Date

January 19, 2017

Area

Damascus, Maryland

Companion

Elder Tucker

Baptism...the Lord's contract

Hey everyone! Another week has past, and another new one awaits. So this week was good, there was a lot of getting to know the members of the ward. We have a meal every single night, which is awesome, but kinda being overwhelmed with food. Haha...I've never said that before, trust me, ask my mom! Literally we get sent home with leftovers every night and then people have been just giving us food for no reason left and right, it's insane! My comp Elder Tucker can't eat sweets at all because he gets really sick when he eats high concentrated things of sugar, which I guess is good for him but not for me cause the members are like "alright well double for Elder Shouse"....Nooooo sorry umm I'm good. Haha I haven't said that yet, but I'm sure I'm going to hit my breaking point some time ;)...Just kidding. But anyways this week was great, never have to worry about food again. We have one investigator right now and he is soooo cool, his name is Kenny Keith. I think I may have talked about him last week. We took him to a baptism on Saturday down in Baltimore and he loved it! It was so funny, there were some super ghetto people from this guy's family at the baptism... haha! But all was good. We were in the car with him for a couple hours and got to go to lunch with him so we got to talk a bunch about things that may be holding him back from being baptized. So just some background, he's been investigating the church for about 6-7 months now and he's come to church about every week, he knows the book of Mormon is true he just wants to be "ready" for his baptism, so we have been crack'n down this week and studying to see how we can help him out. We have a lesson with Kenny and the stake president tomorrow night, so we are really looking forward to it! Oh and something really cool about Kenny is that he takes care of all the Marriott house's like the Marriott hotel. Ya its crazy the Marriott's are actually the ones who introduced him to the church. Kinda crazy so we'll have some Marriott's there when he gets baptized. Other than that, we have been trying to find people to teach this week, we have some potentials that we are going to go see tonight. Oh and we had something super funny happen on Sunday... we were driving to a dinner appointment and a bunch of cows had broken out of their field and were all over the road, there was like 150 of them! It was crazy, we had to call 91. Wish I would have gotten a picture! There was a bunch of calves and as we were diving through the thick of them, one of the moms looked like she was going to charge us, pretty funny!

Anyways for my thought this week, I wanted to talk a little bit about Agency. I was thinking a lot about baptism and what happens to our agency when we partake of baptism. I like this analogy. When a basketball player's contract in the NBA is up, he becomes a free agent, and then he can try and negotiate with another team to sign him. And once he makes that contract with the team, he relinquishes his right to go and play for any other team because he is in a contract. If he were to do that he would be in a direct violation of his contract that he made. Is not our baptismal covenant similar to a contract. Promising to our Father in Heaven that we relinquish our right to play for the adversary's team. Standing for truth and righteousness in all things and in all places. Its funny though the very thing that we are to give up is what our Father in Heaven will never take away, our will, our agency to choose. That is the test of this life, will we stick to the contract we have made, and that our will becomes the Fathers, just like our Savior, Jesus Christ. The great thing is that this is a gospel of progression and that we are not expected to be perfect right now, but that we make steps towards that perfection. I love our Father's plan! What a wonderful role agency plays in it. We get to choose our Heavenly Father's team , and how great will it be knowing that we kept our promises. I know that as we continually partake of the sacrament each week, renewing our contract, and remembering the One who gave us the ability to enter into that contract, even Jesus Christ. We will see the the big picture that our father in heaven wants us to see.
In the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all,
Elder Shouse





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