Week #11

Dear Fam Jam,

Elder Wahlquist and I gave the lesson this Sunday in Gospel principles class. We started the lesson by doing a skit where we talked on the phone to each other but I wouldn’t let elder Wahlquist
get a single word in. I would cut him off each time he would try to respond. I hung up the phone before he could say anything in response. We then presented that we were going to talk about prayer. We explained that many times in our prayers we do not let Heavenly Father give answers to our prayers and do not listen enough. We say a quick prayer, ask for direction and then say Amen, without even listening and feeling the holy ghost. To close the lesson we also ended with a skit. This time I knelt down on my knees, bowed my head and offered a prayer. Elder Wahlquist, as I was praying, acted as Heavenly Father and would respond to the things I was praying about as I would pause and listen for a response. We did this skit in a very reverent manner and I hope it was a powerful object lesson. When we practiced this skit during our companion study, it was a powerful experience for us. I hope this lesson helped our Amis understand that prayer is really a two way communication with our Heavenly Father who loves us.

Many times during my personal studies each day, I get a very strong feeling of gratitude for the gospel. I imagine my life down the road as I continue to follow Jesus Christ and the gospel. I imagine my eternal family, with my parents and sister and hopefully my own future family as well. I have really seen that the spirit is the one that changes people. I have seen our Amis make changes in their lives which have brought joy and happiness. They are more motivated in their day to day activities. They meet new people and form wonderful friendships. I see the light of the gospel shinning in their lives; casting out the darkness that occurs in various moments of our lives. I know that the commandments of God are there because our Heavenly Father loves us so much. I know that as we keep those commandments, we are protected from both physical and spiritual damage. As we come to see the light and joy that comes into our lives, we have a greater desire to keep God’s commandments. Even though I know this is true, nobody is perfect and we all fall short. The Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to overcome our faults and be forgiven for mistakes. It not only covers our mistakes but any pains, sickness or struggles we may encounter in our lives. I love Alma 7 verse 11, because it doesn’t mention the word sin once as it explains how the atonement can bless our lives.

I love you all,

Elder Ioannidis

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By Robert Suranyi