From Ethan: Mon, Mar 16, 2015 10:26 am
We had a great and interesting week. Here in Kimberly there are a lot of people who have been baptized into the church but simply do not take part in the blessings of coming to church or much less anything to do with church. We have been talking to a lot of those people in the past week and you know, to be honest sometimes I get really frustrated with them. I haven't heard so many excuses in my whole time here in Idaho than I have this past week. People saying, "We use Sunday as family time to go hunting" or "The church is too pushy with our kids" or "People at church judge us." I know this church and this gospel to be an aid of personal growth. You know the common saying "Pain is Gain," well it's not so much pain as it is hard work to become more like our Savior. It seems as if some people see that "pain" as a negative thing, yet in reality it is a good thing! One man in church this week said, "Repentance is the opposite of punishment." I know repentance to be a good change in our lives, not a bad change. Our bishop sent us to ask certain people if they want their names taken off the church records, which would mean a renouncement of their baptismal covenant and losing the gift of the Holy Ghost along with other things. And every one of them has said no! I wonder why they would want to keep their baptismal covenant, yet not be a part of the gospel or coming to church? I know that everyone has some faith in them. Everyone has a gut feeling to do good in the world, it is just a matter of getting down and doing them. We are trying to help people receive blessings in their life that our Heavenly Father has waiting for them! We hope to spark some extra faith in people and help them exercise that faith in order to grow it. We won't get any stronger unless we exercise a particle of faith.
One thing that helped me grow my faith this week was an Easter Cantata here in Kimberly. For those who don't know what a Cantata is, it is a gathering of a choir and orchestra to play sacred music. Boy oh boy do the people of Kimberly have some musical talent! The choir had almost 100 people in it and they were accompanied by a small orchestra. People from all sorts of backgrounds were there either attending or performing and the spirit at that Cantata was amazing! I am particularly prone to feeling the spirit through music and I had chills and goose bumps most of the time. I thought, during the performance, if I wasn't a believer coming in, I would definitely be a believer coming out! I don't know how people could deny such a strong spirit! The whole time the choir and orchestra were playing, pictures of Christ were being showed through a projector that went along with the words. Seeing pictures of our Savior, while songs of praise were being sung about Him added a lot to the performance. I love music and everything it offers!
Well that was the highlight of the week other than find a new family to teach, the Hamoka's! Rudy and Carol are in their 70's and have a daughter, a couple a grand-kids and like six or seven great grand -kids living with them. None of them has ever heard about the gospel or read the Book of Mormon so we are starting fresh! They have awesome questions and awesome personalities. Love you all!
-Elder Ethan Howard