"I am a Child of God" is something that a majority of people don't understand. I've had several people this week try to attack that identity. Another point of doctrine that seems to be confused is the reason that we are here on the earth, with our bodies. Our bodies aren't something weak or bad or something to be despised. If that were the case, why would Jesus Christ resurrect His body? I love this quote from Elder Holland:
"If having a body is not only not needed but not desirable by Deity, why did the Redeemer of mankind redeem His body, redeeming it from the grasp of death and the grave, guaranteeing it would never again be separated from His spirit in time or eternity? Any who dismiss the concept of an embodied God dismiss both the mortal and the resurrected Christ."
Christ was resurrected so that we too can live again. God's plan is perfect. There is no reason to fear. We meet people every single day who live their life in fear, instead of in the joy taht comes from the knowledge of Jesus Christ. If fear is something that you struggle with, I invite you to read the talk that Elder Utchdorf gave at the last conference.
Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/perfect-love-casteth-out-fear?lang=eng
I've been reading some deep doctrine in Jesus the Christ (James E. Talmage) lately. It's an incredible read, but something that I've realized is that Jesus Christ was the perfect leader. He wasn't afraid that people would think of Him as corrupt. He knew that He was a light of perfect example unto the nations. He was able to lovingly reprove and build up His followers. He wasn't afraid that close proximity to Him would cause men to lose their confidence in Him. In fact, He asks us to come unto Him and get as close as we can! We do have the potential to be like Jesus Christ! I know it, and I see it in other people and in myself in small moments when we are exercising love and serving others.
Cool experiences this week! Mostly, they just had to do with being in the right place at the right time. Which is basically just exactly what we are trying to do as missionaries.
1) we drove to a park in the rain and were going to leave when we saw a lady walking her dog. We went and talked to her, and it turned out that she 100% needed to talk to us because she was having problems with being bipolar and receiving answers to her prayers. She was so prepared and willing to learn about the gospel! Not Russian, but still a miracle!!
2) We also saw a lady who we thought probably wasn't Russian, but looked European while we were eating dinner in the car one day...sooo we went and talked to her! Turns out that she was an Olympic athlete for Russia in the 2008 Olympics. She opened up to us about her life and her struggles. It was a neat experience that was preceded by a bunch of small decisions that were able to lead us to the right place at the right time.
It's great to be here as a missionary! Every single day is a blessing. I love you all and hope the best for you! Have a wonderful week, and never forget that life is full of exclamation points!!!!!!