Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wow! A LOT has happened this week so I'll try to get to it all, but we'll see how quickly I can type...

Eigenlijk, it sounds like everyone is doing well, I'm really glad you got to visit with the family and even gladder to hear how they are doing. I just about peed my pants laughing, when reading about Grandad, not really but if I had who'd have really been surprised? Oh how I love that man!
I also had to laugh to myself as I sat in an internet cafe in Antwerpen Centraal in a tiny room full of computers with sweat rolling down my back and sliding all over my body during the hottest summer in Europe in years while reading about the Geneology Center being closed because of a lack of air conditioning. Although I am in a modern, developed country, it is nonetheless the "Old World" and normal conviences like air conditioning, dryers, garbage disposal, and even ovens, are often viewed as unneccessary luxuries. Oh how I miss them! But I won't complain about the heat, I love it way more than the blistery cold of the winter.

It's nice to hear about people from home and what they're up to, but I got to admit it's kind of weird for me as well, especially since it's second hand. Since being on a mission I feel such a change in me. Not a change of personality, I am still Becky Hinchcliff behind the title I now carry, but my perspective desires, and goals have changed a lot. I imagine a lot of the people from home have changed a bit as well so for those who don't keep up with me personally, I don't really feel like I know them anymore and am pretty sure they definitely don't know me. And I think that is exactly why our Heavenly Father has made it a commandment to pray and read the scriptures. Communication is important in knowing and understanding a person. From my personal communication with Heavenly Father I not only feel like I know and understand Him better, but I also feel like I know and understand myself better.
And speaking of commandments do you remember Hymn 303, "Keep the Commandments"?
"Keep the commandments; keep the commandments! In this there is safety; in this there is peace. He will send blessings; he will send blessings. Words of a prophet: Keep the commandments. In this there is safety and peace."
While on my mission I have really come to gain a testimony of the safety and peace and blessings that come as a result of keeping the commandments, particularly over the last several weeks. I am grateful I can learn from the experiences of others but I know we'd all be a lot happier if they'd keep the commandments too. Honestly life just has a better quality when we do. We just taught one of our friends about the Word of Wisdom the other day and in response to the lesson she said she feels more free. When we were teaching Madina (in Haarlem) about the commandments she said they help her better understand and fulfill her potential. Interesting replies, huh? When understood and correctly applied Gospel principles, such as keeping the commandments, are actually an enlightening and enabling source of strength. The scriptures are filled with examples of this. It is refreshing to see the promised blessings associated with keeping the commandments reflected in the lives of those around us. It is equally heart-breaking to see the despair and pain in the lives of those who ignore the Lord's guidance. But really how dumb is that?! The Supreme Being who created us and knows exactly how we function on all levels and accordingly know's what's best for us gives us guidance to live to our fullest potential and we ignore it thinking we know best?!  Dag!
Madina related this concept to an instruction manual for an appliance. The manufacturer put together the appliance and knows all it's capable of. But if we don't read and follow the accompanying manual telling us the capabilities of our appliance we will never use it to its full potential.

To go with this idea of fulfilling our potential it's important to magnify our callings as well. Ezekial 34 is a good chapter to read more about that in (but really, read it).

Sorry if that sounds like a bit of a rant, I'm just tired of the drama I see when people aren't doing what the Lord asks....

On a more opbouwent note we have some really golden investigators here in Antwerpen! Four have baptismal dates, Gloria, Sara, Tao and Dan. Gloria is from Ghana and will be baptized in just a few weeks. Meanwhile she's busy reading the Book of Mormon and sharing it with her husband and family. Sara is from Peru and is the most inquisitive person I've taught. She has a real desire to know and understand the truth and her greatest desire is to return to live with God. We have had a lot of really wonderful lessons with her and I often feel like Ammon in Alma 26 when I see the gospel click in her mind. Tao and Dan are a young married couple from China and are probably the sweetest people I've met. They love each other a lot and  the idea of an eternal family is beautiful to them. I really love being with and teaching each one of these friends and am excited to see them baptized in the next month.

And one last thing before I go, this week in Antwerpen in missionary week, how cool?! Everyone is busy inviting friends to church activities, sharing the Book of Mormon, and bearing simple testimonies, what cool!!

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! And please, keep the commandments!!

Love, Zuster Becky Hinchcliff

1 comment:

  1. Becky,
    We are proud of you and the work you are doing. Keep up the good work! Roy, Dakota and Dallas can't wait to see their cousin Becky.