Sunday, July 26, 2015

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

Hello Everyone!

It was a great week here in Parkersburg, West Virginia, we taught a
lot and it set a good pace for this transfer. We had a new member move
into our ward from Columbus and we're excited to have him. We'll also
be getting a new bishop next week since Bishop Nelson is moving to
Texas. If you guys could keep Dave Hess in your prayers that would be
great. He had a stroke Sunday morning and he's doing alright but he
lost some mobility in his right arm. We visited him this morning and
he's looking a lot better so we're hoping that he will make a full
recovery. Our investigators are all doing really well, we've been very
blessed to teach people that keep their commitments and want to
progress. We had a missionary fireside on Wednesday this past week and
it was a lot of fun. The topic was I am a Child of God. We had a
handful of investigators come and about forty five people come which
was a pretty good turnout. We will probably do another one in six
weeks so that the members have an event to invite friends and
relatives to. This week I learned a lot. There are weeks in the
mission that are like that where you wonder if you are really teaching
your investigators or if you're still in the MTC hooked up to a Matrix
machine and they're just feeding you all of the life lessons you need
to learn. Either way I learned a very neat lesson about commandments.
God wants us to become something great, He wants us to become like His
Son. He told Abraham to be perfect, Moses to be holy and Christ
directed on the Sermon on the Mount, be ye perfect even as your Father
which is in heaven is perfect. So in order to do that He gives us
commandments. I have gained a personal conviction that every
commandment is designed to mold us into the person that God wants us
to be. The fruit of living every commandment is perfect Christ-like
character. The seed of perfect Christ-like character is living the
commandments so the beginning and the end is that same, which makes
sense because if you want an apple you need an apple seed and if you
want an apple seed you need an apple. I think only God could design
something that simple and beautiful. So when I thought about the
commandments this week in this perspective it changed how I saw
things. God revealed the Word of Wisdom to help us become people who
understand sacrifice, freedom from addiction, and following the
prophet. The end design of the law is not that we see coffee or tea as
inherently evil, the purpose of the law is that we cultivate the
Christ-like attributes of faith, patience, and gratitude. It's the
same with any other commandment that God gives us. If we live the law
of chastity we will become people who have perfect temperance, virtue,
and purity. You could live the law in a check box fashion and still
not become who God wants us to be but you cannot become who God wants
us to be without living the commandments He has given. He knows we are
going to stumble and backslide but He also knows that we have the
capacity to live these laws perfectly over the process of time by
making one correct decision at a time. When I see things this way I am
amazed at the investment the Savior made in us when He died for us and
I am very humbled at the prospect that God sees fit to have faith in
us. I know that this church is true and I know that the priesthood has
been restored. I am so grateful for you guys and your support and
prayers and help. I hope you have a great week and are safe. I love

Elder Garrett Hollembeak

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