Monday, January 11, 2016

Anyone who accepts Christ as their Savior will be saved, unless they're Mormon! WHAT???

Mother and Father,

   I will give you some highlights from the week! Our pastor friend took us out to a restaurant called the Pumphouse which was amazing. I had their macaroni and cheese which you know I love with a passion. We had a good conversation in which he explained that all Christian churches world-wide, even the ones he disagrees with, are part of the universal Christian church. For some reason my beliefs about Heavenly Father and the Plan of Salvation, though truly not fundamentally different, do not make the cut. He conceded that a Mormon could make it to Heaven, but the theological intricacies make it difficult. Needless to say it boggles my mind. The argument seems to be that anyone who accepts Christ as their Savior will be saved, unless they're Mormon. (I always wonder WHY???) He was very civil and very kind, though!

   During our ward mission coordination we discussed the possibility of starting a Bible Study of our own. (What a GREAT idea!!) We moved on the idea quickly, and we now have very nice fliers made (good boys!), and have invited several people. The first one takes place this Thursday. Our reasoning on this is that people always say that they will invite their friends to the next Trunk-or-Treat or Christmas party or the temple Open House, whenever that is As much as they should do that, there isn't much impetus to invite their friends, NOW! I've learned it is common among Christian people to invite their friends to Bible Studies, so now members of our ward can return the favor!

   I met with Brother Jacobs, my psychologist again this week. We had an incredible meeting. (Yay...Brother Jacobs!!) His homework assignment to journal my feelings to discover patterns worked! I made the discovery that I have regular daily patterns of tiredness and exhaustion, during which my anxiety skyrockets uncontrollably. We discussed accepting the reality of physical tiredness and how it weakens our performance, but does not have to stall it. Most of my companions have labeled me the most tired person they know, so this is clearly a big challenge I have been given to face. I can, however, take joy in working to fulfill my calling despite the physical demands on my body, and most of all, when I get tired, remind myself that I do not lead a miserable life, a common
thought that appears when my anxiety spikes, but that I am merely tired. It seems kind of self-explanatory, but as Brother Jacobs described it, what I am experiencing is "fatigue hijacking my thoughts." We discussed maintaining a proper analysis of reality, especially that of the joy of the gospel. He told me to look to Jesus Christ as the example of perfect emotional independence. (Great idea!) External and internal stimulus did not affect Him. His demeanor was always based on the truth that He was the Son of God. I hope that if someone were to spit on me, my response would be, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." Apparently Mosiah 4:30 is the psychology scripture. Brother Jacobs has quoted it to me several times, telling me to "Watch my thoughts!" (I love Brother Jacobs!!)

    I haven't progressed on my scripture study project as well as I would have liked, but I really have enjoyed it. Here are a few fundamental gospel truths I have derived from the first few chapter of the Book of Mormon: There is a God. He has prophets who testify of repentance and warn of destruction. We can pray to God. A Messiah will come/was sent. God opposes "wickedness" and rewards the faithful. Faith is shown through obedience to commandments. The words of prophets are recorded as scripture and are very desirable. (What pure and simple truths he has learned.)

   That is just a few of them. It has been a lot of fun! To answer your questions, we had our exchange, but I slept for a lot of it. Now my district thinks I am a bum ("Watch your thoughts!"). It was one dollar to rent shoes at the bowling alley. We are planning on going again today because $5 for an hour of bowling was a lot of fun. I'm wearing one of the new shirts you sent for Christmas. Thank you! (Wish I'd gotten a picture!)


Elder Andrew Campbell

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