Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014

Another great week.  We were able to meet with the District, and it is always nice to be around the young missionaries.

 The Relief Society Presidency had an idea to use mirrors to remind the sisters to be more Christlike.  We have put together these little mirrors.  The image of Christ is mostly transparent and uses the quote in Alma "Have ye received his image in your countenances?"  Now I just have 39 more to assemble!  Good thing I have Elder Dixon to help me!

We have been given the opportunity to teach a woman outside of our Branch.  We met a special requirement that she wanted: we are old!  Keep us in your prayers.

My Portuguese is improving, although it is slow.  I read the scriptures in Portuguese with my English version and am able to figure out a lot of the content without looking at the English version.  I have a LONG way to go before I understand well, but I am working on it.  The members are patient and kind.

Elder Dixon and I decided that our date for the week would be to go to the events at the Atlanta History Center commemorating the Battle of Peachtree Creek.  Peachtree is a prominent name in streets here, and was a significant battle during the Civil War.  For many years, Elder Dixon and I have enjoyed journeys with our wonderful Bishop Welch, who has been a trainer for seminary and institute teachers regarding church history from Nebraska to Utah.  One of the things that I have learned is that there is a special spirit when we are in the place where significant events have occurred.  I remember feeling that as we stopped at a spot in Wyoming where there was nothing significant to mark it.  However, the sense that something powerful had happened there was really amazing.  It was the spot where the rescuers finally found the stranded handcart saints.

I had a similar feeling at the history center.  What happened at Peachtree Creek was a powerful part of our history in this country.  Many people in the South seem to hold a reverence for the events of the Civil War.  There is a reason for that.  Thousands of young men, gave their lives in terrible battles.  Historians may debate which battle was the death knell to the move for independence by the South, but none will deny the impact of each battle in the lives of the families who lost loved ones, or lost their livelihood.  Atlanta was not burned as I had always been told.  The men leaving from the Confederate armies did not want the Union soldiers to be able to have the ammunition and explosives they had, so it was actually the Confederates that blew up train cars full of explosives and ammunition and that did level city blocks.

In the picture with the uniforms is a tan coat worn by a 17 year old Confederate Soldier.  He was killed in the battle at Peachtree Creek.

The thing that really struck me was that there was a divine plan.  Southern armies got lost on the way to the battle, some did not get there at the appointed hour, and the largest part of their army did not pursue the Northern army as ordered.  Had any of those things been different, the outcome of that battle and, possibly the war, could have been different.

It also struck me how Mormon must have felt as he watched the terrible destruction as men who should have been brothers fought to the death.  It leaves a very solemn reverence in my heart.

This week's little Atlanta novelty:  pine straw.  It is used  for mulch and is baled like hay.

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