Monday, April 25, 2016

Salvation is Free

Why hello there.

The other day, we were in our pensionista´s house for dinner. She was channel flipping, and just happened to stop on ESPN 2.  Who knew they even had ESPN 2 in Perú, honestly?  As luck would have it, there was a commercial for the NBA playoffs on.  I think the adversary was trying to distract me and it totally worked.  I wanted to be an informed fan so bad!  It´s all good, I´m over it now.  Go Golden State.  I was on the bandwagon before they were good everyone, I promise!The Ciruela Fair was this past weekend.  It was a little harder to find people in their homes, so it was a little slower week.  I did have the opportunity to taste Ciruela Ice Cream however, which was quite good.

I´ve eaten some other crazy things too these past weeks; guinea pig and rabbit to be specific.  The guinea pig was super good actually.  The rabbit...I didn´t love haha.  It was all dry and hard and gross.

We had the District Conference this past weekend.  It´s like a stake conference but since we have branches instead of wards and districts instead of stakes, it´s a district conference.  President Rios came and talked which was pretty good.  He likes using the New Testament which is a little different and cool, I like it.  The church is interesting here.  Obviously the church is the same everywhere, but there is a tiny bit of a different flavor here.  Many of the people are converts or come from a family of converts, so there is a little bit of Evangelicalness mixed in.  A little more gloom and doom, the congregation nodding their heads emphatically in agreement, some people who bear their testimonies going a little crazy.  It´s kinda funny.  The stake president for example, talked about being harder on our kids.  He was right in everything he talked about, but maybe could have been a little lighter and more hopeful haha.I also played the piano for the conference which was sweet.  No mess ups, so that´s always a plus.  I also played for the "choir."  They sang The Lord is my Light.  They aren´t the best singers, but they sing with such passion! That´s one thing I really love about the people here, people sing whether they have talent or not, and they really believe that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto the Lord.

The phrase in The Book of Mormon, "the traditions of their fathers" sometimes with the addition "wicked" or "incorrect," takes on new meaning as a missionary in Perú.  The culture and beliefs about the Bible, about marriage, about church, about baptism, really make it hard for people to accept the restored gospel!  I look forward to studying a little more about that and how missionaries were able to help people overcome those traditions.Read the statement in 2 Nephi 2:5, "Salvation is free," this past week.  I realized it´s true.  Every sin has already been paid for.  The only price for us the restored gospel.  That´s no price, that´s a blessing! If the only "price" for salvation is to trade my heavy yoke for Christ´s light one; trade corruptible treasures here for those incorruptible in heaven; lose my life, only to find it; if that´s the "price" for salvation, then it really is free.  I´m so grateful for that blessing, and the ability Christ gives me to simply choose salvation through Him, the Great Mediator.  Love you all and have a wonderful week!

Elder Hart
My area from that mountain we climbed a few weeks ago
Chocolate chip cookies in Peru

The batter...yes, there are chocolate pieces.  Just not very many. ha ha


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