7 Jan 1998 -- First letter post separation

Dear Family,

I hope you're all doing okay. I'm surviving. I know this can pull all of us together and strengthen us. I know it's strengthened me, increased me faith and testimony, and also increased my capacity to love. It has also caused me to evaluate my own life, and realize all of the wonderful blessings our Father in Heaven has given to us.

We all have a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can all be thankful for that. Many people are born, live, and die with out the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, we have it; let us be thankful, and let us follow the plan Father has given for us. I have a roof over my head, Mother has a roof over her head, everyone at home has a roof over their heads, we all have food to eat, we all have people to turn to for help, we all have the Power and Authority of the Priesthood. We all have so much to be happy for. While talking to mother last night, she told me to hold on to what is left; to hold on to what we have. It is always best to focus on the good. A scripture that almost always gives me comfort at times like this is (I think it's this one) 2 Timothy 1:7. God hath not given us the Spirit of Fear, but of power, and of love and of sound mind. God has given us power, love & a sound mind to deal with our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual problems. Let us use the tools God has given us to overcome our problems. And when we are fearful of the outcome, ask yourself "who is the Father of that thought, or feeling?" Satan is the father of people's actions as well as our Father in Heaven. We should all have Father in Heaven be the father of our thoughts and actions, otherwise, we will be sinning.

We have a baptism scheduled for 10 Jan 98. Her name is EC, she is JC's spouse [JC is the one who had the really splashy baptism]. He was baptized last month. So after her baptism, we will have baptized a family!

I love you all. May God bless you!

Love,

Elder Bettilyon

P.S. Sorry for the rugged condition of the letter -- I put it on top of the car in my folder & we drove off & it fell off -- all over a snowy, dirty road.

[Funny little note at the end there. I remember picking up my binder and all the papers. It was the perfect event for a horrible feeling day. I tried my hardest to sound positive and upbeat in this letter -- because focusing on the good will help us to not dwell on the bad. OF course, I had not really even started dealing with the feelings of loss my parent's separation caused.]

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