Dear Mom and Dad,
Well, mom as far as the release date goes, that sounds pretty accurate and about y’all going to Germany first and then coming to meet up with me, that also sounds good; I don’t have too strong of an opinion whatever we do, it will just be great to see yall, and other than that, I’ll just be along for the ride more or less :).
Work goes well, Lillian is still coming and learning and growing, we haven’t committed her to a new date yet but it will come soon, she asked for time so we are really not trying to rush things. Guido was at church again and we have an appointment this week and we are thinking of giving him a baptismal calendar but we will see, if it feels right :). Anyhow on the whole things are good! On the other side of things this week my bike was stolen :/, I'm now going to be on my fifth bike lol. My first was stolen, my second one broke down, my third broke down, and my fourth was stolen. It was locked to a light post and we were only gone an hour while we were doing a consecrated hour! Bummer! Anyhow, mom and dad money is a little tight; do you think you could send me money for a new bike?
I’m glad y’all had good meetings. I had a great Sunday as well. For Sacrament meeting we got to take the Sacrament, we also were able to hear from a new family in the ward here, the Kitchens. Their topic was the priesthood; the young kids gave some funny and sweet remarks and that was fun. Papa Kitchen gave some great and very bold and inspiring comments as well. He started out his remarks by stating that Father's day was his least favorite holiday and that he hated it, lol naturally we were caught of guard lol but he explained why. Fathers day is his least favorite holiday because it reminds him of the roles and responsibilities he should be playing and magnifying and should be doing. It was funny and yet at the same time I imagine that all fathers have similar feelings etc on such a day. Anyhow he talked of prioties that need to be set and quoted someone and certain priorities that they had outlined namely 1. family 2. employer 3. church and 4. yourself.
I thought about this and remembered a talk I had read that talked also of balance and the role priorities play in finding balance in life. Brother Eugene Hansen of the 70 wrote it and in his he had almost the same priories suggested only in a different order he had them as 1 wife and personal 2 family 3 church and 4 works. I had read Brother Hansen’s talk last October and wrote and studied a little on it and found a lot of things that suggested to me that this was the "correct" order of priorities. I wrote down that it made sense that personal and wife should be first because if WE aren’t where we should be how can we help anyone else even our family, and I thought that family should of course come second because we are counseled "family first". Then in Jacob 2:17 it tells us before ye seek riches seek ye the kingdom of god.
Then, yesterday, I heard Papa Kitchen's remarks and that really struck a cord with me as well, in Luke 9:23 and 24 it tells us that as we lose ourselves we will find ourselves - that if we think first of others our Father in heaven will meet our needs, so of course that priority should fall last. Then again, we are counseled family first, so family should then come in number one spot and we have also been counseled that if it comes to it and we cant get Sundays off we should go to work even if we cant make our church meetings and fulfill our callings which would lead tne to believe that work should come before church.
When I was thinking about these differences in priorities and how important priorities are, I realized that some of these things are very conditional, do we have a steady, flexible, and reliable job where we can get Sundays off for instance? If so then that can fall further down on our list of priorities. Do we have a solid and healthy relationship with our spouse? If things are a little on the rocks with our sweetheart then that should be our first priority. Is one of your children really struggling with their testimony, school etc. then in that case Family should be first etc etc.
I finally came to the conclusion that we really just need to stay close to the Lord, evaluate our lives, and make changes where needed so long as they are in line with the will of the Lord. As I thought about these things, I then thought of the church and the priorities and teachings that we have in our church; not all that long ago we had polygamy in our church doctrine as something that was accepted and lived, this is just one example I could think of, but if we look to other faiths and to their priorities and teachings we find a very wide variety, the Seventh Day Adventists feel very strongly that the Lord had pinpointed one specific day, Saturday, to be the Sabbath day and that it was to remain so always; by the Catholics babies are baptized at birth, the Jehovah witness feel that strongly that certain things in the bible were not accurate and saw it fit to change and adjust their version of the bible etc etc.
What a blessing it is to have a living church with a prophet that counsels with the Lord as world circumstances change as same sex marriage becomes an issue, as wars come about, as natural disasters occur, as the adversary adapts and evolves and finds new ways to tempt us, so do we change adapt and evolve to defend ourselves against such things. How blessed we are!
I know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the one true church. I know that the church of Christ of was lost from the each at one point and that it was then restored in the year 1820 to the earth through Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is physical evidence of that event, and that it testifies of Christ our redeemer but that also the way it was brought forth testifies of the mantle the Joseph Smith was called to as prophet of the restoration. I know that the church that was restored by Christ through Joseph Smith yet lives and that we have a prophet today, and that this organization will continue to adapt, to change and to guide us safely back to our Heavenly Father. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Love, Elder Ryan