Been enjoying the Spring-ish feel in the air, but this time of year is so difficult where I live. It looks deceivingly warm, but the wind blows frigid and you still feel trapped inside. In Albuquerque it is 10 degrees warmer, lucky them.
I was happy to find that a family I knew from my old homeschool group moved in just around the corner- a quarter mile from my house! They have 11 kids and we really like them. They were the only family in our homeschool group that had boys like us, so we are feeling very lucky to have them so close for us to play with. That is the first time ever, in over 7 years, that the kids have had someone close enough in the neighborhood to go play with.
These last few months I've been visiting with Jehovah's Witnesses. I am friendly to anyone who comes to my house since I was a missionary and know what it's like. Yolanda and her various partners and I talked much and came to truly love one another. She always complimented me on my family and mothering and made me feel so good. She loved my kids and we laughed at Charlie who threw his food everywhere while we talked. We both laughed at the mainstream Christians who call our religions cults, and some of the other things we have in common that we wish mainstream Christians would understand. I wish all good people would unite and share what they have that is good. For example, I listen to a ton of different Christian stations as I drive around, and I learn a lot that helps me in my marriage and mothering and relationships. I have found some great apologists like Ravi Zacharias, and speakers like Sherri Rose Shepherd. I really appreciate those stations, because they help me to have the spirit with me and lift my thoughts to what is really important.
Just an example, one night as I was driving to pick up some youth from our church from a swimming activity, Ravi Zacharias came on and gave gave a masterful discourse. I remember one example he told of a vile pornographer who made playboy look like a children's book. He was in court because of wrongs done to his workers, and his defense attorney tried to argue that his work was no different than the paintings of Michaelangelo and other great artists who painted nude. You've been to an art museum right? What's the difference? I liked his response, because it's so true. Milk and pee both come from a cow. Can you not tell which one is for nourishment and which is refuse?
Sometimes I wish I could just be a Christian and do what I want- rather than having assignments given to me- I could have my own ministry, or, in other words, do what I feel led to do. I get Christian magazines and read Christian blogs about Adoption or Femininity and Womanhood, or Motherhood that are amazing ministries to me. Doing what I like would certainly cut out some stress and guilt and unpleasant tasks I am supposed to do. I always feel like I'm so busy with my assignments in the church that I don't have time to do much else. But I've also been blessed by fulfilling assignments faithfully, with a long list of blessings, so maybe some of both, eh?
Anyway, I have a lot to learn, but what comes to me stronger and stronger is, that what is most important, is the Spirit. When I do dishes I put on a BYU devotional and love where it takes my thoughts. I have so much to learn about the Spirit. Here's part of a talk I listened to today, and I thought it was brilliant:
Anyway, I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I appreciate the good philosophies in the world and hope to learn more about them. I believe all good things come of God and good people should unite against the growing evil. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, I seek after these things.
My Jehovah's witness friends won't be visiting me anymore. I even honestly prayed that God would tell me if I was missing something
my whole life, and if I should be part of their religion. Everything
was dull compared to the light and energy around me when I read the Book
of Mormon. It just radiates truth. Whatever I know or don't know, like or don't like about my church, or it's history, I know
the Book of Mormon is true, and I could not ever deny it. At least we both love the Bible- we have that in common,
and they were impressed that I knew so much of the Old Testament, and
all the books in the Bible. I might have at least made them believe
that we do believe in the Bible. They were astonished at my quad, that
the Bible was first. They were sure we only read the Book of Mormon.
But in the end, she told me earnestly how she is in a business that she
believes in life and death, and I knew she would not be coming back. We
just hugged because we both knew. God bless her for her earnest faith,
and desire to do good. I will miss her. It made me sad though, that I took their Bible and incorporated it into my daily studies and let them teach me, yet they refused to even touch the Book of Mormon. Though I took their magazines and read them all, they refused mine. That seems to be the way good people are kept from the truth. They are told that the Bible is the only truth there is and scared away from touching anything else, or reading it, praying about it, and receiving an answer.