Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"We must have perfect hope...knowing we will accomplish the goal!"

Last week's email and recordings were held up in cyberspace thanks to my gmail account being locked.  I guess exchanging a handful of emails with attachments with Lance last Monday morning was a bit too much for that account.  So, now I am using my yahoo account to email him.  I love having options!

He starts by describing a fun festival that went on for a few days that happens once every five years.  In their area, Old Town, the festival activities go on in the street right in front of their home.  The festival has carnival rides, a Renaissance fair with old time instruments...including a man who makes lutes, old boats...including ones that are similar to the ones in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, and more.  He says there were concerts and loud drinking parties going on all night.  So they wore earplugs every night!

Things went very well with the baptism last week.  Their branch has now increased by three members!  Lance reports that the new members are quite happy and are already doing their parts to further the Lord's work.
From left to right: Lance's companion, the three newest members, a member of the branch, and Lance

Lance shares that one of the newest members served the sacrament this Sunday and it made Lance so happy to see the man's willingness. They have another investigator they are meeting with that is dealing with some health problems.  His wife is also recovering from a car accident, so things are tough for them.  Lance has asked us to pray for them to recover from their issues.  He mentions there are others they meet with, and those they speak with randomly in the park near their house.  He feels like the Gospel is progressing in Poland!

Two of the newest branch members.  Lance says they are the best couple ever.

In Lance's recording, he shares a topic that he says "...changed my life and the way I look at things and it truly has blessed me so much."  He references the talk by President Uchedorf entitled "Of Regrets and Resolutions" (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2rQAKuLo7o).  He encourages us to revisit the talk and shares that the subject matter has helped him adjust through his transfers.  I personally have read and listened to that talk multiple times, so I also feel it is a beautiful message!  Lance also goes through an effective method to achieving goals...

He says first, our goals must be committed.  Second, our goals must be realistic.  And finally, they must be measurable.  He quotes 2 Nephi 28:30, "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have."  He proclaims this to be an appropriate scripture for goal setting and achievement.  Goals that are in harmony with God's will.  Just like the example we see with God's Plan, there is an orderly way to achieve goals.  Another scripture he shares is Alma 42:26 (see http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/42?lang=eng), which is yet another great example of this subject.

How does God measure His goal of the Plan of Salvation?  He measures it through us.  When we do those simple things like living the commandments, scripture reading, prayer, going to church, etc.  Lance shares that he has gained an understanding of "living by the planner".  He has found it is helpful and takes the stress off.  And God has set forth an example of how this can work in our lives. 2 Nephi chapter 2 lays out the plan of salvation...to bring to pass the immortality of man.  Lance emphasizes verse 14, "And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon."  I don't think Lance knows this, but that is one of my all time favorite scriptures!  Question is...are we going to ACT or be ACTED upon while here on Earth???  I love that so much.  He finishes his spiritual thought by sharing Mosiah 4:27...And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."
To find out more about God's plan, visit http://mormon.org/

So, the weather is hot there but they have regular rain storms to cool things down.  He is looking forward to autumn!  From what I've heard, that season is absolutely beautiful in Poland.  He says that the clothes he brought with him are fairly worn out, so he will be going on a little shopping spree.
He says life there is great!  He feels like he learns much every day.  He loves the mission and thanks us for our fasting and prayers on his behalf.

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