January 19, 2015 (Week 33)

(Note – Week 31 is updated with the letter that was missing – yay! Bonus week for us)

Plan of Salvation

Plan of Salvation

I got your last two packages.  I thought you were just sending me three, so when I saw that I got a fourth I was a little surprised.  Thanks for them.  Magnets, magnets, magnets!  Pretty creative gift giving.  It’s tough to think of what to give missionaries outside of ties and socks, but desk toys was a good idea.  Ironically, my desk shrunk from the size of a banquet table to a typical high school desk, but we still play with them. 

This ward has about 15 recent converts, and we are having a lot of success from them. Not a single one is mine, obviously, but one still finds joy in their joy. For example, in the last 2 weeks, 2 of the converts received the priesthood. They are now priests, and if they show up for church on time this next Sunday, they will get to bless the sacrament. It is especially cool to see how the ward is treating the youth, Brayan (Pronounced Bryan.) I don’t know who, but someone bought him an entire suit, white shirts and ties, and one of the councillors, Hermano Jara, bought him a shiny new Book Of Mormon. The joys of living in a rich ward. He’ll be going to a camp this week, along with the other youth, as the ward youth activity, and we are planning to go see the temple here and start helping him get some names to take and do baptisms for the dead. Giving him that Book of Mormon was fun, too. I imagine it was a little like being a parent and giving your kid a good gift on Christmas, because we obviously knew what it was, but the joy was seeing his eyes light up when he saw it. And I never thought I would celebrate receiving the priesthood like that; with knucks and high fives like he got his first kiss of something. He’s a good kid. The other convert, Antonio, a man of about 45, is a similar story, and another convert, Yudit, is hopefully going to come with us to a lesson this next week, to a lady named Ana.

Ana is a cool person as well. When we went to her house the other day, she bore her testimony to us about how she knows that what we are teaching is true. We taught a really excellent lesson about the Plan of Salvation, and focussed on the Atonement, until I think she really got it. It is quickly starting to be one of my favourite topics to teach. We used a painting in the pamphlet to teach it. It’s that painting with Jesus kneeling across a tree during the atonement, and we asked her to focus on that image. We told her to think of something that has been hard for her this last week, then we told her to close her eyes and imagine this painting, and imagine Jesus praying and suffering specifically for her. We’d done this before, and every time the people describe the feeling they receive as peace. We did it to Antonio as well, to help him recognize when he is feeling the spirit.

I am working on that plan of salvation comic. I finished one page. I plan on narrating the whole thing with scriptures. This is actually 4 pages. I do not know what I will put in that last page, but I do want to finish the scripture from Jeremiah.

Elder Mathewson

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