Thursday, February 13, 2014

From Feb 4: 

Elder Nelson is doing much better right now. He's teaching and bearing his strong testimony. It's really cool to see him grow into the missionary that he was meant to be.

Michael K. is having a difficult time right now with smoking. He knows the Church is true and is back on track for baptism, it's just going to be a little delayed due to complications. It's pretty hard to become a member of the Church these days. We're excited because in a blessing that his neighbor gave him when we taught him the Word of Wisdom, he was blessed to someday use the same priesthood to bless the members of his own family.

Kevin K. is a Senior at Eagle High and is good friends with a girl in the ward. She gave him a Book of Mormon a few weeks ago, and when we scheduled a time to teach the Steele's two weeks ago (the Message of the Restoration), she invited him to come and he came. Last Monday he felt very good about was taught and feels very peaceful as he reads the Book of Mormon (he's read over 200 pages). And this Monday we invited him to be baptized on the 21st and he said he would try. It probably won't be then, but with time, the Spirit and support from the Steele's he has a high chance of being baptized later and staying true to it for the rest of his life.
We got to go again and teach Galyena and Yuri last week. It was such an incredible experience preparing for that lesson. I sang "High on a Mountain Top", and there was such an incredible spirit that permeated during the room when I sang that and as we were driving there. There was such incredible joy that I felt driving to Meridian, there is a glorious work going on the other side of the veil for the Slavic nations and for a few minutes the veil was very thin.

We didn't get to teach Valentina this week, she wasn't available yesterday, but she's been reading the Book of Mormon with her husband every night and has found it to be super interesting reading. We will hopefully be able to meet with them next Monday.

On Sunday Elder Nelson taught a lesson about Adam and Eve, and it hit me that we really don't need to worry when things change for the worse. Adam, when in the Garden of Eden, thought he had it pretty good. He had a companion, much to enjoy and do, and then Satan threw a wrench in his perfect life and he was thrust out of the garden, to fall into a fallen state that included much suffering and sorrow. He learned, though, that a Savior would be provided and that his future included a much more glorious one than he could imagine. So while we never have an "ideal" life, our Heavenly Father's plan involves our families receiving all the priceless blessings of the Priesthood.

Today we had the opportunity to go to the temple. It was such an incredible experience, the Spirit was there so strongly. I can honestly say that God is really there. Making temple covenants and then striving to keep them brings so many blessings. When God restored the fullness of the Priesthood authority that was given to the Apostles in ancient times, he said: 
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. 5 Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice. 
6 Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name. 
7 For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house. 
8 Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house. 
9 Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house. 
10 And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen. (D&C 110:4-10)

I can't comprehend feeling more joy than what I've already experienced living the Gospel. It's worth it even while in this life, regardless of how hard it may become.

I love the Lord, his work and the people of Eagle, ID. I'm forever grateful for this opportunity to serve here, there truly is no difference in the joy or importance of inviting Americans or Russians to come unto Christ, God's love is equal for all of His children and teaching by the Spirit is the same in every land.

I know the Savior lives, I have to continually adjust my life to be within His bounds and every time I do I feel his love and peace wash over me. Set your eyes on the temple! It truly is a priceless privilege to go there and partake of those sacred ordinances, and no sacrifice is too great to make to receive them.

I know it's tough in PA right now. Rely on the Lord, He will strengthen us to bear and overcome the trials that we have been given.

Much love,
Elder Szendre

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