Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Around The Scriptures In Forty Days!

Well, how is everyone?

I am writing my "General epistle" first this week, seeing as recently the time has made a bad play of me and left me sending sub-par letters.

This week has been a pretty interesting one for me. while we did not manage to find a lot of people at home, we did make some important contact with some people who were sort of slipping through our fingers (especially a lady named Soledad Paz, who is a good friend of a member in a province outside of the mission...)

This week we also had a zone conference with President Goates and also the stake conference on Saturday and Sunday. I learned a lot, and especially in zone conference they really talked about a lot of different things that I appreciated and learned from.

Also this week, I made a new personal study plan, and started a special study project: Starting on the twelfth of December, I was (am) going to read through all of the standard works, cover to cover, in forty days. In approximate math that means 64 pages per day. I started reading in the New Testament and now, on the fourth day, have read up to nearly the end of Paul's epistle to the Romans (and have about 25 pages left to go to finish today even!) Reading that much each day there are definitely things that I don't retain, but it is also helping me get a better knowledge of the the general contents of the scriptures and take away more meaning from the patterns of teaching that I see repeated again and again. Having read all the scriptures that treat the life of Jesus Christ in only two days,  I was impressed by the meaningful, applicable teachings the he delivered in every moment. His actions taught that men should have faith; His example that we should never fear, but rely always in God.

Something that impressed me about zone conference that I then got again from the scriptures was when President taught that the words of greater faith are "and if not..." Citing the story of the friends of Daniel at the point of being cast into the fire by an infuriated king, he reminded us that they were calmly confident that their God would deliver them from the heat of the furnace. Then he pointed out in one of the verses, that the three young men said, "and if not, we know that we would not bow down and worship your idol." He used this example to teach that although it is good to have faith that God will work mighty miracles in our lives, the words of greater faith from these young men (Who where miraculously protected from the flames) were that even if God did not save them according to their desire, they would continue with faith in him. Then, reading of the life of Jesus Christ, it was evident to me that although he knew that he would be delivered up, and scourged, and suffer pains that would make him even to tremble and would that he might not drink the bitter cup, he never so much as wavered in the least in his absolute confidence in his Father. He knew that he would not be delivered, and yet his example taught that it does not mater what we have to go through in this life- that everything is worth the price it takes to do always the things that will please our Heavenly Father.

Have a good week everyone,
El. Backstrom

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