I think I am the most tired that I have been in a long time. Yesterday was the official 1st day as co-Branch President with my companion and it just about wiped us out. Basically, the interim BP was waiting to do everything until someone else was called. Now we have the great blessing of 2 months worth of callings, interviews, and other administrative things to catch up on. When it was annouced in Sacrament Meeting, there was an audible gasp and some of the members obviously didnt like it. It is because they dont like to actually work. They really wouldn't like this phrase from Brigham Young:
"Practical religion is what we all need, to prepare us to enjoy that which we have in our anticipations—that which we hold in our faith. Merely the theory of any religion does people but little good. This is the great failing of Bible Christians, as they are called. They have the theory of the religion of which the Bible testifies, but the practical part they spurn from them. This is why the Latter-day Saints have become so obnoxious to the Christian world. They believe in the practical part of the religion of which the Scriptures are a history. You may take the plan and details of former Christianity; But, unless it is reduced to practice, it will not benefit the people."
Unfortunately, people seem to forget that the LDS faith is a religion of PRACTICE and that just having a membership number and a temple sealing do not garuntee exaltation.
But we were also able to have a mission conference in Santos, which was great. President said 3 things which I thought were pretty profound:
1. That thing (commandment, addiction, bad habit, custom, sin, tradition, etc) that is the most difficult for you to do in life is what will put you on a higher level, or in other words, will take you from the Telestial Kingdom and put you in the Celestial Kingdom
2. That thing (commandment, addiction, bad habit, custom, sin, tradition, etc) that is most difficult for you to live or do in life - this thing, when lived, will be the true gift deposited on the altar of the Savior
3. Be humble and grateful for your weaknesses, work on them for they will take you back to Heavenly Father's presence.
Aren't those awesome??? I hope they inspire you as much as they inspired me! Also, at the conference, we were able to watch Meet the Mormons in portuguese. The Church will release it here in South America so we have to be prepared to talk about it with the people! It was so good! David Archuleta even sang Glorious in portuguese... It didnt sound very good haha but it was great.
We have found some awesome people to teach that live close to some of the strongest members so we are really happy. We are relying on the Lord to help us out a little more due to our increased responsibilities.
Well, I think that is it. I really hope you guys have a great week today and that school doesn't overwhelm you all!
Elder Zac Johnson