Monday, June 3, 2013

Elder Packer and Elder Schwartz.....

Dear Everyone!

It's great to hear that everyone is doing well and staying busy.  Thank you everyone who has been writing me (and be sure to thank Alice Wells for the letter, it helped me out a lot).  Thank you for the photos Dad, and be sure to send my love to James and Stacy and the girls.  It's awesome to hear that Elder Andrew Schwartz is so excited for his reassignment.  One of the elders who I live with, Elder Smith, is actually from that mission and he will be home at the beginning of July.  I know that Smith is a really common last name, but I'm sure they'll run into each other somehow.  

The weeks fly.  I really cannot believe that a whole week has passed since the last time that I sat at this computer and started writing you guys.  This week went by really well for Elder Packer and me.  We did not have a baptism this past Sunday, but if things work out as planned, we will have one THIS Sunday.  We are having problems getting permission from the boys mother, but I get along really well with her for some reason, so hopefully we´ll be okay.  The boys name is Jose and he is 16 and he is way cool.  He does visits with us, and he brought his girlfriend to church.  He really needs to be a member.  Actually, all of the youth in the ward are really active in missionary work here.  They love going on visits with us, so we take advantage of that and teach with them as much as we can.  It's helping them a lot to be more prepared for the mission.  ALL OF YOU YOUTH READING THIS:  DO VISITS WITH YOUR LOCAL MISSIONARIES; IT WILL HELP YOU OUT SO MUCH!!!!!!

District class was really good this week.  Seriously, I was so blessed with my district; I have THE COOLEST missionaries in my district.  I absolutely love working with them.  Last week we had this capacitation (training) for new district leaders, and it helped me out A TON.  

It has rained the majority of the week, and it's really cold here.... the mountains are covered with snow again; winter is just barely starting.  But aside from the weather, everything is really really good.  Sorry that this email isn't so detailed..... i forgot my journal...... 

Lots of Rain.....

That becomes Rivers....
OH!  I almost forgot something,  So this week we visited this investigator family, Alex and Caroline.  The missionaries had been visiting them for like a year, but they stopped teaching them for a month or so because they weren't progressing. WELL, this week we went back and visited them, and Caroline came to church with her kids and then we had dinner with them last night, and now we are fasting with them so they can find a date to get married!  So that was really cool this week, getting to know them.

Anyways, i love you all, and I am very happy here in this sector.  I know that the church is true, I know that both Andrew and I are doing the Lord´s work, and i know that He is watching over us and proctecting us and leading us to the people who need our help.  I am very thankful for this time that I have to focus myself 100% in His will.  Until next week,
with much love,
Elder Nathaniel Schwartz

Zone after soccer

Lunch by Elder Packer

Elder Schwartz sent this along.  It is a quote that his mission president shared, and he thought is was fun and interesting......

Hugh Nibley’s Book of Mormon Challenge 
Hugh Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book,1989) pp. 220-21

It appears that it only took some 63 to 70 working days, April through July, 1829, to complete the entire translation of the Book of Mormon, a complex religious history covering 2,000 years and more than five hundred pages.

To demonstrate how astounding this is, Hugh Nibley once asked his Book of Mormon class at Brigham Young University,
"Since Joseph was younger than most of you and not nearly so experienced or well-educated as any of you at the time he copyrighted the Book of Mormon, it should not be too much to ask you to hand in by the end of the semester (which will give you more time than he had) a paper of, say, five to six hundred pages in length.

Call it a sacred book if you will, and give it the form of a history. Tell of a community of wandering Jews in ancient times; have all sorts of characters in your story, and involve them in all sorts of public and private vicissitudes; give them names - hundreds of them - pretending that they are real Hebrew and Egyptian names of circa 600 B.C.; be lavish with cultural and technical details - manners and customs, arts and industries, political and religious institutions, rites and traditions, include long and complicated military and economic histories; have your narrative cover a thousand years without any large gaps; keep a number of interrelated local histories going at once; feel free to introduce religious controversy and philosophical discussion, but always in a plausible setting; observe the appropriate literary conventions and explain the derivation and transmission of your varied historical materials.

Above all, do not ever contradict yourself! For now we come to the really hard part of this little assignment. You and I know that you are making this all up - we have our little joke - but just the same you are going to be required to have your paper published when you finish it, not as a fiction or romance, but as a true history!

After you have handed it in you may make no changes in it (in this class we always use the first edition of the Book of Mormon); what is more, you are to invite any and all scholars to read and criticize your work freely, explaining to them that it is a sacred book on a par with the Bible.

If they seem over-skeptical, you might tell them that you translated the book from original records by the aid of the Urim and Thummim - they will love that! Further to allay their misgivings, you might tell them that the original manuscript was on golden plates, and that you got the plates from an angel. Now go to work and good luck!"

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