Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We had a fun Easter Weekend...

Good Afternoon Y'all!

Elder Bennett and I


We had a fun Easter Weekend. On Saturday we were able to help the Freebairns with their son, Izaks, 4th birthday party. They invited a bunch of the members of the branch, friends and family (who many were not members.) They BBQ'd a ton of chicken, they made tradition carne asada with fresh pico de gallo and to top it all off they had delicious Tres was so good.... I ate a lot...I mean a lot.... haha but it was so fun to be there. They rented this big bounce house (we didn't play on it) and they got Izak a  Spongebob pinata. There were so many AFV worthy moments with that pinata. One girl was swinging so hard and then sister freebairn was clapping and telling her good job and then all of the sudden she started walking towards her (she was blindfolded) and just swung right at her head. She barely missed haha it was crazy. She must have thought that she was telling her to come that way. Funny. I love that family so much and they have made such a huge impact on my life. I will tell you one more funny thing later in the letter. But then yesterday Sister Prescott, the sweetest, funniest older lady I have ever met, invited us over for Easter dinner. Her family was there and they made ham, rice dressing and crawfish fettuccine. It was a lot of fun. So all in all we had an awesome weekend. 

It sounds like you guys had an awesome easter too. I am excited to see what there new house looks like. Haha that Jello sounds so strange, but in a strange way I would have liked to try it... Maybe secretly we do want to be like Andrew Zimmerman. People down here would think that was so strange to have Jello, carrots, celery and olives in the same thing. It sounds like a green smoothie gone terribly wrong... That is cool about that image that Brother Tenney had everyone imagine. That really would have been a sacred and special experience to be a part of. What amazing knowledge it is to know that the Savior lives. They have that new Easter video called  "Because of Him" and it is awesome. It is short and powerful. It brings the message that Because of Him, Because of Christ we have everything that we do today. We are blessed spiritually and temporally because of what he did. It truly is because of him that we are able to be happy. What a blessing that is. 

I have been feeling pretty stressed out and anxious lately. There is just a lot of stuff going on and it is like I am spinning 10 plates, but in the end I don't even know how to really spin 10 plates haha. Yesterday was pretty tough and I was just feeling frustrated, but today hearing that just makes me realize that hard things will continue to happen in our lives and if we can take the experience with appreciation, gratitude and humor we will be much happier. I want to be kind, gentle and happy. Thanks so much for sending me that, it was what I needed. 

Alright I will tell you about the other funny thing with the Freebairns. So their son Izak is exactly the same way I was when I was his age. It is crazy because everytime that I see him, I see myself. He is always tearing off his pants or his shirt and running around the house or the neighborhood pretending to be a power ranger. He loves power rangers and for his birthday he got a zord and we were both equally enthralled with it haha. He loves to "fight" and beat people up and just has a lot of energy. Sounds familiar huh? I told them about the time I broke the window and we were all laughing pretty hard. We came back a couple hours after the party and just helped them clean up and Izak was still full of energy and I was telling them how much I was like him and then they gave me the best compliment I feel I have received. They told me that if Izak was then able to grow up like me they would be proud parents. I respect them so much and hearing that from them was just the best feeling. I love that family so much. 

Well I better get going. Here is a little excerpt.

This last general conference the two greatest commandments were brought up multiple times. Before anything we must love God, our Heavenly Father and our neighbor as our self. I was curious to understand more about how must love our self and how that is connected to our purpose. I came across a talk by Harold B. Lee called "Understanding who we are brings self respect." It is an awesome talk and he focuses on the plain and precious truths of the gospel that help us understand who we really are. It reminds me some of what the mission was focusing on about a year ago and that was not necessarily who we we are, but who we were in the pre-existence. Harold B. Lee quotes the scripture from Abraham 3: 22-23 which says:

2 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

We are those noble and great ones. When we understand that we are Heavenly Fathers children who are divine heirs to heavenly power we will receive "righteous self-respect that might be defined as "belief in one's own worth, worth to God and worth to Man." We have been foreordained to do this work and we have made this choices in this life to lead us to where we are right now and that is within the full time service of our Lord and Savior. We are literally one in a million. President Lee says," Who are you? You are all the sons and daughters of God." He then says later "What a difference it would make if we really sensed our divine relationship to God, our Heavenly Father, our relationship to Jesus Christ, our Savior and our elder brother and our relationship to each other." What a blessing it would be in our life if we could all be as close to our Father in Heaven and our Savior as we are to our own family. I can promise too that if we gain that relationship with them, we will grow closer to each other and be filled with love for everyone around us. We first love God because when we do it is a natural response to love others as our self because we begin to see them through His eyes. What a blessing that is. I like the quote that he uses from George Bernard Shaw which says "If we all realized that we were children of one father, we would stop shouting at each other as much as we do." If we keep the first two great commandments, we will just be a lot happier. 

I guess that wasn't too little... I love you guys so much and appreciate the many prayers that you send to me daily. HAPPY EASTER! looking forward to talking to you soon too.

Prayers and thoughts always,

Elder Soper

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