Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Wed, Jul 15, 2015

Pip pip Cheerio my exquisite lads and ladesses,

This week consisted of a lot of service. On Friday we helped a couple move into the ward. It's cool because they are moving from the New Rochelle Ward and since I already served there we already knew each other. It was one of the trickier moves that I've been involved in. 

Here's the dealio... They are moving into the top floor of a home that is already owned by the wife's parents. The wife's parents lived on the top floor already and needed their stuff moved from the top floor to the bottom. They had a heaping spoonful of large items to move downstairs the problem is that it's an old and tight cornered house. 

We couldn't for the life of us get their couches and their bed out of the upstairs doorway. After struggling with it for a while and throwing out multiple jokes about how it would be easier to just toss these large items out the window and get them down that way, the member decided to do just that. We took out he windows and the screens, tied a rope around the couch and the 5 of us that were there lowered the couch down out of the window. We used that same technique with the bed haha. I guess that is how you do a move in New York.

On Saturday we had the privilege of helping a member build a shed in her backyard. Yes, I said backyard. Backyards are a very rare thing around these parts. Even though her "backyard" was really just a small piece of land covered with rocks it is still considered a backyard here. 
Shed Raising Selfie

My experience building that shed was a lot like how I imagined a good old fashioned Amish barn raising. There was a bunch of men there erecting a structure and stuff. #ManlyActivities the member is from Guyana and she fed us some spicy food from her native  Country. I was almost convinced that day that I should go AWOL from the mission and run away to Pennsylvania and join an Amish community. Almost...
Raising Sheds like the Amish Raise Barns
I was asked to speak at church this last Sunday. I was given the topic of the third article of faith. My studies for the last 3 weeks or so have been focused on the teaching so of the third article of faith and I've been learning a fair amount. The third article of faith says, "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." My talk was focused on how ridiculously amazing the Atonement is in our lives and how it is through obedience that we can tap into the power of the Atonement make he Savior and His love a reality in our lives.

I used an analogy that Brad Wilcox once used:

"Christ's arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child’s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child’s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom’s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom’s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used—seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice.

If the child sees Mom’s requirement of practice as being too overbearing (“Gosh, mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I’m just going to be a professional baseball player anyway!”), perhaps it is because he doesn’t yet see with mom’s eyes. He doesn’t see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane.

In the same way, because Jesus has paid justice, He can now turn to us and say, “Follow me” (matthew 4:19), “Keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If we see his requirements as being way too much to ask (“Gosh! None
of the other christians have to pay tithing! None of the other Christians have to go on missions, serve in callings, and do temple work!”), maybe it is because we do not yet see through Christ’s eyes. We have not yet comprehended what He is trying to make of us."

Obedience is how we show our appreciation for Christ. Our job isn't necessarily to "pay Jesus back". Our job is to appreciate the amazing gift he has given us by using it through obedience to the commandments. 


Elder Tyler J Johanson

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