felt.
Just a side note. This came to my mind this week and I just want to share it. The Atonement isn't just freedom from sins. The Atonement means looking up and moving forward. When we have faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we don't look back. That thought came to me, and it's something I needed. I hope that it can help you as well.
I don't know why, but I just can't stop testifying of the Atonement. I think it's because I've seen the change in myself throughout my mission. I have been refined. I'm proud to say that. I have been purified through the Atonement of MY Savior. I am proud to say that HE IS my best friend. There is no one that I would rather converse with, counsel with, or confide in.
One of the things that has brought me great joy is to know that some of my dearest friends has chosen to follow the example of the Savior.
Danny and Isaac, his son, were baptized yesterday afternoon. It makes me so happy to say that.
Danny had been up all night cleaning his house in preparation for the visit of his mother-in-law. He texted us at 11:00pm telling us that he didn't think he was going to come to church, but that he would be at his baptism. In response to his text, we told him that he knew what he needed to do.
Sunday morning, we asked a member to give him a call "just to invite him to church". Well, Heavenly Father provided a way that the member gave Danny a ride to church, even if they did show up a little late. It was a beautiful day.
They truly look best, when they are dressed in white, don't they?
Sending my love,