Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/30/12

It was so wonderful being able to see you all! What a treat to know that we will be together for all eternity as we are faithful in keeping and continuing to make more covenants with our Father in Heaven! I really want to let you all know that Celeste is progressing towards parenthood!!! What?! Celeste, I am so happy for you! Congratulations, and I expect twin boys upon my arrival home, with lots of energy that want to spend time with "Uncle Bucky" =D Joshua, I found your name!! It's "约书" I would make it bigger, but my toolbar is hiding from me ;D

Daddy:  I agree, the time flew by! The next thing I knew, I was looking at the screen thinking that someone had changed the time... Sneaky sneaky people these days! Do you think if President Mains lets us Skype on Mother's Day as well you would like to do that, or the phone?  Something really sad happened this week.  The family that we have been spending most of our time with, called us (the mother) and began to tell me that she was tired of waiting for her son to be baptized, of making him come to church, of just not seeing results (please note: it has been a constant struggle to help these dear people understand that baptism isn't just something that we do, that God doesn't change, and that I will be held accountable for the people I help to be baptized if they aren't properly prepared! As well, their son did not pass his first interview, and there are some things he needed to work out his parents did not understand or know about.  I took that hard.  These people had a testimony of the gospel.  I love them so much! I ave spent more than half a year with them, loving and trying my best to teach them to their understanding, only to realize how much they don't understand.  I am grateful that God has been tender in showing me my weaknesses, in helping me to understand these people
s rate of acceptance, and being able to now understand the areas I need to improve in.  Thank you for sharing your testimony with me, and especially for the prayer you offered as we all Skyped.  It touched me.  I have always been pretty happy, but this week I had ups, downs, and all-arounds. You all helping me be so happy, then seeing this beautiful family stop learning, just tore my hearts to pieces.  I am grateful for the testimony you shared, that our efforts are not wasted, and that we will never see the end results of the seeds we planted.  If you could all pray for me this week to be better at folloeing up on the commitiments I extend, I feel that I will become a better and more understandable teacher.  I love you Dad!

Rebekah: That is a wonderful resoluion! Is there anything that I can do to help you gain your testimony?  Well, no, there isn't, but I do invite you to read the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes every day.  It will be hard, you wont understand it all.  You will feel tired, or stressed out, but I promise you as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you will be able to clear you thoughts, find peace, and find your testimony as you read this sacred and divine Scripture.  There is a divine power within the Book of Mormon, that will creep into your life, and strengthen your resolve to keep the commandments of god, to be peaceful and loving, and to withstand temptation.  I love you Rebekah!! My resolve for this year is to: 1) Be HAPPY! 2) Read the BOM in Chinese Characters (I just finished in Pinyin, and I am in 1Nephi chapter 17 now in Characters) 3) develop Charity 4)  Look on others as the Savior looks on them =D

Richard: Well, everyone seems to accept the idea of a "great spirit" or greater being.  I would tackle that situation, by asking that person if they loved their family, (or anyone if they say no) and then I would begin to explain to them how we are a part of God's family.  I would try to teach as many truths as I could about God, to give the Spirit opportunity to testify of what I spoke, and then I would bear testimony myself, and invite that person to discover for themself that there is a God, that He loves them, and that He has a purpose for them, through reading the BOM.  It was wonderful seeing you! You should start on all the medical parts of the mission papers-- blood, etc.  I just remember being frustrated by how long it was all taking.

Corina: Rebekah sure is sweet! I am glad you were able to go on a hike! How sore are you? :D Do you have any resolutions? I sure loved hearing you all sing Silent Night.  It pended up my heart, and just helped me feel so happy, to see the wonderful treasure that I had!! I bet Mom and Dad can't wait for grandbabbies (Celeste.... hint wink ;D)!!! Thanks for helping the family out! Corina, you keep on helping everyone out, and God will keep on helping you out!

Celeste: Thanks for your scripture! I will try to live up to your expectations of me as your little brother, who used to bug and annoy you, and now is hopefully only irritating sometimes... ;D  Don't worry, about me not being there for the wedding, I was able to share with one of our investigators that you were getting married, and that I wouldn't be able to go just as she couldn't see her son sealed this month in the temple.  I think it helped her a little bit :D  Will you pray for me? I want you to know that I love you! I hope you are becomin your best self as well! Don't let anything hold you back, no matter how innocent it may seem, I LOVE YOU!

Joshua! I love you too!!! You are my favorite Christmas present! I like the Mr. Happy card that you sent me! I think that you are super duper awesome!!!! =D

Mandy: I love you! I am sorry you were sad at church.  I think Mommy will giv you a big EJB'Lovin' for me! =D

Mommy:  I loved seeing you as well! I share with everyone how incredible you are! I loved hearing you sing, The dinner was incredible! Mashed potatoes and Chicken! They asked what we usually had back home for Christmas dinner... I didn't remember= burritos? ;D  Thank you so much for all your  letters, and your wonderful attention.  Thanks for following the counsel of Proverbs 22:6.  The scriptures say that happy is the man that has his quiver full (of children) and I think that applies to you as well, but I think that if you have happy kids who choose the right it is easier to be happy.  I hope that I can always help you to be happy! Heavenly Father loves you Mommy! HE knos you are doing "swell" and that I love you.  I hope you can feel my love from across the oceans.  You keep the family on track Mommy!!! =D  I love you!

You can just post this email on the blog, I am tired of writing separately, plus, everyone can just know that I love you all! =D

Elder Jacob Emmanuel Black

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