July 30, 2012
Dear Elder Daniel,
Yesterday we attended Peter’s farewell. We had a hard time getting to him because of all the girls, but he made time for us to hug him. Christine Saneli sang; it was lovely. J We saw Sky and wished him well in Missouri. Mary was all smiles and brought family who loudly “Amened” and wanted to clap for joy. It was delightful. J
Dave Young spoke and, of course, gave a wonderful discourse. I will try to tell his parable as best I can.
The Parable of the Five Young MenBack in the 1880’s five young men from Great Brittan heard of diamonds in South Africa. So they procured the funds to make their way to Cape Horn, So Africa. They purchased their provisions and were told that going through the great desert they must hit the only oasis in order to survive. They were quite worn, but found the oasis and continued until they found the greatest wealth of diamonds imaginable. They loaded everything they had with diamonds, including their canteens. When they headed back through the desert they didn’t have enough water. As they suffered from the heat, they first dropped their provisions, eventually dropping many diamonds. Nothing mattered but water. These five young men decided that in order to find the oasis once again they would need to spread out. They were to fire off their gun when they discovered the oasis. Peter, in the middle, walked on and on; then off in the distance thought he saw the oasis. He couldn’t be certain if it was just a mirage, so he continued until he was touching the water, and then shot off his gun for the others to come and find relief and rejuvenation. They brought back many diamonds, but found all those riches weren’t as valuable as the water they found in the desert.
Symbols:Desert: Challenges, trials, temptations in life
Mirage: Illusions of happiness
Diamonds: The wealth of the World
Water: The true gospel of Jesus Christ
Gun: Warning sign – The testifying of missionaries
Canteen: Our souls – What will we fill it with?
It’s the choices we make – not the speed we go – that determine where we go.
Bro. Young then talked about the testifying warning sign you missionaries give as you teach others of the restored gospel. Of course, he got emotional when talking about Peter’s good choices, even though he grew up in rough terrain. He has been grateful to know Peter all his life.
Peter was asked to talk about finding joy and happiness. He related a very long walk he took a couple of years ago. He remembered noting the people in their fancy cars didn’t look happy. He thought that we are happier when we think more about what we have than what we want.
He noted on his walk that those people walking dogs were smiling and seemed happy. (He said he was over on Lakemont Blvd by this point.) He thought that dogs must give people a purpose. Families give people a purpose also. He was also grateful on his walk when he got to Coal Creek Blvd and a friend offered him a ride home. That made him happy. (That’s quite a walk!)
Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” He said whoever brings sunshine can’t keep it from himself. At school he tried to smile all the time and say hello to at least people between each class.
He said that service also makes us happier. Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine, worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for nearly two years. Then he didn’t patent his discovery so everyone could have it. He must have been happy because of his great service to mankind.
“Happiness is the absence of looking for happiness.” (I don’t remember the author.)
3 Ne 19: lay not up treasure on earth, but treasures in heaven.1 Ne 2: Lehi went into the wilderness with only his family, leaving behind many worldly riches. He only went back for sacred records and wives.
Proverbs 23:17 – Makes you happy.
1 Ne 8: When Lehi reached the fruit he filled his soul and wanted others to partake, especially his family.
“I am serving a mission because I want to share this happiness with others.”
Then he concluded by saying that single parent kids aren’t supposed to make it, but with this ward how could I not succeed?
The talk was very Peter, it was very wonderful.
Peter does smile all the time. So did Elder Flickinger. I think that's really good advice. I'm going to follow their example and smile more.
Love you lots and proud of you always,
(From Daniel's Open House in June)