Let us all take some time right now to appreciate that President Uchtdorf quoted "The Great Gatsby" in his talk for Priesthood Session: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
|Touching the pool at the Mission Pres. house|
|The Grand Tikal Futura|
This quote just so happens to be a perfect description of how my week went. It all is sort of born in the Power of a Familiar Face, and a Familiar Place. Monday for P-Day my district and me made the journey into the heart of the City, to the biggest mall I have ever seen in my mortal existence: The Grand Tikal Futura. And for the time being, for the 4 hours we spent there I felt right at home, swimming in Western Commercialism, everywhere I looked I could see a familiar pop-culture icon or logo and I basked in it's luminescent rays. While there I enjoyed a lunch of China Wok and four Ice Cream Cones (I know what you're thinking, "But Elder Monson, you might gain some serious weight from all the food you're eating! And Weight Gain-age is bad!" I'll have you know that I have maintained a steady 150 pounds my entire mission thus far! Woo Hoo Metabolism!) Afterwards we went bowling as a district and it felt very much...like I was back in South Jordan, out on a friday night with a group of friends...
The next thing I knew, it was Wednesday, and I was actually WITH a group of friends. This group just so happened to be my CCM district in a reunion of all the Greenies at President Stay's house. It was glorious to see a familiar face and for the time being, I felt rejuvenated and like I could conquer the week with fresh eyes and refined courage. This was due to the fact that all of my friends were experiencing...close to the exact same thing I was, Problems with the Language, the food, and unhelpful members.
But I've actually got it really good. We're finding new investigators left and right due to a very Active youth member, Zara. She's a recent convert with a heart of gold. She's given us more references than we can teach! Every member of her family who hasn't yet heard the gospel we've gone to visit because of her Can-Do Attitude!
Which brings me to General Conference. Yes, I did get to see it in ENGLISH! Woo Hoo! I shouted for joy to hear the words of the prophets and was spiritually edified from every talk that was given! We went on divisions for Conference, my Companion stayed in San Juan to watch the conference there and I got to stay in Florida with the 5 other gringos in our zone to listen in our own language. It was on a tiny tv screen in the High Council room that I sort of had a...prompting to add a challenge to this letter.
So: What challenge might this be? Missionary Work. This is an appendage to the words of President Monson when he said that , "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together." Pick one person, like Elder Ballard invited, just one and invite them to Church. Invite them to take missionary discussions or give them a Book of Mormon with your testimony written in it. Offer to go out and teach with the missionaries of your area...or, better yet, let the missionaries teach a lesson in your house, where the spirit can more comfortably reside. The Lord needs Members for this work too...he needs YOU!
So that's what's Greater than Gatsby, is the joy that the gospel brings as we share it with others! Build up the kingdom of God and let others reap the benefits!
-Elder Tyler Monson