DATED:  July 21, 2014

This has been a pretty good week. I am sitting here trying to think about what exactly happened, and I can't really remember anything to specific, but hopefully stuff will come to mind as I continue to type.

First off, Thank you so much for all the birthday cards, wishes, gifts, and everything you all did for me to try to make my day special. It was a great day. Earlier in the week, we got the package for Banana Cream Pie stuff, which I made Saturday and ate on sunday (don't worry there is a video). I really enjoyed the balloon that you guys sent me too. It has been floating around the house, and it seems to go where it wants to. It has a mind of its own. I also loved the giant card that everyone signed. It is awesome. Thank you so much!

On Thursday we drove up to Morgantown and had a district meeting and Interviews with President Salisbury. It was great. He is a great person.

For the thought for today, I will tell you about something fun we did at the District meeting. Elder Anderson and I were asked to come up with a role play for us to do at the D-meeting. We wanted to teach the principle of Witnesses and how when there are more witnesses it motivates people to act. So for an object lesson, we got a box, and we taped candy to the inside of it. We took this box to the meeting. It was closed and people were asking what was in it. We told them that there was nothing in the box, then we would shake it to show them. They all believed us. So when it was our turn, we went to the front of the room. We opened the box. No one could see in it, and we called up one missionary to come and tell everyone what was in the box. So he came up and said, "Well, there's candy in the box." We asked everyone to show by the raise of their hand if they believed This Elder. Half the people raised their hands. We decided to get another witness, so we asked for another elder to come up and tell everyone what was in the box. He said the same thing, that there really was candy in the box. We asked who believed the testimony of these 2 witnesses, and no one raised their hand. They thought we were pulling a fast one on them. These 2 Elders started trying to convince everyone that there really was candy in the box. Finally someone said they believed there was candy, and so we told them to come up and look at it. He did and he said that there was candy in the box. There were 3 witnesses of the candy. It was interesting because people still didn't believe it. So one by one the people were finally convinced to believe candy was in the box and they would come up and find out for themselves. One sister was funny, she came up and looked in the box and said "Wow, there really is candy in the box" with a chuckle. All these people started to testify to the non-believers that yes, there is candy in the box! That they can come and see too. It was super funny because people weren't expecting candy to be in the box, and they were all surprised when they saw there really was candy. It was super fun and also very funny.

I am sure you can see the gospel applications to this, but I will share some thoughts I have on it.
Sometimes we may have many testimonies around of us something that is reality or truth, but we will still refuse to believe it for fear of embarrassment for because we are skeptical that someone is trying to hurt us. Sometimes the missionaries would say, "you know, our leaders wouldn't lie to us, so I can going to come and see for myself," (by the way, the assistants and the Zone leaders were the first people we asked to come look in the box). They found out that what they were being told was TRUE! There really was candy in the box! When they found out there was candy in the box they were really trying to convince the others that it was true.

We have leaders and people in our lives that have "seen in the box" and they are trying to help us to believe and "look in the box ourselves." It takes faith and courage to look in the box. It's not easy. I am sure we all have our doubts and our concerns, but we know deep down what is right and what is true. We can tell the difference between good and evil. The scriptures, prayer, and Church attendance help us to be strong enough, to be convinced, to believe, to get up and to act and to find out for ourselves if what our leaders (especially the Prophets and Apostles) are telling us is true.

I know that this Church is true. It's the only true Church as stated by Jesus Christ himself. All other churches are false. This is the only church with it all. That’s a bold statement, but it is the truth. What a blessing it is to be a part of this church. Lets all have the courage to continually look in the box and remind ourselves of our testimonies. Let us share them Boldly so that we can help others receive the blessing of the Gospel. Jesus Christ is real, He lives. In His name, AMEN!

I love you all!


Elder Josh!

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