Monday, March 6, 2017

week 33 from Elder C

Another lonnnnng letter from Quayd but WOW!  He had an exciting week and his notes from this stake conference are awesome!  For the record, Elder Lawrence Corbridge of the First Quorum of the Seventy is Doug's first cousin, but Quayd has known him as "Uncle Larry" since he could talk.  If you were at Quayd's farewell, you heard him quote Larry, which he does often.  What a special gift for Quayd to have a few private moments following the stake conference where he is currenty serving, to receive Larry's personal words of encouragement to make every mission moment count. He shared with me, privately, that he was stunned to get to have that few moments alone, when all he had hoped for was to shake Larry's hand. And this couldn't have come at a more perfect time with Quayd losing both of his two favorite companions/roommates this same week.  He's growing. He's loving it!  We thank you so much for every prayer in his behalf!  

This week has been one awesome week!!!!! and also a very sad week ️ It just tells you how much opposition, there is in all things!!!!!!  here's just a couple contradictions...

We have four baptisms and possibly more!!! Four people receiving the gospel and receiving blessings of following our Savior. Both my companions are leaving for home, Elder Bailey and Elder Housekeeper.... Elder Corbridge of the 70 has come to my mission and stake to speak, which was a wonderful experience!!! I'm allergic to gluten... this is going to be a dreadful experience!!! ... can you see the opposition?

There is an opposition in all things! This is being fulfilled each day as I serve. Thanks to Lehi and his wisdom and inspiration, writing it down on holy plates, which are now known as the Book of Mormon. but I have to say these contradictions make us better. They make us change. There's even opposition in that! There is great wisdom when Lehi says there is an opposition in all things.

So, I told you last time about the Windshells.  They are a great family. Learning about the gospel with them is so much fun. Helping them to understand the Savior’s sacrifice has been an extreme blessing. I love every moment, seeing that change in their hearts. Not only that, the countenance they have in their eyes and in their whole being has changed. I remember sharing a quote my first couple months in my mission. I thank my dad for being inspired to share it with me. I've been inspired to share it also with this awesome couple:

The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.” Sharing this with them made an awesome deal within their hearts.  Parley P. Pratt

I told them without the gospel and without the light of Christ and the spirit, the Holy Ghost we would be dead. Like it says in this quote, we would not have joy to the heart, true joy, to be intact. We will have joy, but it won't stick as true light to the eyes. There will be light filled, but it won't be spiritual light, the light people look for in this diversified world. Music to the ears! I really don't know about that one, but if you think it's spiritual, then that works And MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!!!! Life to the WHOLE BEING without the spirit we would be lifeless. The reason I brought this up is because we had taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and the only way you’re going to receive the Holy Ghost is if you are baptized and receive it by the laying on of hands, which is restored. The priesthood is once again on the earth and that's how we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost is by the laying on of hands. Anyway, I told them that we have life and then I asked, “So, will you be baptized?” I didn't even get a chance to finish! Brother Windshell said yes! I tried again. “YES!!!!”, he repeated! I was so happy! We had invited them to be baptized on the 1st of April. They were so excited! 2 people folowing the example, having the faith to change through the grace of God’s love and His redeeming Son, Jesus Christ!  It's been a blessing!

The same day, we met with Jackie. I told you last time that Jackie just came up to us and said how she wanted to be baptized while we were in our ward missionary meeting. So, we are teaching her. Funny thing is - we aren't teaching her. It's actually been quite fun watching someone else teach! That is the member who referred them to us.Brother Westbrook is the missionary and somehow we ended up as members present. haha He teaches really well, but, definitely in a different way. I'm surprised. I've followed up with him while teaching these lessons. You see, he has kids of his own. Since Jackie and her granddaughter, Ana, have come to take the lessons, he feels an obligation to teach his own way.

