Date

April 25, 2016

Area

Aberdeen, Maryland

Companion

Elder Bartholomew and Elder Parkinson

What a Great Week!

Hey everyone! Super excited to tell you all about my week!

Like I had said last week Stacey James our investigator is on date for baptism on May 7th. Also very excited cause May 8th is Mother's Day so I get to talk to the family! Back to back awesomeness!

Well this week was sweet, we taught a lot of lessons, we just finished the last lesson with Stacey yesterday and everything is great! She has come to church the last three weeks and loves it. I can just see that this is what she has been waiting for her whole life! On another Awesome note we picked up 5 new investigators this week, and we are hopefully going to pick up another one tonight! For two of our investigators we were able to go back and visit them twice during the week and both are keeping commitments. Things are rolling here. we couldn't be happier!

Unfortunately, this week is transfers and they are splitting up the trio:( Elder Bartholomew is leaving Elder Parkinson and I to go party it up a ward over in Jones falls area, so we will still see him a bunch!

Also this week something else really exciting was, I convinced a member in our ward to give us their bench press haha they totally didn't want to but they weren't using it so I finally convinced them too haha. I'm super happy about that! This week has just been really fun! Loving the work!

This week my companions and I had our studies focus around the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what is at the center of Christ's Gospel the Atonement. I found a quote that struck me and I hope it will do the same to you..."Nobody becomes perfect in this life..becoming perfect in Christ is a process. We begin to keep the commandments today, and keep more of them tomorrow...we can become perfect in some minor things..If we chart a course for becoming perfect, and step by step and phase by phase, are perfecting our souls by overcoming the world, then it is absolutely guaranteed, there is no question about it, we shall gain eternal life...If we chart a course and follow it to the best of our ability in this life, then when we go out of this life we'll continue exactly the same course...The prophet Joseph smith told us that there are many things that people have to do, even after the grave, to work out their salvation."
~Bruce R. McConkie

If my Parents don't mind, I want to use something that happened to them as an example. Several years ago my mom and my dad ran a marathon in Napa, California. We showed up to the marathon, with my grandparents mid day. My parents had already started the race hours before. Once we got to the place where they would finish the weather began to be absolutely terrible, the winds were blowing hard and there was a constant and steady down pour of rain. The were wearing trash bags. There were times when we thought they would quit, as others has topped due to the weather, but both were able to finish the marathon.

I want to talk also about a diamond. A diamond? Yes, a diamond. How are diamonds made? Well each diamond starts off as a lump of coal (sometimes I feel like a lump of coal;) after many years of heat and pressure the black nasty rock turns into something pure.

I want to revisit the quote above "If we chart a course for becoming perfect, and step by step and phase by phase, are perfecting our souls by overcoming the world, then it is absolutely guaranteed, there is no question about it, we shall gain eternal life."

Of course my parents course was charted for them, but if we think about it so is ours. Heavenly Father made a plan for us, and at the very heart of that plan is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The gift of the atonement was given to us because when we have wind, rain, heat and pressure, coming down on us we can falter, we at times want to quit. But understanding the analogy of the diamond, it is only after the heat and pressure that we receive the purity, the diamond.

I am so grateful for trials, I am so grateful that Heavenly Father gave us a plan. I am especially grateful for my Savior for loving me enough to give me the opportunity to return to my Heavenly Father as a diamond. I know these things to be true. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Love you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Shouse








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