Monday, July 10, 2017

WEEK 88: ALL THINGS TESTIFY OF CHRIST

A visit from Robert & Miranda

This week has just been amazing for me and my spirituality.  I have learned a ton and have been able to receive so much inspiration and revelation.  It is crazy how if you make church, praying, and reading your scriptures a priority how much you can learn. 

This week the theme for my email is about how ALL things lead and point towards Jesus Christ – especially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Below is an excerpt from a document I recently studied that really strengthened my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ:

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Let’s look at Moses as a symbol or type of Christ and compare the two “deliverers.”  Moses was Israel’s physical deliverer.  Jesus is our spiritual deliverer.

Moses’ first plague to get Israel out of Egypt was turning water into blood.  Jesus’ first miracle in His ministry was turning water into wine.  Moses’ last plague was the death of the firstborn.  Jesus’ last
miracle was the resurrection of the Firstborn.

How did Moses free Israel from Egyptian bondage?  He had the Israelites take a lamb—male, unblemished, firstborn, with no broken bones—and sacrifice this lamb by shedding its blood.  The Israelites then put the blood of the lamb on the lintel and the two side posts of each of their doors.  When they did that, the destroyer passed over them.  The blood of the lamb saved them from physical death.  In our lives, we have to accept the Lamb of God—Jesus Christ—and symbolically put the blood of His Atonement on the doorframes of our lives.  The blood of the Lamb of God will save us from spiritual death.

Those lambs used for sacrifice had to be firstborn.  I don’t know if you have considered Jesus’s birth in the light of His being the Lamb of God.  To whom did the angels go to announce the birth of the Lamb of
God?  Specific shepherds were assigned to tend the flocks of sheep to be used in temple sacrifice.  Only certified firstborn lambs could be used.  The shepherds were the eyewitnesses of which lambs were
firstborn.  So when the Lamb of God was born, where did the angels go?  To the shepherds. Why?  Because that was their job—to witness the birth of firstborn lambs.

Moses tells us in Leviticus 1:11 that the lambs to be used for sacrifice were to be slain on the north side of the altar.  Where do you suppose Jesus, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed?  The Crucifixion took place just north of the temple altar in Jerusalem at a place called Golgotha.  The Lamb of God was sacrificed north of the temple altar.  ALL things testify of Christ.

After Israel left Egyptian bondage, they went to the borders of the Red Sea.  In the movie The Ten Commandments, Yul Brynner played the part of Pharaoh and said, “The God of Moses is a poor general to leave him no retreat.”

Not really. Moses went there on purpose.  Why?  Because they had to go through the Red Sea.  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:1–2 that Israel passing through the Red Sea was a symbol of a baptism by water and a baptism by fire.  Israel was saved by water. That is why there had to be a wall of water on each side.  Israel was “baptized by immersion” in the Red Sea. The fire held the Egyptians back.  Hence Israel was also saved by fire.  It is the same with each of us.  We need to be saved through a baptism of water and a baptism of fire.

When Israel got to the borders of the Red Sea, the pillar of fire came around behind them.  There was first a separation of light and darkness.  It was light to the Israelites going through the Red Sea, but it was darkness to the Egyptians.  What did God do on the first day of creation?  He separated the light from the darkness.  What did God then do on the second day of creation?  He separated the waters from the waters. What did Moses do? He separated the waters from the waters, and Israel went through on dry ground.

They went into the wilderness.  The wilderness is a symbol of purification.  They were there forty years. When we get into the Millennium, we will have a thousand years of purification.

What did they eat while they were in the wilderness?  They ate manna.  What is manna? It is bread from heaven.  Who is Jesus? He is the Bread of Life. Where did He come from? Heaven.  And where was He born? He was born in Bethlehem.  And what does the name Bethlehem mean?  Bethlehem
means “House of Bread.”  By chance?  I don’t think so.

What did they drink?  They drank water.  Who is the Living Water?  It is Jesus (see John 4:14).  Where did they get the water? From a rock (see Exodus 17:6).  Who is the rock?  The Rock is Christ (see Helaman 5:12).  By chance? I don’t think so.

