I had an awesome Easter Sunday, awesome.
First off, I woke up ON TIME! Since my work schedule is ridiculous I often can't fall asleep until 4 or 5 am. Last night I fell asleep at 4am but I woke up at 9:30! woohoo! I know that is not that early
for most of you, but for me, it was a miracle!
Because I woke up, had breakfast, felt refreshed and began my study for the day.
I started with what we would be learning in Missionary Preparation: Teaching for Understanding, The Great Apostasy, The Atonement.
What greater thing to study on Easter than the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
As I was studying I couldn't help but smile, as I read about Christ and His Infinite Atonement my heart was filled with gratitude.
It was an excellent way to start my day.
Then I went to church early for a presidency meeting. Since we meet while a ward is in Sunday school there are not very many open rooms left..so....we met in the mothers lounge :)
It was a wonderful meeting full of the spirit and direction, even if I was sitting a top a children's changing table.
Onward to sacrament where a freshly RM sister bore her testimony of her Savior and best friend, Jesus Christ. As the sacrament was passed I read in The Infinite Atonement and kind of realized how important those few days were to all mankind.
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING!
Sunday school was all about the often quoted scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 4:4
"For behold the afield is white already to bharvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in cstore that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;"
The field is white and already to harvest!
The greatest thing that was pointed out here was that IT'S READY, the people of this earth are ready for the Gospel.
Don't wait to act, do it NOW!
We had a combined third hour class that covered what it means and how we can become...HAPPY. It was funny to have that be the lesson, because I haven't been very happy these past few weeks. My anxiety has greatly increased, my thoughts of inadequacy shot through the roof, but I know I'll be okay. The Lord has told me, in my patriarchal blessing and in other situations that I will be a great missionary. He knows my heart is in the right place and He will strengthen me.
After church I lingered a bit with a sister to discuss things we needed to do for Visiting Teaching. She's an RM and offered me some great advice as well as some peace, knowing that you will feel anxious your whole mission. But there is someone in the place you are going to serve that needs to hear from you and that is why you are going there, so understand that call and act on it.
Because of our longish linger I was 20min late to Mission Prep, it being Easter Sunday there was only one other student there and the three teachers. I think they were relieved when I walked in the room.
They were role-playing Teaching for understanding when I came in and as soon as I sat down it was my turn! yikes! I had to pick a word in the back of the section we were in and teach someone to make sure they understood it. The whole idea is that you understand the principle first, then teach it. I chose the word priesthood. I talked about how the priesthood is the authority of God on the earth, that by it we can receive the ordinances needed for salvation. I mentioned that Christ came and gave the example of how the priesthood should be 'used' through His own baptism, etc...
Then we moved on the The Great Apostasy, I will not lie. This subject and dispensations are probably the two that I myself struggle with understanding. I was nervous when I started teaching one of the teachers, and it didn't help that he was gorgeous. yeah...
I talked again about how Christ came and established His church and after He was crucified the apostles remained and they taught but soon were killed. Once they were killed the true church fell apart and without the apostles and Christ the priesthood no longer existed on the earth. Without the priesthood there can be no true church, because it is through the priesthood (as previously explained) that we obtain the ordinances for salvation. There were still followers of Christ but they had no light to follow, no direction. Many churches formed from this confusion, each taking bits and pieces of the true church with them- but none had the fullness. This time was the Great Apostasy.
Our next subject, great for Easter, was the Atonement. ah, the Atonement. What a beautiful word. Does it not just fill your soul with joy?
As the teacher began to go over this section he said there are a few things you need to cover: That because of the Atonement we can overcome both physical and spiritual death. The three parts of the Atonement: Suffering in Gethsemane, Crucifixion on the Cross, and Resurrection cover those two deaths. Once you've explained that you can go into further detail of the section and subject but what is most important is that you bear testimony of the Atonement and it's affect in your life.
Right after he said all this he said "Hunter, what does the Atonement mean to you?"
He was asking me to talk, no way. haha.
The first words that came out of my mouth were-
It means hope. Hope that I can change, that I have changed. Hope that I can fulfill my purpose, that I can repent and be made clean, hope in all that is to come. That Christ will come, because He said he would. That He will love me forever and I will NEVER be alone. My love for my Heavenly Father is so great because his love for me is great and the Atonement gives me the promise that I can return to him and express that love.
That is what the Atonement means to me
On my way home from the Institute Building (where MP is held), I couldn't get my mind off of Christ, His suffering, His love, His peace, His Atonement.
I am so blessed to be a disciple of Christ, and whether or not if I think it every day I am ready to serve because I have been called to serve.
He called ME!
What joy fills my soul that I can bring peace and love and hope into the life of at least some person. I will never count numbers on my mission but instead, as John Bytheway put it, count souls. This is my Joy, to be an instrument in the hands of my God in bringing souls to repentance.
I have a testimony of Christ, that He is our savior. He suffered, died, and was resurrected for each and every human being who has ever and will ever walk this earth.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
If you have a chance you should watch the district videos, they all are great but this one in particular. It shows that not everyone accepts the gospel, or some do but are scared to say it.