Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 34

Sent: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 4:06 pm
Subject: 2013_03_18 Family Letter
Dear Family, We had a wonderful conference with Elder Mazzagardi last week. He is a very good man and a very inspired one too. While I will focus on his talk, I will also mention some details from the week. I think I have figured out that the best way for me to memorize a scripture is to read through it a good number of times and then recite it in my head about 25 times. Doing so keeps it in my memory for a quite some time and seems to point to the fact that learning something better in the first place is better than doing a sloppier er job of it and then having to repeat it later on. Just to show how that works, we have the following scripture: Cease to be idle, cease to be unclean, cease to find fault one with another, cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated. D&C 88:124 All the while I hope that I can be using my time in memorizing the scriptures as a way to lead a more elevated life but also with the thought and desire that I will be able to carry this with me for the rest of my life. Seeing that my currently professional brothers have very little time, I hope that I can use my time now to learn a lot of scriptures to use throughout my life. That is not to imply that I won´t continue learning more and making more progress yet, I just want to have a certain foundation, if that makes any sense whatsoever. It should not be thought that I am also just doing this to satisfy my curiosity. I realize that many great men have fallen because the search for knowledge and obtained it, as the Lord will give to him that asks, but they failed to learn wisdom and thus fell to the trap of focusing on deep doctrine in stead of applying the simple and yet more profound doctrines of repentance and the atonement in their lives and in the lives of others. That is also in reference to something Presidente Fernandes said, with some of my own thoughts added in to the mix.

We picked up some missionaries at the bus station on Wednesday night in order to leave with a bus at 4:00 on Thursday morning from the Ita├║m chapel (which, by the way, is on a hill and is on the street Santa Catarina, for you to look at in google maps, if you should so desire.) Missionaries around here are a bit of a loud bunch. .

As to any questions and concerns. Traveling for the Zone Leaders is generally done by bus, though for those which are out far in the West, planes also come into account. Even the assistants travel by bus, as Presidente Fernandes loves driving his Toyota Hillux (very quickly and in a determined fashion, I might just add). There are no bicycles in the mission. We have bus passes in Joinville and will have to also order bus tickets for when we have divisions with the areas that are outside of the city, some even 3-4 hours away from us. We have been doing alot of walking, but I still love walking just as I did before the mission.

We have 18 Elders in total in our Zone, which is relatively big but not the biggest. We do not have any sisters. Joinville Norte is the zone to the North of here and Itajai the zone to the South. I need to memorize the names of the Elders and will try to know the names of all the missionaries in the mission.

Additionally, I have a whole lot of scriptures to memorize. However, it is comforting that I am starting to know the scriptures that general authorities use in talks or in Liahona articles, which I think is fun. Back to the conference with Elder Mazzagardi. He talked a lot about sanctification and devoting all your time in the service of the Lord. My initial feeling was of that I really have not been very good and that I may have been failing. However, that is tied to the fact that rarely, in my life, have I felt like I have given all that I could have given, as my potential may just be that high. Or maybe I am just conceited. Nevertheless, Pres. Fernandes and his wife as well as Sister Mazzagardi spoke a bit about the temple and making sure that we remember the temple and makes its light part of us as we try to be a light for the world in all that we say or do. That makes me want to think a lot more about the temple and what it means to me and all that it entails inside.

 It is interesting to me that Elder Mazzagardi said that he learned more about the temple while driving down the dusty roads of Bahia while serving as a mission president there in 1990 while repeating the words to himself than in the 10 years before that which he had been a temple-going member. That is powerful and inspiring.

We also re-watched the same video clip that we had watched in the Zone Leaders´ conference the week before of Elder Holland and President Eyring speaking about the atonement. Pres Eyring says that he uses the phrase ´remember him´ when things get hard and he feels like he has done his part in the Lord´s service, and when his body begs for rest.

Needless to say, I do wish that I could have the determination to give absolutely all. Shall we not press on in so great a cause? Elder Holland presupposes that since salvation wasn´t easy, continued conversion would not be easy as well. D&C58:10 is a scripture Elder Mazzagardi used to help us understand that we should convert rich people (like he was) as they already are ready leaders.

I love all of you and am getting up earlier and studying more. It´s great. I am also now allowed to write to friends and converts by email, if I want. Love, Elder Luschin -- Elder Frederick Luschin .

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