So, I started this week driving around missionaries who have been transferred early, which meant a lot of trips all around Tana, mostly in the middle of the night. Have I ever told how scary driving is in this country? Well when you drive at night you have about a 200% higher chance of getting stopped by the cops. They don't really have any reason to stop us, but they do anyways. Then they look through every piece of paperwork we have while I pretend to have no idea what he's saying (they don't speak English and we are really good at pretending we don't speak Malagasy). That language barrier is usually enough to frustrate them in to letting us go. They really have no reason to stop us, they are just looking for a bribe. If anything is wrong with the paperwork they just start asking for money and threatening to arrest us (which they also can't do), but they like to act all big and powerful. For the most part they are no problem though. I've only actually been close to being arrested once, and that was a long time ago. After all of the early transfers, we have been on the road a lot this week. I am currently in a place called Mahajanga. It is the northern most place in the mission. That also means that it is the hottest place in the mission and I am dying here right now. We are here going on splits with the elders and trying to help them boost their programs, also trying to sort out some things with the struggling branch, that sort of stuff. It has been a great couple of days out here and I am sad that it is coming to a close, but hey, there are more adventures ahead.
So this week in studies I have continued my study on repentance. Earlier in my mission I talked about a talk given by Brad Wilcox called "His Grace is Sufficient", which gives a very different spin to the final judgement, and through studies this week I have come to understand what he meant. You see the the atonement has 2 parts, the cleansing power and the enabling power. Christ suffered for our sins, and therefore we can be cleansed. However, through this same act he enables us to overcome our sins ourselves. That is repentance. It is us overcoming our sins. Our final end goal is to live with our Heavenly Father again in the Celestial kingdom, to become like Him. He won't force us, but we are enabled to choose that as we choose to repent and overcome our own sins, to become better people. If you spend lifetime in a dark room, an entire lifetime, before finally stepping in to the light, all it will be is blinding, and you will want to return to the dark. If we live our entire lives in the darkness of the world, being distracted by this and that, it won't work. We will come to the judgement bar at that last day, and the glory of Our Father will be blinding. I don't think it will be Him casting us away. Rather, it will be each of us asking for a glory that we are able to handle. Our loving Heavenly Father would never force us to be with Him, especially if it hurt us. Therefore, He created the other to Kingdoms as a place where we can dwell and be happy in spite of our love of the dark. One of the things that I have learned out here however, is that the greater joy is from the greater light. Let us all choose to change, repent, and turn unto the light.
Love you all so much,
Scripture of the week: Mormon 9:3-4