Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 32: It's Raining Blessings!!

It was a great week guys.  Great week.

Anyway, I thought I'd start with the family responses this week.

Hadley - Another tooth?  Hadley, you're going to be rich!  Cantonese is a lot like Mandarin, but it's spoken more at the back of the throat, whereas Mandarin is more at the front of the mouth.  I'm probably not going to really focus on studying that for a while though.  I'll learn some basic stuff, but my focus will still be Mandarin for a while.

Mom - I think Brian is leaving because he wants to come find his best friend Elder Sabin.  You should ship him up here.  I'll take good care of him. Also, tell Ashleigh if she keeps practicing, she might be almost as good as me one day ;)  Just kidding.

Ashleigh - Wow, Pharmatech packaging.  Sounds like an exciting job :)  No, just kidding, that's awesome!  Good for you.  Also, you'll be sad to know that I kind of slacked on the recordings this week.  I think I have 3.  I'll do better next week :) 

Ellie - So if you and Hadley both went to the Daddy-Daughter dance, and you both went with Dad, was that awkward?  Did you have to share a date? As far as blowfish stuff goes, no idea.  Just wear 12 coats, and duct tape some party hats to the outermost one.  Seahorse, hmmm... maybe you could wear that old black dragon costume we have, put some floaties on the arms, carry a pool noodle around, and just say that you're an evil seahorse.

Love you!

Dad - Man, it sounds like the puppies are really a handful.  Tell Mom that she needs to get at least a million dollars for Brian.  It's gonna be pretty hard for me to sell my only son.  I need to make sure it's worth it.  Also, thanks for the crepe recipe and for the spiritual thought.  I love that talk, and its one of 8 or so that I carry around in my suitcase and read every once in a while.

Anyway, I guess I'll tell you about my week.

The work has really picked up here in Hamilton!  I think now that the winter is coming to a close, all the Chinese people can start coming out of their shelters all across the city.  Basically, contacting has been very fruitful this week, and we were able to find some new gators! (investigators).

Evonne is still rocking it, and if all goes well she'll be baptized within a few weeks.  Super excited for her.  She's still rocking it with Cassi, and we're super happy that they've become friends.  On Sunday, while those two were in Relief Society, we got a text from her asking if we'd taught the Sabbath Day with Evonne yet.  We hadn't really talked about anything other than "go to church" and so Cassi asked for some scriptures and then sat down with her after church for 10 minutes or so.  Taught her the principles.  No missionaries involved.  I don't know if the missionaries are needed in the process anymore...

Daniel is also doing super great.  He came to church and it seemed like he really liked it.  Teaching him is fun, because we usually bring English-speaking members along so that they can have a friend at church, but during some of the more complex parts of teaching we need to use Chinese.  We solve the problem by having one of us translate into either English or Chinese while they're talking, and I've realized how confusing translating actually is.  The other day when we sat down to meet, I had switched back and forth so many times, and I was really tired, and when Elder Lau started teaching (in English) I leaned over to the member and started translating what he said into Chinese for a solid 10 seconds before I realized "wait, he doesn't speak Chinese...".  Uggh, it was embarrassing.  Also hilarious.  The lesson went really well though.

Also, two of the guys we met this week were really solid.  One is named Joe, and the other is Jeffery.  Chinese people pick super classic names.  I've met no fewer than 6 Chinese members named Kevin, and every other person I talk to on the street is named Charles.  Also, lots of Davids.  Anyway, I'll keep you updated on them.  We're meeting a few others this week as well, and I'll let you know how they go. 

As far as spiritual thoughts go, I was recently pondering something, and I figured I'd share it with you guys.  How many of you are familiar with the story of John Tanner?  Raise your hands.  Okay, good.  Now put them down.  For those of you who don't know, I'll give you the quick version.

John Tanner was a very wealthy man at the time the church was being organized in Kirtland.  He was a faithful Baptist, gave generous donations to people, lived a good life, and believed strongly in God.  He had a lot going for him, but he did have one very major issue in his life.  His leg was terribly diseased.

Several doctors had looked at it before, and they all claimed that if he did not amputate the leg, John would die very soon.  However, he refused to let them take it off, and instead prayed for a miracle.

One day several Mormon elders came to town, and he was fascinated by their message.  He invited them over, and after they shared the basics of their message, the missionaries invited him to be baptized.  John was absolutely willing, but he put forth a major concern.  His leg was in such bad shape that he wasn't sure he would be able to endure the ordinance.  However, he had great faith in Christ, and the missionaries asked if he had the faith to be healed.  He responded affirmatively, and the elders went on to heal his leg.  He was baptized the very same night, and went on to save the Kirtland temple's financial situation, serve a mission, and pass away in the Salt Lake Valley, having remained firm in the faith.

The reason I share this story is not actually for John Tanner.  I could talk for a long time about his consecration and willingness to follow the prophet, but I actually was thinking about those two missionaries.  When confronted with a concern like that today, we would usually try and resolve the issue.  We would offer to carry him to the lake, or to make sure that his leg was well bandaged and wouldn't receive infection.  However, those two men knew that, with God, all things are possible, and they acted upon that faith.

Through the faith of Mr. Tanner and those two missionaries, a man was healed both spiritually and physically, and the entire church was blessed for their efforts.  But what if they hadn't been able to perform that miracle?  What if they hadn't been worthy that night?

Winston Churchill once said "To every man there comes... that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do something unique to him and fitted to his talents.  What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour."

Had those two men not been worthy that night, John Tanner would not have been able to go on to do the good he did.  Luckily for the world, they were worthy, and they were able to stand up and declare "in the name of Jesus Christ, be healed!"  It worked, and that same power works in each of us today.

Now, not every injury is healed so miraculously, and I don't claim that lack of faith is responsible for ailments today.  However, I do know that each of us, in our own lives, have the chance to help someone.  It may be family members, friends, or even ourselves.  God loves them, and he loves you, and he wants to bless all of his children.  I pray that when the day comes that God "taps us on the shoulder," we will be worthy and willing to answer his call.  There are miracles to be done, lives to bless, and works of God that must be completed.  When we understand that, we will know what we need to change, and what we need to do to help our brothers and sisters around us.

Always be worthy, in all times and in all places, and God will work miracles among us.

Elder Sabin