Feeling patriotic this 4th of July

From July 11, 2016

All right, are you all antsy to here what I have to say next??? Hahaha. Well I’ve got something.

I hope everyone had a wonderful week! Mine was great! The feelings of consecration are incredible! I am always grateful for choosing the right and the feelings that come after. This week was working on every little detail to make us worthy to ask God for blessings. It’s awesome. But deixa contar as novidades:

Monday from last week was the 4th and so, I clearly had to do something crazy to show that I am a patriot right? And so I shaved a flag on to my shins. Hahahaha (see photo) Hahahaha!

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We had another baptism. E is a daughter of a member that has 8 years in the church. She went in the festa junina and we contacted her afterwards. She had the desire to be baptized and so we taught her and she went. I can say that her father was very happy!

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I spent a day with Elder Leaner on Wednesday. Talk about a dude who makes you fear he would hit you! He said that he fought in ju-jitsu before his mission. And to top it off, he has one of the dearest voices I have ever heard.

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Yesterday was the ward conference and my, did it ever give me goosebumps. The president of the stake talked about how we could make hell shake. His talk was so powerful it almost singed our eyebrows!

The choir was incredible as well.

And so, clearly because the day of independence passed I have prepared a few thoughts this morning about our country:

I would like to talk about the blessing that the lord has given us about this precious land that we live in. He has made it clear that those who keep his commandments and follow his instruction my dwell here and those from outside may come and dwell as well. As long as we observe the commandments and keep his teachings, we will prosper in the land and it’s all good. Haha (2 Nephi 1:5-9).

But, this covenant comes with a warning: that when we neglect to observe the commandments, the land becomes cursed. We will not prosper, things will disappear, we will suffer, and will be “swept” from the face of the earth. If we do not follow his teachings, we will literally be destroyed, even by the sword or bloodshed. We have already seen it in the past many times:

The Nephites, in Moroni 8:27-29 and Moroni 9:3-5

The Jaredites: found in Ether 15:1-3, Ether1:1,5

Even in Jerusalem: Jeremiah 52:3-5,13

It is so sad to see the people make the same mistakes and commit the same sin over and over and over. Why do they not just keep the commandments? God hasn’t given us anything that he knows we cannot manage (1 Nephi 3:7). We just have to do it.

But, like I focused on last week, I will just give a few thought about our country.  I am so thankful to be blessed by the lord to have been born in the promised land. I love to think about how much God favors this land and how blessed we are to live here. I think there are few people who enter as many different homes as the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We enter the ghettos, the favelas, the homes of the sick, weak and afflicted, the poor and needy, the hungry and thirsty. We talk with the police in the street who have had literally everything taken from them, those who have been robbed, those who can’t fight against the addictions they have, those who sob and cry out in the night for God because they only have a rag to keep them warn under fallen, cement, buildings. I consider it almost selfish to thank God for the life I have had until now. To think about these people who need God more than anyone. I have come to know Christ through these people and I thank God, and I should thank him more, for the food and water that I have on the table, for the free country from which I come, that I am blessed with a family that loves and worries about me. I am blessed to live in a place where God inspired Christopher Columbus to discover (1 Nephi 13:12).

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God has kept his promise. We are blessed for so much that we take for granted. The Lamanites where destroyed because they didn’t keep the commandments. In other words, the Native Americans were afflicted and suffered because God found the people coming to live there more worthy of the blessings (1 Nephi 13:13-15). I have nothing against Native Americans, okay? Not discriminating here.

We read the prophecy of the day of independence–how we were blessed by the hand of God to declare and fight for our freedom (1 Nephi 13:16-19). We have seen the hand of God fighting at our side, which is clear to see by the number of people fighting for our freedom compared to those who did not want to give it to us.

We see the blessings as our culture has followed some of the commandments and how our parents have taught us right and how God has blessed us according to the commandments we have kept (1 Nephi 13:30). There exists many commandments that we need to keep better than we have been doing as a country. If we do not, we may suffer many of the results that the Nephites, or Jaredites have received, not of complete destruction, but of much punishment and suffering.

And so, how must we serve God to receive the blessings that he has given us, that comes as a contract with the land that we occupied? He gave us simple instructions that every person can do. It was explained with simple words by the apostles of Christ: (Acts 2:38-47).

Supposing that the rest was very clear to you all, what does it mean to break bread? It means to partake of the sacrament worthily and endure to the end. And like Jesus already said:

Mathew 24:13

“And so Elder Burt, if you are telling us that we must do this to receive the blessings of our father in heaven, so, when should we do this?”

And I give you an answer: NOW!

Don’t tell me that you have to learn more first, or that you have to have more knowledge to be capable of doing this, or that because you don’t feel quite ready, because I will give you a few scriptures to read:

Mathew 6:33

and

Helaman 13:29-30,38-39

and Acts 22:16.

We all need to repent. We cannot say that we don’t have anything to make better of ourselves. If you think so, read Ecclesiastes 7:20 and Mathew 9:12-13.

We all have something to repent, whether we have been baptized or not, but being baptized, we are responsible and accountable to repent; if not, we may not repent in the eyes of the lord because we do not yet take part in the atonement.

But, to conclude if you are reading this and feeling offended by something that I have mentioned, take the time to read Alma 7:15-27 and you will feel better about my intentions to speak about these things.

I love you all. I love my country and my freedom. I love the blessing that my God and father have given me in my life, and I look to thank him always for them. I love my family and hope that they choose the right always and strive to be an example to others. If you have something else to ask or tell me, send me a letter. I love to receive them!

I know this church is true and Christ lives as my savior. I write this testimony in the name of Christ.

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