I've been saving this email title up since the beginning. It's getting about to that time. And it's somewhat terrifying. But also exciting. Next week will be my last email.
Preach my Gospel has a new updated version which has been the central focus of my studies lately. In the Plan of Salvation lesson, it clarifies what obtaining salvation means by saying it is overcoming both physical and spiritual death. Overcoming the physical death part is a free gift given to all through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Spiritual death is caused by our sin and results in the spirit leaving us and not being worthy to be in God's presence. But because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can all have a chance to repent, and be "born of God, changed from a fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 27:25-26)
The scriptures were expounded to us about a year and half ago by President Teh. He had us read the Book of Mormon looking for everything we could find about the Atonement of Christ. He later shared with us his favorite scripture from the Book of Mormon. It's about Alma the Younger's repentance process as he worked to overcome his own spiritual death and the joy that came to him because of it. Mosiah 27:28-29: "Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God. My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more."
This week we saw incredible progress in the people we're teaching right now!! Sister Xie and Brother Chen will be having their baptismal interviews this week. PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!!! We gotta keep kicking Satan in the face while we have the time and energy and ability! Go go go!!
What else happened... We found through unplanned service! That was cool. Went on exchanges with Elder Wu who loves to eat Krispy Kreme donuts because Taibei has some of those apparently? An awesome fast Sunday. And a chance to meet our new mission president in a very casual environment! Haha. He's such a a stud.
Also, we taught this brotha from South Africa here teaching English about Family History stuff so I was kind of checking my own ancestors out a little bit. GUESS WHAT I FOUND?! I thought it was pretty cool at least. President David O. McKay spoke at my great-great-grandpa's funeral!! Like they were buds or something! In his talk at his funeral he payed many tributes, including praising his integrity and ability to think. He shared his oft repeated saying, "Tell me what you think about when you don't have to think, and I'll tell you what you are." Family history is so cool! President Monson has said that when we learn more of our ancestors we learn more of ourselves. I know that's true!
Let's pretend I never served a mission. A country, a land, a people, a culture, a language that would've never become part of me. All the souls that might never have come into contact with missionaries. All the souls that perhaps would have never had their lives changed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the least of which being my own. All the experiences and lessons I might've learned. I truly believe that I would be a somewhat negative, even cynical person, unchanged and unreceptive to the pure joy that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm eternally grateful that none of those are a reality because of this privilege and blessing to serve the Lord here in Taiwan!!