Monday, January 30, 2012
Font before cleaning!!!!
Dearest friends, family, and countrymen (don't lend me your ears...
Just your eyes today),
Well, transfers happened. =) I am now with Elder Guente and still in
Luanda 2. I love it here! And Elder Guente is a blast to work with.
He's very intelligent, funny, and experienced. I'm learning a lot and
am excited to continue to do so. Elder Sande went off to Cassequel,
Elder Kelsey went to Terra Nova, and Elder Tolman came to Luanda 2 to
be Elder Schioser's companion. Lots of change, all of it exciting.
On the 4th, Samuel and Antonica will be baptized! Antonica was
married this week and it was quite an event! African receptions
are... loud. And big on the show of it all. It's... interesting.
But hey, it was fun. The food was good. Antonica was as happy as
could be and now she can be baptized! What a perfect thing. Sefa
will likely be baptized this month. We haven't set a date yet as
she's traveling because of a death in the family, but we want to this
week. We're still working with the others. =)
I still love it here. Missionary work is still true. Life is still
incredible. And, basically, all is well--no, better than well; I'm a
missionary. Life doesn't get better than that. What a blessing and a
privilege it is to serve here and do the work of the Lord. What an
awesome life it is to live to bring people to a knowledge of their
God, their sins, and a plan to free them from the bondage of the
world. 'Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love, truly. The atonement
is real. It has power. It can take effect. Our job is to let it.
I've found that living in the world is a bit like being a bird trapped
in a cage. If we get used to being in the cage, when we're finally
set free again we may never fly as high as we once did. But if we
work in the cage to keep our wings, one day we'll taste the clouds
again. Our goal is to fly again. Don't forget your wings.
I want to talk a little more about the wonder of The Atonement of
Christ. It's not just about our sins. The atonement is not only for
sinners! How wonderful is that? The atonement is for every time
you've felt sad, burdened, hurt, empty, lonely, angry, unfit,
unworthy, unwanted, unloved, and broken. The atonement not only saves
our lives, but gives them to us. Please think about what that means.
The atonement allows our lives to be rich--the atonement allows our
lives to be more. And, through faith in Jesus Christ, it gives us
hope of an even better life than the best possible life we can live
here--which consequently can only be gained through the atonement.
Understand The Atonement of Jesus Christ and find the hidden treasures
of the world. Nothing else is sufficient to save. Nothing else will
give life. Every other way is death, misery, anguish, and darkness.
When He said that He is the light of the world, He meant it. He is
the light shining in darkness and throwing off rays to bring us home.
Please, follow Him. Please, love Him. And please, find the light.
I love you guys. I love you because of the love I can feel from you
and because I know that we are all brothers and sisters (literally and
through our faith). I implore you all the name of Jesus Christ to not
turn away from these words. Amen.
Elder Cody R. Eckman
Monday, January 23, 2012
Dear various friends and family,
Well, I just got back from an African Safari. Yeah... It was
awesome. Truthfully, we didn't see a lot (because of the war here a
lot of animals left and are just starting to migrate back), but we did
catch sight of Zebras, Elephants, Monkeys, Wildebeasts, something they
call deer but that look like small antelope, Palancas Negras, and just
beautiful African countryside. As we drove up, we saw a big fence and
President said what we were all thinking: "Is anyone else reminded of
Jurassic Park?" The next four hours were taken up by raptor jokes.
Ken would've been proud. We rode in a giant Jeep-like-truck-thing.
More Jurassic Park jokes. Overall, it was a blast.
We find out about transfers tomorrow and transfer on Thursday. I
should be staying in Luanda 2 and Elder Sande should be moving, but
that's just the logical decision, not the spiritual one. We'll see
what happens. =)
I've been reading a lot in The D & C lately and I recommend it. Words
straight from the mouth of Christ are pretty powerful.
This week we should set 2 more baptismal dates. We tried last week,
but ran into complications with feelings of unreadiness, etc.
Everyone's doing well and learning quickly. We had 140 people at
sacrament meeting on Sunday.
Mom, I got my care package from the Reedys. Thank you! The gummy
stuff was perfect! All the elders were really grateful. The jerky
was a hit, too.
To everyone, I'm thankful for the dearth of fat jokes because of my
defective bed. =)
Well, I don't have much to say today. Life's trucking along and I
love you guys. I know that Christ lives and loves us. I know that
our Father in Heaven is guiding things for our ultimate good. I can
see His hand from very early moments in my life and I'm SO grateful
Keep on being examples of the believers,
Elder Cody R. Eckman
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Dear friends and family,
The safari was delayed for another week. So... I can't tell you how it went, yet. Next time. =) Antonica will be baptized on the 4th of February, Samuel is praying about his date of the 28th of January, and Alberto is praying as well. Joice moved to another branch, but I hear that she's doing really well!
I have an awesome story to relate. So, our bunk beds have never really been all that sturdy. Since day 1 they've wobbled and made noises, etc. On Tuesday of last week at 3 in the morning, I woke up to a snapping sound and was suddenly on the ground. Yep, our bed fell. Elder Sande and I were both fine, but it was hilarious. So, I took to sleeping on the ground for a bit until we get a replacement. On Thursday, Elder Kelsey and Elder Schioser's bed did the exact same thing. The blessing is that it did it before we went to sleep. (I've been sleeping where it fell, so that would've been... painful.) Anyhow, it was just really surreal and super funny. We took pictures. You'll all see them someday... I promise. =)
Life here is life here. Transfers will happen on the 26th, we'll get a new missionary (Elder Kearney, I think) the following Saturday, and we'll continue with life here yet again. All is well, I'm happy, fulfilled, and dreaming of baptisms.
Really, I don't have much to tell here this week... Umm, I'm learning a lot lately. One of my goals is to finish the entire standard works this year. My progress is going well, and thus far it seems like it won't be a problem. Wish me luck, yeah?
Portuguese and I are getting on well. She's stopped playing hard to get so much, and now we're happy with each other pretty much all the time. ;) Seriously, though, I love this country, language, and people.
To close, know how much I love this work. I know the Lord is directing us with His might and that angels attend to us SO much. Sister Reedy says that the angels in Angola are overworked... Maybe so, but I'm grateful. I love you guys.
Elder Cody R. Eckman