things seem exciting there at home weve got surgeries and cruises and finals and crt's all coming up quick. life ha.
we had an amazing meeting with elder nielson from the area presidency here in the philippines this past week, his topic was a talk by elder bednar titled "in the strength of the lord" man it was good. once again im always amazed by the general authorities that visit and how they teach.
the just of it was the strengthening power of the atonement. we talked about how the atonement is not only for sinners bu for saints also (or the good people striving to become like saints) it ended up being a lot about changing the way we pray. he talked about how a lot of prayers are about having circumstances changed, but how we should pray is to be given the strength to change our circumstances. (theres a whole bunch of great examples in the talk by elder bednar) i thought about my prayers before serving a mission and how things have changed while i have been here and how they are now changing as i continue to learn more and more about scriptures and how things actually work and i noticed a few things that i didn't really understand before and i am beginning to maybe scratch the surface i guess you could say. Elder Neilson kept using the example of its super hot in the philipines but you all still go out every day and work even though its hot how do you do that? then he said if you prayed and asked got to take away the sun for a few hours from northern Luzon because its hotter than you can handle do you think he will answer that prayer? (no was his answer of course) he said we dont ask got to change our circumstances. we ask got to strenghthen us so that we can work in the heat, and because of the atonement the lord is able to strenghthen us to do things that we could not normally do.
i thought of 2 nephi 4: 35 "yea my god will give me if i aask not amiss," how often have i asked for god to change my circumstances. i think back on the mtc many times praying that i will stop being so anxious all the time. i wish that then i had understhood that what i should have asked for was strength that i can learn how to deal with the anxiety that i had effectively. or when i was praying for nanay gonzales that her heart will soften and she will accept the message, this is true and necessary, but what i should have also been praying for was that the lord would strengthen me to know what I need to do or say in order to help her to accept the message. it came down to i guess the thought of if god wants us to become like him, how can i expect to do that if i expect him to do everything for me. What i should be doing is relying on him to strengthen me to overcome what comes across my pass and when i have done all in MY power, i can trust that he will either strengthen me to do what i cant do on my own, or by his own means after i have done ALL that i can do will make up the difference for my weaknesses.
an even longer story short... i learned a lot from our meeting with elder nielson.
anyways other than that i have one more weird experience. elder samar and i went to a far barangay the other day called simimbaan to try to contact a referral of a member. when we got there it was like the picture perfect of when i expected to see in the philippines. mga bahay cubo ( bamboo huts ) and other houses made out of cinderblocks with dirt streets banana trees all over the place calabows (waterbuffalo) in the irregation canal and super hot and humid. so as we were lost at this point because i have only been to the house of this member once at nighttime for the service of his wife that died and we were with members that knew where it was we started to ask around if they knew tatay biagtan. we met a man that said he knew him and then he began to introduce himself as a member of the rlds church. (now called community of christ) and he started telling us about our church history, talking about the book of mormon doctrine and covenants and at this point i had one of those what in the world is happening moments. i thought here i am in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the world talking to a guy drinking beer in a weird language thats telling me about the history of the church(he was right on with most of the things he was saying too) and hes a member of the rlds church! what a crazy world we live in. how the rlds church got here or whats going on with that i dont know but it was a very interesting experience.
anyways thats all for now! love you all take care! love elder landeen