Thursday, June 7, 2012

Let the Gospel in and our lives can change!!!

Dear friends, family, and various others (though, in retrospect, if you aren't of the first two groups...  Who are you?),

Hello all!  How is everything on your side of the planet?  Life in Angola is grand, thanks for asking (you were wondering, I'm sure).  This week (almost certainly) we will move into our new house and begin serious work in Nova Vida (an offshoot of Luanda 2--my old area, actually).  Today we spent P-day at the Reedy's because they will be returning to the states tomorrow and Sister Reedy loves the missionaries far too much.  Mom, a picture card and a voice recording are with her.  The picture card is broken, but I think it's probably reparable/something.  So, if it's not too much trouble, please try.  It's got some great pictures on it.  The voice recording is a little goofy...  But the first part is just me and it's pretty normal.  After that...  Well, get ready to meet the Angolan Missionaries.  =)

Last week we had Zone Conference and Elder Borden was sick for 3 days with a nasty bug, so our work sort of dropped off.  I was getting a little stir crazy, but I got a lot of study done!  =)  It's nice to be back out and about.  I'm really just glad that he's feeling better.

I'm so impressed with what I've seen here lately.  People are growing SO quickly and making SO many changes to their lives.  It's simply touching.  When people are willing to let it in, the Gospel has a huge effect on their lives.  It makes me wonder how much I've let it in.  Just something to think on:  What little things keep you from letting The Gospel of Jesus Christ into your life?  I have a list in my journal and I'm working on them.  I invite y'all to do the same.

I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately.  And service.  The two go together, I think.  When we're grateful, we serve.  And we're grateful for the service of others.  It's an awesome chain and an endless opportunity to do good.  I like the idea of serving without agenda and without reason; I like service because of the love we feel from Christ.

The Lord has touched me a lot this week and shown me so many important things.  I'm really excited to start doing the things that He's made known to me and to start becoming all the more close to Him.  He has a huge purpose here in Angola for the church.  We're starting to catch a glimpse of His vision and it's staggering.  I expect a stake within the next 3 years, but I'm working to make it happen before the end of 2013.  It's doable.  It'll take a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and work, but it's feasible.  Mark my words here:  The Lord wants Angola to grow and He wants it to grow now.  This last Zone Conference was all about what we need to do in order to see that blessing as quickly as we can.  We can see the goal.  We're at the starting line.  Finishing is a certainty.  The speed depends on every one of us.

Daniele Almeida (a representative of the church from South Africa who handles land procuration) has been  here for a while.  A plot has already been chosen for the new Stake/District Building and will be bought soon.  He's also looking for land for chapels.  Soon, we'll have real chapels!  The chruch has set aside roughly $7-8 Million for the purchase of land here.  Things are moving and it's really inspiring.

Well, I love y'all.  I'm loving the mission and I miss the things we used to do together.  That said...  Sorry if I'm less-than-willing to come how right now.  =)

Elder Cody R. Eckman

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