Friday, July 26, 2013

Things are going great here in the heart of Montana!

A dodgeball tournament?!  Seriously?!  That is awesome!!  Here is the picture:

Things are going great! We are meeting with Mike on Thursday! We won a dodgeball tournament this week! A bunch of missionaries & I entered a tournament and won! We wore our shirts and all wore green ties! We actually lost the first match. Each match or team we played was best 3 of 5. So we played a lot of dodgeball! We lost the first match and battled all the way back to the championship game. It was lots of fun! 
He looks really happy and healthy - I am grateful for that. I had shared a story with Jake about a member who made a comment about an investigator that came to church with us and as always Jake was full of wisdom to share with me. I love that boy! We had a conversation about  sharing the gospel with everyone and not just those people whom we feel would 'fit' what we consider to be the 'model' member.  Please don't get me wrong, I have no vision in my own mind of what the 'model' member would look like but I did have someone say to me, 'something is wrong with that person.'  I had to remind them that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and none of us should stand in judgement of another.  This is what Elder Packham said to me:

 An area emeritus 70 spoke to us once and told us all to fill the chapel with people who smell like smoke. That's what we want! That's what Christ wants! Did Christ only talk to the people who looked normal and okay to talk to?! Obviously not. He talked to EVERYONE and has a genuine love for every one who has ever walked this planet. He taught to the poor, the lame, the weak. Sometimes people frustrate me. I'm glad that person wasn't with me on my mission when I've brought investigators to church. We'll be judged for how we judge others... Next time you hear someone unrighteously judge someone like that just let them know that they'll be judged by how they judge them.

I have given that a lot of thought. I know that there have been plenty of times in my own life where I have felt judged by others and it is so painful.   President Uchtdorf touched on this in an April 2012 General Conference talk and it is definitely worth a listen! None of us need to stand in judgement of another ~ it isn't Christlike and it is just plain not right!!!

It is a really great lesson in life to learn to not judge others and to realize that heaven will be filled with people who have made mistakes.  I am grateful for the gospel in my life and the strength it has afforded me in handling life's challenges.  I am grateful for the knowledge that I have that the Savior loves me and He forgives me of my short-comings.  If I have learned anything it is that life is too short to hang on to judgments and criticisms of ourselves or others.  Elder Packham is a great teacher and I know that he loves his Father in Heaven and his Savior Jesus Christ.  I am grateful that he is serving the Lord in Montana and I KNOW he loves the people of Montana.

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