Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 1, 2015 Hello!

Hiya Fam!

Hope you all had a good week! We were told by our Bishop shortly before Church started about Elder Perry's passing. What sad news! He was a great man, a great Apostle. I always enjoyed his talks. I can't believe he's gone! He seemed just fine at General Conference! I thought he would be the next Prophet, but I guess the Lord has other plans. Well, he must be happy on the other side. No more pain, ya know?

Anyhow, let's get to a more happy subject! 

This week was Moves Week. Obviously, with us staying together, we didn't have any changes. We've been a bit discouraged lately. All of our appointments with investigators or potentials fell through, often with Members coming with us, sacrificing their time to come out. Here's some of the updates on everyone:

Hilaire: He was sick all week! We weren't able to meet with him at all!! However, he did come to Church on Sunday! Second time in a row! He brought his kids with him again, and they seemed to have a good time as well. 

Vincent: After over a week of no contact, Vincent called us on Wednesday. He said he's been very busy at work, and his knee's been very painful for him as well. We met with him twice this week, and we read the Book of Mormon with him. We really don't know what to do with him. He's not really progressing, but he really doesn't get much, if any, human interaction, so we don't want to abandon him.

John: We stopped by him earlier this week, and talked with him a bit. He said he might be coming to church, but he didn't come. He said he'd have us over for dinner this Friday. We gave him an Addiction Recovery book and he was very interested in that. He said it sounded very different from the group he used to go to, Alcoholics Anonymous. Mostly because we actually focus on Christ and His Atonement. It's difficult with him, because he gives away all the stuff we give him! All the pamphlets, both Book of Mormons, everything! He gives them away to people! But he doesn't know this stuff himself! He's just a very kind guy. It's cool working with him.

Bo: Bo is a Less Active we're working with. I don't remember if I've really mentioned Bo in the past, simply because I run out of time.  He's done some really bad stuff, and he's basically given up. His life has been absolutely wrecked because of the stuff he's done, and he doesn't want to make the effort to go back to Church, because he knows it will be very hard. He's a very depressed person, as well. However, I know that if he came back, he could be a spiritual giant. He was before he fell! And you can still feel such a strong spirit when you're with him, but he doesn't realize it. He's very self-depreciating, self-criticizing. So PLEASE pray for Bo. We have no idea how to help him. We've done all we feel we can do. 

Armstrongs: I don't know if I've really talked about the Armstrongs. There's a son and his Mom. The son is in his 40's, and he is a Star Trek fanatic. What he does for a living, is he buys Star Trek memorabilia, waits for it to appreciate value, and then sells it. He showed me his room once. We're talking whole bookcases completely filled with everything from models to action figures to Monopoly games, to calendars from the 80's, to phone cards. His Mum is a wonderful woman! They're both so kind! They give us so much stuff! Each time we visit them, they ask if there's any stationary we need, anything at all, and they get it for us! They often give us food as well! They used to have Missionaries over every Monday for dinner, but Sister Armstrong's health is deteriorating. It's sad. 

That's pretty much everybody! We do have an appointment with a girl whose name is pronounced Finula. I don't have my old planner with me, so I can't tell you how it's actually spelled. We're really excited to go by her, because she actually told us she's been reading the Book of Mormon, all the way to 2 Nephi! We meet with her on Tuesday. Tuesday is going to be a very busy day for us!! Love it!

Thanks for the information on the Dance Festival! Claire seems to have really enjoyed it! There were also a lot of boys in her pictures...

We taught Sharing Time in Primary yesterday! We taught about the Holy Ghost. We had a volunteer get blindfolded, had everyone else arrange the chairs in an obstacle course, and shouting and yelling, and the volunteer had to get to the end. Then we taught a bit about the Holy Ghost, and then had another kid go through, only this time I was guiding him. The kids seemed to have a blast! Including Hilaire's kids. :)

So next Sunday Elder Holland is speaking in Edinburgh to all the stakes in the UK I think! It's going to be so cool! I'm looking forward to it! What a fantastic opportunity to hear from an Apostle! 

Anyhow, as a last spiritual thought, I remember what Elder Holland said in Conference: "One cannot fully comprehend the Atonement... without acknowledging that there was an actual Adam and Eve." I echo that statement, and wish to expand it. One cannot fully comprehend the Atonement OR Jesus Christ Himself without studying the Old Testament. Something that actually boggles my mind is that there are many Christian churches that refuse to read the Old Testament. They only read the New Testament. Their reasoning is that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic law, and so the Old Testament is unnecessary. I can kind of see where they're coming from, but it's honestly a very, very foolish notion. Has the Law of Moses been fulfilled? Yes. Does that mean we need not abide by it? Or even ignore it completely? Absolutely not! I found some DVD's for seminary on the Old Testament. Watching some of the videos has really opened my eyes to the importance of the Old Testament. We cannot fully understand the importance of Jesus Christ without a careful study of the Old Testament. Now, there are many things which are difficult to understand, often due to the loss of "plain and precious truths", but Joseph Smith taught that anybody with the Spirit of God will be able to understand the teachings in all the Bible. 

And another thought, which came from the talk I gave in Sacrament meeting yesterday: I want you all to read The Living Christ. If I remember correctly, we have it on our wall in the Family Room. Or we used to. In any case, read it. We read it the other day in Companionship Study, and it has a lot of great things. I realized that about half of the stuff in that document we know through Modern Revelation. The rest of the world either doesn't know about such things, or they believe something totally different. Incredible! I love Jesus Christ. I've really come to love Him even more on my mission than at any other time in my life! He's done so much for us, and He asks a pittance in return. 

I love you all so much! I miss you! Stay strong, and do not be afraid! Remember the scripture in Ephesians 6:13 .......   and having done all, to STAND. 

Elder Bates

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