Wednesday, April 3, 2013

March 25th, 2013

Oh it has been an interesting week! Spring break.....on campus......everyone is gone! Ha-ha But it was still a good one!

Spring break really did hurt us a bit. We went from teaching about 4 lessons a day with a bunch of other stuff to scrambling to find enough to do. We had a lot of energy and not enough to use it for which made for an interesting week! Ha-ha We were fine though. We were able to do a lot of service and some exchanges and everything like that! It was a good week!

For service we helped Bro. Sorenson (who is the dean of students here at EA) with a few things. We were able to re varnish his fence(s) which was pretty fun! It was good to be out in the 90 degree weather with a tee shirt on! We were also able to help him put some lattice over his patio! It was a great thing for me to be able to really do work like that again! It has been since before my mission that I was able to work and build things like that and I really miss it a lot! It was good to be able to work with tools again! I was able to really help a lot and I feel a little bad because I kind of took over and started telling everyone what to do. In my defense......I do know what I am doing and I saved us a few trips to the store as well as extra pieces of lattice! It was good! I will send pics next week. 

I don't have much to report on the people we are teaching because every single one of them was gone this week! But Nicole is doing really well! She made it back safely and we are looking forward to her baptism this Saturday! I am so excited! Larry was able to have a good week back with his family in Louisiana! He is doing well and if everything happens as it should we should be seeing him in a white jumpsuit as well! Ale we have not heard from since she left, hopefully she was able to have a good week in Mesa with her family. Tyler is doing pretty well. Her family is having some trials this weekend that are really hard for her but we are keeping her in our prayers and everything will work out.

One really interesting experience that happened this week involves a really cool example of the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I was able to have a unique experience this week with the Enabling Power that changed my perspective on it a little bit and made it even more personal. It all started on Monday when I threw out my back. I am not sure when it happened and I don't remember throwing it out but it must have happened when we were playing sports with the missionaries or when we went and played sports with the college kids. Anyways Monday night it hurt. No big deal. Sleep it off and in the morning it will be better right? Wrong. When I woke up Tuesday morning I couldn't get up. I couldn't even sit up because my back was not cooperating. Weird feeling for me......I'm not that old right? Ha-ha But I couldn't do it. I just laid there as Elder Clark went to shower and get ready. As I was laying there I was pondering my options to think of what to do. I kept having the thought that I should just pray for strength and I would be alright. I decided to do it. I maneuvered myself to my knees (probably took a few minutes) and began to pray. I prayed that I would have the strength in my back to accomplish all that I needed to do that day, that through the enabling power of the Atonement I could receive strength in my back. 

There was no immediate change as I finished. It took me a lot of struggling but I was able to stand up. I was able to stagger/waddle to the kitchen with the help of the walls. But it worked! The enabling power of the Atonement can work. Though the pain was not gone and I didn't walk like normal, though I had to struggle all day. I was able to do it! I had the strength sufficient to accomplish everything I needed to and that night, after writing in my journal I could discern when that power stopped supporting me as I had to really struggle to get back into bed. I am not upset that I had to deal with the pain or struggle with the things I needed to do that day. I am super grateful for my opportunity to have this amazing experience with the Atonement. This experience repeated itself on Wednesday as well. Almost to the t. I couldn't get up until I asked for help. I was pretty much literally carried and supported throughout all the things I needed to do and my strength didn't fail until I went to bed. My back is all better now and completely back to normal but that experience I had this week was priceless. It isn't very often that we are able to be carried in a way such as that by our Savior. He has carried all of our burdens before and will gladly help us and lift us if we ask. In His words, "Come unto me, all ye that labor. And I will give you rest. For my burden is easy and my yoke is light." It is true! He will literally lift us through all of our struggles! 

That is all I have for this week! Next week will be a good one!
Till next time.....
Elder Banner......signing off.....

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