Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Thank you mom for that beautiful letter, needless to say I'm just very grateful for all that you do, and for the inspiring letter you just left me with.  Dad also left me with a couple of great snippets, said that he ran into Chris Jeppson on the way to Ghana.  Wow, that is so exciting about President Buckner!  I love and miss NYC lots, it's strange to think of all that has changed in the last 10 years.  Sounds like it was just a fantastic week all the way around.  

This week on our end was honestly long.  I realized that I have been a little bit of a нытик (crybaby/whiner) this last week, we just had a lot of things to do in the office to prepare for transfers and a General Authority (leader in our church) visit we are going to be having in the near future, and I really do not like being in an office when we have the work of saving souls.  But, I had a great split with Elder Jensen my previous companion, up in Petrozavodsk, and he reminded me that Elder DeVol and I get to do that, so that everyone else can focus 100% on what they need to do.  I hadn't really verbalized any of my complaints, but I realized that I was not doing things with a willing mind.  (See D&C 64:34).  So I did what we all should be trying to do all the time, and tried to quickly repent that I was not content with the situation.  And what a difference that change of attitude makes!  If there are things that have to be done, then do it!  If there are things that do not need to be done, then do not waste your time with them!  Be willing to do what is required of you, but always be diligent about trying to make sure you are not doing anything that would waste time.  

This week I have been thinking about a verse in Acts 10:43.  It reads "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins".  At this time of the year is General Conference, and this General Conference is also very close to the time of year that we celebrate Easter.  I hope that as you listened to Conference, you were able to listen to what these spiritual giants shared, and that you tuned in especially to their witness of Christ.  They teach nothing, except for that which will help us to come closer to him and receive a remission of our sins.  I know that Christ lived and that He died, that He suffered on the cross, and that He is a resurrected being who knows us all by name.  I am grateful for the opportunity to listen to prophets (and apostles, and other church leaders) that witness of Christ.  My life is just so much better as I try to focus on what Christ would do, and I feel more purpose in my life, the more that I try to live in the way that he would have me live.  I'm grateful that it's no one's choice but my own to live that way, but that I can see the blessings of living according to Christ's Gospel every day, and that motivates me to keep changing, improve, serve and help others who are on, and not on that way right now.  

I love you all so much!


Elder Belnap

Later that day there was a terrorist bombing in the metro of St. Petersburg.  The mission office sent out the following email:

Dear Parents,
We know that each of you have been concerned about news reports of terrorist activity in St. Petersburg,-- we can assure you that all of our Volunteers are accounted for and safe. We have been in contact with each of your sons and daughters and they are more concerned about their parents than themselves.
We are disheartened that these events happen and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Please keep them in your prayers.
We have excellent support from experts on situations like this and have appreciated their advice. We will continue to do all in our power to keep our Volunteers safe.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

President and Sister Childs

And then Christopher wrote a short time later:

You've probably already gotten an email about the terrorist attack from the mission secretary. Everyone in the mission is safe, we were close by the attack, but everything is ok and we were not in the metro at the time.  

Love you and hear from you next week!

"and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." (Moroni 8:16)

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