Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We are Sewing, Daily Sowing! (#76)

Our Topside Relief Society activity this week involved sisters and sewing machines. We pulled out the two old machines and the two new ones and polished up our sewing skills. We practiced threading the machines and sewing seams. Two sisters checked out the machines and reported with great satisfaction that they have been doing some mending at home. 
The daily sowing continues as it has in the past. Sister Johnsen went visiting teaching and caught Kebesang at home. She is often at work and unavailable.  After delivering a large plate of cookies, as Sister Johnsen does each month, they both sat down in the doorway and talked about Kebesang’s conversion.  She said that she had been a member of another church, and when she married Renny he wanted her to listen to the missionaries, but she wasn’t interested.

One day her little son was very sick. She said he could not even turn his head, and lay like he was dead on the bed (that is really just a blanket on the floor). She didn’t know what to do because she could not afford a doctor or medicine to help him. Her mother–in-law, who was a very faithful church member when she was alive, asked her if she would like to have him get a Priesthood blessing. She decided to say yes because she didn’t know what else to do. The missionaries and the Branch President came and gave him a blessing. Within ten minutes he was up playing around. She had never seen anything like it. She decided she had better investigate the church, and was baptized soon afterwards.  She has a testimony of the power of the priesthood.

Elder Johnsen had a typically busy Sunday sowing too.  He had 5 speakers planned for Sacrament meeting (none of whom had ever spoken in a Koror Branch Sacrament meeting before), but 2 were no shows—so he invited a couple of people (visitors from St. George, Utah) out of the congregation (Brother and Sister Leavitt) to introduce themselves and share their thoughts.  Then he concluded the meeting with an impromptu talk on “Scriptures-- Key to Our Spirituality” which was the theme of the meeting.  He said that the greatest tool to protect families and individuals is the scriptures.  Anciently scriptures were called Books of Remembrance, and they contained ideas that God wants us to remember.  Scriptures are sometimes referred to by other names which are very instructive.  They are referred to as a Lamp, a Rod, a Sword, Manna, and a Compass.  

Scriptures are a Lamp. The world is a dark place. We don't want to take your family through the darkness without lighting the lamp and holding it up high or they will stumble and fall.

Scriptures are an Iron Rod.  The world is like a raging river that the rod runs along.  Don't send your family along the river without a good grip on the iron rod, otherwise they'll fall in and drown.

Scriptures are a sword. The world is a battlefield.  Don't send your family into the battle of life without learning how to wield this great defensive weapon, or they may die.

Scriptures are Manna. The world is the wilderness.  Don't try to cross the wilderness without daily partaking of the manna, or you will suffer from lack of nourishment.

Scriptures are a compass. We are on a journey.  Don't send your family on this journey without the compass in their hand because they will be disoriented and lost.   

It was interesting that in EJs Sunday school lesson with the youth during the second hour, one of the assignments was for the youth to find scriptures that supported how the Savior taught. One of the stories told about the Savior which illustrated how He prepared himself to teach was by spending time alone in prayer and fasting. This story also reminded the class of how He used scriptures to deflect and defeat Satan’s temptations. After fasting and praying in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, he was afterwards an hungered, and was left to be tempted of the devil. (See Matt. 4)  For each temptation of pride, appetite and power/riches the Savior deflected and defeated Satan’s temptations by quoting scriptures. The scriptures really are a sword which can be used in defense as the Savior so ably illustrated.  For priesthood EJ again had to teach (with no preparation) as John Jr. had to go to the hospital.  We discussed “Where Is the Pavilion? This is a talk given in the last conf. by President Eyring.  

The Elders are also continuing their sowing efforts.  This past week they taught 96 total lessons.  Elder Johnsen really enjoys teaching their youth investigators in his weekly Sunday school class.  

We also are in the middle of sowing seeds of service—last week we scoped out our next big project, which is to build some safe and durable stairs down a steep hill to one of our member’s home.  We met with the land owner to solicit his cooperation and approval. We picked up the required lumber from a member of the elder’s quorum presidency whose house was destroyed during Bopha (so he had much wood laying around).  The land owner is going to look around for some rebar.  We’re hoping to get started on the project next week after we collect all the supplies and tools necessary to complete the project.    

The spelling bee may be over but our use of homonyms hasn’t ended.  Whether we’re sewing or sowing, it’s all missionary work.  Our prayer is the same as that suggested in Hymn # 216, “Thou who knowest all our weakness, Leave us not to sow alone!  Bid thine angels guard the furrows, Where the precious grain is sown.  Till the fields are crown’d with glory, Filled with mellow, ripened ears, Filled with fruit of life eternal From the seed we sowed in tears.”

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