Monday, May 18, 2015

Keep Pushing and Be Grateful

Kristin's editorial note:  This picture came to me by itself and I just added it to the rest.  More letter and pictures below.

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On Mon, May 18, 2015 at 7:31 AM, Jared Sampson <> wrote:

This week was great.
We Struggled a lot, but we are learning to be better, and to be grateful for what we have.
We really need new investigators.  Pretty much everyone that was making progress before is no longer making progress.  This area needs a big push.  A change of heart.
As I studdied the war chapters at the end of Alma this week, I realized more profoundly the power of the snowball effect.  Sometimes we dont see the change something small can make if we take advantage of it and keep things going.  Moroni goes with a very strong determination and takes back the kingdom from the kingmen, and calls all to take up arms in defense of the truth.  Then, he uses them to take back everything from the Laminites, resulting in happiness in all the land.
So, what do we learn?  We need to be greatful and see the small and simple blessings and take advantage of them to get things moving.  This week we started working on being more grateful.  We would go back and forth being grateful for things in the streets.  Trying to do our best to see all of the blessings.  Because, if we base our happiness on our weaknesses and the sins of others, we will not be very happy.  If God was put down every time one of us was bad at life, he would never have the joy he has in being our father.  We must have hope.
We talked to a guy yesterday who has no hope.  He is miserable, but doesnt want to leave stuff that claims to believe but doesnt follow.  He says he stays there because of his conscience. Concence?  consience?  One of those spellings.  His church doesnt require anything from him, and so he feels that he can lull himself into a dull sense of conscience.  So.  Do we do the same thing?  Do sometimes we forget that our hope should be in Jesus Christ, and Him only?  Do we lull ourselves into a drunken state of buzziness, not feeling, and not wanting to feel?  Do we hear what we want to hear, or do we hear what we are told by the mouths of God´s prophets?  Let us live the gospel.
This week, we had a big blessings with Tony.  He has been meeting with the missionaries for a long time, and then stopped going to church and stuff, and then was picked up again but dropped because he would never come to church.  Then we started working with him because 2 weeks ago, his woman had his first child.  Except that he still hasnt seen her child because she went to another island to have the baby and hasnt been able to make it back yet but this week she will.  He finally came to church this week, and was participating, and it was fantastic.  We had a good talk about the Law of Chastity and Family which was a good review for him, and we are praying that his woman will also be opener to accepting the gospel and creating a family!  Yeah repentance!
Speaking of repentance, it was my week to teach Gospel Principles in Church, and instutute/scripture study class this week which was super good.
In scripture study class we talked about Mosiah 19, and about moments of pressure, and what we have to do to make the right choice.  The people of Alma had fled, so they avoided a difficult moment of pressure, King Noah was so wicked that he didnt even think about making a right choice or not, but the majority of the people had to make an instant decision of righeousness or wickedness.    10 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did pursue them, and did overtake them, and began to slay them.  11 Now it came to pass that the king commanded them that all the men should leave their wives and their children, and flee before the Lamanites.  12 Now there were many that would not leave them, but had rather stay and perish with them. And the rest left their wives and their children and fled.
.Some made the right choice, and others did not.  We talked about what happened for them to make the right choice in the moment of pressure, and how to prepare so that we can be spritually strong. 
Choose ye THIS DAY whom ye will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  -Joshua.

