Monday, March 7, 2016

That reminds me of a story I heard on NPR - Green Hills, Tennessee

There was a reporter who set out to find the best sandwich in the world. He traveled all over to find the original Phillie cheese steak, panini, Ruben, and every other variety of sandwich both hot and cold. After much tasting and pondering, pondering and tasting, and a lengthy discussion with himself, the reporter finally had his answer. The best sandwich in the world is a home grown New Jersey tomato slice on wonder bread with mayonnaise.

I almost have to agree with him, and I can really see where he is coming from. After a lot of work, there is nothing in the world more tasty than a fresh tomato. The difference between a sandwich and an amazing meal is definitely a tomato. However I must disagree on a few points: first, there is no way it could be the tastiest sandwich in the world without cheese. Cheese is basically the best thing ever invented. Secondly, Roma tomatoes are better than jersey tomatoes. So my conclusion is that the best sandwich ever is a fresh Roma tomato with cheddar cheese and mayonnaise on wonder bread. A close second would be a gyro pita with fresh tomatoes, cucumber sauce, and feta cheese. 

Anyway, last week I bought a bunch of tomatoes and it was so worth it. Unfortunately, my companion doesn't like tomatoes, so I do not get to use them nearly as much as I would like. On the bright side though, that just means more tomatoes for me. I suppose this is the sort of thing I have to get used to seeing as my other companion doesn't like tomatoes either. That makes sharing more difficult, but like I said, more for me!

Also we had zone meeting last week and president came to ours. We were the only zone in the mission who got to see him. When we broke into groups for teaching practice, president ended up being in my group. It was so great to hear him teach the missionary lessons and learn from him. He knows the scriptures so well and no matter what my question is - in training, interviews, emails, or anything else - he always has the perfect scripture for it. It is great getting to learn from someone who knows the scriptures more than me. 

That reminds me of a funny tangential story. When we went over to president's house for breakfast, sister Andersen introduced me to her daughter with the comment, "When the apostles have a question about the scriptures, they call Elder Basham." It's nice hearing that compliment from her, because she loves and studies the scriptures more than anyone I know. However, I still have a very large amount to learn before such a statement could be even partially true. Anyway here are some pictures.

Anyway, I really loved reading this prayer in the book of Ether chapter 3. I added bold type to the parts that really stuck out to me. 

2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.

3 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hast driven us forth, and for these many years we have been in the wilderness; nevertheless, thou hast been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these things which I have molten out of the rock.

4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.

5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.

I know the spirit is a much better teacher than I am so I won't try to explain everything that I learned here, but with your own prayer and study you can learn the same thing and probably even more than me. The thing I do want to say is that the hand of God is before us continually - blessing our lives and those all around us. However, the natural man cannot see this hand. The eye which is carnal and selfish will never be able to see the great power God is showing us. Even though that power looks small to the understanding of men, it is there. If we change ourselves through the atonement of Christ (Mosiah 3:19) then we will have our eyes opened to see the hand of God. If you remember the whole story of this prayer, you will remember that seeing the hand of God is not just a metaphor. 

Anyway I love you all and hope you have a beautiful week!

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