JACOB LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE A KOREAN!!! Everyone in Korea has their haircut like that, so I was not as shocked to see his cut like that. Though it is different that what I am used to seeing on him for sure! But it looks good! :) Much better than the long, shaggy hair :)
I finally got your birthday package! Thank you so much, it was an unexpected, but wonderful present! :) I love it so much! There are lots of great songs on it, good choices! I have converted my companion. He is in love with the gladiator soundtrack (as he should be, it is great!) and listens to it everyday! Thank you thank you! :)
I also really enjoyed reading mom's email this week, it was very touching. I am so glad to hear of the things you are implementing in the family, with preach my gospel and with walking so early in the morning! I'm not sure if I already told you, but we have a track oustide our house, which we run on a lot in the mornings. There are sections of a gate set together around the track, so I take some and run hurdles sometimes! It is really fun!
I was reading in Jesus the Christ this week, specifically a quote in chapter 20 that struck me. Speaking of the miracle of walking on water, James E. Talmage said: "The phenomenon is a concrete demonstration of the great truth that faith is a principle of power, whereby natural forces may be conditioned and controlled." In this quote, Talmage confirmed what I had been studying and discovering in a much more profound manner this week, that the powers of Heaven and God's capacity to wield them in direct answer to our prayers are governed, to an extent, by our faith. the Saviour Himself was limited in certain places to the miracles that He could perform, simply because of the lack of faith.
I have also discovered this week that faith and thoughtful actions according to such is the life-blood of priesthood power, stimulating or limiting its potential, depending entirely on the faith of the holder. President Morrise demonstrated to me this principle as I observed him take a day of preparation before giving a requested priesthood blessing. I had the opportunity to participate in the blessing and it was a very spiritual experience indeed, in which special and very specific blessings were promised. Already, I am observing several miracles directly from this blessing and from the wonderful example President Morrise showed me.
Given the many analogies to seeds and nature in the scriptures, I suppose the connection can be made between such and the powers I have briefly mentioned. The principles and laws of nature are indeed resolute and independent. Man's capacity to utilize these in his own sphere relies wholely on careful preparation and strict obedience to the laws with which the world is governed. A man who hurriedly and casually flicks a seed into an untamed ground, taking no thought for preparation or maintenance will not reap the desired fruits, the very obtainment of which having fueled his initial actions.
Preparation and careful observance of the laws by which the seed grows are essential in obtaining the desired results. I think society has grasped these principles in a variety of ways; those who wish to become proficient in a certain activity demonstrate the faith to exert sufficient effort to practice the precise method of success that is required, until habit is formed, yet there are so many branches of this same principle of obedience and faith that so many of us miss. Though society has advanced in many ways, there are several things that we do not know, to make somewhat of an understatement. God, who abides perfectly by these laws and who knows perfectly how we can be happy and truly successful, has established the path for us to follow. What wisdom lies in following it. I have seen miracles as I have followed it. I, therefore, simply cannot deny this simple principle: faith is power.
I will mention but a few more things. We met a new investigator this week named Tony (he did not give us his Korean name and likes to speak English with us). My heart was sore after hearing of some of the things he has had to endure as a handicapped person in Korea. To maintain his privacy, I will not mention any details. Suffice it to say that I truly feel that my companion and I have become intruments in the Lord's hands, in reaching out to this man, who currently feels utterly alone.
Lastly, in the Book of Mormon this morning, I read a verse in 3 Nephi: "All things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books that shall be written shall the world be judged." I read this verse the morning after the one night I forgot to write in my journal... Needless to say, I took the time to write in it this morning. After reading this verse, I learned that perhaps journal writing has more of a profound consequence than I had initially assumed. I believe journal writing can be a special experience in which we can receive guidance from the Lord and through which we can gain the most of what He wants us to learn from our daily experiences.
Love you all so much, and pray for you everyday!