When Israel went into the promised land, they went through the Jordan River.  Why go through a river? You have to be “born again” (see John 3:1–5).  Who led them through the river?  It was Joshua.  Joshua is the Hebrew name for the Greek word Jesus.  It was “Jesus” who caused them to be born again and led them through the Jordan River back home to the land of their fathers.  They crossed the river at Bethabara—the same place where Jesus would later be baptized.  That section of the Jordan River is the lowest body of freshwater on earth.  Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that Jesus’s baptism at Bethabara symbolized His descending below all things (see “Self-Mastery,” Ensign, November 1985,32).  ALL things testify of Christ.

Consider names—simple names, like Joseph Smith.  Joseph in Hebrew is Yoseph.  Yoseph means “may God add sons.”  A “smith” is someone who forges or fashions or beats something out of raw material.  So if you are God and you want to establish a kingdom out of raw material and then add sons to it, how do you describe that?  “Joseph Smith.”

What does Hyrum mean? Hyrum means “my brother is exalted.”  By chance?  I don’t think so.

Consider the seasons.  When was Joseph born?  Joseph was born at the winter solstice, when light is coming into the world. What was the sign to the Nephites when Jesus was born? It was three days of light.  When was Joseph killed?  Joseph was killed at the summer solstice, when light is going out of the world.  What was the sign to the Nephites at Jesus’s death?  It was three days of darkness.  ALL things testify of Christ.

Moses 6:63 states, “All things . . . bear record of [Christ], both things . . . in the heavens above, . . . on the earth, . . . in the earth, and . . . under the earth.”

The sun itself is a type of Christ.  It comes from the east.  Christ will also come from the east. The sun gives light and life to all things.  Its heat can also consume all things.  (Those who live in Arizona understand that.)  It does both.  The Light of Christ gives “life to all things” (D&C 88:13).  Christ’s glory will also consume the wicked at His Second Coming (see D&C 5:19).  People whose lives are filled with darkness will be destroyed by the light.  People whose lives are full of light will be saved by that light—“as by fire,” to use Nephi’s words (1 Nephi 22:17).  Doctrine and Covenants 88:25 states that “the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom.”  Well, what does the earth do?  The earth revolves around the sun (s-u-n). What should we do if we are to abide by the law of a celestial kingdom?  Our lives should also revolve around the Son (s-o-n).

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Everything points to Christ, and I would encourage you to look up and read the whole talk of “True Doctrine, Understood, Changes Attitudes and Behavior” by Todd B Parker in Jan 2015.


Love,

EP


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(I searched the document he referred to and below is a direct link to it on the internet in case you want to read the other parts of the speech that was given:


Lunch at an Italian restaurant
It's getting warm here!

Monday, July 3, 2017

WEEK 87: I LOVE AMERICA

On the way back from Idyllwild

This week was good.  It was cool to be able to practice teaching with Elder Olsen, and being able to learn different things from him.  He was in the Riverside Deaf branch before so it has been cool learning how to sign a little bit :)


President and Sister Mullen left Friday around 3:00 pm, so that has been kind of weird.  It is kosher though, I am excited to see the Hammon's tomorrow at our meeting.

Not really a whole lot to report on, just the same ole same ole, teaching repentance!

I AM SUPER EXCITED FOR TOMORROW BECAUSE I LOVE AMERICA.

ASL Missionaries

Saying good-bye to the senior couple, the Just's.

Elder Pennington finally got his hands on a CALI license plate.

First MLC meeting

Monday, June 26, 2017

WEEK 86: FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD


Skye and Stefanie come for a visit and
take Elder Pennington out for lunch.
Elder Luthy has been transferred haha.  He only stayed one  month with me, and now he is going back to Riverside.  My new companion is Elder Olsen, and he has been out the same amount of time as me.  He has been in the ASL Branch a good chunk of his mission.  I am excited to be able to work with him.  I am super grateful for the opportunity I had to be able to learn from him!

