Saturday, May 3, 2014

21-27Apr2014 KindleProblems,Milo&Assaina,GenConf

On Monday, transfers were announced.  That meant updating Transfer Cards.  It was bit trickier than usual with additional missionaries arriving and needing companions. 

I gave the Spiritual Thought in Staff Meeting on Tuesday on Sacrifice:

Earlier in the year, as we began the study of the Old Testament in Sunday School, in class we discussed how Cain was angry because his offering was not accepted. He should not have been surprised, because the Lord commanded that an unblemished lamb, in similitude of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, was to be offered.

This caused me to think, “Do we give the Father what he asks for?” Or, do we give the Lord something totally different, motivated by the wrong thing?

Christ’s atonement became the ultimate sacrifice, and since that time, the sacrifice the Lord now requires of those who believed in him is the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

3 Nephi 9:20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost,..

“To have a broken heart is to be humble, contrite (feeling or expressing remorse or great sorrow at the recognition that one has done wrong), repentant, and meek (patient, long-suffering, teachable) -- that is, receptive to the will of God.”

“A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit” Bruce D. Porter Of the Seventy

“There is yet another dimension of a broken heart—namely, our deep gratitude for Christ’s suffering on our behalf. In Gethsemane, the Savior “descended below all things” (D&C 88:6) as He bore the burden of sin for every human being. At Golgotha, He “poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12), and His great heart literally broke with an all-encompassing love for the children of God. When we remember the Savior and His suffering, our hearts too will break in gratitude for the Anointed One.

As we make the sacrifice to Him of all that we have and all that we are, the Lord will fill our hearts with peace. He will “bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1) and grace our lives with the love of God, “sweet above all that is sweet, … and pure above all that is pure” (Alma 32:42).”

Also from Joseph Smith: (Lectures on Faith: Lecture 6:7) "... A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; ..."

After 10 days of Kindle reviewing electronic logs from our Kindle, the company concluded that we must have a defective Kindle. Having no solution provided by Kindle, Richard decided to download already purchased books from our Kindle Cloud to his PC and then load them directly onto my Kindle. That worked great, and I can still use the PC to purchase books from the Kindle Store and, using a PC, load them onto my Kindle. Certainly not convenient, but it works.  So glad to have my reading material restored!  In the meantime we have signed up for Deseret Book Bookshelf to get General Conference and other things to have access to them on Richard's iPhone.
The events of this week cause me to admonish you to be thankful for your heritage and the legacy which you have from your parents and grandparents and other ancestors.  I know I don’t have a large representation of Mozambicans in our Family History classes, but the few people I have met in that venue have multiple challenges in tracing their ancestry.  Some do not know who their father is.  Some do not know who their mother is.  Refugees, who are often orphans, do not have any clue as to either of their parents.  In the country’s 10-year war for independence from Portugal which ended in 1975 and the 6-year Civil War which ended in 1992, many public records were destroyed.  Life expectancy is about 52 years.  Perhaps you are now taking the blessing of your ancestry for granted.  Think about the alternative.  These people, whose hearts have turned to their fathers, long to be connected to them.  We try to reassure them and emphasize these truths we learn from the restored gospel:

“As you try to live the gospel, the Holy Ghost will comfort you, and the Atonement will strengthen you. The Savior atoned so we can have every blessing available to us if we are righteous. That includes the blessing of eternal families.” (“Questions and Answers” New Era, Dec. 2006)

“In righteousness there is the fulfillment of faith and hope. Every blessing that God has promised to His children is predicated upon obedience to His laws and commandments. Obedience to His laws and commandments is what makes us righteous, and that righteousness qualifies us to be worthy of the promised blessings. Each of us lives with his or her own situation. There are challenges with health, economy, literacy, singleness, loneliness, oppression, abuse, transgression, and a never-ending list of existing conditions. The solution to all these challenges is righteousness.” (William R. Bradford, “Righteousness” Ensign, November 1999)

“There is too much [temple and family history] work to finish before the Millennium begins, so it will be completed during that time. Resurrected beings will help us correct the mistakes we have made in doing research concerning our dead ancestors. They will also help us find the information we need to complete our records.” (Chapter 45: The Millennium. Gospel Principles, (2011), 263–67 (See Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:167, 251–52.)

“Our Heavenly Father knows us, loves us, and wants to help. He knows best how to help. We are not spiritual orphans!” (“The Lord’s Way” April 2013, Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the Seventy)

“We need to also know that our Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation is infinitely more just and merciful than we can possibly comprehend. He will leave nothing undone for the blessing of his children. Truly, there are no eternal orphans in his loving plan.

Although we must live in the present, we can also live for the future. We can live for the day when we can go to the temple to receive greater understanding and blessings than we now enjoy. We can live for the day when we can make a home of our own—a home where we can strive to bring love, peace, and the Spirit. We can also live for the day when we can nurture others as we may not have been nurtured ourselves.” (Jan Pinborough, “When All is Not Well at Home” New Era, June 1991)

This week we finished preparing the Family History Center at the Maputo 2 chapel.  We dusted.   We scrubbed the floor and rearranged the furniture.  Richard loaded additional software to the computer.  We also now have a key to the chapel so when we teach our classes we can let ourselves into the building. 

One of the couples, Milo and Assaina Salvado, who began attending our Family History class this week, is from the Magoanine branch.  They have been called to be Family History specialists in their branch and are eager to learn!

The weather this past week has been milder.  While we were eating our lunch outside on Friday, we noticed this lizard climbing the wall.  It had beautiful black markings on its legs and body.

Saturday and Sunday this weekend were the designated days for Maputo 2 members and investigators to view General Conference.   On Saturday, the 8 a.m. beginning time was delayed almost 2 hours because the machine they were using wouldn’t communicate with the projector in the chapel.  So, we were asked if the branch could use my laptop computer to show conference.  We live only a short distance, maybe 5-minute walk, away from the chapel, so we hurried home to get the computer.  Once we returned, it took only a couple of minutes and we were all viewing conference.  Richard and I had a more productive time than the previous week when we listened to conference since we were reading the English on Richard’s iphone while we listened to the Portuguese!  Next Thursday morning, May 1 – which by the way is a holiday, the branch will view Saturday afternoon session.  We also brought the computer so the branch could view both Sunday sessions the next day. 
I took the opportunity to go to the chapel to play the piano for a while on Saturday afternoon.  It is an electric piano, so it is both a piano and organ.  I really enjoyed playing some of the music I had brought to Mozambique with me. 
As of Sunday, 27 April 2014, we have made it to the half-way point of our mission.  In some ways the time has gone by slowly, in other ways it has raced by!  We are sure that more adventures are in store for us in the months ahead!  We end this week’s blog with another beautiful African sunset.

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