From: Jessica McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Freedom and Candied Squash
Date: September 23, 2013 11:29:37 AM MDT
So this is cool: They just did “The Life of Christ” Fireside, the one Sister Moon and I put together in Andover, in the Visitors’ Center in Missouri. It was a huge success and President Keyes and the Visitors Center President are already planning to do it again around Christmas time because they liked it so much. Sister Moon just e-mailed me this morning and told me. I think we’ll try to do it here and I’m also going to mail it home and you can pass it on to your ward as well 🙂 It’s a great missionary tool. (I can e-mail it to anyone else who would like to use it, just let me know: email@example.com) We had a whole bunch of great feedback from the stake when we did it in Andover as well.
This week we were fed a lot…physically and spiritually 🙂 We met a family on Monday night that we feel has a LOT of potential. We’re planning on seeing them again tonight and bringing a member in the branch with us as well.
Stake Conference was so wonderful. They called a new stake president after 15 years of the same presidency in Western Kansas. The Stake President did such a wonderful job. He was the district president when he was first called and now it is a stake with so many great and strong wards. Elder Craig C. Christensen spoke about how the work is hastening. He talked about Moroni 7 where it talks about how the work on the other side of the veil is moving so quickly, it is now moving to help the work hasten here so we can catch up. Angels are really helping us. I’ve seen and heard of so many amazing instances where this has been manifested to me. It’s true!
We went on two exchanges this week. I went to Ulysses on Tuesday and then we went to Garden City on Friday for an exchange and also for stake conference. Tuesday in Ulysses we helped serve at this annual harvest dinner that they’ve had for 51 years. It was so fun! There were over 1200 people there and they served the same traditional meal that it began with over 50 years ago: Barbeque beef, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, famous candied squash (which was famous because it’s delicious), cherry tomatoes, and for dessert a donut, watermelon, and vanilla ice cream. The food is all grown and made locally, so it’s a “hometown pride” type of gathering. It was fun to meet so many people. We didn’t teach anyone at the dinner, but we made lots of friends and got our faces and names out into the community. The people we met were just wonderful. They are genuine, hard-working people, and you could see they loved who they were.
I watched an “I’m a Mormon” video last week by Christian Bolt. He’s a (german? austrian? I’m not sure) sculpture who talked about how he knew that he could still be an artist and a father because that was the Lord’s plan for him. He said something that really stood out to me: “Religion must free people–make them strong and stable in this world. The more I get to know about God, the more I’ll learn about myself.” I loved that! What a profound truth that is. Religion MUST free us. If it does not make us happier, more aware, more assured, more at peace, it is not worth living. But if it does, then it is definately from God. The commandments we are given in our religion free us from both spiritual and physical bondage. 2 Nephi 2:27 says, “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” Think about the laws and commandments God gives us. Why does he give them to us? It is to enable us to avoid the captivity of the natural man and the devil and to help us find true happiness. We are freed by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. So here is my challenge: try living the commandments of God and see if they don’t make you happy.
Love you all!