Monday, September 29, 2014

Do Good. Do Better. Do the Best You Can.

Hey Ya'll!

Holy talito there is so much to talk about and again so little
time...or just poorly managed time. Hey, I'm learning! We had a sweet
baptism with Immanuel Jardiah yesterday, 9 years old, baptized by his
grandpa. He showed up to church in his little suit vest just beaming
in excitement. He was baptized with another convert from the Philly
1st central area named Paye. It was a good service.

Elder Roberts was not feeling well at all on Friday, so we stayed in
for some of the day on Saturday, he must have had the flu. And we've
been working day in and day out, so it was probably good for both of
us to take a little breather. A highlight of the week was going to
visit a less active/investigator/we don't know his membership status
named John Tor. He waved at us from the street and called out for us
to come over. He asked us to come visit him at his house. So we set up
an appt and this past week we went with Elder and Sister Wrigley to
see him.

In high school, I took a class called AP (ooo big shot!) Comparative
Gov't and Politics. Now discontinued I believe, but it opened my eyes
to a lot of ills and evils of the world. So many atrocities happening
throughout the world to innocent people. And I had seen videos and
what not in that class of war torn countries in Africa. But here I
was, sitting in front of and hearing a first hand account of a humble
man born and raised in the war ravaged country of Sudan. He became a
child soldier and at the young age of 10 he learned to shoot an
AK-47....ummm I didn't know what that was until like 3 years ago...k a
little exaggeration. But still. He was in charge of taking the lives
of the enemy. So of course he saw horrific things that he's never been
able to get out of his mind.

Elder Wrigley felt inspired to ask him if he'd like a Priesthood
blessing and he gladly accepted. As we laid our hands on his head and
pronounced a blessing of healing and comfort to help him get over his
PTSD, I felt the Spirit and the power of God flow through us. It was a
powerful moment and we soon thereafter testified of the Savior's
unfailing love and of the healing power of His Atonement. I felt and I
think we all did compassion upon this man, no older than 30, but with
the life experiences many would scarcely even think about in the
comfort of their lovely American homes.

I feel it is overlooked how truly blessed we are to be in this
country. Being here in Philadelphia has given me a greater
appreciation for the blessings of God that went into making America
what it could be. Sure the country's got it's issues. "Inasmuch as ye
keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land." Not everyone is
keeping the commandments. But look at all these humble people who have
been guided by the hand of God to this country where God knew they
would have the opportunity to hear and would indeed accept this
restored gospel. Agatha, Francis, Immanuel's family, John Tor, I don't
think we're working with more than 2 people who have in some way or
another been guided to this land to hopefully, one day, return home to
that God who gave them life.

This work is all about Christ. Really, that's all it is. Christ and
His Atonement. and ohhh how it is changing lives. Oh how it is
preparing us for eternity. This plan is beautiful. As we sat in
meetings with the Stake and Mission presidencies, I thought about the
purpose of leaders coming together. And I remembered something an
Apostle said. The purpose of every meeting in the church should be to
help people come unto Christ and to change lives.

We sat down with our investigator Vincent, very interesting man with
good questions and a sincere desire to know the truth. He came up with
a motto of "Do Good. Do Better. Do the Best You Can." Meaning that we
all have troubles and trials in life. Day in and day out if we work at
those things, especially with God on our side, it can all be made
right. I think of little kids. So innocent and pure Christ taught in 3
Nephi 17 to Behold your little ones. I know they carry a power and
example that we can all learn from. I was able to feel a bit of that
working with Immanuel. Love you all. Do the Best you can. I promise it
will all work out.

Elder Jacob Robins

Little Immanuel Jardiah was baptized at age 9 by his grandpa Isaac. He was all smiles!!

Temple Construction update..we went to the site on P-day last week. It's incredible how just the surrounding area has a powerful Spirit already. I don't think I'll be able to say I've seen sparks flying all over the place in a temple again!
Elder Roberts and I in front of the Moroni statue end of the temple. They are just beginning to put the exterior granite on the completed walls. Plumbing and electric is being worked on inside. Elder Carr, temple Site supervisor, handed me a chunk of rock that was blasted out of the foundation where the temple now lies. I think it was solid granite with some pretty black shiny stuff in it. Grandpa Hagen would love it!!

the general placement of the temple is pretty incredible. Right across the Street from the Catholic St. Peter's Basilica. Where the visitor's center and construction trailers now sit is where the new Philadelphia Stake Center will be built, apparently they will start construction on that next month. So many good things happening to this city!

My Marine Corps Reserve Companion's bed...yes you can bounce a quarter on it. I attempted to make mine the same way for about a week...ha that was a joke.

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