Hi Elder Butters,
Reuben Stokes came up to me at church today and said he knew you were doing really great on your mission because now they were having to build a temple in Kenya!! HaHa. Its so fun having people ask about you. You are in their thoughts and prayers.
So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately...I know I shouldn't hurt myself. Some of this may seem dark but bear with me to the end so you can understand where I am going. Well your Uncle Scott has his court sentencing this week. Its made me ponder on being a witness. What happens when you are called on the witness stand under oath. Glad that wont be me. Yet in some ways it is. We are taught to forgive everyone yet we are taught also to stand for truth and what is right and to "stand as a witness in all times and all places". Every week when we take the Sacrament we covenant to witness for our Savior. Today during the sacrament hymn I felt that not only do we witness to the world of the atonement and our Savior but to our Heavenly Father that Jesus Christ is fulfilling the atonement for us.
I thought of teachings from Joseph Smith that evil people will be allowed to do their evil works leaving innocent peoples lives destroyed as witnesses against them so that Christ in his judgments will be able to hold them accountable for their evil deeds. I sometimes wondered if I would be called upon in the hereafter to bear witness against my stepdad for the evil he brought to my childhood. Or maybe evil conspiring men who knew the products that were making them rich were also causing cancer in people like me. I was wondering what it would be like to actually stand before our Savior as a witness for truth and justice. I was overcome with the thought that if I was to witness of the people who had done evil in my life and truly wronged me, shouldn't I also be able to witness of the people who had done good and blessed my life. My mind was flooded with people who have been so kind, so generous and loving to me especially since my cancer. I felt overwhelmed and knew that standing before my Savior witnessing of the many people whose goodness has been showered upon me was way more important to me then bringing evil to justice. I felt an urgency to make sure I would include everyone during my whole life and an anxiousness that I might leave someone out and I just felt the need to make sure the Savior knew every last one of them and every last good deed they have done for me.
I found out some things about me today. I'm not afraid to stand before our Savior. I must have forgiven the people who have wronged me because it just wasn't as important to me as the many people who have blessed my life. Its a good place to be.
We were wondering if any parents come and pick up their missionaries from Kenya. We were wondering if that would be important to you. If we decide to do that we would need to prepare now because the airline tickets are expensive and lots of decisions to make. Let us know. I think it would be a chance of a lifetime for us but maybe you would just want to come straight home. Anyway, let us know.
"Do not pray for easy lives (missions). Pray to be stronger men (missionaries).
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers to equal to your tasks!
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle---YOU shall be the miracle." Phillips Brooks
Love you exceeding abundantly,