I guess I'll answer your questions real quick...I don't really feel much about being out 1 year. Still loving missionary work, still don't want to come home (:
The baptism was in a font, thank you for all of your prayers, it went great!
Our other investigators are doing good, we will hopefully have some more baptisms the first week of august.
The piano is in tune and being used! I play, but most of the time only the right hand. I'm practicing though, and hopefully I'll get it. I have a really really hard time with hymns for some reason. But thats ok!
I have had a really good week! for one we had a baptism!!! It was super fun! I love getting to see the smile on peoples faces after they come out of the baptismal font. And then no matter how shy they are, they are always able to stand in front of everyone and bear a beautiful testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Baptism. It is so much fun for me.
This week I have pondered the Parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 in this parable the master gave his servants each responsibilities, according to their individual abilities, and left, without giving any instruction. One received five talents, one two, and the last one. the first two did what they could, and because of their diligence, each doubled their talents. The last though, was afraid, maybe believing he was capable of less, because he had been given less, seeing his fellow servants many talents, and his 1. Whatever the reason, he took his precious talent, and hid it in the earth. After some time, the master returned to receive his talents. He first spoke with his servant to whom he had entrusted five talents, and was pleased to see that five had become ten. The master said to him, "Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the Joy of thy lord."
Then the master spoke to his second servant, who had received 2 talents, and was also pleased to see that he had worked diligently as well, and had produced two talents more than he had been given. The masters response was the same, "well done good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
But when he went to speak with his last servant, he was disappointed. He had known all of his servants weaknesses and imperfections, but the master also knew his servants abilities, and had expected him to use those abilities. When the servant returned the talent he had been given, still unchanged from when he had been given it, he heard a different reply. The master spoke unto him saying, "thou wicked and slothful servant., Thou knowest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed, thou oughtest threrefore to have put my money to the exchangers and then at my coming I should have received mine own with [interest]. Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There shall be weping and gnashing of teeth."
Do you think that if the last servant had worked his hardest, done what he could, and produced one more talent, he would have received any dfferent of a response from he who had ten talents? The answer is no. because the master was not looking at the quantity of talents, but at the quality of the hearts of his servants. Had the last servant returned two talents instead of one, he would not have been any more or less favored than he who had returned 10.
So it is also in this life. We are not in a race or a competition with our fellow man. We are only racing againgst ourselves, trying to be just a little bit better today than we were yesterday. It is however, the unfortunate disposition of the human family to look at our neighbour and feel like we are not good enough because the "jones'" have more cars, or a bigger house than us, or are better at this or better at that than we are.
I am writing this today to request that we allchoose to discontinue this bad habit. When Judgement Day comes, Heavenly Father will not take mr jones, stand him in fromt of us and say, "well child, Mr Jones got all of this, and you didn't. Go to outer darkness." That is not how God works. He does not compare our symbolic 1 talent to someone elses symbolic 5 talents. I believe that the conversation on Judgement Day will will go a little more like this. "My beloved son/daughter, I am so glad we get to speak again. What have you done with the precious time I gave you on the earth? Were you able to improve yourself and learn?" And if at that day we can look our Father in Heaven in the eye and tell him that we did improve, that our 1 talent became 2 or our five became 10, or that we have grown and have used our time wisely, that we did not waste the marvelous gift of moreality, we shall hear the words, "well done though good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the rest of thy lord."
So if your neighbor seems to be doing better than you, be happy for them, and then focus on being a little more like christ today than you were yesterday, learning a little more, doing a little more. I fwe do that, we will look back on our lives and see that we lived lives full of love, peace, joy, and achievement. On the other hand, if we choose to spend every day feeling wortheless because someone else is doing better than we are, we will look back and see that we lived a worthless life. As long as you strive to be the best you that you can be, everythign will work out. THis is my testimony to you, I also testify that our Heavenly Father loves you more than you can imagine and is always there to help and support you. I love you all,