Hello my most favorite people of all time!! I’m sorry that this is the 3rd Tuesday in a row that I am emailing you. I forgot to mention that yesterday was Labor Day and the Library is closed so we couldn't email. But tis alright! We still get to talk today! :) I don't think very much happened this week. I have been kinda sorta forgetting/failing to write in my journal recently. Actually, just for this week. But I wrote down in my planner the bullet points that I wanted to talk about! There are a few things that I remembered that I will talk about before my week. I remember Tyler Galloway was in an LDS movie or something like that and that is why he grew out his hair. What ever happened with that? Does the movie have the Church Logo on it? If so, I can watch it out here! Also....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe you turned 20 last week! ;) (usually we get brownie points for guessing lower with peoples ages but I don't think that is going to work on you...) Sydney is a very lucky woman to have you as her eternal companion. What did you get for your birthday? What didn't you get that you wish that you had? You should celebrate with a road trip down to Mexico, making sure that you stop in Tucson on the 28th of September... ;) I hope that you had a great party! I love you brother!
This week I happened upon Judges chapter 7. It is about Gideon and his army going up to battle against the Midianites. He starts off with about 32,000 people in his army but the Lord tells him that he has too many people in his army and that he needs to let some go so that the Israelites and the Midianites know that the hand of God is what gave the victory to the Israelites. So Gideon goes out and says that all those that are too scared or afraid to fight may leave. 22,000 people leave and that leaves 10,000 people to fight the Midianites. But the Lord again tells Gideon that his army is too big and needs to send more home. So they get to a river and get a water break. The scriptures describe only 2 ways the people drank. 300 men lifted the water to their mouths with their hands. The other 9,700 knelt down and basically just stuck their faces in the water. The Lord told Gideon to send the 9,700 men that drank without using their hands home. This left 300 men to fight the entire army of the Midianites. I received inspiration about how this scripture applies to us in this day. It is just like the Plan of Salvation. In the pre-earth life, we knew that we needed to come to earth to get a body and fight for God. However, there are those people that simply don't want to be here or give heed to the words of the Lord and his Prophets. These people are like those who go home without any hesitation and will receive the Telestial Kingdom. Those who knelt to the ground and drank without using their hands are like those who will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom. They wanted to be there and to follow orders, but they weren't doing it correctly, even when there were those people surrounding them that were drinking in the proper way. This is an example of those people who want to follow God but aren't doing it correctly, even when they have examples and missionaries and friends who show them the right way. The last 300 men are those who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom. I stopped reading so I don't know what happened next but I do know the Israelites came out on top. Those 300 men, when they return home will be praised and honored. We know that in this battle of good verses evil in our world, Jesus Christ is going to come out on top! And all of his followers will come out on top too. And when we return home to our Heavenly Father's presence, we will be praised and honored and glorified, crowned and kings and queens of the Most High God!
The next thing I studied this week was a simple story in the Bible. It is Mark 11:12-25. This is the story of when Christ curses the fig tree. The story starts off with Christ going to the Temple to cleanse it. He is with His disciples and is hungry. The scriptures say he saw a "fig tree afar off having leaves" and went to it to find fruit to eat. But there was no fruit... So Christ curses it. After they cleanse the Temple, they walk past the tree again and it has died and withered away. This was a very strange act for Christ to do, at least in my eyes. Did he do it out of anger and frustration or was there something to be learned from it? Well, it was definitely a lesson. As I looked into it, I found that at this time in the story, it wasn't fruit season yet, and Christ knew that? So why did he go to the tree expecting there to be fruit? Kinda strange, no? No, and this is why. Fig trees only put out their leaves AFTER they have put out fruit. So when the scriptures say that the fig tree was "afar off having leaves", it that meant that the fig tree was supposed to have fruit, or was telling the world it had fruit even though it didn't. This is why Christ cursed it, to show us as an example of the kind of people to look out for and the kind of people we should be. There are so many churches out there that "draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)" They don't bring forth fruit meet for Christ. Matthew 7:16 says, "Ye shall know them by their fruits." We can't tell people we follow Christ but only do so when people are watching. That isn't "good fruit". We must always show our fruit, our testimonies, all the time, not just at church or when we are reading the scriptures. Joseph Fielding McConkie says this, "To be indecisive about whether or not we are going to stand for Christ is to remain sitting." Don't catch yourself sitting on the fence, just stand on the right side.
This week, I've really tried to put those 2 lessons into my life and be that person that people recognize as a believe of Jesus Christ. And it has changed the way I react to situations, the way I treat myself and my companion, and even the way I think! I have had more patience, received more understanding on Gospel Principles, and built up my testimony more of this glorious work!
Wednesday we went and visited a lady named Sharon Buckmister. She is not a member of the church but her husband, John, is. However, John hasn't been to church since 1983. I remember telling you little about them in one of my previous emails. Just a quick refresher, Sharon had cancer and went through Kimo to get rid of it. The radiation made her hair fall out like it does with most people, but it also caused her jaw bone to deteriorate... She has gone through 4 surgeries now to replace her jaw. the first 3 they tried using titanium screws to hold a cadaver's jaw into place. All 3 times, the cadaver jaw was rejected and fell out. This last surgery she was told would be her final one for her jaw, whether or not it worked. This was the last one no matter the outcome. There is only a handful of doctors that do a very special procedure where they take the whole fibula out of your strongest leg and use that to replace your jaw. This is a very dangerous surgery cause the bone will die without blood circulation going through it. So they had to cut at her neck and through her bottom jaw and connect a vein for the new jaw. We went over for the first time about a month ago and gave her a blessing (that is what I remember telling you guys about in one of my last emails). A week later, she got an infection in that hole in her jaw where they drilled through for the new vein to go through. So she went in for emergency surgery where they had to re-open her neck and remove the infection. The amazing thing is the doctors couldn't figure out why the bone hadn't died during that infection cause it cut off the circulation to that bone for longer than a day. Sharon and John both agree it was because of the blessing she received! When we went back over, she was doing great! They warmly welcomed us in and let us talk with them for about 30 minutes. I don't know how open she is to the Gospel but they definitely know that there is a Spirit that comes when we are there and isn't there when we leave. I just hope that helps them come to have a desire to learn more!
Shoot, I am out of time... :( I just want to say I love you all so much! Thank you for the emails and for your prayers. I can't wait to hear from you on Monday! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
~Elder Kyle Harris
"God does not do for us what we can do for ourselves." - Joseph Fielding McConkie
" The Kingdom of God or nothing." - President John Taylor