Monday, April 25, 2016

25 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 11 "The one with the move!"

Good morning all!

This week, as the title of this episode states, we moved apartments! It's really exciting for us because the old one wasn't the best... But it's all good because now we're in a really nice one, a little farther away, but we're not complaining!

I don't really have much to share other than that about our week, but I would like to share something that I learned in my studies!

I was reading in the book of Ether (in the Book of Mormon) and I was reading about this people named the Jaredites, who were commanded by God to travel across the sea to a "promised land". As I read about their preparations, I read how they relied solely on the Lord and his wisdom in crafting the barges, making them exactly to his instructions. I read how they prepared "all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water," and this included livestock that they brought with them. Later in the verse we read that they got on board their barges with all of their cargo and "commended themselves unto the Lord their God". I imagine this people and the amount of faith it would've taken to "commend themselves". I imagine them sitting there, waiting, some doubting, but waiting patiently until in the next verse it reads: "And it came to pass that the Lord God cause that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land;". I was a little taken back by the implied aggression in the word "furious" as I looked it up, the word "furious" is only used 9 times in the standard works of the church, and the other 8 are in the Old Testament.
One of the definitions for "fury" is 'violence or energy displayed' as I defined violent (lots of definitions, I know, I promise I'm getting somewhere) it's origin is 'having a marked, or powerful effect'. This made me think of why we have trials, and from this I have learned that they are not a punishment, rather an opportunity to have a 'marked or powerful effect' wrought on you which will lead us to change. In the case of the Jaredites, it caused them to "cry unto the Lord" when they were buried deep in the ocean, to "sing praises unto the Lord" all day and all night. The record shows that they did so for 344 days. And when they landed on shore, they still did not forget, "and when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord,"
I hope and pray that the trials that we all go through, will have a lasting and powerful effect on us that will change us for the better. I hope y'all have a great week!

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, April 18, 2016

18 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 10 "The one with Elder Anderson"

Good morning!

This week, we did an exchange with our district leader. To make a long story short, one of the companionships was out of commission. One of the Spanish elders had a doctors appointment that would put him under (on drugs). And so, Elder Blomquist and I took over two areas for the day. It was really awesome, cause I didn't have to speak Spanish when we met someone Hispanic! I really wish that I had payed more attention in EspaƱol dos... On the exchange, since we were working both of our areas, we went to a Spanish funeral. It was interesting in that I could pick up words here and there, like "White and Black Zebra shirt" pretty random right? I would explain more but I don't really know what happened. It was a little awkward when everyone started laughing, I just chuckled and pretended like I got it haha. We were able to meet a lot of people, and a few of them we have continued to teach, so we're pretty excited about that!

As per the name of this episode, I had the chance to meet Elder Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Sunday! Turns out that his wife had grown up here, and had lived here when they were first married. They attended our sacrament meeting and were able to meet some of the people that we are preparing to be baptized! The spirit was so strong when I met him, as we explained how he was an Apostle to those attending, they expressed to us how "they could feel it" it was a huge testimony builder of his divine calling and the love that our Father in Heaven has for us because he has given us prophets again here on the earth to give us direction. Later that night he held a devotional for the stake and we had the chance to hear him again!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The stake center was so packed, and we were able to hear his special witness of the savior.

I think that that is all for this week! Hope y'all have a good one!

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, April 11, 2016

11 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 9  The one with the Good Shepherd

This week, we did a lot of finding, and found some very prepared people! On Friday, we were able to meet Joseph and Kerri. They are both looking for a church home and for more in their life. They are currently reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, please keep them in your prayers!

There wasn't anything really unique that happened this week, so I'll share something that I learned from my personal study of the scriptures:

I was reading in the Book of Mormon in Ether, and it was talking about how a man and his brother prayed and pleaded with the lord to not confound their language. It reads that "the Lord had compassion upon [him]" As I defined compassion, it tells us that it is derived from Latin compati or 'suffer with'. Earlier in the Book of Mormon we read that Christ suffers with us so that he can help us in the exact way that we need it. He knows us by name, he knows our trials, it is He who said "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep" 
In the words of a hymn:

The Lord is my shepherd; no want shall I know
I feed in green pastures; safe folded I rest
He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow
Restores me when wand'ring, redeems when oppressed
Restores me when wand'ring, redeems when oppressed

Thru the valley of shadow of death through I stray, 
Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear. 
Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay
No harm can befall with my Comforter near 
No harm can befall with my Comforter near

He is the good Shepherd and He does know his sheep, he hears our prayers, he suffers with us, he is the Comforter, the Prince of Peace. As we draw near unto him, he will draw near unto us. I know this to be true, in the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Tanuvasa

Monday, April 4, 2016

4 April 2016

Season 3: Episode 8 "The one with General Conference"

Good morning all!

This week was so great! We had the chance to serve two families! At one home we were able to do some yard work for them, and the other, we used a wire brush to peel off paint off of one of their walls. 

As per the title of this episode, General Conference was this weekend. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, I will do my best to explain. When Christ was here on the Earth, he called "apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" and it was "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12). He also called seventy others to go forth and preach the gospel and prepare for His coming (Luke 10). This church or organization that Christ established did not remain on the Earth after the passing of Him and His apostles. But in 1820, another prophet (like Moses or Noah) was called, and was instructed to restore the same organization that was established when the Savior walked the earth. Today, we have a prophet, twelve apostles, seventy others, as well as many church leaders, and twice a year we have a chance to hear them speak to us on whatever topics the Spirit prompts them to speak about, and it is broadcasted worldwide. They speak on what God wants us to hear, and how we can come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. We know that God has always spoken through prophets in the past, and that He doesn't change. 

One of my favorite talks that was given was by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Quorum of the Seventy. He spoke of our divine origin as sons and daughters of God, and how that should influence all of our decisions. Often we define ourselves by our employment, calling in the church, etc... It was a great reminder to remember who we all are, and who He wants us to become.

I am grateful that the Lord has again called prophets and apostles on the earth to give us further light in knowledge. I know that as we follow their counsel, that we will come closer to our savior, which will ultimately lead us to be happier in this life!

-Elder Tanuvasa