Monday, June 22, 2015

The Music of the Gospel

Hey Everybody!

This week has been an interesting one.  It was the last full week I had with President Robinson at the helm.  This next week, President Bunnell comes and the transition begins.  I'm getting ready for a little bit of a rocking of the boat as the reins are handed off and we look to continue to move the work forward under the hands of new leadership; hopefully the transition will be smooth. I have learned a lot from the humble example of President and Sister Robinson.  I am looking forward to seeing all the things I can learn from President and Sister Bunnell.

We have seen a little more success this week in getting some momentum going.  Still trying to build a good solid teaching pool.  Although the few who we are teaching right now are very willing to listen and to read in the Book of Mormon and come to church, so it's only a matter of time before the spirit can soften and touch their hearts.  We've definitely still been having our fair share of slammed doors in our faces though, but hey, what else is new?  Actually, that's been something that's been bothering me lately.  With as far as my Dutch has come along, I have become more and more aware of how many people are turning us away because we bear the name of Christ.  Before I could see that maybe people didn't want to spend the time with someone who wasn't perfect at the language or whatever.  But for a few months now that is no longer the issue.  I am turned away because I speak and preach of Christ and of His Restored Gospel.  It is sad to see how Satan has infected and perverted the world and it's thinking.  That which is good is called evil, and evil good.  So sad to me, but all I can do is try as hard as I can and listen to the spirit, pray with all my heart, and preach until all know.  Giving those around me as many chances as possible to hear the message we bare, and the blessings that can be theirs because of it. 

The title of my letter this week shares the name of a talk that was shared in General Conference this last April, given by Elder Wilford W. Andersen.  That is no coincidence, seeing as I have been reading, enjoying, and pondering this message all week.  I would invite all of you to read and ponder its message as well.  It is a masterfully written talk, teaching us the importance of not only going through the steps of life, and the motions of the gospel (compared to dance steps).  But to really understand, tune-in, and enjoy the music as well.  (The blessings and feelings we have because of the gospel and the way we live.)  While this message is directed more towards us as individuals and to families, I was also pondering the message it can have regarding missionary work.  The message is then the same as when he talks about how parents need to help their children not only learn the dance steps, but help them to hear the music.  Sometimes as missionaries and as members of the church, we tend to focus our teaching and sharing of the gospel as the steps of the dance.  Or in others words, the things we do and do not do, what God expects from us and how His plan works in a general sense, never really delving into how the gospel can help us as individuals.  But just as important as teaching the dance steps is hearing the music.  Or in other words the blessings of the gospel, the feeling of the peace and of the spirit, and the love we feel from our Heavenly Father and from his son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is just as much or more important to teach and share about the blessings and the joyful things of the gospel as the structure of it.

I would like to testify of the importance of hearing the music of the gospel in our own lives, along with sharing and helping others hear it.  When we simply go through the motions, not taking the time to think about or enjoy how much the Lord has blessed us and will bless us for doing so, the way we live soon becomes unappealing and unenjoyable, and we often forget why we are doing it at all.  But as we take the time to enjoy, and remember why we do things, the spirit can truly enter our lives and make all that we do meaningful and enjoyable.  Or in the case of trials, making things at least bearable, with the sweet music of the gospel and it's truths, our Lord's love for us enabling and encouraging us forward.

The Music of Gospel
Elder Wilford W. Anderson
Conference Talk, April 2015

I love you all so much!

-Elder Hayden L. Lott

Question of the Week:  Several people have asked if you've been able to have an authentic pannenkoeken while you've been in Almere.  If so, do you prefer savory or sweet toppings?

Answer:  I have had a chance to have dutch pannenkoeken, they are so good!  Love all toppings.

(picture from the web)
Dutch Pannenkoeken

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