This week was pretty anti-climatic. On Monday Elder Dearden had to go to the office for the Monday meetings (I miss those!) so Elder Hunter and his comp babysat me for the day. It worked out perfectly because that happened to be the day that the North elders had a dinner appointment with Aunt Michelle's friend. They were awesome and it was so nice to be with Americans. Americans are so much more caring and nice than Dutch people :) I'm pretty excited to get back to an American ward, there is something about the gospel that just doesn't seem to translate into Dutch or the dutch culture, you can just feel it when talking to American members or thinking back to my time in the American ward in Heerlen. We really have a lot to be thankful for!
Not a whole lot happened this week. Most of our lessons didn't go through again, so we only ended up with 1 all week, but we should have some stuff set up for next week. Right now we are preparing for a zone conference about the Church's new Easter video, which comes out on March 31st and is amazing! Along with that all zones have been asked to have a new investigator challenge/goal for our zones. Ours went so well last transfer that they are trying to make it a mission thing! This time the theme is The Easter Egg Hunt, and if we reach our goal I think Elder Williams and I are going to be downing some insanely hot peppers at zone p-day and everyone can enjoy us in pain.
Today's spiritual thought comes from a hymn again! Funny because hymns were the last thing I'd listen to before my mission.
The famous song "Praise to the Man", a hymn talking about the life and mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith, was written by W. W. Phelps, who's the author of many LDS hymns. While in Missouri, W W Phelps was reprimanded for the misuse of church funds and for selling church property without permission. This chastisement lead W W Phelps out of the church and turned him against the church. In 1838 Phelps had a change of heart and wrote to the Prophet Joseph Smith asking for forgiveness, which Joseph freely gave. After the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, W. W. Phelps penned the words to the hymn "Praise to the Man" including the following lines as the chorus:
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.
W. W. Phelps, who at one time was a traitor himself, wrote of those that would fight against the prophet. I have no doubt that Phelps would not have used the word traitor if he had not forgiven himself of his past mistakes. We all have moments when we do not fully follow Gods commandments, and we must not only receive forgiveness from God but we need to learn to forgive ourselves as well!
Elder Talyon Anderson Perry