Here in the Philippines, when anyone sees an American, they always yell out "Hey Joe!". I have tried to count the times this has happened to me, but its well over 100,000. This week I heard a new one though, it caught me off guard but made me laugh super hard. We were riding our bikes when this guy on a Jeep sticks his head out the window and says "Hello White Man, you like my Jeep?". Don't know what I was supposed to say, but it made my day!
We still continue to unlock our house with a bamboo stick. But this week it has been upgraded. We came home and found that the screen was locked, but with a hanger, and ingenuity, me and my companion unlocked it. We are basically the best Lock-smiths in the world.
I learned a valuable lesson this week about what is meant when the scriptures use the term "Clean hands and a pure heart". What is the difference between "Clean hands" and a "pure heart"? I believe its the difference between followers and disciples. When we use the term clean hands we simply mean one who has obeyed the commandments, done the things he needs to do, and as far as the books go, his actions are in line with the "letter of the law". But what is a pure heart, and how do we get one? In my own words, a pure heart denotes on who follows the Lord, for a purpose other than his own. One who follows out of sincere love for God and others. A pure heart is someone who truly understands that the gospel is not merely a list of "do's or don't's" but a pattern for Godliness. How do we get this? To me it requires an honest relationship with the Authors of the gospel, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We often hear that this life is a "testing ground" this is true, but I prefer the term "forging ground". This life is more than answering to challenges and trials, but an opportunity to become, a chance to make something of oursleves. Who can doubt that when someone comes to terms with and nurtures a relationship with God, that "clean hands" follow? A pure heart is more than obedience, its a sign of true faith.
This week has been good! I love hearing from all of you! Hope everything is well! Talk to you all soon!
Elder Trevor Kent Johnson (The Weirdest Missionary You Know)