Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 4 (Jacob-Limoges)

Well this week was a very quick week and was full of miracles! We set a goal as a district to teach 20 lessons each, so we obviously were all trying our hardest! Luckily we had lots of help!

One really fun experience was going to the Jewish Synagogue with Jacques on Friday. That was a super neat experience as I was able to see a little how others worship Heavenly Father. It was very funny because we walked in and there were a total of 8 Jewish men there (no women this time). So we all filed into a little room where we sat down, we each grabbed a Siddur (which means a religious book) and then just randomly one of the guys started reading from it! I luckily had the phonetic version so I was able to follow a little more than the just the symbols.... In order to prepare for that, Elder Steinbock decided to start teaching me Hebrew! That has been quite the experience because it is a language with a whole new alphabet and no vowels... So we printed out Genesis chapter one with Hebrew/ English side by side and I have been practicing on that and with other prayers. I learned "The Shema", a religious prayer that essentially is the most important prayer used in Jewish custom. It goes "Shema yeesrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad, baruch sheim k'vod malchuto leolam, vaed." I will leave it up to you to decipher it. It is even more complicated using the Hebrew symbols.

One thing that I have already learned is that, in Genesis, the word for God used in Hebrew is Elohim (pronounced AY-LO-HEEM) which is the plural form of Elohei. In Jesus the Christ, it talks about this plural form in the sense that God is plural in love, goodness, and mercy but it can also be taken literally, which is interesting to compare to the Joseph Smith translation of Abraham which uses the word Gods when describing the creation.

I also listened to an excellent talk called The Olive Press by Truman G Madsen. It was super great in analyzing olive trees. I learned both from the talk and then later that Gethsemane is Hebrew meaning olive press. I really love the point that he makes that, just like the olive which has soothing and healing qualities, so does the love that comes from Christ's sacrifice have the same qualities!

We found this super cool Italian lady this week! We taught her about God and the Book of Mormon. It was amazing to see how she realized the search that she didn't even know she was on!! We went back and taught her again and will be going on Wednesday to talk about Alma 32.

I know that God loves each of us because I have felt that love so much this week! I am so grateful for the opportunity to share the Gospel every day full time! I hope that I can continue that even after I return home!

With lots of love!!
Elder Pettingill

From Jacob's mom: Jacob and I were able to 'chat' for a while this morning over email. We got to discuss how he felt when he found out this week that he got accepted to BYU Provo. I will share this little bit he told me. It also describes more about what is happening in the pictures below

I found out about BYU last night as we celebrated the birthday for a Tongan rugby player at the church!! I had a wonderful week!! I had the opportunity to look at the CES website several times but decided to just push it off until the week was truly over. Finding out I got in was just like a dream come true that I never thought would happen. I didn't even want to think about it so my body went into an emotional coma for about 3 days. I did not want to come out and when I did had a little wave of emotions that were hiding down deep. :) Luckily the wave hit while we were eating home made chocolate cake (from scratch) with cream cheese frosting and speculoos cookies on top. 

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