Follow Alex's journey from Yakima to the Provo, MTC to Romania/Moldova
Alex's Mission Address:
Elder Alex McLean Ditto
Romania/Moldova Mission Bdul. Primaveril Nr. 19-21 Et.1 #13 Sector 1 011972 Bucharest Romania
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, July 17, 2017
Agency and Anchors
Man I forgot how busy summer is at our house, glad everyone is safe and happy! I have so many fond memories of the many activities that I did during summer throughout the years. When Dad told me I did that beach hike five years ago, I literally could not believe that... way too long ago!!! I really miss hiking in the northwest, but the Lord is making it up as he blessed me with many learning experiences and miracles this week.
Bucharest is a really special place. The work here is thriving, some may say it is because there are so many people in this immense and complex, communist-feeling city, others say because we have members and two chapels, cool places to meet people, etc. I think those points all have their place, but the biggest reason and factor is our dedication and faith in the Lord that we WILL find people.
I love Romania!!!!
We were blessed with finding a lot of interested people, whether it be through our contacting efforts, calling area book contacts, or referrals from already investigator friends! We had the opportunity to have many lessons with our investigators with some of our awesome members from the Mihai Bravu branch, which was a huge blessing. When I see a Romanian testify of the truthfulness of the gospel to another Romanian, my heart melts a little. Christ is truly the head of his church and is strengthening his children in Romania to help others. I am reminded that it is not just my efforts that matter, but the collective effort between missionaries, members, and even friends of the church. Every action counts! People notice how members of the church behave!
Coming home after a visit at a member's house
Chilling at the piata in Universitate
Some kendama slayers near our apartment... they were pretty impressed that I could play!
This week I learned a lot about myself through analyzing how I choose to act each day. To be honest, I was a grouchy-pants a couple of days this week. I was doing work, but I was letting some really small things get in the way of my attitude.
Practicing my photography
Crazy how elaborate these churches are!
Some saints in the orthodox church
The church is designed like a cross
Where the priest chants scriptures from the bible
Witnessing painters paint some orthodox saints in a cathedral
In the beginning, Adam and Eve had the opportunity to stay in the Garden of Eden forever and have all of their needs taken care of. They were warned that if they partook of the forbidden fruit, they would "surely die." They weighed their two choices and used their agency to choose to partake of the fruit. This meant that they would be thrown out of the Garden of Eden and would become subject to temptation of the flesh. BUT this also meant that they would have the opportunity to overcome these temptations and PROGRESS. They fell that they, and everyone after them, might have joy.
Me and my friend Lee from Korea
As I reflected on this over the past couple of days, I realized that I have the opportunity to choose for myself every day if I want to take part in this joy that will surely come if I progress, if I overcome the "natural man."
2 Nephi 2:27 "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."
Where does this joy come from? Another scripture that I really loved this week has the answer...
Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
I know that this joy come from anchoring yourself to Jesus Christ. When we get a little shaken up on the surface, we can always re-direct ourselves if our anchor is our Savior. I know that joy comes from following the Savior and doing as he did and still does. I am grateful that I have the knowledge of the fullness of His gospel to help guide me in paths of righteousness in the midst of great darkness that surrounds us each day.
This is what I learned as I taught others about this same principle. What a blessing it is to be on the errand of the Lord, and seeing His gospel give people the peace, the hope, the purpose that they are so desperate to find!
I love you all, and am thankful that I have such a wonderful family to be anchored to!