Wednesday, July 1, 2015

E-mail: June 22, 2015 "Really, you don't say?"

One of our investigators whom we recently started teaching was having a hard time with the Word of Wisdom. He has a medical condition which requires him to go to the hospital multiple times a week for treatment and his excuse was that while he's in the hospital one of the only beverages available is tea and it's the easiest thing to take while he's lying on a bed for hours. As we met with him this week though we were surprised to learn that he'd given up his tea and coffee. He had read an article written by a doctor who described all the negative effects of those two specific beverages, and just a few days later watched a program on TV which mentioned the same thing. Whether he took it as a spiritual affirmation of the commandment or decided it was just common sense I don't know, but now he's keeping it and enjoying the blessings

Most of the people we teach are pretty open and willing to accept our message. We can get them to pray, we can get them to read the scriptures, often we can even get new investigators to come to church, but as soon as we teach the word of wisdom and commit people to give up tea and coffee, a bomb goes off.

"Why can't we drink tea or coffee? What's wrong with it? My doctor told me I need to take it. Why does everyone else drink it? Why do some church members drink it? Actually I know tea and coffee are good for you because Adam and Eve drank it. I need it for my health condition. Why did God make it if we can't drink it? yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah," -You get the picture.

What's really interesting about the word of wisdom is that it's an almost sure-proof way to determine who's becoming converted and who's not. For many Christians who already read the Bible and go to church each week it's not that hard to start reading the Book of Mormon or come to our church when we ask them to, but when they actually have to give something up it really tests whether or not their committed to our message. I think the same is true for us as members, especially those who have been members most of their lives. It's easy to come to church if all of your friends are going, it's easy to read your scriptures if seminary requires it, and young women and scouting activities are usually enticing enough by themselves, but the real test comes when the Lord asks you to give up something when you don't entirely know the reason. This week we watched Ephraim's Rescue for our branch movie night and I'm reminded of the scene when Brigham Young asks Eph to shave off his beard before coming back to the party. His words after Ephraim obeys without question stand out to me- "Now there is a man that will give strict obedience, regardless the nature of my request. There is a man that l can trust with the most important of missions." In essence that it was the Lord says whenever we choose to be obedient to the "small and simple things". Who will you be? One who justifies his or her wrongs with any myriad of excuses? Or one who is humble enough to keep ALL the commandments even when you don't know why? The Lord waits for us to do the small things before He ever tasks us with His larger jobs, I testify of that.

We all decided to wear some traditional clothes this P-Day in honor of ...something, I'm sure.
We had a great time, enjoy. :)

Anyways everyone until next time, stay awesome and rock on. :)
-Elder Cloward


Chennai Zone- from left to right: Elder Pushparaj, Elder Devarapalli, Elder Peterson, Elder Bandi, Sister Rai, Sister Pedely, Sister Rainuthal, Elder Bunga, Elder Kumar, a very white Indian wannabe, and Elder Larson.

Indian Swag


This is what I call an Indian Rainbow.

Aren't we adorable?
No these are not dresses. They're called Lungies, and they're all the rage over here.

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