Date

June 30, 2016

Area

Aberdeen, Maryland

Companion

Elder Bartholomew and Elder Parkinson

Good Week!

Good week! This week was really good! Nothing too out of the ordinary :) We picked up a few new investigators and they came to church, it was awesome! We actually had a lot of people attend church with us this week, it was great! They all had a good time and they all are progressing really well! We are preparing for Gus Yeske's baptism this week. He's super awesome. He's come to church for about a month now and has loved it! Everyone in the ward loves him! There are some little kids that call him grandpa haha its funny! So really looking forward to this next week. One thing interesting that happened this week, is our mission split. All of Annapolis area is going to DC North mission, and we got basically all of Pennsylvania, crazy right!! So we are getting like 50 new missionaries in our mission, and only losing about 20. Since the "transfer is effective on July 1", Elder Dyer and I just wanted to show up at one of their ward buildings next week and play basketball with them haha cause our ward is the closest to Pennsylvania. We'll see...

Other than that everything is great, now for my message this week:

I was reading at talk the other day by Jeffrey R. Holland "None Were With Him." Elder Holland says of Christ's Atonement:

To all such, I speak of the loneliest journey ever made and the unending blessings it brought to all in the human family. I speak of the Savior’s solitary task ofshouldering alone the burden of our salvation. Rightly He would say: “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me. … I
looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold me." The Lord took the burden alone. Christ knowing that the "whole human family" was in dire need of this saving sacrifice, He took on the pains and sicknesses of the world. He did not do His own will but the will of the Father. Can you think of a greater act of love? Can you think of anyone else who would do that for every single person who had ever walked the earth? He truly was a perfect older Brother. He knew what was needed and He did that for each of us. Whether we want it or not, He gave us the ladder in which we can get out of the hole we dig for ourselves, because we are imperfect. But the suffering for the sins of the world was not the end to our Lord's pain.

Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to the Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully
anticipated emotionally and spiritually—That concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken
me?”

The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour … is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father
hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”?
With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering.Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the
comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us - would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but
spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdrawn, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly,hopelessly alone.
But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by, told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us. When the uttermost
farthing had then been paid, when Christ’s determination to be faithful was as obvious as it was utterly invincible, finally and mercifully, it was“finished.” 18 Against all odds and with none to help or uphold Him, Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God, restored physical life where death had held sway
and brought joyful,spiritual redemption out of sin, hellish darkness, and despair. With faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."
It's hard for me to understand all that the Savior has done for me and for you...to know that he suffered the way that He did and comprehend those events that happened. But I will bare my testimony of the reality of this infinite and eternal sacrifice. I know we have been given this life to test our will, our capacity to endure. We all have been able to experience hard things in our lives. But remember who "descended below them all." We can reach out to our Lord and Savior at any point in our lives for help because he has been there. I testify that the Savior can be that friend, truly he has endured all trials and temptations fought the good fight and overcome all, we too can overcome all with the help of our Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all
Elder Shouse




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