Sunday, April 10, 2011

We Live to Die and Die to Live - a Joyful Message

Missionaries helping clean cemeteryMissionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gather at a huge cemetery in Taichung, Taiwan to give service and participate in the Qing Ming tomb sweeping festival. This is an annual event and LDS missionaries give service at many cemeteries throughout much of Taiwan. The city leaders and many families were very appreciative of the four hours of service that we gave and the city provided a lunch for us when we finished our work.
President and Sister Bishop are great at leading by example.
Elder and Sister Greene had to work hard to keep up with the Elders and Sisters.
Elder Maua'i from Hawaii hard at work.
Elders Mutton and Johnson learned that work is easier, more enjoyable, and they accomplish more when two people work together. In the background many abandonded tombs, burial plots, are in disrepair because there is no one around, or perhaps still living, to care for the final resting place of family members.

As we saw the numerous abandoned tombs, we felt sad that no one was there to remember the deceased. But we know for a surety that our Heavenly Father is aware of them and that their spirits and bodies will be reunited in the resurrection because Jesus Christ overcame death. Every living soul will receive this free gift from the Lord, and as prophesied in Isaiah 25:8 -He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. . Our Heavenly Father, who notices even the tiniest sparrow, loves all His children and will not forget even one. A little children's song tells the whole story:

Did Jesus really live again? Yes when the third day came,

He wakened and He left the tomb, He called Mary's name.

Did Jesus walk with those He loved? Yes people touched His feet,

And of the fish and honeycomb, He did truly eat.

And there were nailprints in His hands and a spear wound in His side,

Did Jesus really live again, after He had died? Oh yes, and so shall I.

There were over 500 witnesses to the resurrection!

MISSIONARIES GIVING SERVICE Qing Ming Festival in Taichung

Sister Greene with a delightful group of Sisters who love to give service.
Elder Wong, one of the Assistants to President Bishop, puts his whole heart into his work. Check out that fancy footwork!
Sister Greene is living up to the label of a Bag Lady.
President Bishop and Elder Greene loading up the bags, which is much more enjoyable than lifting weights for exercise.
The bags of trash completely filled the truck which had to return a few times to cart off all that was bagged up. Our time was well spent in a worthwhile project. During our work a number of people expressed appreciation to us that we would come and clean up their cemetery.

The Book of Mormon teaches us so much about the resurrection. We are so grateful for this knowledge in this sacred book of scripture. The Son of God will come to redeem his people, and shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last day, according to their works. Alma 33:22 How fitting to have the opportunity to serve our Taiwanese brothers and sisters at a time when the whole world of Christendom will soon be celebrating Easter, when Christ rose from the tomb and saved all mankind from everlasting death!