Friday, May 16, 2014

Letter 5/12/2014

This last week was the most stressful week of my life. Sister Kei and I didn't know if we were going to make it! But it passed and we had a lot of miracles this weekend.

We started teaching the two teenagers that I told you about (on skype) who showed up to our ward barbecue and came to Sacrament meeting yesterday. And There was the woman we met late on Saturdaynight. We started talking to her on the street and she turned us away, as per usual. But after we crossed the street she came running after us. She said she's been wondering about Mormonism but she's always been scared to talk to the elders because they're intimidating. We're the first female missionaries she's seen so she was excited. We were able to be joined by a YSA (young single adult) in our ward. We decided to meet at a park because she didn't want to go to the church or her house and we didn't want to meet at McDonald's like she did. But it was raining when we met up. She still refused to go to places where she could feel the Spirit and we didn't want to cave and meet at a cafe or restaurant, especally on Sunday. The last few investigators that we taught in Cafes and/or fast food places ended badly. So we had to part without teaching her (she wants to meet again later). I felt bad letting her walk away but we hate cafes so much that we were willing to do it. They're too loud and they can't feel the Spirit. 

I was studying John 15 as an assignment for Zone Conference this morning. I really liked verse two. I thought it applied to the classic question "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?" Here's my answer according to John 15:2. If we do bear fruit we'll be purged to bear more fruit. It's a blessing. Being a 'good person' doesn't exclude us from God's will. He doesn't just let us keep doing whatever they want. He wants us to reach our potential, receive our greatest happiness and the greatest gifts of God. If we want these things we can't decide what God gives us. The Lord abides with His people and part of abiding is giving to us the things that ar for our benefit. God didn't say he will only give punishments to 'bad people.' If we have trials it means God is working with us. He gives us everything we need to obtain our full potential but it's up to us to decide if it's a gift or a punishment, just like our investigators don't always choose to accept what we have given them and change. Sometimes they see it as a weird punishment and a burden that we put on them. 

Fast Sunday just passed but maybe this will be helpful next fast Sunday. President sent this to us several weeks ago.

Recently, several elders and sisters have asked questions about fasting, including “Why do we fast?”, “How long should we fast?”, and “What is included in a complete fast?” I’d like to share answers to these questions with everyone.

Why Do We Fast?

The Lord has invited us to fast in order to gain spiritual power. Fasting helps us “put off the natural man” (see Mosiah 3:19) by allowing our spirits to exercise control over our bodies. While the body is saying, “I want food!” the spirit is saying, “Quiet down now. You’ll eat when I say you can eat.” 

In April 2009 General Conference, Elder Shayne M. Bowen explained fasting this way:

“What if there were a way to overcome our habits, addictions, and burdens? What if there were a way to gain sufficient confidence in the Lord that you could call down the powers of heaven? What if there were principles you could teach your loved ones that, if applied, would allow them to overcome personal weaknesses and draw closer to God? As we properly understand and live the law of the fast, these desired blessings can be ours.”

How Long Do We Fast?

According to Handbook 1 for Bishops and Stake Presidents:

“A proper fast day observance typically includes abstaining from food and drink for two consecutive meals in a 24-hour period.”

President Howard W. Hunter gave the following counsel in October 1985 General Conference:

“The fast contemplated on the day referred to as fast day, as defined by President Joseph F. Smith, ‘is that food and drink are not to be partaken of for twenty-four hours, “from even to even.”’ From even to even has been given the meaning of going without two meals—from the evening meal on the night before to evening meal on fast day.”

What Is Included in a Complete Fast?

Elder Carl B. Pratt taught the following in October 2004 General Conference:

“We are taught that there are three aspects to a proper fast day observance: first, abstaining from food and drink for two consecutive meals or, in other words, 24 hours; second, attending fast and testimony meeting; and third, giving a generous fast offering.”

Sister Linda K. Burton, General Relief Society President and wife of former Seoul West Mission President Craig P. Burton, spoke about fasting in a talk at BYU-Idaho on March 2 of this year. In her talk titled “Tuning Our Hearts to the Voice of the Spirit”, she said:

“In order to increase our ability to hear the voice of the Spirit, we would all do well to fast for 24 hours each fast Sunday and freely give our fast offering to help those in need. President Harold B. Lee counseled: ‘The Lord said to Isaiah, that those who would thus fast and deal out their bread to the hungry, could call and the Lord would answer, could cry and the Lord would say, “Here I am.” [See Isaiah 58:6–9.] That’s one way to get on speaking terms with the Lord. Try it this year. Live the law of fasting perfectly.’”

I hope each of us will use fasting to obtain spiritual power by drawing closer to Heavenly Father.


President Morrise

Love you!!!!! Email you next week!