Monday, October 5, 2015

Beautiful Explanation and Testimony of the Atonement

So, since my first email never sent for some reason... I will try my best to update you all about my current circumstances as briefly as I can:

First of all, I am living in an apartment with three other guys from Peru that speak no English whatsoever. In other words, Im suprised that I am here at this computer writing, because the stress over the language hasnt yet caused me to jump out of window. However, I have learned a lot of the language and am adapting to be able to hear and comprehend what these locos are talking about. Just kidding I love these guys. We get along great, except when Elder Vela catches us digging in to his snack-stash. (the guys a sugarholic he{s got oreos packed away like you wouldnt believe). Anyways, you might have seen the pictures of Guayaquil, Ecuador. I tell you its like the most ghetto place on earth. It makes the streets of Queens in New York look like Disneyland.The guys tell me, though, that it is the best area in the mission, so i am trying to stay optimistic.

Now for the good stuff: Holy wow did you guys SEE General Conference!?!?!?!? It was so good! Sometimes it was a little bit difficult to understand in the spanish language, when they would use people with different types of spanish dialects, but I picked up on a lot. Some of the things that stuck out to me: 

The importance of the Sabbath Day (particularly the sacrament and the ordinances and blessings therin), the power of prayer and personal revelation, the plan of salvation (with particular interest in the importance of families), and my favorite, and most especially, the Atonement. That is what I want to talk a little about today.

First off, in the Bible, whenever it talks about Jesus going to the Garden of Gethsemane, it never uses the word: Expiacion - or Atonement in english. So where did the word come from? In another scripture in John, it talks about the offering of sacrifices of blood for the sake of remission for sins. Basically, what we learn is that Atonement means simply a sacrifice or offering of blood. Sounds pretty intense, but what more fitting of a word for the suffering that Jesus went through in the Garden of Gethsemane, where it says the His sweat were as great drops of blood. 

I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement since the Saturday morning session. Why is it that we really can find strength, peace, and comfort through the Atonement? The scriptures talk about how Christ suffered for ALL the pains, sicknesses, afflictions, sorrows, and more for the world. He suffered all these things, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. Why? Obviously, because He loves us. Like I said, sometimes we marvel at the power the Atonement has, and its ability to help fix ourselves. Something clicked in my mind that morning in general conference. I have probably heard it so many times, but maybe i just needed to hear it said a little differently. When Jesus suffered in the Garden, even before His death on the cross, He went through it all. He felt every burden, great or small, and suffered it, that we might be able to cast ours off with the power of the Atonement. Incredible no? But there is more. Now, we have problems in our lives. we are afflicted. we are burdened. we are plagued with sins and temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary (Satan) in our daily lives. The only hope for relief that we have is that great act our Savior did for us. Why does it help us? Becuase we actually have someone to sympathize with. Christ says "I know how you feel," becuause He really, truly does. Then, He says "Here, let me take those away, " and He does. And then, after all that we can do, he says "Be thou healed," or "Go thy way, and sin no more." 

Gotta go, love you all and Have a great week 

Elder Jonathan Lane Kofoed
Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission

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