Monday, March 28, 2016

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever

Hello Family,

    Wow Spring Break has already come and gone again? Well I'm glad that everyone enjoyed their break, and enjoyed Easter and the special time to remember the Savior.

     Over here sadly we didn't color any eggs, partially because I'm not sure where to find dye for the eggs here, I noticed the primary kids at church had some colored eggs so I guess it exists although it's not a very popular thing to do here.  Here in the Philippines, basically the whole country (due to the large amount of people of the Catholic Religion) celebrate Semana Santa or Holy Week.  Here people can get a little crazy with that sometimes, as I believe I said it last year that in some areas people try to make themselves suffer like Christ did, as they believe it will lessen the amount of sins that they have.  Luckily here in Novaliches being a fairly big city, and also having a decent Muslim population, most people who like to participate in those kind of things tend to leave and go to the more provincial or country areas where those are more common.  So during Easter weekend, a good chunk of our area was quiet.  Where there was normally a bunch of traffic, there was open road.  Most of the days, but especially Friday a good chunk of stores were closed and so there wasn't as much hustle and bustle as usual.  I couldn't help think to myself during those days that "Wow! if only they could do that every Sunday! Then they might be moving in the right direction!" So it made for a little more peaceful weekend, but it also proved a little harder for proselyting, as there was hardly anyone out and about to talk to.  Either way we made the best out of it and enjoyed out week.

    As I have been thinking on some of the traditions of other religions during this time I have really been realizing how grateful I am for the Restoration and for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.  The fact that we know that "God is the same yesterday, today, and forever" and that whatever His teachings were before, in their purity exist now, and that the same organization that existed in His church then, exists now.  The fact that we know that in order to free ourselves from sin we don't have to put ourselves through whippings, be tortured, and be hung on a cross to do that.  He did that for us so that we wouldn't have to.  He paid the penalty in Gethsemane and on the cross, so that we wouldn't have to.  He opened the path and showed us that way, that if we would only repent and keep His commandments, then we could become clean.  He provided the soap and the brush to be able to cleanse ourselves, but it's up to us whether or not we will use them.  We are all hanging on the side of a cliff without any hope of reaching the top, but He threw us a rope, all we have to do is grab on.  What a blessing it is to know His Gospel that has been restored in it's purity through the prophet Joseph Smith.  That we don't have to put up with the philosophies of men mingled with scripture, and that we kind find out of it's truthfulness by trying it and asking God if this is really it.  What a blessing it is to know that we have a purpose here on Earth, and that we have a hope for Immortality and Exhalation through that atoning sacrifice.  What a blessing it is to know the true Character of God, that He lives, He has a body of flesh and bone that is perfect.  What a blessing it is to know that because Christ overcame death, we shall all live again and obtain immortal bodies in preparation to stand before the Judgement bar of God.  I am so grateful for the joy that comes from sharing this message, and the peace, joy, and hope that I've found in my life because of it.

     This next week we are looking forward to the baptism of Sister Cathie Garcie, her husband is a member who we have been helping become active again in the church, and it has been awesome to see both of the to progress and their desires to eventually be sealed in the temple.  It has been awesome teaching her, and that same hope and joy come into their lives because of the gospel.  We are also looking forward to a few more baptisms in the coming weeks, and we have planned out baptisms for the next couple of weeks, so we are hoping all of those go through.

     That about does it for me this week, I hope you all enjoy this next week, and I'll write again next Monday.

Love you lots,
Elder Chayce Campbell

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