Monday, January 21, 2013

well everyone hello. i read your letters. and then i looked at the time. so the ones i did respond to and the ones i didnt im sorry ha. next week ill get there earlier.
 as far as how is the work here im still workin hard. its a good thing that the lord doesnt jusge our efforts in an area by the choices of others... but im stilll working hard ha were having some struggles with people getting busy that used to be super legit and all that fun stuff. but it gives you a great chance to go and find other people that want to listen too. 

another one of my mission buddies is going home this week.. and the others are all winding down also. the ones that were 6 weeks (1 cycle) ahead of me when i was new are all going home early which means in about 2 and a half months my batch will be the senior missionaries for a long time. thats kinda cool to think about. rashes are going away (man what a relief) so thats good. as for other things im learning how to cook pretty well im happy about that. im enjoying the work and im super rushed right now so ill be more interesting next week. i love you all ! elder landeen
Allen wrote a short letter to Mike and I instead of a longer general letter, but there was a part I wanted to share with you. I had told him about my lesson this week in Gospel Essentials and some of my thoughts about the topic and this was his response:
anyways... thats my favorite thing to talk about is the atonement. geffrey r hollands talk "the loneliest journey ever made" is probably the best thing i have found about that. the thing that i never understood before which im starting to see more now is the whole part oft the atonement that helps the innocent. were saved from sins but were also strengthened in trials. "footsteps in the sand" is a great one there. we never seem to recognize the help we are recieving in the moment but when we look back almost always we are able to recognize how much help is really there the whole time.

i can remember when i was really little... i dono if was 10 or how old... i do remember though it was before you had your operation on your first knee when your knees were doing the worst.. and i remember you laying down in bed because they hurt so bad.. and i remember praying in my room that god would make my knees hurt unstead of yours.. ( its interesting to me the small memories that i do still have and others that i cant recall for the life of me ) the prayer wasnt answered the way i expected it as a little kid, but things have worked out. (: your still hurt and that hasnt seemed to change and i dont know your feelings about that but one thing that i have kinda felt about the savior and the atonement... is it has seemed to work kinda like this for me. god wants us to learn and grow more than he wants us to be comfortable. and since this life is all about learning.... learning christlike attributes... not very often does something big and miraculous (like a blessing that miraculously takes away the trial). it can and does but not very often. ive found for me that if we compare a trial in life to a long walk, the atonement isnt going to drop a car off so we can just drive to the end... but i feel like christ will come and walk with us so we arent walking alone. didnt take the long walk away, we are still walking but we have the comfort of company. and then if the time comes that we've hit our limit, thats when christ will carry us. think about life if we always got cars to take us to the end of our problems, things the savior said like "go the extra mile" and how he carried his own cross... would have a lot less meaning for us.
Allen has an amazing focus on the things that are most important. I appreciated knowing his experience as a child and the faith he exhibited on my behalf.
Mike and Paula
ill tell you about my fun experience this week. new years was good but i have a full body rash.. and i mean head to toe. its on the mend i didnt take any pictures because my memory card has had problems since last week so sorry you wont get to see it but it was bad probably the ith\chiest thing ive ever had before. and they have these caterpilliars here that are super colorful with long hairs they when you touch them they have like poison or something in their hairs that itches like crazy. i have a couple scars from them. ill come home with skin looking like i have cancer ha ha. but thats okay. 

i only have one short thing i wanna add in here that i read this morning in 1st nephi about the characteristics of nephi that i find pretty cool. here in 1 nephi chapter 2 verse 16. nephi after he heard the things his father said he didnt just believe he. he had great desires to know of the mysteries of god FOR HIMSELF and he didnt just accept it, he sought his own confirmation. he saught to find out if what he heard was true, he asked in faith, and the spirit softened his spirit.

di we have that same great desire? i mean nephis faith is great we all know that but he was an ordinary person, laman and lemuel also listened to their dad and heard the things nephi heard... what was the difference? we can say faith and thats true but the thing that impressed me was his desire. in alma 32 he starts the seed as a desire to know... and nephis great desire is to know the mysteries of god. i thought something interesting because my whole life i had thought that those kind of things dont really happen to us... but then i thought about the true desires of my heart for my whole life and well i couldnt say that my great desire of my heart was to know of the mysteries of god.. what if that was THE desire of our heart. above all else. and we acted accordingly. i think the world would be a different place to live in if that was how it was. 

anyways thats it outa time. love you all till next week.... elder landeen.
hello everyone. dad said it perfectly when wrote "your probably having a hard time thinking of things to write since we talked to you just last week" and totoo iyan (thats true) ill do my best to make this as interesting as possible. 

before you read this letter i need you to do something. log onto lds .org and look up the mormon messages an unexpected gift. no cheating okay really watch it before you continue.

okay so now that youve felt the spirit that i did ill continue.

          i think a lot about my life. about when i was young wondering what it will be like when im in high school and can drive, to when i was in middle school and my biggest problem was the first time i thought i loved someone (ha ha) and then life started the get a little more serious. of wondering if i was going to go on a mission, or if my friend will be sent back to juvenile detention. then more real to when one of my closest old friends told me she was a heroine addict and had thought about ending her life. 
         i think about the pain our choices cause the people we love. about how such small decisions (it seems small) can have such big consequences on our personal lives and more importantly on the lives of our loved once. satans really good at convincing that people should accept you for who you are and they shouldnt be upset with you, theyre getting upset for no reason. and thats the hard thing about it is most of the time, the people making the worst choices deep down inside have no intention of hurting anyone. there are those few that have fallen so ldeeply into sin that they are past feeling... but at least from my experience the path of sin has an interesting way of pulling us in slowly until before we know it the only thing that seems to "excite" or "interest" you are thing that hurt you and the ones you love but like i said before satan is good.

        i also think a lot about how parents somehow keep loving kids no matter how many times they loose trust, or how much the innocent people in life are always the ones that seem to be hurt not deservingly... and then the hardest to understand is how the savior could love us so much to experience it all... not deservingly.. i think it says it best in isaiah 53. and the thing that always seems to get me is how the very people he loved and served and prayed for and came to save are the ones who rejected him. and he knew it, and knew he would be betrayed, and knew he would be mocked and left alone.... and he did it anyways.... 

       and now were here and we have our own trials and times where we feel alone. and even though they arent the same as the saviors at some times we feel like its more than we can handle. think about those times... whether its by your own choices, the choices of others... and then think about that video. the unexpected gift.. think about all the little things that we have because of the savior. about the way that even though we feel along sometimes we are never alone. and in those times where we feel that way theres always somehow something... its not always big and i think more often than not they go unnoticed. but if you think back on the times that were the hardest... thats when the lord is the closest. i know thats true in my life and i could never express enough my gratitude for all of you and for the savior. and im completely convinced that its all true. that the savior lives and its not just a belief to make life better or an idea  to give us comfort but its real and tangible. im so glad im serving a mission i cant even express it.. this is the best i can and its kulang pa. 

anyways i love you all and i want you all to remember that if your having those same chillenges... remember where i once was and now am... because of the savior.

love you all...............                                                                                                                                                                                elder landeen