I shared a story from Bishop Stevenson from Converence in October of 2012:
Some years ago, John was accepted at a prestigious Japanese university. He would be part of the international student program with many other top students from around the world. Some enrolled with a hope to deepen their understanding of the culture and language, others viewed it as a stepping-stone to an eventual profession and employment in Japan, but all had left home to study in a foreign country.
Soon after John’s arrival, word of a party to be held on the rooftop of a private residence spread among the foreign student population. That evening, John and two friends made their way to the advertised address.
Following an elevator ride to the top floor of the building, John and his friends navigated the single narrow stairway leading to the rooftop and began mingling with the others. As the night wore on, the atmosphere changed. The noise, music volume, and alcohol amplified, as did John’s uneasiness. Then suddenly someone began organizing the students into a large circle with the intent of sharing marijuana cigarettes. John grimaced and quickly informed his two friends that it was time to leave. Almost in ridicule, one of them replied, “John, this is easy—we’ll just stand in the circle, and when it is our turn, we’ll just pass it along rather than smoke it. That way we won’t have to embarrass ourselves in front of everyone by leaving.” This sounded easy to John, but it did not sound right. He knew he had to announce his intention and act. In a moment he mustered his courage and told them that they could do as they wished, but he was leaving. One friend decided to stay and joined the circle; the other reluctantly followed John down the stairs to board the elevator. Much to their surprise, when the elevator doors opened, Japanese police officers poured out and hurried to ascend the stairs to the rooftop. John and his friend boarded the elevator and departed.
When the police appeared at the top of the stairs, the students quickly threw the illegal drugs off the roof so they wouldn’t be caught. After securing the stairway, however, the officers lined up everyone on the roof and asked each student to extend both hands. The officers then walked down the line, carefully smelling each student’s thumbs and index fingers. All who had held the marijuana, whether they had smoked it or not, were presumed guilty, and there were huge consequences. Almost without exception, the students who had remained on the rooftop were expelled from their respective universities, and those convicted of a crime were likely deported from Japan. Dreams of an education, years of preparation, and the possibility of future employment in Japan were dashed in a moment.
Now let me tell you what happened to these three friends. The friend who stayed on the roof was expelled from the university in Japan to which he had worked so hard to be accepted and was required to return home. The friend who left the party that night with John finished school in Japan and went on to earn degrees from two top-tier universities in the United States. His career took him back to Asia, where he has enjoyed immense professional success. He remains grateful to this day for John’s courageous example. As for John, the consequences in his life have been immeasurable. His time in Japan that year led him to a happy marriage and the subsequent birth of two sons. He has been a very successful businessman and recently became a professor at a Japanese university. Imagine how different his life would have been had he not had the courage to leave the party on that important evening in Japan.3
Let Us have courage to stand up for the right, choose today, and act true under pressure.

Also, at church I taught about Repentance and as everyone came in, I gave them a closed note from God.  Those who showed up on time got a note saying that they would receive all the Father hath.  and those that didnt make it on time, a not from God saying that they hadnt qualified, and that he couldnt save them.  We talked about repentance, and then at the end they opened their notes and realized that all debts have to be paid.  The Law of Justice is not nulified by the law of mercy, but that we must repent to have the effects of it.  Then we read in D&C 19:16-19
 16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;   17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;   18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—   19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

I Love you All!!!

Elder Sampson

Monday, May 4, 2015

What a Week in the Wilderness

So, Pictures will have to wait until next week, but the place here in Sao Nicolau is beautiful.  I hope by 
the time I leave here that the rains have started and I can leave it green, because it will be suuuper 
beauitfuler.  So we are in the middle of 2 mountains.  There is pretty much no flat.  We are on the one 
slope, and the other elders are on the other.  It is a lot richer here and nicely developed.  Clean.  Very 
clean.  The people are less acepting though.  It is a bit more of a struggle.  

There is no church here.  What I mean to say is that there is no ward, branch, or even group.  There 
are about 10 members, and no leadership because we dont have a group leader. I have already met 
everyone fairly well, and know all their conversion stories and stuff.  The members that are still strong 
are not going anywhere anytime soon.  They have all been members for more than 10 months.  There 
havent been baptisms in a while.  The area has been open for a bit less than a year and a half.  

We have some good potential in investigators but none of them came to church.  There were 16 people 
at church on sunday which is about average.  We made some good plans for the month though and to 
get the frequency up a bit, and to baptise some good people.  The church needs lots of prayers of faith 
here.  We are doing a ton to find new people.

I didnt think I would every really enjoy knocking doors, but it is actually pretty fruitful, and enjoyable...ish.  
We did a decent bit of that this week.  We really really need more people to teach.

My Comp is sweet.  Elder Barrus.  He came out with me.  This is the first time in almost a year that I 
have felt like my comp is pushing me to be better instead of just a lot of me pulling alone a lot of the 
time.  Not to say that I havent felt that at all, but not very frequently.  It is a great help to me and something 
the Lord judged that I needed.  His will be done.  We did a bunch of fun stuff this week like contacted the 

ministers of some other churches and stuff, and we will be talking to them this week.  
Yesterday, Elder Barrus also broke some glass and cut his hand yesterday and so we went to the hospital.  
The probably should have given him stiches, but thats okay because the hospitals here are not super 
organized.  That is why God invented superglue.  It isnt super bad though.  Yay for glass!

So a big thing that has been dwelling in me is the talk from last conference about the question:  You 
can dance the dance, but can you hear the music?

Many times in the gospel we dance the dance.  We do the stuff, but we dont do the music.  We have t
o keep practicing to hear the music and to have the true happiness come out of living the gospel.  So, 
I would love some answers from everyone.  When I...      ... I hear the Music.  That would help us a 
ton to be able to hear the music because it is a bit of a struggle here.

Love You All!!!

Elder Sampson