This week was FANTASTIC! Did anyone else notice that it went by really fast? Man, it still amazes me... We did a lot, and we are tired haha. I am getting so tired... you know those laughing fits that you get when you are really tired and giggly? Yeah, I have that on the daily.
If you didn't know, this past week was the week of Thanksgiving. That is a favorite holiday for a missionary haha. We participated in the wards turkey bowl, more to come later, we also had THREE meal appointments. We had one for lunch which was the whole nine yards! We were stuffed. After that we went to the church building nearby to study. Well, we got settled in and started to study then we started to drift... We decided that we would take a short 15 minute nap and then get back to it. Well, that 15 minutes turned into about 30 then that turned into 45 haha. By that time it was about time to get ready to go to our next dinner appointment hahaha. I can say that we gave it a shot but when you can't stay awake, you just can't stay awake and the only remedy is sleep. Well, at our next dinner appointment, we had yet again the whole nine yards... It was a fantastic dinner, both of them were! But man, we were stuffed. To top it off, we went to another members house and had dessert with them.. I don't like pie every much and really, I've started to not like sweets for some reason, but Pumpkin Pie has started to grow on me.
Right after dinner we got a call from a set of sisters. They told us that they can't get into their apartment... We jokingly asked if they tried unlocking it or twisting the doorknob. They replied that they had so we told them that we would be there shortly to help them out. When we got there, I looked at the window, then I opened the window and crawled in... it took me literally 10 seconds. I learned that no service, no matter how small or simple it may be, is appreciated and it helps.
Earlier Thanksgiving day there was a turkey bowl. We played on the youth side as they classified it as 20 and younger. I was totally ok with that because we won. A lot. It was a blast! We had a few less-active members there and a couple non-members so now they know that we aren't weird haha. While we were playing, the AT&T blimp that flies over the stadium during the games, flew over our game for a few minutes... That was pretty cool! Right before a play, we heard a very loud "BOOM." It sounded like a canon. Well, it wasn't a canon, it was a turkey. Someone tried to fry a turkey but didn't thaw it all the way. Boiling oil and frozen liquids do not get along very well. We didn't hear any sirens or screaming so we're pretty sure that no one got hurt.
OH! On our way to the turkey bowl, this Arlington Police car came up behind us really closely. Then he started to pull up next to us. It was brother Merritt from the ward. We rolled down our window and asked him to pull us over right as we pulled into the parking lot for the turkey bowl! That kinda threw everyone off haha. That was a fun experience.
On Sunday, we taught mission prep! I had the blessing to teach how the Bible and the Book of Mormon support each other and confirm each other's witness of the Savior. It is wonderful how much we can learn when we use both of them. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to teach a missionary how that actually works. He had a question that came form the New Testament. As we were looking at the verse together, a verse from the Book of Mormon came into my mind. We went there, read it, then turned back to the New Testament. We discussed what we could learn from all the resources that we used and he was able to answer the question. When we evaluated what we did to learn. The first thing he said was that we used both the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I came up a little saying to teach that. The saying is this: Use both sticks to beat the animal! The Book of Mormon and the Bible DO support each other and both have their own individual, distinct and important roles. Use both of them to help you understand and answer questions.
So, this week, the new Christmas video came out. It is #LIGHTtheWORLD. It is a fantastic video! Go watch it. It is the very first thing that you see on http://mormon.org" target="_blank">mormon.org. There is a countdown calendar that starts THIS Thursday with a day of service. I will attach the calendar in this email.
As I was studying this morning, I had a burst of random inspiration! I would like to share that with you today.
When you are preparing for a race, you put in time training. You do interval and strength training to gain speed and to help with quick recovery. You run longer distances to help you develop needed endurance to withstand the fatigue that will come. You go over, with the help of your coach, a map of the course that you are going to run so that you can anticipate the uphill and downhills, the flats and the places where you need to accelerate. As you listen to your coach, they tell you that you can run the time that has been projected for you as long as you do what you know you need to do. You can trust your coach because of their experience and their knowledge of the sport. Because of your training and your coaches coaching, you are able to exercise faith and trust in what your coach has told you and you know that you can get through the hard times that will come.
Before we lived here on this earth, we were training. We weren't lifting or running, but we were preparing and learning. We were also reviewing our "course" with our "Coach" talking over strategy of where we will need one skill over another, where the "uphills" are and where the "flats" are and where the "downhills" are. Our "Coach" encouraged us and helped us know that because of our training, and the help that He will provide, we will be able to finish the race. However, our Heavenly "Coach" promised us that because of the efforts that we have put forth and because of the hard level of the course we are about to run, he will provide a time conversion to account for all the hills and the times we fall down. That "time conversion" will help us see that if we had ran a flat course and had not fallen down, we would have gotten our projected time. Because we know that, we need not be disappointed if we fall down or if we struggle going up a hard hill for the time conversion will take that into account. We will ultimately be successful in running the race and our projected time.
Now, I was most definitely not just talking about cross country races... What things can we learn form this little analogy? I will write out a few of my own thoughts and I would love to hear from you what your thoughts are!
0. We were prepared to come here and because of that, we know that we can do the things that we need to do. We just need to trust our divine potential and God. It is actually a Christlike attribute to trust in who you really are, not in your abilities as a mortal, but your potential and worth as a child of God. Christ did this when Satan tempted Him after He had fasted for 40 days. (See Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13) 0. We have someone who will be there the entire time that we go though the hardness of it all. Heavenly Father, our Heavenly Coach, will be with and supporting us the entire time we're are running the race. We are never alone. (See 1 Nephi 21:14-16 and "How Firm A Foundation" "Hymns" #85) 0. When we fall down, that is not the end. When we mess us, lose the path, go a different way or feel like we just can't take another step, the power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is there to catch us, to lift us, to guide us back, to heal us to help us repent and to comfort us. Even when we put forth all of our best efforts, it is still not enough and we need to rely on the grace of God. But we will get through it. (See 2 Nephi 25:23 and Alma 7:11-13)
Obviously if you know me, these are not my only thoughts on this haha. I think a lot. But this is all that I can write now. I know that the analogy is not perfect, but the principles that it teaches are true. We can get up. We can keep moving. We can improve and we are loved. Our Heavenly Father is disappointed when we sin yes, but He is not the referee or race official who may want to disqualify us simply because we fell, instead he is our loving Coach who encourages us and helps us improve as we move past trials and temptations and teaches us about progress and how to have fun when things get hard and how to be diligent when things are easy. I know that we are loved. I know that we are children of our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ did perform an infinite Atonement.
I love y'all! Keep the Faith and Hurrah for Israel!
Love, your missionary son and brother, Elder Jefferies #LIGHTtheWORLD In 25 Ways. Over 25 Days.http://Mormon.org" target="_blank">Mormon.org