Miracles and miracles! SO i was transferred to a new area called Maebashi. 1st week here? Baptism.
Yeah. It's a miracle land.
I have yet another companion! Yes, for those of you counting, that makes number... (Drumroll please) 10!!! That is, counting my MTC companion. Sad thing is, he is the companion I've been with the longest so far... :D
Anyway. My new companion's name is Elder Sansing, from Utah. He's a goofball that is the most humble and wonderful guy I've met. I've learned a ton from him already! Also...
It's easter weekend! That means a cool easter message. So I wrote a short story that isn't very good. Please try to look past the errors in writing and lack of skill, and see the message within this story.
Once upon a time, there was a family of 14 boys. The Father of this family was the boxing world-champion, and wanted all of his boys to grow up to become strong. He created an exercise plan for all of his sons and said, "Alright boys. Here's the plan. This will definitely get each of you to be strong champion boxers like me. However, I need one of you to volunteer to go through the training completely by yourself so you can not only learn how to help your brothers, but so you can be strong enough to do so."
The eldest son said, "Ok, dad. I'll do it so my brothers can become strong." The 2nd oldest son said, "I'll do it even better! I will do it all alone, and I'll even make each person get up on time, work out harder than ever before, and I will MAKE them all become champion boxers! Because I will do this all alone, I want you to give me your world-championship belt."
The Father was surprised. He knew that would never work. He said, "Ive decided to leave it up to my eldest son."
The firstborn bowed his head and said, "I trust you, Father." The 2nd, however, became angry. "NO!" He cried. "I'm better! I'm stronger! I can do this! I am sick of living in my brother's shadow!"
The Father disappointedly shook his head at his foolish son. However, he knew that his 2nd son was too stubborn and foolhardy to change his mind. "Ok." said the Father. "We will have a boxing match. You will then see who is stronger."
The boys all eagerly hurried to the ring. A match between the eldest sons! Some wanted the 1st to win. Others the 2nd. Needless to say, they all eagerly awaited the match.
As the 2 brothers stepped into the ring, the 2nd son hissed to the 1st. "After this match, you won't be Father's favorite son anymore. He'll see I'm much stronger than you!" The 1st son simply strapped on his gloves without saying a word.
Infuriated at being ignored, the 2nd grabbed his gloves. 'How dare he!' thought the 2nd son. 'I will show him soon enough.'
The two brothers turned to face one another. Silence came across the ring and the spectating family grew quiet. Tension filled the air as they awaited the ring of the bell that would signal the start of an epic match.
Suddenly, the bell rang! In a flash, the 2nd son rushed in and with a terrible cry, he threw his fist with all his might into his brother's face. With a crack, the 1st's face snapped to the side, a broken nose suddenly streaming out blood. The 12 younger brothers gasped! Was that it? Was it really that quick? Perhaps the 2nd son WAS that much stronger than the 1st!
But it was not over yet. Without mercy, the 2nd relentlessly threw yet another punch at the object of his envy and hate. This time, the punch pushed the 1st back against the ropes of the ring. Suddenly, to the 12 watching boys, the Father's confidence in the 1st seemed quite foolish. Some even began to cheer and chant the 2nd's name. Others could not bear to see their beloved elder brother losing so pathetically. It seemed as though the match would be over before it had even begun.
Once again, the 2nd rushed forward, eager to end the fight quickly. Feeling his superiority, he began to throw punch after punch at the 1st's face and ribs. Urged on by the feeling of eminent victory, the 2nd son continued to mercilessly pummel his brother's already battered and bruised body. 'Ha!' thought the 2nd. 'He doesn't even have time to defend himself! I will win with ease.'
After agonizing minutes of nothing but the 2nd son continuously beating his brother's pitiful frame, the 2nd son paused for a minute, and with heavy breathing, asked, "Give *pant* up *pant*?
The 1st son, with blood dripping from his nose, with a swollen and black eye, with a broken cheekbone, and several cracked ribs, turned and looked at his younger brother. Regardless of his injuries, he stood tall and strong. "The round is not over yet." He quietly whispered.
At that moment, the 2nd son understood. He had been ALLOWED to do this! This eldest son fully intended to take on his strength without a single retaliation! Infuriated at being treated like a child, the 2nd son roared like a lion, and using his remaining strength threw a furious and hate-filled blow that sent his brother sprawling to the ground.
The 1st son fell close to the edge of the ring. There, he lay motionless for a moment that seemed to stretch into eternity. No one moved. No one spoke. Aside from the heavy panting of the 2nd son, all others caught their breath and simply waited in silence.
"ONE!" The Father's voice cracked out over the speakers, shattering the silence. Startled, the 12 watching boys gasped. Their eldest brother and lifelong hero was down for the count! How could this be?
"TWO!" Again the cry shattered the silence as each boy looked at their brothers in the ring. The youngest son, Benjamin, inched forward to where his eldest brother was lying in a small pool of his own blood and began to plead with him.
"Jesus. You have to get up. You have to win."
"THREE!" came the relentless cry. Simultaneous with the cry, Jesus moved. He reaching up towards the ropes of the ring and began to pull himself up.
No one made a sound. Even the 2nd son's panting stopped. Swallowed up in fear and intimidated by the raw majesty and power of his elder brother, the 2nd son's knees went week. They buckled, and he fell to the ground. As he knelt, paralyzed by his own emotions, the 2nd watched as the 1st stood. He could not see his brother's face. All he saw was his back. Finally, the 1st stood tall and turned to face the 2nd. With even more blood on his face that before, this older son, who had never done wrong or touched an unclean thing, who submitted to every blow of his selfish younger brother, pierced his brothers' souls with these words.
"It is finished."
Having neither the strength nor the determination to win, the 2nd son crawled off of the ring. Silence overcame the room. No one moved. No one spake. The 12 younger brothers simply watched. There was no denying the superiority of the Elder son. Suddenly, the Father's voice came once again over the speakers.
"This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."
Every boy felt the impact of those words in their hearts. They all looked lovingly at their champion, eager to hear whatever words he would say.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Jesus turned to face his family. Casting his eyes on them all, he quietly, yet with power, told them this.
"Behold, I am the light and life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hat given me; and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which i have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning."
With those words, the 12 tribes of Israel fell to their knees in awe, reverence, adoration, and gratitude for their Savior.
This easter season, I do as well.
Happy easter, everyone! Remember what the Savior did for each of us individually in submitting to the powers of the devil completely alone and winning. Through Christ, we are all made alive, whether it be through giving us joy in this life or eternal life in the next! I know my Savior lives and loves us all personally. I pray you all remember this weekend!