Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

Dear Everyone, 

Sorry I wanted to try and shake up how I start my emails.  First off, thanks for the pictures!  I'm excited to see all the other pictures, and hear from the kids themselves about what they did (hint hint).  Also, David's looking mighty fine in that picture, as well as Caroline and Ryan.  What good looking family members I have :).  I love the story about you being in St. Petersburg a year ago, that's just surreal to think about.  Time really is flying and slipping through my fingers it seems at times.  Also, shout out to my big sis!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLINE.  You already got a nice email from me so that's all the shout out you'll get :). 

This will be a pretty short email, but this week was awesome!  We finally got an investigator to church!  His name is саша (go figure) and he is just looking to change his life.  He's had several problems with addictions and even prison time, and he's just looking for whatever it will take to get him free once and for all.  It's been a true miracle and it was super cool how he recognized when we first talked with him that his pride was his downfall.  If only it was that easy for all of us to recognize that :).  We're really excited to help him be free from the weight that he's carrying around, it truly has been a miracle, no other words for it.

This past week we also had Zone Conference.  It started with a scripture study with our mission president, and he shared a story about a woman named Betsy and her sister (I can't remember her name) who were in Nazi concentration camps (it's some autobiagraphy, I can't remember the name).  Anyway, they worked on helping Jews escape Germany and eventually got caught and thrown into these camps.  When they were taken into the camps they were forced to to strip in front of the guards to make sure that they "weren't bringing anything with them".  She had a little Bible on a necklace that miraculously none of the guards noticed.  Anyway, in the camp they slept in these terrible barracks with fleas everywhere.  At nights they held a little Bible study group and one night they read the verse in 1 Thessalonians5:18 which reads: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  Betsy said "I can't do it, I can't give thanks for these fleas." To which her sister replied "Betsy, be grateful for the fleas.  Why do you think the guards don't stop our Bible study group?  It's because they don't want to be eaten by the fleas like us." 

Anyway, that was a very powerful story that brought the Spirit so strongly.  We are so blessed in our lives, so very very blessed.  So be thankful in all things, because as Christ said to the prophet Joseph Smith in D&C 121: 
7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity andthine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee onhigh; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!


Elder Belnap

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