Monday, August 10, 2015

The Atonement leaves no scar, its 100% fullproof

Wow this week was absolutely amazing!  We had such a good time, im officially broke, but thats ok!  I'm full of the spirit and thats all that matters

This week we had zone training and thus began the 2 hour travel down into seoul and then two hours back.  But it was super fun, I guess Im the only convert in the zone right now and Elder anderson, my old companion, is the zone leader right now.  So he would call on me every time and ask how as a contvert I felt about a certain principle of technique we were talking about.  It was super fun to be able to draw on my experiences to help everyone else understand how to teach the investigator more effectively.  It was great to see elder Anderson again, he goes home this transfer!  And then Im next out of my companions!  Its crazy how fast time flies!  

This week me and Elder 정 also had some sick experiences, yelling people, calling them to repentance, and seeing some cool miracles.  One of the best miracles this week was on saturday, a scorcher.  Literally was burning us at some points, it was about 98 with 80% humidity.  Anyways, we decided to do some calls to meet with some people and so we took our stuff to the church where theres a/c and started calling, the first person answered the phone, and said lets meet now.  So we ran down and taught him a little bit.  He wasnt super interested but it was still a cool miracle to just do one call and get in immediately.  It was also nice to get out of the heat!  

Probably the best thing that happened this week, and also the title of the email, was in my studies of the atonement of Christ.  After hearing this talk by Cleon Skausen called the meaning of the atonement, I was determined to read through the book of mormon in search personally for why the atonement was necessary.  Yesterday as I was in the scriptures, my mind was pulled away into thoughts of a previous life.  A certain someone whom I hadnt thought about in about 15 years had come to mind.  This man has caused anguish and anger in my mind for years.  No one else would ever have known.  I dont talk about him.  I dont mention him and usually I dont even think about him.  But it seems as though the spirit pulled my mind to thoughts of him.  He was my old  step father.  I thought about how much he put me and my mom through.  Specifically one memory came to my mind where I remembered him trying to push me and my mom out of the car when we were driving....I was angry.. Beyond crazy.  And for years I've thought about what I would do if I ever met him again.  (probably never would but still).  And as I sat there, "Pondering in my heart"  The spirit whispered to me "What do you want to do?"  I was in my anger, I replied "I want to hurt him, I want him to feel the way I did."  And I sat in silence.  Staring at the floor.  

I have been studying the atonement, and about our Lord Jesus Christ.  Would he want me to do that?

no of course not...

So then I said "But thats not what you want me to do, huh?" (The spirit and I are pals, we talk like friends haha)

And he said "Of course not"

I said "You want me to forgive him huh?"

He said "Yes I do."

And I sat there, and without a moments hesitation, replied, "Ok.  I will forgive him, and not only that.  I will love him."  

And in that MOMENT all the anguish and anger, all the negative feelings, all the hate that was in me, was gone.

In that small second, when I realized that I needed to repent and use that atonement, it was there.  And It took EVERYTHING away.  Thats it.  Its not disinfectant at 99.999% effective.  Its 100%  It doesnt miss.  It doesnt leave a scar.  It takes everything away.  A clean slate.  

For years I struggled with this pain, for years it would come up every once in a while and make me so angry.  And for years I could never get it out of my head.  It took one simple thing.  Me to forgive.  And not only that, but to love as well.  

I, the Lord, will forgive whom will forgive, but of you itis required to forgive all men.
and so I forgave him.  And now I am whole again.  No more pain because of that.  No more suffering.  

When we think about the atonement, we alwasy think about the cleansing from sin part.  And just like Elder Bednar says, if thats all we are using it for we are missing out on the most important parts of the atonement.  Repentance can be joyous!  It can be fun!  It can be something we look forward to.  And with this amazing miracle that has happened I continue to look forward to repenting every single day!  I am excited to repent and change.  

Im grateful for the savior doing everything he has for us.  And Im grateful that I can be here and experience this life and work my hardest to become more like him.  Its difficult, yes, but life was meant to be difficult.  Life is hard, but life is simple.

I love all of you at home!  Be safe!

Elder Yamagata

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