Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

[We know that it would be nice to post to this blog more often.  We don't know how to fit that into our lives right now.  So . . . this excerpt from a letter to our missionaries:]

I want to comment on something else I’ve been thinking about all week—and that is my gratitude for the chance to serve with all of you and all the great things that you do routinely and with full purpose of heart.  Here are some of the things we see all the time and for which we are grateful (I’m speaking for Sister Bonham too):

·         We love to see you “out and about” doing the work of God’s representatives on Earth.  Those of you on bikes are especially easy to spot, but we find ourselves looking inside Corollas and Cruzes and such too just in case it is occupied by some of “ours.”

·         We love you extra when we see you out in bad weather and we know it can’t be easy but you have smiles on your faces.

·         We (I) love to hear from you in your weekly letters (Sister Bonham only hears little bits and pieces that I tell her about, but sometimes you write such wonderful things that I just have to share some cheery experience you’ve had with her).

·         We love to see you at meetings and to have the chance to shake your hand or give you a hug.

·         We love it when you “power through” little health challenges and to hear your faith and positive attitude when you have bigger ones.  Almost every time that we are arranging a doctor visit or something and ask about getting a priesthood blessing you’ve already thought of it and received one—good for you!

·         We love seeing you interact with members and watching you build trust with them.  We get lots of positive comments from members and requests from them to “don’t ever transfer Elder or Sister Such and Such—we love them too much.”  (I usually tell them they are talking to the wrong guy and need to direct their request much higher up the line of authority on that one.)

·         We really love seeing you interact with investigators and people who are not members (yet) in general.  You carry a great spirit with you and the people who talk with you are touched at different levels all at once.

·         We love to join you for studies and watch what you are learning, share ideas, and learn from and with you.  There is a lifetime of learning available for all of us.

·         We love to join you for teaching and watch how you and the Spirit work to lift hearts, give hope, share the light of the gospel, and bring new strength and understanding into people’s lives.

·         We love to hear your testimonies.  Many of you are growing by leaps and bounds.  We hear you testify, and the Spirit bears witness to us that what you are saying is true.  That strengthens both us and you.

·         We hear often from you that you pray for us.  We are so grateful for that, and you should know that we pray for you (and your investigators) too.  We kneel together and pray for you as a group, and we name you individually sometimes when you are facing extra struggles.  We feel Heavenly Father’s love for you.

·         We love to see you at baptisms and confirmations.  This weekend we were in Bellingham and witnessed three baptisms.  How wonderful!  “White” may be replacing “clean” as Sister Bonham’s favorite color . . .

·         We love to see the kindness that you show in rendering service to those around you, member and nonmember alike.

·         We love to see how you grow to love one another in every good way.  Unity has power, and we want to develop that power of a Zion society.

·         We love to hear you teach from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel.  As we hear you rely on these sources we know that they are becoming important to you and becoming part of the foundation of your knowledge, testimony, and life.

·         We love to hear about lives changing for people in the Washington Everett Mission because of the work that you are doing in partnership with the Lord.  You are making this world (and the world to come) a better place because of your efforts.

As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said to us almost a year ago:  “Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.”

We love you lots!
President and Sister Bonham