Monday, March 3, 2014
I've Finally Figured it Out
It seems like I'm doing a whole lot better than you guys are this week. I had a great week filled with spiritual experiences and time to ponder over that last year. Thank you for the council that you and Dad gave me. You have no idea how grateful I am to be your son.
As you know, I've come to realize that sometimes we have good days and sometimes we have bad days. Bishop Collins sent me a letter a while back that I recently found and he quoted President Uchtdorf who said, "It doesn't matter the difficulty, it matters how we face it." We know that the spirit is our comforter - so let it do it's job! Anyways, I've learned that as long as we strive to have the spirit then we can be happy! :) And that's really the goal, right? Our eternal, spiritual and mortal adventure for happiness . . .
As for Kenz and Brae, I am literally crying right now that I can't be there for them. Let them know that they will be in my prayers and that I love them more now than I did when I left.
As for Braeden, reiterate the words that I shared a few weeks ago - "there are more important things than baseball." I think that there's a song that Taylor Swift sings that talks about how when we're young, some things seem more important because we're "in the moment". For example when I was cut from the baseball team my junior year - I thought it was the end of the world - but I'll tell you this. Getting cut from the baseball team was the biggest blessings of my life. It put me down a path to help me get to where I am today. Invite him to read 2 Nephi 2. It has helped me in the difficult times of my mission to know that the Lord is going ot help us "become the people that HE wants us to be", and sometimes we have to "get cut" to understand that. When we have a crappy companion, day, area, whatever it might be - it's always for our gain. Let Braeden know how much I love him.
I feel like this week is the week that I feel like I've figured it out. I finally just accepted that all I can do is all I can do - then trust that God will go ahead and teach the people (missionaries, members, investigators) the lessons they need to learn.
This week, Elder Suarez and I wanted to try something out so when we left the pench every day we think about what our purpose is for that day. One day, we decided to focus on this theme of "In what way can I show my love for _________" (fill in the blank). So we went about the week just trying to love people - showing them why the Gospel will change their lives and the love that Christ really does have for them.
Our investigators C and A are in line to be baptized in a few weeks and are planning to get married. This past Sunday he was shaking because of the lack of cigarettes and alcohol. As of yesterday, he down to 3 a day and he told us that he would do anything possible to quit and marry her.
This morning, Elder Suarez and I were talking about him and we hope that the reason why he has the desire to quit smoking, marry her and be baptized is because we're the first people to show him love. He's never really felt it before since he grew up parentless and with out a real guide. We hope that he's wanting to make these changes in his life because he feels love.
I truly believe that the key to the reason why the Savior was so successful in his ministry is because all he did was go around loving people and showing them WHY they should change. I've never smiled bigger than when I watch C break his cirgarettes one by one and telling us that he's done.
We had another very spiritual experience on Sunday with Alicia. When she came to church she told us that she had a few questions - so we told her that we would come by on Tuesday. On Monday, I got a letter from a good friend who told me this story about a girl who had recently gotten married and went on a trip to Lake Powell with her family. While they were there, he boat hit a shallow part in the water and her new husband was ejected from the boat and died. So while we were at Alicia's, she shard with us a little bit of her past. Long story short, in her 40 years of marriage she has lost 4 children. Then she asked us the "golden question" - Why would God do this to me? I shared the story about the young bride, the story about the girl who passed away in Oklahoma, what Elder Anderson shared with us and then what Bishop Collins shared with me before I left and let her know that God will consecrate our afflictions to make us into the people that He needs us to be. We explained how if these things never happened, maybe she never would have accepted the missionaries. Only God knows. But we had a very good lesson with her and then left her home with the spirit to care for her and her family.
The McKoy's, a senior couple in our mission, go home this week. They're from Washington and gave us some great advice. Elder McKoy was the one who opened our eyes to the importance of LOVE in this work.
And like always, at the beginning of each month, as you did mom, my testimony grew again. This time it grew in a few ways - but one in particular - in the importance of love. If we have charity we will never fail. I have also been studying about how to be more consecrated to the Lord and I know that charity is the key. If we love the Lord, we will keep His commandments, go to church, and magnify our callings. We will also be reaching out to those in need and strengthen the feeble knees. We will do all we can to help, to serve and to love.
I wish today, more than ever before that I could be home with you guys, my family. Not just to be in your presence but to help Braeden and McKenzie through this time of their lives. I love you all, more than you know, and I am extremely grateful for all of the many blessings that the Lord has given us.
I know that God lives, that He loves us and that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ to give us an example of what we should do.
Love you guys.
Have a great week.