America da Beautiful
Another week for the the books! The freedoms we enjoy are top notch, off the chain (as some of my people would say out here). We really are blessed, and I am so blessed to have another bunch of emails to read! I don't think it could have gotten any better! Thanks for taking the time for me! I am spoiled, beyond imagination! I am going to tie my letter into the 4th of July, and speak about four freedoms I have truly appreciated this past week (with some experiences of course!)
To be quite honest, the South is the best! God is in the soil here! Apparently osmosis worked so that God is in people's souls here too! Every day, everywhere, you can talk about Him. Crazy or not, hearing about Jesus Christ builds faith, and it is such a privilege and an honor to be here! The Freedom to worship the way we please is what allows this, and for that I am grateful for all those that paved the way for religious freedom! This is most certainly a promised land. We were out and about, walking and talking, and we were actually out with a family (The Powell's, Abby's roomate's Brother and wife) and we had some things fall through, but we were led to a lady named Penny, who was looking for a church home, and took us to go speak with her husband and kids. They were so ready to hear what we had to say. I just testified of true happiness, which leads me to my next freedom, the freedom to choose.
Agency is everything! I am so glad we followed Jesus Christ and embarked on this Journey! We have been endowed with the power to choose (I think of Indiana Jones, where he has to choose the Holy Grail, luckily we aren't that blind in decisions). Being happy is a choice, and we can be happy in every circumstance, especially with the Gospel. We ran into another family, and they have just about nothing, besides each other. They are currently on welfare, but don't have a car, or jobs of any sort. But despite all that, all 5 kids are incredibly happy with what they have. It is sad to see how families are being torn apart, but I know I am making a difference, when the kids get so giddy to see us. Suffer the children to come to Him, which we all fit into that category.
True Happiness comes from obedience to God, and that is only possible through Jesus Christ. He is the way, the light, and the life! Because of Him, we can be freed from the woes of sin and death. Surely, there cannot be a more precious freedom, which was prepared from day one! We are so blessed to truly represent him here in Decatur. Another family we had been working with, we felt inspired to drop by their home after an appointment. He answered the door, super angry and frustrated ( a little drunk too... not a good combo by the way...). We were a little taken back, but we asked what we could do to help him, despite is urge for us to leave. He took a few deep breaths behind the door, then said that he was okay. Elder Rawlings complimented him on his shoes, and went in for a handshake before leaving, and this man took his hand so firmly, and pulled close to my companion, holding him, and crying on his shoulder. It was so powerful, because neither of us had ever felt what it was like to physically represent Jesus Christ. He then explained that we came at the right (*&(*%& time, that God would send us now. The Lord's timing and placement, I will never doubt!
The Last Freedom, is definitely the freedom to eat! People in the South love their food! And I don't got a problem with that! They also feast on the Bread of Life, and the Words of Christ. It is quite the one two punch! I love food, and that is that! I am quite jealous that y'all are headed to Lake Powell, the land of milk and honey (of sorts), the promised land! Be safe and enjoy the water! One invitation, to do something you haven't done before! Make it an adventure, make it unique! Eat Hard, Play Hard, and if the temperature permits, Nap Hard!
Well, I love you all so very much, and am so grateful for you! Let me know if there is anything I can do for y'all! Have a blessed up week in the Holy Land! Fight the good fight of faith!
Elder Dallan Barnes
"Life is all about how you handle Plan B's."