Mom and all, (1/15/90)
The age-old axiom "you learn something new every day" is more than just words for me. It’s really no wonder to me that you get back a completely different person than you send out [on a mission]. Noone could go through all this and remain the same. The week started out with a mad dash to Coventry for a leadership meeting on 2 hours notice. There, the leaders were called to repentance. President wants us to find and find and find some more. At first I cried out in agony: not 20 hours of tracting a week! Argh! We did about that this week and I love tracting now. We knocked 130+ doors Saturday afternoon and didn’t place a single book, but it made me happier than anything else we could have been doing. We’ve had to spend hours this week looking for flats for the 4 elders moving in. I loathed every minute. We found some, and it looks like the Squad will be here, but we had to pay a price to get them here. Every minute I wasn’t tracting I was looking for a way to pass the time quicker and get the task at hand done so that we could go find people to teach. Strange life I lead.
Gave S and her husband a stop-smoking workshop last night. It’s a great program, guaranteed to work, if you follow 15 steps for 7 days. Just doing things like brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, and drinking grapefruit juice. He received it with some skepticism. Partly, I think, because the first and last step of each day is prayer. She is a little more committed and after a great experience we had with her on Wednesday (in which we believe we’re resolved her concerns about the temple and interviews!), she should be ready for baptism soon! I just pray that she can stop smoking now.
I’ve done a lot of thinking and learning about doctrine this week. A few questions/examples:
- We know that all things will be judged (D&C 101:24) including animals. (If some are corruptible and are burned, then some aren’t and therefore a judgement is taking place, correct?) If so, what laws must they abide to be judged upon? [to this day, the only one I’ve found are those found in Genesis/Moses: they’re commanded to multiply]
- How will the earth burn? It says "as an oven" in Malachi, so it has to be a literal heat (also in D&C 101:25 – fervent heat melting the elements). My comp has a theory about our sun going nova at the end of the Millennium to "cleanse" the world… [interesting, given the current climate changes]
- A new perspective on tithing: the test for some is giving 10%, for others it’s keeping 90%. Money corrupts (the love of it), and many will do evil with their 90% thinking themselves justified because they’ve paid their tithing. That makes as much sense and is parallel to going to church on Sunday and forgetting it exists on Mon-Sat.
- Interesting insights on the spirit world from an experience we read of a heavenly manifestation to an early (1920) brother: ordinances are performed there to actualize the proxy ordinance done on earth into the recipient’s life, spirits have free agency there and it’s the evil ones that meddle in affairs on earth against Father’s will [that show up] in séances, Ouija boards, etc, People are often kept alive here against Father’s will by prayers and wishes. I’ll have to send a copy of this. [This is not official doctrine at all, just speculation. But I’ve heard this from more than one source by now, and it makes sense to me.]
- D&C 121 is too often used with just husband/wife relationships (verses 39-44). Even [applying this to] church callings is limiting the language of the scripture. If those verses were put to practice in every aspect, it’s be easier to live them.
- Add all to this my reading of "Joseph Smith the Prophet", and I’ve done a lot of contemplation this week.
All I’ve got from my Christmas money is a tie and a Batman t-shirt 🙂 No one will let me get a suit because they keep telling me "you can find a better one cheaper." Now, the sales are probably over and I just get to keep a surplus in the bank. Oh well, I could use that too, instead of getting down to $10 before the next months’ money comes in. Even at the regular price, the difference of a nice double-breasted suit from here to there is around $80-100, but spending $100 in the first place is the problem. My problem was my companion. Good old Elder B. He has no problem buying a Mars bar every other hour, but spending more than $20 on a suit is really stretching it. Funny guy.
Well, I have to write to P now. He thinks he has to re-corrupt me because I sounded too much like a missionary in my Christmas card. I’ve got to do something about my ability to convey what I mean in letters. Everyone misunderstands me in letters. It doesn’t boost my confidence in my writing ability. Not that I didn’t want to sound like a missionary, I did. P has this thing about being righteous without appearing to be. I thought I was myself, though. Do I sound like me still? Of course, what is me these days? I’m just glad I’m not my own psychologist. I’d kill myself. You’d have to be crazy to analyze me, I think.
Ooo-da-lolly, ooo-da-lolly, golly what a week.
Love, Elder Chris