The first time my companion and I were frustrated. This time, we were okay with it, but I think it's funny that we aren't teaching and it's probably because, like Elder Holland said these boys are standing shoulder and shoulder with this life that the world has ever known… this is known as the missionary life. haha I feel brother Westbrook is caught up in being a missionary, which should tell you that life in the mission is freaking awesome! It is a great experience! So, I'm not too mad, but I am sad to leave when that time comes. “Time is a sacred thing.” Elder Corbridge of the 70 said it himself! Many times, he said, I wish I had more time or with the time I have left,  and then repeating  I wish I had more time! I've been out on my mission for 8 months, almost a year. I wish I had more time! This time is a second. This moment, this series of events, changing into a disciple of Jesus Christ is but a small moment! As well, life choices effect time. It’s important to remember what you put into it, you get out of it. So, make it count! Brother Westbrook probably yearns to be a missionary and that's okay. He taught quite well and he invited Jackie to be baptized along with her granddaughter, Anna! Great stuff! It's been awesome.

 Although the same day, my companion, Elder Housekeeper, was gone to see the surgeon. He said, “I've got good news and bad news. The good news is I got probed again!!!! The bad news is.... my heart wasn't ready when he said those words… “I'm leaving.” I was shocked at the answer. I just thought about it and laid down on the bed and I literally was bursting into tears - both of my companions in the same apartment are leaving and I won't see them again for 16 months.

 I was devastated but happy they finished or endured it well or are coming home with honor. I love these men they have been great companions!!!!! I've learned so much from them.  They have changed lives and they have changed their own life. They will live to be disciples of our one true God, our loving Heavenly Father. They have walked somewhat of a path Christ faced while on this mission and they have done it well. They have lost themselves in the Lord’s work and have blessed lives including mine. I'm happy they now have the chance to go back to their families and return with the blessings that go with serving, like being a changed man, a stronger testimony or surplus of knowledge and wisdom a knowledge of the scriptures and knowing god and the grace of God, along with knowing our savior Jesus Christ, of His great atoning sacrifice and knowing the heart of Him while he still lives and is risen. A mission is something to treasure, that's for sure!

Anyway, the last couple days have been super hard. Saying goodbye to families, listening to music, it's been hard, but I'm so happy for the work that is to come. To have 4 people on date for baptism is a blessing. We are hoping for 16 baptisms in the next three months. 16 people facing their trials with faith in Christ and accepting to follow Him. Would you believe it!? I couldn't but I know it's possible with the help of our Savior and Father, they won't give up on us.

Sunday was a blessed opportunity. Listening to my uncle speak at the same time I was sad, but that sadness was easily swept away with joy of seeing my uncle. For weeks, people have asked if I've been related. People I've never met before came up and asked me. It's weird.  Stake Conference… we had some investigators come, which was awesome. Then I saw him sit down on the stand, next to president Dixon. It's been three years since I last talked with him, but Elder Corbridge of the 70 was here. I remember Elder Oaks coming and how I shook his hand. Well, I thought that basically would be the same… only getting to shake his hand and say hello. But, it turns out that was not the case. As I listened to all the speakers, every time I heard the name Corbridge, I flinched or my heart pounded. I'm not being prideful. It was just weird hearing that name over and over again. Corbridge.... and it would hit me every time… I am part of that family and I'm grateful to be. I'm humbled to carry that name on my tag along with the name Jesus Christ. I am a disciple of the truth and that last name that I have carried even since birth matters more now than it ever has!

Here's some things I learned from stake conference:

President Carlosion talked about being on the right path and also being the members of the church that we are supposed to be. He is really pushing this stake to be missionaries. He also talked about how we are all obligated to do missionary work. It was awesome! I think this stake is pumped to find God’s chosen people, the elect!!!! 

Sister Jacque Corbridge  talked about the past, looking back on the past and how we need to look forward. She quoted a lot of things from Elder Holland’s talk, “Remember Lot’s Wife”. One thing he said is we shouldn't go back or dwell on those things that Christ himself tried to close up with his atoning sacrifice.  It was a great talk!

