This week was so great. The highlight was my exchange with some of the spanish elders in our zone. I went to their area and biked around with them the whole day speaking spanish and eating mexican food. (We biked at least 25 miles so it all evened out ) ;) I now know why I was called english speaking in Oklahoma instead of spanish speaking in South or Central America somewhere. I absolutley love the latin culture...everything about it. I have always had a soft spot for them. They are so humble and friendly and they can COOK!! I have made a promise that I will marry someone someday with latin roots. hahah!! It was so fun to be on the exchange though. I was able to use what little spanish I have picked up on out here about the Gospel and help teach a little bit. Its amazing to see how easy it is to understand people when the Spirit is there, the gift of tongues is real.
We had our Zone Specialized Training last night and we focused on the principle of agency and law. We derived our training from 2 Nephi 2:13. Simply put...it plainly proves the existence of a God without a doubt. Without law, there would be no choice. We could not be obedient, or disobedient, we would just "be". Thus we would "be" acted upon by the random and chaotice forces of the universe and there would be nothing...if we somehow even existed. Because there is choice, and no one can argue that, we know that law is the foundation that has been layed so that there can be a choice. We are either choosing to be obedient or disobedient in our everyday choices, thus the quote "decisions really do determine destiny". Law requires justice otherwise it would no longer be law. How can we have justice without some sort of a judge? When we choose to be obedient to eternal principles and laws that have been given to us by God, we access the grace or power whereby we can ultimately become what we are capable of becoming. We progress and we grow, and as we obediently face opposition in our lives, our ability and capactiy to execute choices with power grows as well. For example, I cannot choose right now to sit down at the piano and play Mozart because my ability limits my freedom to choose to do so. If I were to take the time and effort to be obedient to the laws and theories of piano playing, then my capactiy and ability to play the piano and "be free" to do so increases as well. Without law, we would have no choices, without opposition, we could not choose to progress, even if we desired it. The plan of our Heavenly Father is a beautiful one. It is simple and requires our obedience and faith.
We are meeting with many people who are interested in the Book of Mormon. The more and more I teach it, the more I recognize how beautifully simple it is. As latter day saints, we don't have to justify our posiions on Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Priesthood Authority, the Church itself, polygamy, gays, or anything else people struggle with. It doesn't matter where the Book of Mormon came from. It doesn't matter how it got here. It doesn't matter the history behind the Joseph Smith story and frankly, no one really can "know" because no one who is alive today is an eye witness. What we do have, is a divine record of holy scripture that proves the divinity of the Savior Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon will justify everything for us. Those who truly love their Savior will do anything to experiment upon this word and test to see if the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. I know it is. I have read it and have applied the principles inside it to action. I have been changed in the process and am a much better person thatn I was 2 years ago. "By their fruits ye shall know them". No who has read the Book of Mormon can logically argue that it is not inspired of God. No one. The simple yet powerful wisdow of an all powerful God once again trumps the weak and frail "wisdom" of the "learned and the wise, that set aside the councils of God".
The weather has been beautiful here and me and elder apedaile are lovin' life. There is nothing better than understanding that we have a purpose here. We aren't just living life to survive. There is a reason, and someday, in the end, all our trials will be well worth it. Keep moving forward and stop looking back. God has given us a wide and broad windshield to look forward so that we can continue driving and progressing, but if we get caught up looking in our rearview mirror at our past all the time, eventually we will crash. Look froward with faith and be happy!! :)
Love you all!!
Elder Dallin Cutler