Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 28: I'm Naming My Puppy Bryan

I'm naming my puppy Bryan. It's done.  No changing it.  Unless I change my mind later in this letter.  Which could very well happen.

Anyway, I don't have a ton of time to email today (sorry, our P-days have been so busy lately) but I'll do my best to make it coherent.

First off, holy cow, it's so warm up here!  I haven't used my coat all week.  It's been 5 to 10 degrees Celsius, which isn't tropical, but it's doesn't feel cold here at all.  Hamilton is pretty far south, but still!  Everyone keeps saying this is the warmest winter in decades, so basically I chose the right year to come here.

So anyway, it sounds like life was a bit crazy back home!  You'll have to tell me what you all decide for names.  Wish Emi's puppies my best.  They'll be in my prayers ;)

As far as this week goes, there wasn't a ton of super special stuff going on.  Being a district leaders is pretty crazy, but it's been fun too.  Also, I didn't even notice it, but I passed my 6 month mark!  Some dude asked me the other day how long I'd been a missionary, and I thought about it for a minute a realized it.  That was so fast.  I'm kind of panicking now.  My time here is running out so quick!
We've been teaching this returning member named Bao, and oh my gosh, this guy is so ready to come back.  He came to church every Sunday this month, and he's preparing to go to the temple.  Miracle's abound in Ontario!

Also, we have an awesome new convert named Zhao.  He feeds us every week, and he's super great.  He doesn't speak any English, but one of his best friends in the ward is a guy named Bro Goddard.  Bro Goddard doesn't speak any Chinese, but somehow these two are really close friends.  They just get together and play ping-pong.  They're awesome :)

As far as investigators go, we found some solid new ones this week.  I'll keep you updated on what happens with them, but we were so happy to find them.  There was a bit of a drought recently because all the universities were having their tests so the students were all inside studying, but it picked up a bit.

Also, cool scriptural insight!  For everyone who doesn't believe in the Atonement, read this part here!
So I was studying Alma's speech to his sons the other day.  Most people have at least a general idea.  He has three sons.   Helaman gets a long speech praising his faithfulness to the Lord, Shiblon gets about a chapter of his father telling him "good job", and Corianton basically get's chastised to 10 pages.  He commited a pretty serious sin, and his father needed to rebuke him for it.  However, I think we underestimate Corianton.

What he did is in no way justified.  Alma says in 39:11 that he was at least partially responsible for the Zoramites rejecting the gospel.  However, I want to focus on the bright side.  It's obvious the Corianton had some serious doctrinal concerns.  He had questions, and a fair portion of his fathers speech is addressing those questions that were weakening his testimony.  I wrote next to those chapters the famous quote by Elder Uchtdorf that says "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."

We don't get a lot of detail about what he did after that, but we do get two verses that mention him.  The first is in 43:1 where it says "The sons of Alma did go forth among the people to declare the word unto them."  Corianton got past his sin.  He overcame what he'd done, and he decided to fulfill the calling that the Lord had given him.  With that said, I want to say to any man or woman who fears that unworthiness will keep them from fulfilling their calling that the Atonement is real.  These chapters come from Alma, one of the most amazing stories of a changed heart in the entire book. 

People like Ammon, Zeezrom, Lamoni, and Paul all come from similar backgrounds.  They changed their futures, and changed their lives, and for that they were blessed. The Atonement allows us to truly get past our weaknesses and allow the Lord to qualify us.

The second verse is less well-known.  Most people know about Alma 48:16, which reads "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

However, I want to focus on the next verse.

"Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God."

For those of you who've forgotten, "Alma and his sons" includes Corinanton.  It doesn't mention him by name, but in essence it is comparing him to men like Captain Moroni, Alma, and Ammon.  This chapter comes after Alma's speech to his son.  It come after his sin, and what I learn from that is that his sin truly does not matter any more.  At least not to Mormon, the writer of the book.  Mormon probably knew more about this guy than we did, considering he had more records, but he makes no attempt to cut Corianton out of the mix.  In the end he was a "man of God" and that was all that mattered.

Hadley Jane the Insane - I'm the best brother ever?  Wow, Hayden must have really stepped down his game ;)  How much have you been sick lately?  I feel like pretty much every other week you've been sick.  Are you feeling better now?  How's school going?

Ellie Kate the Great - You'll never be better than me.  It's impossible.  Completely impossible.  So Emi's handling the kids well?  Ask mom how she would feel to have 7 kids at the same time.  Then tell me what she says ;)

Hayden - Sorry, I'm too lazy to write out the entire title that you signed your letter with :) Also, what does "savage" mean in that context?  I haven't seen anyone as crazy as that guy this week, but you see strange people here every day in Hamilton.  You just get used to it after a while.

Mom - As far as my camera goes, I'm sorry about that.  I haven't pulled it out in a little bit. I'll get better.  Elder Lau and I are doing great (seriously).  He's super hilarious, and it's really fun to be the only Mandarin missionaries in the zone.  We've given everyone chinese names so we can talk about them and they have no idea.  MWAHAHAHAHA!  Honestly, Elder Lau is just a good cook, and he makes all sorts of stuff, but mostly mexican food.  He has a bunch of cookbooks and stuff that he carries around from transfer to transfer.  As far as an address goes, I think ours is 177 west street, but I'll have to check it.  It's a member's house and we share the top two stories with the zone leaders.  The old one actually wasn't in Brampton, it was in Scarborough, Toronto. Brampton has the mission office, so we were there a lot, but we worked closer to downtown.  For the first transfer and a half, I think I was at 100 Bridletown circle (I think)  and then I was at 1050 Markham road for the next one.  Both of them are big apartment buildings.

Ashleigh - Wait, so you're saying that you weren't already certified to deliver puppies?  I thought everyone knew how to do that.  Weird.  That part that said "Cara went to help but she's terrified of blood and I'm positive she'll be horrible" made me laugh really hard.  Well, it sounds like all is well :)

Dad - How's the leg going?  I met a guy the other day that knew what Stoel Rives was in Salt lake City.  I guess he used to live in Utah, and he had worked with them before.  I asked if he knew you, but he said no.  He was pretty old, so it might even have been before we moved to Utah.  Anyway, still pretty cool.  Were there any parts in your mission where lots of crazy people lived?  Just curious.  Love you!

Love you guys!  Quote of the week - "Perfect love casteth out all fear."  Moroni 8:16

Elder Sabin