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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dec 8, 2014

Hey Family,

It snowed yesterday, which was very cool.  I haven't seen it snow like that since the day I left the MTC those many moons ago. It was beautiful, and it’s getting very very cold. 
Our day is a dangerous time to be alive, especially for youth.  I think about King Bens words to his people, he told them of the many ways to be led away in sin, he even said there were countless ways that a man could fall away by transgression.  Well, if that was true in that day, how true is it in our day.  Not only are there so many more divers ways to sin or to tempted to sin, but the temptation has never been stronger, nor has it ever been as easy to give in to.  I'm grateful for the awakening conversion that I've received from the Lord, but having the perspective I now have, I see so many others, even members of the church, still shrouded and led away by the subtle craftiness of men.  Satan doesn't mind if anyone joins the church, his real concern is the potential people have to grow and progress down the gospel path.  There are many people, even members of the church, who are idle and "comfortable", saying "all is well in Zion" and not concerned about the many things going on all around them.  This is represented well in Patrick Henry's own words:

" is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."

I love that speech, in my mind it’s probably the most profound non-prophetic utterance recorded yet.  I also think of the words of Nephi I believe, the one in Heleman, who wished he had been born in the time of Nephi of old, because he viewed the people in that day as quick to believe and do the word of God.  Although his perceptions were a bit skewed, his next words are the important bit, "but I am consigned to my day, to preach the gospel to this people which are quick to do iniquity and slow to hear the word of God" or something like that.  The word consigned means, to have been assigned to or given trust over.  Indeed we in our day are also consigned, or given trust over, our day.  I rejoice in this truth, although it’s quite hard sometimes.  I would rather it be this way than to have it easy.

Glad to hear that you got to see me sing, hope we sounded alright.  The actual performance in Stake Conference was the best one we ever did.  Stake conference was very interesting as well.  I will tell you why.  So the missionaries generally were not to attend the Saturday night session, but we had an investigator who wanted to attend it, so we organized it and went to meet him there.  We waited for about ten minutes after the meeting and he never showed up, so we were about to leave, when Elder Herbertson (of the seventy) walked up to us and shook our hands.  I had met him before but he obviously didn't recognize me, he asked us where all the missionaries were.  We told him the situation, and he said it was hoshposh and told us to sit in on the conference.  So we did, of course.

It turned out to be great, the conference was fantastic and many people, who I know, from Perth and Liff, gave great talks.  Also, during Elder Herbertsons talk, which was great as well (I've always enjoyed his presentations he's a good and humble guy) he made reference to us, the missionaries many times.  He even asked us to stand at one point while talking about hastening the work.  I was glad there were at least some missionaries there and afterwards lots of members from our ward came up to us proud that we had "represented well".  Elder Taxiera from the seventy then spoke, had us stand again and made many references to the missionaries, whose only emissaries that day was my companion and I.  It was interesting and inspiring. 

The Sunday session went much the same, however this time all the missionaries came.  President Brown was also present.  It was a great time, we sang and participated and the new Stake Presidency was called.  Lots of tears and thank-yous'.  

Glad to see that mom and syd had some fun this week, and that you’re all happy. Looking forward to the Christmas package yes moves in next week so we will see what happens.  There really isn't a way to predict what's going to happen, so I'm not sure what to think.  I would like to stay for the winter but I'm not letting my desires get me down in case the Lord has another area in mind.  Anything will do.  I'll go wherever.

Have a great week, Merry Christmas and I love you!

Elder Merrill




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