We did have the opportunity to do some service this week. We went with two other elders to the area of the Sister Missionaries, which is just west of ours. The service was clearing out the back yard of a member family. But at first, we didn´t have a weed wacker, so we were using a scythe! It was actually pretty fun. The grass was about 3 feet tall, mixed with weeds, covering the whole back yard, and when we left, it was all nice and short and good looking. But we did cheat, because about half way through, the sister missionaries remembered that one of the members in their ward had a weed wacker, so they went and got it. That made the work a little easier. It was nice to get out work like that in the sun. We had to till the dirt in one part so they could make a garden, and I got that assignment. When I was done, my arms were dead, but if felt good. After, the sister’s made us tacos, and we went and got ice cream.
On a suggestion from Dad, I read and re-read the talk from Elder Cook from last General Conference called Let There Be Light. First off, I don´t have it in English, so my studying was done all in Spanish. I was pleasantly surprised to find that that wasn´t a hindrance. He talked about how we as Latter-day Saints are changing the world with our take on Faith, our Religion, and the actions of our Members. We are a force for good in a world festering with evil. Even if we are not ´´converting´´ people to our religion, we have a moral responsibility to do our part to build a better society based on honesty and sound principles. The question is, what does that mean for each of us individually? I think it means we do are best to be examples and witnesses of Christ at all times, and in all things, and in all places. We follow our Faith, serve others, and be the best people we can be. I especially like the part where he talked about a study done which showed that democratic governments cannot function without a basic system of honesty. In a society where the citizens are taught from a young age to hold themselves accountable before God for their actions, this democracy will function smoothly, and they will have peace as a society. But if the citizens do not feel accountable for their actions, and do not have a basic upbringing in honesty, no amount of police officers can make them follow the laws set out by that government. It struck me because at the center of society, that really is the key. Honesty. We has members of the Church feel accountable to God for our actions, therefore we are generally good citizens. We don´t keep certain laws because we are afraid of the ticket or fine that comes, rather because we know that it is right, and we know our Father in Heaven is watching. I know that Elder Cook is right when he says that if we could just spread this basic principle of accountability, we could eliminate much of the wickedness from the world. Even though our time on this Earth is short, I think that it is a pretty good goal, don´t you?
I love this Gospel. I know that it is true, and that one day, if we do our part, we can all have the true happiness we are looking for. I know that Christ atoned for my sins, your sins, and the sins of every one of our Heavenly Father´s children. Let us not take for granted this amazing blessing by living in guilt, misery, fear, or whatever other feeling comes with unresolved sin. Christ already suffered. Let´s not let that suffering be in vain. I bear my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the Earth. Christ is it´s living Head. He suffered, died, and lived again so that we can be partakers of eternal glory. Through the commandments and principles set forth by Christ through his modern-day prophets, we have all the knowledge we need to gain this glory and happiness. Let´s do what we need to, OK? In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr
Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission