Hola Familia, Hola Amigos!
Another week has already gone by I cant believe it. This week we have been teaching a lot of new people and I noticed a theme in all of my investigatores. Many of the people were holding grudges. It made me contemplate why it is so hard to forgive, and why we hold on to these feelings of resentment, frustration and anger. These negative emotions are dangerous and come from Satan. When we give place for them inside of us it leads us to do harmful things. We often try to seek revenge or justice because we want that person to suffer how we have suffered. But is this justice?
The story of Herodias and John the Baptist in the Bible illustrates the dangers of grudges. Herodias and Herod had an illegal marriage. Herodias was previously married the Phillip, the brother of Herod, and the divorce had not be finalized under Jewish law. So the secret marriage with Herod and Herodias was illegal and adulterous. John the Baptist being a powerful prophet and not fearing to speak out against man called out Herodias saying "Ït is not lawful for thee to have thy brothers wife.¨Herod respected John the baptist knowing that he was appraised by the people and a man of God. He let the rebuke go without punishment, however Herodias was furious with John for calling out her marriage. She began to form her grudge against John the Baptist and hatched a plan revenge against John. She desired justice. So she convinced the king to have him imprisoned. As he waited in the prison Haerodias continued to plan, and continued to grow in her hatred for John the baptist. When the king had a giant feast for his birthday she set her plan in action. Her daughter danced before the king, and he was so enchanted by the dance that he promised her "Äsk of me whatsoever thou wilt, and i will give it unto thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it to thee, unto the half of my kingdom.¨ The daughter went to her mother, Herodias and Herodias demanded the head of John the baptist. The king being surrounded by all of the high captains, lords, and principal officials could not reject the oath for the sake of embarrassment. Herodias had won. She was brought the head of John the Baptist.
But is this justice? This is what Herodias wanted, but this is not justice it is revenge. Justice is the unalterable law that brings consequences according to our actions. And this law of justice is brought by God. ¨But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted which repentance mercy claimeth otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment if not so, the works of Justice would be destroyed and God would cease to be God.¨Alma 42.22 "And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged for their works and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also at the last day be restored unto that which is good. And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame mortality raised to immortality, corruption to in corruption ' raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to the endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on the one hand, the other on the other.¨Alma 41.3,4 We need to trust that God can work out the justice, this is not our responsibility. In the day of judgement all things will be restored to their proper order. Individulas will receive the consequences for their works. God has commanded us ¨that ye ought to forgive one another for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the lord for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I the Lord will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And ye ought to say in your hearts let God Judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.¨
We should not desire to bring justice or revenge to the people who have rebuked or hurt us. We should leave that judgement up to God. Each of us will receive our recompense and God will judge righteously.
God has commanded us to forgive one another. In Mathew 5.43,45 Jesus invokes a new rule. ¨Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them taht curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.¨Jesus has directed us to love our enemies. That if some one has done something against us we should pray for that person. This scripture gives us the perfect advice of how to dejar our grudges. Prayer and service. If we want to learn to love those that we hate we must do the opposite and love them, serve them, and pray for them. If we can start with small acts of service to put aside the contention we can prevent the build up of anger like Herodias, and learn to LOVE. We can replace the feelings of contention and vengence with love and peace. Let us not be like Herodais and hold these feelings of hatred in side of us. Let us be like Christ. Let us forgive and love our enemies. Christ set the perfect example. As he suffered and died on the cross one of his last remarks was ¨Father forgive them for they know not what they do.¨Lucas 23.34. He set the perfect example of love and forgivness. Let us all be like Christ love our enemies.
So this is my little spiritual message of the week. But as for everything else in Peru, we are great. We have found many new people to teach who are AWESOME. We are teaching S and her Husband J. They are so wonderful, we were at their house everyday this week. Its a fun young couple who are hungering and thirsting for the gospel in their lives! They read the assignments we give them and understand almsst everything. Its amazing when we go to teach lessons all we have to do is ask questions to verify their knowledge because they understand all the important concepts. Its awesome teaching them and I cant wait for their baptism.
Also we have been teaching a man named J. He works driving a moto and we contacted him one day and have been teaching him basically everyday as well. He always has good questions for us. He had a hard time understanding why bad things have to happen on the earth but we explained that we are here to progress and learn from our mistakes.
Yesterday a woman came up to us saying. I want to be baptized. We were like ohh wow we can help you with that. We taught her family for the first time yesterday and it went really well.
Also S the son of V my recent convert changed his work schedule so that he can come to church!!! Wahoo! He has attended for the past 3 Sundays and as soon as we finish the lessons he wants to be baptized as well.
All of our investigatores are working and learning which is exactly what we want. We are going to continue to grow their testimonies and help them down this path. I pray for them everyday and have faith that they will continue to progress.
It has been interesting working with my two companions. I'm definitely learning a lot about patience, compassion and love.. We all went out to lunch as a zone last week and It was fun. This pday were going to play volley ball and other games. So things are going well. All normal Obra missional nada mas! Stay true! Miss yall!
See you next summer!