Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas in the Sand

Hello everyone!

Well another week has come and gone. I am finally starting to learn the names of some of the people in the branch. I know at least two of the branch presidency, our branch mission leader and a couple of the other families! 

There were a few major highlights of this week. On Tuesday, we had a Zone Conference for Christmas. It was three hours away so most of our day was spent driving and driving. The meeting was good and our mission president even dressed up as Santa Claus! We all had a good time and took pictures. 

Another highlight of the week occurred on Saturday. We had our Nativity Open House at the church and it was super awesome! We had close to 70 nativities in the cultural hall and lots and lots of cookies. There was also music and a choir. We had made announcements on the radio and in the newspaper so there were a lot of people from the community who attended. We were able to talk to lots of people and I think it was good way for people to see the church in a different light and to see that we do believe in Christ.

I talked to one particular man who attended. He and his wife are Catholic, but haven’t gone to their church for a long time. He had mentioned that their church was super small so they weren’t sure if they wanted to go. I told him that his family was welcome here any day, if they wanted and if they just want to come to church, you can come to ours. I said that I know there are some differences, but at least you could worship. He really liked that and said that he didn’t know nonmembers could come to church. He was from Colorado and so we had a nice talk. He lives on the other side of Grand Mesa in Grand Junction. I believe it is in a small town. Before they left the open house he came back and said goodbye to me and talked to one of the men in our Presidency. I was able to get his info so hopefully we can keep in contact with him.

Being in Quartzsite for the last two weeks has been very interesting. The work here is as slow as the people and I don’t mean that in a rude way. It’s just things are a little bit slower here and we can do as much as we can, but old people are just set in their ways and it’s hard to find people that are interested in truly changing. But I have been able to study my scriptures and learn more about the gospel from my companion. We have had a lot of conversations about gospel things and he asks me a lot of questions that I can’t always answer so that is a good way to learn more!  

One thing that we discussed that really stood out to me is how God teaches us. Christ taught in parables for a very specific reason. When he talked to farmers the parables were about farming and so on. He used things that people understood to teach them gospel principles. The prophets have taught us doctrine in the way that they understand. Take Nephi for an example; we can assume that he was a metal worker because of the knowledge he had of metal. He knew the workmanship of Laban’s sword was fine and how to make more like it. He knew about the brass and gold plates. He melted ore and made tools. And he taught us all about holding to the IRON rod. I found that very interesting. Also, for those who watched Meet the Mormons, the Navy football coach had said that people may say that God doesn’t care about football. His response to that was that God cares about his family and this is how he provides for them. I really liked that. God cares about what we care about and he uses those things that we are good at to be able to understand the gospel more fully and relate it to our own personal lives. I am grateful for the experiences I have had that help me understand the gospel more and more.

I hope you all have a Merry, Merry Christmas and remember to spend a few quiet moments thinking about the Savior and what He did for us. Happy Holidays!

Elder Clark 


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