Wednesday, January 28, 2015

29 January 2015

So Elder Smith must have had a really busy week.  Here are the responses to the e-mails he received from our family, and he must not have had time to write an update in general.  We are so happy to know he is doing well though.

Those bridges are awesome and the ideas behind them and all that good stuff. thanks!

In response to Dan's letter to him:

Posted: 25 Jan 2015 05:18 PM PST
I was speaking in Springboro this week.  I had the topic of missionary work (which is awesome) and had written the missionaries form that ward.  It was really great as I shared 5 principles that all of us can use to be better in our lives, and with each I used a story or principle as taught by the letters I got form the Springboro missionaries (and you Gavin, I used some of your letters too!)
Well, as I listened to the other talks, they both focused on the atonement and while they were speaking, I had a flood of thoughts that opened my understanding more about the atonement.  Now you will see its a decent analogy, but for me it went deeper.  You know how when you REALLY learn by the spirit and it is spirit speaking to spirit?!
So here are my thoughts, as I hastily wrote them down trying to capture what i had been taught.

The master carpenter goes around building bridges. Amazing bridges. In fact many would post these on Instagram, or pin them to their wall they are so epic.

​ Whether it spans a small creek, or even just a dip in the terrain of a beautiful garden, or up to a vast canyon. In fact he completes a feat of engineering impossible to man's understanding. And this bridge makes the road seamless. It as if the canyon is not even there. Except for the unimaginable vistas that we view with awe as we travel along. All the time forgetting that we are crossing that deep canyon that before we thought uncrossable. And I the Lord remember them no more. I love to build and create things. I remember the exacting details of what I did, and always can look back with personal pride in what the finished work accomplished. After such masterful craftsmanship, and such a level of work we cannot comprehend, it is a wonder that He remembers that no more.In fact we can burn the bridge but by His amazing craftsmanship it is built again before we realize what is done. We look back and see the bridge we burned, but under the cover of flames he is rebuilding. Just like trick Candles that cannot go out. We cannot destroy what he is able to build. In fact His bridge is straight and narrow. How much easier can it be!In fact he builds the bridge in our life before we even know the canyon is there.  When we get to the canyon we can choose to cross the bridge or take the long and difficult path down the canyon.  Struggling along the way, slipping and falling, and in general making it much harder than it needs to be. But, even if we do choose to go down the canyon and we later get stuck, He is the rescue crew, always at the ready, with tools to extract us from even the most precarious settings. Even a hovering helicopter with rescue basket if needed. And he brings us back up to the bridge that was always there, always ready for us. And look at the view!  It is glorious. And the sunrise is better than ever. And yet the only thing that changed is our position, our view, our outlook. He, His bridge, and His creations didn't change.

As i talked with Mom about what I had learned, she thought of these two poems that I immediately likened to this concept.  The first referenced in a talk by Pres. Monson, and the 2nd we learned about from John Bytheway.

Will Allen Dromgoole “The Bridge Builder.”            
An old man, going a lone highway,            
Came at the evening, cold and gray,            
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,            
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.            
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;            
The sullen stream had no fears for him;            
But he turned when safe on the other side            
And built a bridge to span the tide.                    

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,            
“You are wasting strength with building here;            
Your journey will end with the ending day;            
You never again must pass this way;            
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide--            
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?”            
The builder lifted his old gray head:            
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,                      
“There followeth after me today            
A youth whose feet must pass this way.            
This chasm that has been naught to me            
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.            
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;            
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

Joseph Malins
'Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke, and full many a peasant.
The people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally.
Some said "Put a fence 'round the edge of the cliff,"
Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."
The lament of the crowd was profound and was loud,
As their tears overflowed with their pity;
But the cry for the ambulance carried the day
As it spread through the neighboring city.
A collection was made, to accumulate aid,
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave dollars and cents--not to furnish a fence--
But an ambulance down in the valley.
"For the cliff is all right if you're careful," they said;
"And, if folks ever slip and are dropping,
It isn't the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below--when they're stopping."
So for years (we have heard), as these mishaps occurred
Quick forth would the rescuers sally,
To pick up the victims who fell from the cliff,
With the ambulance down in the valley.
Said one, in a plea, "It's a marvel to me
That you'd give so much greater attention
To repairing results than to curing the cause;
You had much better aim at prevention.
For the mischief, of course, should be stopped at its source;
Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally.
It is far better sense to rely on a fence
Than an ambulance down in the valley."
"He is wrong in his head," the majority said,
"He would end all our earnest endeavor.
He's a man who would shirk this responsible work,
But we will support it forever.
Aren't we picking up all, jut as fast as they fall,
And giving them care liberally?
A superfluous fence is of no consequence
If the ambulance works in the valley."
But a sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than cure,
And their party will soon be much stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice and pen,
And while other philanthropists dally,
They will scorn all pretense and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.
Better guide well the young, than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling,
"To rescue the fallen is good, but 'tis best
To prevent other people from falling."
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley
Better put a strong fence 'round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.
So that is a lot to read this week so I won't go on much more.  Just contemplate where you stand.  This is a glorious life.  Its wonderful to be here with you.  So enjoy the vista as you cross any bridges in your life.  
Love you forever, Dad
3 John 1:4

I love spicy a lot and its just awesome here. I will truly miss the candies and glorious goodness here in two years.

In response to Ty's thank you to the wonderful Christmas Present Gavin sent him of a really cool leather belt and some spicy candy.

Chicken pot pie sounds delicious right now. Just saying.
Horchata recipe looks great, look up a tortillas de harina recipe and see if you can find anything that seems awesome, I eventually plan to learn to make them and will let you know when I do. also Pozoli is amazing, it a soup, or tacos de carne asada.
All I've gotten from you all is the one package, but hopefully other stuff will show up eventually. I love Grandpa's shirt and I hope you have fun visiting, painting, teaching, etc. Say hi to all for me!
Elder Smith

That was in response to my (his Mom's) letter to him.  For interest sake, Grandpa's shirt is a mimic of Hard Rock Cafe - except it says Hard Work Cafe then in small letters, All Work No Play.

Gavin has been sharing some fun recipes with me and we are going to try to make them next week.
We have sent him several letters and packages and he finally received the Christmas package which is the first thing we sent, so hopefully he will receive others soon.

We are so grateful and happy for his service and it is such a blessing to our family right now.

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