Elder Lawrence Corbridge: First off, I didn't really know Elder Corbridge all too well. I have visited with him at our family reunions each year. I was nervous the whole day, wondering if I had measured up to the kind of missionary or family member he wanted me to be. I thought, “Does he even know my name?” but, as I listened, I felt comfort.  He started off busting jokes left and right. The whole congregation busted out laughing. I learned that he had a sense of humor. He was talking about distractions. The day before, he was sitting down and people really started getting jumpy. He wondered what was going on. President Cartosion told him that there was a mouse, so he joined in on the amusement. Telling this story, he got the congregation laughing. It was so fun, but, he started talking about distractions and how we can be easily distracted. 

Then, he talked about questions that we all have faced or are facing and some of them dealing with our faith. He called them primary and secondary. Another interesting thought was he was able to look at every antichrist or anti gospel or every newspaper fictitious article on the internet, dealing with our religion. He had to look at polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, abortion, every single thing, which in this case, doesn't matter… he called these secondary questions. The primary questions, he said, are the ones that are important, that do matter and if you know those questions then you will know the secondary.

This is some of what he said… The Primary questions are:  Is there a God? Am I a child of God? Here I am, I can be better? Is Jesus Christ the Son of God? Is Joseph Smith a prophet of God? Is the Church of LDS the kingdom of God on earth? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Live life, a full life. Recognized the beautiful gift we have been given.  Where am I going?

Some Secondary questions:  Polygamy, Blacks and the Priesthood, DNA and Book of Mormon, History of the Church.
How to get answers?  Alma 32, John 7:17, "Prove me herewith".  If we know answers to primary questions, the secondary questions become obsolete in comparison. You can find answers to secondary questions, but as soon as you do, another one is staring you in the face. You can't find an answer that the church is true by chasing down answers to the secondary questions. It's the primary questions that matter!

Then he talked about life. What is the purpose of life? “Simply,” he said, “It's to live it.” He said, “What is the purpose of life? To live. To live in fullness. To realize this incredible gift. His good grace is that we live moment to moment, to live fully, to live spiritually. He explained that it is the beat of our heart that we might have spiritual life. Be born again and have the Spirit. The Spirit and the power of God, the priesthood, that we might have life abundantly. In order that we might live eternally, have the spirit within us, he said, “Life is not to live in abundance with worldly things. It is to live in abundance with spiritual things, the things that matter most, to love life in righteousness.”

He talked about the best and worst of human conditions. What would be the best and worst of human conditions? He asked is it cancer, is it the betrayal of a loved one, a spouse? Is it abortion? Is it mental illness or illness, in general? is it acne or imperfections? He just listed all sorts of things, then, he said, “I would suggest the worst would be the most common. It is to die physically and spiritually. Physically, we die. Spiritually, we die and all these things are sufficient to separate us from God.

Our purpose in life is not to do things our way, live our own way, and agency allows us to do that but that's where we spiritually die. No. The purpose of living is not to do things our way, but, to do things his way, God’s way, to fulfill those dreams of His and live to the potential He sees us as.

Then he asked what is the best of human conditions? He started listing… It's not position, money, fame.  It’s not beauty, it's not houses or buildings or TVs or anything the world has to offer.

The best of all living is to live in abundance, to be endowed with power on high. It is to have the spirit of love. It is to have a family that will last for eternity. That is the purpose of living. It is to live in abundance. To have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance.

It is receiving the ordinances and blessings of the temple. It's enduring with the Spirit that allows us to live and make it back to Heavenly Father, along with Christ, our Savior. That was basically the end of his talk. But, WOW!  You could feel the spirit that day and just makes me want to live, to live for this mission, for those who need the gospel. lt's been a blessing hearing from a man who I share the name CORBRIDGE. I'm so blessed to be a part of this family, to serve for them, but also for my loving Heavenly Father! Like I always say, CORBRIDGES NEVER QUIT and I ain't quitting! I love this gospel and the blessings that receive through it!

 I love the chance that we do live and that can live eternally because of our Savior Jesus Christ! I hope we can all live in abundance live in righteousness!!!! Live the way He wants us to live and walk somewhat of a path He walked. He is the way, the only way and in His way, we can have a fulfilling abundance of this life our loving Father has given us!
-Elder Corbridge

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