Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ana and Flávio, a young couple who have a lot of interest in The Book of Mormon

Dear everyone,                                                                                October 22, 2012

This week was wild!  We met some great people.  Among them are Ana and
Flávio, a young couple who are very open, legally married, and have a
lot of interest in The Book of Mormon (which is great, as people
become Mormon by reading The Book of Mormon).  They are SUPER nice.
I've never sat with a couple who were so...  Prepared.  They grew up
religious but encountered some things in their church that they felt
were against the commandments of God.  Now, as they said, they are
open for something new.  The way we found them was really cool.  We
were on a split with the Zone Leaders and Elder Clifford hadn't been
feeling well.  He asked a random person going in the direction of our
house for a ride.  They informed him that it wasn't their car, but
their friend's and that she was in a hurry.  It was apparent, however,
that they felt bad about the situation.  Two nights later, they ran
into missionaries on the street and started talking.  They were amazed
and impressed by the seeming self-sacrifice of missionary service and
wanted to know more.  It's a simple way, but it feels so inspired.
That first lesson was so cool.  I really enjoyed sitting with them and
am excited to go back tonight.

We watched General Conference this weekend...  Wow!  What a
conference.  I spent Sunday sick, but I was still able to watch it and
I enjoyed feasting on the words of living prophets.  And what a feast
it was!  I have so many notes to go over.  If for any reason you
missed it, go and look it up now.  Wow.

I have received transfer calls.  =)  I'm off to Luanda 1 C to be with
Elder Wilhelm!  I LOVE Elder Wilhelm.  He's one of my closest friends
here.  And I get to live with Elder Walker (another close buddy) and
Elder Cafferty!  What a cool house!  I'm really excited to work over
there and refresh my mind on work in a new area.  Transfers are indeed
a good thing.

I have recently realized the audacity of my goal to finish The BoM 10
times a year.  I still want to.  I still will finish it 10 times in
2013.  I feel that it's important.  After that, we'll see how
effective I found it to be.  I'd rather read it once and truly get
something out of it than read it 10 times and get nothing but a good
read.  I'm sure the optimal study schedule is really somewhere in
between--or not to have a page limit at all but to STUDY the word as
it was meant to be studied.  I'm certain that my Ten Timers Challenge
(as Elder Rainbolt, Elder Arrington, and I are calling it) will be a
large learning experience.  I invite any who wish to join us in our
super nerdy, super fun challenge and quest of deeper spirituality and

I'm really loving the scriptures lately.  There's so much beauty to
word of God.  It's powerful, too.  And just...  Perfect.  The
Scriptures are the books where the answers don't change.  What a
blessing it is to have an anchor to our faith, soul, and conversion in
the form of words that can be "always before our eyes" as King
Benjamin described to his sons.  I say this a lot, but I regret my
lack of scripture study before my mission.  I missed out on a lot.
But, hey, we live and learn.  I've learned that a lot lately, too.
There's little need to regret our pasts so much as we sometimes do.
We've learned.  We've grown.  And, if we've learned it right, we've
fixed the problems.  The regrets should only cause us to not make the
same mistakes again--not to harrow up our souls to the point of
sadness and loss of self-respect.  We are here to grow, after all.

I love you all and, at times, miss you.  But...  Hey.  It's life!  My
life is good.  I know yours are good too.  We're all doing what we
need to do, so we're happy.  Peace is a good thing and the Lord is
very willing to dole it out to us.

Much love,

Elder Cody R. Eckman

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