Sep 3, 2013

Trent's email 8/28/13

I feel like there´s nothing new.  I feel like I´ve been an adult for quite awhile now.  But, maybe I´m overestimating myself.  For my birthday my companion took me out to the only restaurant in town, and I ate guinea, which is, like pheasant or something.  It was cool.  Also, they sang to me in church on Saturday when we were there, that was sweet.  And, I got your PACKAGE!  That was lots of fun thanks so much!  We opened it with the zone and ate stuff and took pictures and put on the hats and made noise and had a blast.  Definitely a good present.  Ooh, I LOVE grammy´s taste in shirts.  I´m so excited to utilize that shirt when I get home!  It´s nice.  Fits me great!  
That IS Dominican weather!  The only difference is your roofs aren´t made out of tin, so the sound isn´t very loud, and water doesn´t leak inside, and your streets are paved....  But that´s cool!  We had a small little storm in Montecristi two days ago.  It was cool.  Lasted maybe 25 minutes.  It doesn´t rain in this town.  Hardly ever.  We´re in a little hole or something.    We were with a member and she was so scared of the thunder!  But, it´s okay, we sang hymns.  I love thunder and lightning.  So beautiful! 
There´s maybe a 10% activity rate on this side of the country.  Lots of people get baptized, expecting to receive money from the church, having good relationships with the missionaries, because they have a relationship with a member, or just cuz it´s the cool new thing, but then they leave before they get a testimony.  It´s a lot of work trying to get some of them to come back, but with God´s guidance, we´ve been able to find a few people that really needed us.
I´ll always be a kid, Mom.  When we grow up, we don´t lose our kidness.  It stays inside, we just have a level of maturity on the outside.  Sometimes we try to suppress the kidness with adultness, but that´s not fun for me, so I´m going to keep being a kid forever, but just at the right TIMES.  No, you don´t need to start criticizing me.  I´ll get through it.  Maybe constructive criticism would help?  I don´t know.  I´ll be fine.  Hahahah, I remember Drivers Ed.  How fun................ Well, she´ll forget all about it one day when she´s free to drive!  Good good good.  Keep it up, Cheese Brain!  
I hope I can go shooting with all of you soon!  Good stuff.  Keep it up!  I probably won´t be a very good shot though.  
So, President Douglas wrote three words on the chalkboard when I had my first meeting with him.  "priesthood" "service" and "love."  He said for him, those three words are the same thing.  I really love that idea.  The principal function of the priesthood is to be a loving father in a home, blessing children and loving your wife.  Furthermore, the family is the basic unit of our society.  Every day I see more examples of that.  Kids raised in loving homes with both parents are WAYYY more likely to be successful, confident, and healthy than kids in one parent homes or homes where their parents don´t pay very much attention to them.  The father of the family is the spiritual leader of the family.  He´s the one who iniciates the love in the home, organizing family home evening and family prayer and family scripture study, and more than anything, making sure his children are happy, healthy, responsible citizens.  At the same time, no one can lead without a proper use of agency.  No one, NO ONE responds well when their agency is taken away.  Part of being a priesthood holder is knowing how and when to let a child make the decision for themselves, even if it means letting them choose the wrong path.  Discipline is essential for an effective priesthood holder.  Empty threats cause children to lose respect for their parents.  A parent needs maturity, wisdom, a good knowledge of gospel doctrine, and revelation to know how to make decisions about their child´s conduct.  That´s why its so important for a priesthood holder to study the scriptures and attend church.
On the other side of the chalkboard, we need ordinances.  John 3:5, Jesus himself says that without baptism, no one can enter into God´s kingdom.  Through modern revelation, we know that this also applies to temple sealings and endowments.  It´s a bar that God sets for all his children everywhere.  Maybe it has something to do with the nature of our Spirits, or maybe it´s just a program God instituted to make things more organized.  I don´t know.  But, I do know that we need them.  The Sacrament is a weekly cleansing process.  Each week we try and try to get better, repent, and become more like Christ, until we arrive at perfection (3 Ne 12:48), and the Sacrament is a wonderful way to invite the Spirit into our hearts and purify us.  Another reason why a priesthood holder NEEDS to attend church.
So, The priesthood will bring not only salvation, but also health to the human family.
Ask me to write a ten page paper on it when I get home or something, hahahaha.

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