Monday, October 4, 2010

I actually have something cool this week to write about.

Guess what! I actually have something cool this week to write about. Weird, huh? Nothing cool really happened to us this week per se, but I just saw a cool comparison that we actually were able to teach in our English class.

Some of the pictures that you just looked at are from a village in between Tirana and Elbasan called Pëllumbas. It’s a small village where nobody really lives, but if you hike a little ways up into the mountains there are some caves that you can explore. They are humongous caves and there are probably thousands of bats inside. The floor is covered in slippery mud and the only source of light that you have is a fairly low-powered flashlight to help you see what’s barely in front of you. The scenic hike up to the caves is beautiful and we enjoyed it thouroughly. The caves were also really fun to explore. We were all given flashlights to walk around in the caves, but obviously when you’re in some bat caves with a bunch of 20 year old kids, at some point you’re going to turn all the lights off. We all piled in to one of the caves and on the count of three we turned off our flashlights. It was incredible how dark it was in there. Honestly, you couldn’t see your hand held up in front of you. You couldn’t see anything. If we would have tried to get out of the caves without a light, we would have never made it and probably ended up slipping, falling, and getting hurt along the way. But if one person would turn their flashlight on and scope out the path, you could follow that person and know you weren’t going to slip or fall. You knew that he could see the safe way out and if you followed him, you would be safe as well. All you need is that one light source in the midst of the drowning darkness and it becomes possible.

We all know that the times we live in are fairly dark. There are tons of things around us that do not give off light in the least bit. Satan is using anything and everything he can find to turn out the lights or to blind us so we can’t see them. Think about the words in John chapter 8. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” We are all unavoidably put in this world of darkness. Whether we like it or not, we are in darkness. Heavenly Father is not here to show us every step of the way. It’s our job to find a way out of the darkness and back into His presence. But luckily, we all have one person to whom we can look for that source of light. That person is Jesus Christ. He set the perfect example for us. He knows the path and if we follow that path, we won’t slip or fall. We will be safe and one day we will make it out of the dark caves into the glorious light of the Celestial Kingdom. Now think about the words in Matthew 5 and we learn about the responsibility that we each have as followers of Jesus Christ. “Ye are the light of the world. . .Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” When we are on that road, we all have the opportunity to be that light for others. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to be that light in my life. It’s awesome to be able to help people get on the path so they don’t have to suffer anymore.

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for the example he set for all of us. I’m grateful for forgiveness. He is there and he knows exactly how to help us. Why not come unto him and be a part of that peace. I know this is His true church.

I love you, Mom!

-Elder Swenson

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