So! (hello friends, family, grandparents, any elves that my be tapping my email, and others) Do you all remember when I was going to read the Standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price) in forty days?
Well. Surprise. I got pretty behind and it's not going to happen quite in my time limit. But whatever! "Forty Days" is just poetic Hebrew-speak for a"A long time".
Right now I am drawing near the close of the old testament of the Bible, which (Since I already read the new testament) will bring my reading of that ancient book to a close. So (In addition to giving a bit of an update about the other things that we are doing and all that) I wanted to write a little about what reading the whole, and I'm talking THE ENTIRE Bible has taught me.
As I read the new testament, the majority of the teachings imparted by Jesus Christ came in the form of parables and cohesive discourses that responded to specific questions made to the Lord. The letters of the Apostles take a slightly different tone, as most are admonestations drawing from scriptural examples. The old Testament, however, has a very distinct form. Appart from the law of Moses as recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, somewhat in Numbers and in Deuteronomy, the old testament is composed of stories that leave that reader to ponder and draw many of their own conclusions based on the way God interacts with man as is recorded there. As I passed through the many teachings of the old testament with the filter of the teachings of Jesus Christ very present in my mind, I was amazed at how effectivly he amplified and expounded the principles of faith, repentance, mercy and justice taught by the prophets who had come before him. The details that may seem insignificant upon a reading of only the Gospel records of the life of Christ become fulfilments of prophesies made hundreds and even thousands of years before he was born.
Some of those who receive this email are not members of the Church and might not share our belief in the Bible and its teachings. But I want to give a testimony that the Bible is full of the constant teaching that if man will keep the statues of God, he will be prospered and receive blessings in great abundance- and that really that is a true teaching. The Bible is pretty great. It gives us a window into the history of the acts of God and men. But more importantly, it teaches us how to live in accordance to what God desires of us.
Well, in other news, this week we've had a tough time finding some of the people we were teaching (one went to Mendoza, another to San Juan, and several others have been absent when we pass by by unhappy coincidence)- but we have met several new people to who we have been able to teach and there is a family with the which we think we are going to be able to work with this week who is a neighbour of one of the members of the ward, and came to the baptism of his son on Saturday.
What has been very tough, though, is getting people out to church- investigators, less active members, and recent converts alike. We're making a special effort mission-wide to try and help more people be in the sacrament meeting, and have the chance to take of the bread and the water to remember the central role of Jesus Christ in our lives.
Well, that's all I've got for now. We have to clean the pension, they're going to inspect it! I spent >4 hours this week scrubbing the walls to get out mold and shoe marks and general filthyness. They should really inspect more often thatn once a year- the last inspection I had was when I had barely arrived- because many missionaries start to dissrespect the living quarters and then leave, and it only gets worse and worse.
It is what it is, at least it's clean now.