Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Letter April 1, 2013

Hey fambam!

So it磗 been quite the week! Tuesday I stayed in Coronel to do divisions with my old MTC companion Elder Tengberg. We had a blast and I had some great spiritual experiences of being guided by the Spirit in what to say. We met with an ex-bishop that is now inactive because he wanted to tell us his story. I was praying so hard the entire time to know what to do, and the Lord sure helped us. Wednesday morning the both of us headed to Concepci髇 to pick up our sons. We were so excited! It was so cool to sit in the chapel and see all the nervious new missionaries haha. Especially because 20 new sister missionaries arrived to our mission. Seventeen of them were little American girls straight from the States, and I felt like the BYU 42nd ward had arrived in Chile...haha. It was weird, but of course we磖e excited to have more missionaries serving with us. My young new companion is Elder Tom醩 Par韘, from Santiago, Chile. Wooo!!! He磗 an excellent young man, and he already is a great teacher. We had fun working together this week. It certainly makes my job easier that he already speaks Spanish. He actually speaks English pretty well too! Well, more or less haha but he loves to practice every day.

Thanks so much for the emails and especially Aunt Paula for the wonderful Easter present! Thank you for being so generous! Mum, I got several pictures of you and Dad on your trip and then one of the boys at the ward breakfast and of Lacey and Bridgie in their pretty new dresses. Aw man I was so jealous as I started thinking about how delicious that breakfast must have been....

Easter was interesting. This entire week the Catholic church was doing a big Week of Pascua and had parades, crucified 创Jesus,创 did candle worship things, and blessed olive tree branches. Very interesting beliefs. How grateful I am that the Church of Jesus Christ not just honors our Saviors death but recognizes that He lives. I know He lives. Our little branch didn磘 do anything special on Sunday for Easter which was kind of a bummer, but afterwards during lunch with a member we watched a video called 创Sue駉s de Pascua.`` It should translate to something similar to 创Dreams of Easter创 but I磎 not actually sure. It磗 an old Church video from the 80`s haha. Despite how cheesy it seemed at first, I had to fight back tears as the Holy Ghost testified to me the truth of the messaga that Christ is resurrected. I kept thinking of Gary the whole time too. I so look forward to getting to seem them both someday. I know where they are and I know that they are doing everything possible to help us return to live with them again someday soon. 

This week as I studied faith, I learned something great from the Spanish scriptures. The GEE (similar to the Bible Dictionary in the English version) defines faith as 创confidence in Jesus Christ that causes obedience to Him... Strong faith is developed through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The lack of faith causes desperation, anguish, and hopelessness, which are results of iniquity (sin).创 Everyday I hear someone preach to me about how faith is everything and all we need, but they don磘 understand what faith means. Faith in Christ causes us to be obedient to Him and live righteously. As we do so, we will be happier as we avoid the pains and woes of sin. Faith in the Resurrected Christ also gives us the hope to be happy despite life磗 difficulties. It磗 simple: Live the gospel principles leads to increased faith in Christ which leads to happiness (and eternal life, which is described as everlasting happiness). Truly living the gospel means more than just showing up at church meetings. Living the gospel is paying attention, learning, repenting, and being diligently obedient to all of God磗 commandments. By doing so, we will have the comfort, strength, and peace that we need to overcome any and all of life磗 difficulties and return to live with our Heavenly Father and Christ and our families for all of eternity. I know it.

Have a wonderful week! Love you!

Elder Long :)

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