"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. " --- John 8:10

Friday, July 26, 2013

You're waiting for a plane...

"Thank you for the rice. Can I offer you the bread of life in return?"


Last Friday, the day ended with TRC, which is where we teach volunteers, usually members, a lesson in Koran. I see that typo, and chooose to keep it. This time, we skyped to a Korean sister that was actually in the Land of the Hangook. We could understand like, zero of what she was saying, but she was super nice and I came out of the experience just really pumped to go to Korea.

Which happens in like two more days. ASSSAAAAAAHH!!!

So yeah, the last week has been entirely geared towards our departure. We got through the 8 hour departure devotional (which was actually really good), and a set of instructions on how to not have our lives ruined by the airport.

We also practiced street contacting for the first real time. It turns out that I'm going to have some wierd investigators, as the first lines that came to mind were things like "So, do you like your family? Want to live with them forever? Yeah, I know you just started college. Ok, well have you heard of Hell? Satan, fire...other terrible things? Right, want to know how you and your family can avoid that?" "Thank you for the rice. Can I offer you the bread of life in return?" "Given the approximate airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, would you like to know how long it would take you to hie on over to the church?" "I see you are enjoying your water. Want to come for a swim with me? Saturday at noonish?" "Do you want to know how to find greater happiness? Ah, you are a masochist. Well, if you want to practice holding your breath, come to this address in white clothing."
My second thoughts are usually pretty good. But I may be a terrible missionary.

I shouldn't say that. We actually had a couple of great lessons this week, thanks to the Lord. Really touching experiences. I continue to realize the importance of teaching with the spirit even in lessons about keeping the Sabbath day holy.

Spiritual thought for the week: We had a devotional with another emeritus general authority this week. One of the lines that stuck out to me was that we need to be clothed in Charity. Now, those who have been to church with me, and especially those of you who were in my sunday school class at college, know that I'm big into metaphors, symbolism, and what things mean. Why questions. And one of my favorite metaphors is the Armor of God/ Armor of Light. I could teach an entire class on that symbol alone. For now, just think about this. Armor is bulky, hard, and generally uncomfortable. Counter to what we may have learned by watching 300, most people throughout history wore clothes under their armor. The reason is simple. Without a layer between the armor and the skin, the armor chaffes. It doesn't feel right, and sometimes it can be enough of a distraction as to reduce a soldiers effectiveness. When you have clothes underneath, the whole set works better together. It makes sense. It doesn't chaffe.

The same thing goes for the Armor of God. When we try to throw on the other pieces (faith, hope, truth) without first clothing ourselves with charity, we might not be comfortable. This is why people may sometimes find the gospel restrictive. If you don't love your neighbor, if you haven't developed that charity, then treating him with respect, being honest with him, and and generally being Christian with him will seem like a chore. Something that you may follow anyway, but not something that you enjoy. Not something that feels right. When you have that charity, all the other pieces make sense. They fit. You treat your friend like a brother because he is in your eyes. Because you want to. You serve a mission or fulfill your calling because you love the people around you and want to help them. You sacrifice yourself to carry others through a freezing river because you know that Christ gave everything for them and he expects you to do the same. After all, "greater love hath no man than this, that he will lay down his life for his friends." Brothers and Sisters, you might not be called to die for someone else right now, but if you clothe yourselves with charity, put on the armor of light, and live for them, then you have fought the good fight already, and you can be confident that Christ will look down on your efforts with a smile and welcome you into his kingdom where you belong.

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Whitlock out.

Elder Han (headed to Australia from Josh's zone) and Elder Whitlock

Elder Whitlock with Elder Maag

Elder Whitlock with his teacher, Sister Lee, and his companion.

Friends at the MTC