Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 29: Dan Jonesing On The Corner

Family and Friends!  Hello!  It's been a wonderful warm week here in Hamilton, and I was so happy to read all the emails this week.  Elder Lau and I are doing wonderfully!

There was a day this week that broke a record for the warmest February day.  Super nuts.  They say it's gonna get colder in the coming week, but so far it's been no problem.  I met Jesus Christ this week.  He was high as a kite and drunk as a sailor, but I think he might be legit. He gave me a hug as well.  Nice guy.   Met a lot of drunk people.  Met some people who thought Jesus was black.  Saw a picture of black Jesus.

Also, I soapbox preached a corner.  They had a zone challenge going trying to get us to go "Dan Jonesing" which means you stand on a corner, and call the people to repentance.  Elder Lau didn't want to be embarrassed by my righteous desire to rebuke heathens, so I did it on exchanges instead with Elder Ryan.  Super fun.  Definitely doing it again.  

It was a pretty uneventful week.  We found some more new investigators, so that was good.  We taught some people, and we had some really spiritual lessons with one named Evonne.  She's doing pretty well, but we just have a hard time getting her to read consistently.  She's a really sweet girl though, and she really wants to learn.  We've also been teaching a few other investigators, and one super awesome returning member, but there's nothing too noteworthy about them this week.

Scriptural insight this week!  I was studying in John 9, which is where Jesus heals a man born blind.  It's a really cool story, and I really think it has a lot of relation to our lives.  One of the reasons I love it is because the man who was healed had no idea about who Jesus Christ was.  He didn't know who had healed him.  He didn't know about all the stories.  He only knew one thing, which was that he could now see.

After he is healed by Jesus Christ, the trial that the Pharisees put him through is almost comical.  They try and get him to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, and his response is wonderfully profound.  Essentially he says "Whether he's a sinner or not, I have no idea.  I know one thing.  Whereas I was blind, now I see."

It's a really simple story of connecting the dots, and I was thinking about what that means to us in our lives.  Obviously, not all of us have stories of being miraculously healed like this man, but every single one of us have had spiritual experiences in our lives that testify to us that there is a God in heaven.  Some may be stronger than others, and some people may have more than others, but I guarantee that everyone has had one.  You can't explain that with rationalization.

And yet so many people will.  We do it all the time.  We have wonderful spiritual experiences, and then two or three weeks later we forget everything we felt and knew with a surety.  We move on.  We're like the Pharisees in the story who tried to rationalize a miracle.

Let's be like this man who would never deny what he knew.  He didn't know everything about what had happened.  He didn't know the entire process or all the doctrine, and frankly we're in a very similar boat.  We don't completely understand how God works with his children, but there are times when we know He is there.  And then a week goes by, and we forget about it, and the things that we knew so surely and saw so clearly are fogged over.

As I've been serving a mission, I've had a lot of moments like that.  Days when I know with the utmost clarity that God is there, and then just a few days later, I find myself questioning the experiences that I had.  I'm trying to rationalize it.

Let us be people who never forget the power of God in our lives.  People who never under appreciate the love that God has for us.  In Ether 12:27 it says that God gives us weaknesses that we may be strong.  I know that's true. He gives us weakness so that we have to turn to him.  He makes us use his Atonement, because he wants us to have faith in him.  He wants us to use his help, and when we do, he is able to, at least temporarily, strengthen our faith.  Stop doubting, and just connect the dots.  God is there, and he is constantly trying to reach us, and though we do not understand everything, we can be strengthened by him.  And one day we will be able to say "Whereas I was blind, now I see."

Hadley - No, it's not cold here yet, and there's absolutely no snow to sled on right now.  It's super weird.  I really didn't think I'd be able to wear my short sleeved shirts in February.  You're name is Hadley Jane the Brain now?  Did you get less insane?  It should be Hadley Jane the Brian in honor of the puppy.  So it sounds like you got Ellie sick. Was that on purpose? Also, tell Ashleigh to name the puppy Carlos

Ellie - Tell Ashleigh to name her Bon Qui Qui.  I think that'd be a great name.  See if you can get Mom to keep Bryan.  Also, what happened with the whole hot tub issue that was going on a while ago?  Did that get through?  I really think it would be super cool if we got one.  So how's school going?  Are there any boys I need to know about?

Ashleigh - You should name the puppy Arthur.  Man, it seems like you guys must have made Hadley mad or something.  She's just getting everyone sick.  I remember a time in the MTC when everyone was sick. They have the hand sanitizer dispensers that they encouraged everyone to use to help keep it under control, but I think they were probably the cause of it.   I mean, that has to be the dirtiest thing in the whole MTC.  Everyone touches it on their way out. Gross.

Mom -  I might be the youngest one in the mission, and it's a bit strange having meetings with missionaries who are 6 months or a year older than me in mission age.  I enjoy it though. It's really fun.  Thanks so much for sharing those quotes with me, by the way.  I was studying some talks by President Hunter the other day, and he seems like a really cool guy.  Did you know he was a super talented musician, but the day he got married, he decided that the entertaining life wasn't good for families. He put all his instruments away, and never played for a real audience again.  He sacrificed a lot.  Also, tell Ashleigh to name the puppy Meimei (it means little sister in Chinese)

Hayden - So... who won the Super bowl?  I have no idea what happened with any of the teams this season.  All I know is that the streets were empty last night (American football is still a big sport in Ontario).  I didn't even know when it was happening until about 3 days ago.  We're very isolated out here.  I guess you could say "in the world but not of the world." Also, tell Ashleigh to name the puppy Mozart

Dad - I did have a great week.  Ya, Hamilton has a pretty rough history.  It's still very much a blue collar city, and there's a whole ton of giant steel factories along the lakefront.  It's definitely a rough town, but there are a lot of wonderful humble people out there that we have to go and find. I like it here a lot.  As district leader I interview all the baptismal candidates in my district, and I was able to interview one who had been through so much to be baptized.  She had overcome addictions of every kind, moved out of her boyfriend's house, been disowned by her family (they eventually repaired the relationship), and now she was about to be baptized.  It was a cool experience.  Thanks so much for the scripture as well.  That's a really cool part, and it really shows how the Lord truly loves us, and is sad when we sin. Also, tell Asheigh to name the puppy Bruce.

Quote of the Week: He who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.  George Merideth

Also, I know I already shared it, but I love Moroni 8:16.  "Perfect love casteth out all fear."  That's the scripture I read before I stood on the corner and Dan Jones'd

Elder Sabin

Below is an audio recording of Austin reading Mosiah 16:7-9 (his missionary plaque scripture) in Mandarin: