Monday, February 28, 2011

Mail Me A Birthday Gift - The Bigger The Better

Well if you ask me, this will be the best letter any of you ever get from me, because it was received on the world´s best and most important international holiday - MY BIRTHDAY!

But that´s just my opinion :)

Thank you all for the birthday wishes (Kitty Kat, I did get yours, but I can´t write back because I can only write family through the internet, but thank you! :D).  It makes me feel at home.  And it doesn´t hurt that like 6 members have offered to feed me and give me cake haha.  But we´re just going to visit the first member that asked me (to be fair in choosing) and just do a small something.  I actually don´t know what they´re going to be doing, but I told them that we´ll still be working today and that I didn´t want anything big.  So we´ll see what happens.  This is my last birthday that really matters haha.  Weird huh?  After 21, who cares how old you are?  There are no more milestones.  I mean, maybe if you hit 100, that´s an accomplishment (or maybe a punishment, depending on how you want to think about it), but other than that there are no fun birthdays anymore.  So I´ll try to enjoy this one and sleep as much as possible :)

Yesterday was reeeeally cool.  We had a huge conference with the new area president, Elder Arnold.  Remember how last year in about April or so, the old area president Elder Bowen came and talked to us missionaries?  Well, his assignment was changed last year and Elder Arnold became the new area president
(the guy in charge of the churches in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina).  Pretty neat.  This time it wasn´t just for missionaries though.  It was for all new members who were baptized within the last year and a half, all ward mission leaders, all investigators, and all missionaries IF they brought investigators with them.  Luckily enough, we have a sweet family who came with us, so we got to go.  First, President Callan talked, then Sister Arnold, and then President Arnold.  It was really great, there were like 200 people there.  In between President Callan and Sister Arnold´s talks, I was in a group of 7 missionaries and we sang a special musical number - the hymn "Lead Kindly Light".  It was really cool, I´ve never done that before.  After the conference, President Arnold and his wife rushed to the exit so they could greet and shake hand with everybody as people were walking out.  I thought that was really neat, a nice personal touch.  Our investigators we brought - Rodolfo and Eva - spent time talking with Sister Arnold for like half an hour haha.  They made friends :).  Rodolfo asked her if they could take a picture with her and her husband, and she happily agreed.  He offered to put it on my facebook, so look this week to see if there´s a picture of me with them 2 and the area president on my comments.  It turned out really well.  They really liked it, and it will help them progress a lot.

Today is the day to talk about the purpose of life.  Why are we here?  What are we doing on earth?  We know how we got here, now what is expected of us?  And how can I be happy while I´m doing it?  The Plan of Salvation has the answers, perfectly crafted by our all-knowing and all-loving Heavenly Father.

If we lived with God before this life, why in the world would He send us to this sometimes cruel and dismal world here on earth?  Well, think about this: if God loves us unconditionally, and He sent us here where we experience all these things, do you not think He would do it with a purpose?  Do you not think it would be of benefit to us?  What´s more, do you not think He would leave us alone, abandoned to feel our way through life blindly wihtout any help our guidance from Him?

In our pre-mortal state, we could not progress much further in our quest to become like our Father.  We could not experience what it is to run, to eat, to breathe, to feel tired, to be hungry, or anything of the sort that requires a physical body.  God has a physical body; thus, to become like Him, we also need one.  His is perfected and glorified, and because of the Fall of which I spoke last week, ours is not.  That is one purpose of this life - get a physical body.

The other purpose is a bit more complex.  To help you understand, I´ll use an example.  Suppose you have a son.  Of course you want to give him the good things in life, that is what any good parent wants.  But what happens if you do everything for him?  You buy his food, you buy his clothes, you pay all of his expenses, you solve his problems, and you provide everything for him.  He will not work - there is no financial need for him.  He will not study - you solve all his problems.  He will sit on his lazy behind all day, never getting any better, never learning anything, and never obtain the skills, intelligence, self-sufficience, talents, abilities, and experience that you as his parents have.  He has to learn to struggle for himself.  If he does not struggle, he does not learn.  That is the purpose of life.  Does that make sense?

We came here to be tried.  It is the only way to progress - experience opposition.  If you never lift weights or do physical work - opposition - you will never get stronger.  The same principle applies to mental strength, spiritual strength, and emotional strength.  That is why we could not continue living with God in the pre-existence, and that is why it was a good thing that Adam and Eve became mortal and were cast out of the presence of God.  He was providing everything for us.  We would have never obtained the knowledge, the love, the experience, the wisdom, or the power that He has.  We learn these things through trials.  They teach us things.  They allow us to exercise faith.  In this life, we are to do simply one thing: Learn from our trials/sadnesses/experiences of all kinds, progress mentally/physically/spiritually, and show the Lord that we will always be faithful to Him.  And then He blesses you.  Will this not make you happy?  Who can say "no I prefer not to be blessed by the Lord"?  If you do the things the Lord asks of you, don´t complain about your problems but rather learn from them, and just do the right thing, the Lord will bless you infinitely.  "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25).

The purpose of your life is happiness.  Isn´t that incredible?

As happy as this life can be for you and as much as you can enjoy this mortal existence, you still, however, are subject to the 2 consequences of the Fall of Adam: physical death and spiritual death.  The Bible teaches us that "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living".  To become like God, you need to be alive because He lives.  But you´re going to die.  What are you going to do?  Also, "no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God".  Every time you sin, you become spiritually unclean and distance yourself from God.  A sinner has no power to forgive sins.  What are you going to do?  We need somebody else who can save us from death and our sins.

Enter Jesus Christ, our Savior.  But that´s for next week :).

Love and miss you all! Mail me a birthday gift - the bigger the better :D

-Élder Moore

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