I really have learned to love the scriptures more, and he was able to help push me a long.  As I have been reading through the Bible again, I am in Galatians and it is super cool how you learn about bearing one another’s burdens and how you reap what you sow.  Being a follower takes a lot of action.  James tells us to be doers not hearers and how Faith without works is dead being alone.  It is a process and you have to act on your faith.

I talked to a guy that said if my message is so good why do I have to be peddling my faith around.  Jesus Christ sent his apostles out at the end of the gospel of Matthew specifically, to teach all nations.  Jesus Christ walked and shared his faith.  He did not just sit his entire ministry.  He was out working and being an example.  I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ, and that we need to practice what we teach and lead by example and those works will help you increase your faith.


EP

Skye comes for a visit

Skye, one of Elder Pennington's converts

Just call me Elder "Joe Cool" Pennington

Raise your hand if you're sure!

Monday, June 19, 2017

WEEK 85: LAST MULTIZONE WITH THE MULLEN'S

Elder Pennington with Pres. & Sis. Mullen

Elder Pennington had his last Multi-zone Conference with Pres. & Sis. Mullen.

His mission president finishes his mission which was for 3 years and is heading home at the end of June.

No group letter from Elder Pennington this week, but we do have pictures to share. 

Enjoy!


Hugging his mission president

A good handshake

A member of the mission presidency
Zone Conference Picture

Relaxing on P-Day

Nothing like a relaxing hammock
The zone on P-Day

Scenic View

Enjoying the great outdoors

Hangin' loose in CALI

I'm on top of the world!

Welcome to Paradise

Things are heating up here in CALI


Monday, June 12, 2017

WEEK 84: FAITH TO ENDURE



Ricky Lee's baptism
This past week we were able to see Ricky Lee enter worthily into the Waters of Baptism.  It was a super spiritual program and I feel so blessed that I was a part of it.  I have been in this area for 9 weeks today and all of the lessons that we have had and everything he has learned has gone by super fast. Ricky has gone through so much but because of his strong Faith in the Lord, he was able to endure to Baptism even through all of the hard trials he faced trying to get here.  Ricky reminds me of Moroni, and if everyone were like Ricky then...Alma 48:17.  He has strong faith and has done a complete 180 in the lifestyle he was living and the one he is living now.

Ricky Lee was baptized by Sosaia - his Polynesian fellowshipper

I have a strong testimony that God puts us in the path of those that he wants to help us.  I truly believe I was meant to be an instrument to teach Ricky, because I was able to increase my faith as I saw the changes he has gone through.  After the Baptism I gave him a big hug, and he looked at me and said, "You carried me to this point. You played a huge role in getting me here."

I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the love that the Father has for us.

Love,
EP




Monday, June 5, 2017

WEEK 83: MORE BAPTISMS AND BIRTHDAYS




Anabelle's baptism
This past week I had the wonderful opportunity to enter into the waters of Baptism with Anabelle Matus.  It was awesome to be able to see her testimony grow over the past 6 weeks since I have been here. It is awesome to be able to see someone grow closer to Christ.
 
Anabelle's baptism
Next week is Ricky Burton’s Baptism and I am super excited for that! We have interviews this next week and it is super sad that President Mullen only has a few weeks left as a mission President :(

Love,

EP

Elder Pennington's planner cover

Back side of the planner cover
Elder Avei's Birthday



Our WML in the YSA Ward
Christian and Mikell's baptism

MLC

Who here has the greatest faith?  Is that Elder Pennington's hand?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

WEEK 82: I LOVE MY COMPANIONS


Kera's baptism

This past week we had a baptism for Kera!  She is awesome, and really loves the gospel.  It was an amazing opportunity to see her enter into the waters of Baptism.





Elder Luthy fixing an investigator's back
This was my first week with my new companion Elder Luthy, and he is a stud!  Looking back, I have been extremely lucky with my companions that I have had throughout my mission.



I have a Baptism for two twins in my last area, and a Baptism this Sunday for a girl we have been teaching in our YSA ward!  Super excited for these people! I am short on time so bye!

Love,

EP
Goodbye Elder Moyers

A district in the zone I visited
Elder Glathar came to visit and brought me a tie

My lunch dedicated to Memphis!