Monday, April 13, 2015

2 Part Letter

Life goes forward here in Plano. We saw some great things happen this week! There's a brother named Mark that we visited a few times, and we saw him for the first time at church yesterday! He struggles with depression and is the only one in his family that isn't active. Also we met a man named John that has a relationship with the gospel and the church like I've never seen. This man started associating with members of the church in high school, and since then he's had a fascination with the church and it's teachings. He has watched General Conference, read through the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. I'll tell you more, but a woman from a ward just told us her house is flooding and needs help. Love you! 
Ok! The flooding wasn't too bad. We just had to dodge dog droppings as we dumped the water! 
  Anyway, about John. So the man also has the Gospel Library app on his phone, knew about the missionary age change, etc. He makes jokes that only people in the church would understand. Literally, he's like a member without a testimony! His hangup is that he has doubts about different teachings and doctrines in the church, but he's an honest seeker of truth. I was very inspired when he said in our first visit Saturday that he just wants to do God's will. Amazingly, he had never been to church. So we invited him and he came! We'll see what happens in this coming week, but he's a great guy--very funny and animated. 
   I came to the realization this week that we really do need to take care of the poor and forgive the offender. As I read this scripture this week, I imagined how I would feel if God applied this to me when I asked for help, forgiveness, or grace: 
"The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—". What a miserable existence this would be. Does God think of us that way? No. Maybe He'll allow us to suffer for a time as we come to the realization we need to repent, but He's always willing to bless and forgive. 
"For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy." -Mosiah 4:17, 19-20
Love, Elder Gaughan

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