A lot of things have been on my mind this last week. I’ve found that I sometimes don't understand the timing of the Lord. Although that is the case, I learned something important: Sometimes the Lord doesn't comply with His promises in the time frame that you want. There is often a trial of your faith, the which, if you endure it well, will bring great blessings to yourself and your area. A trial of your faith is a blessing from God, a gift to those who are trying to follow Him. The trials are never easy, and they probably shouldn't be prayed for, but they bring great blessings when they come.
For me, the trial is continuing onward even though I cannot see the immediate fruits. I feel it is very much like a tree. You plant the seed with the hope it will grow, but you give it water and sunlight long before it leaves the ground. It will never sprout if you do not have the faith to nourish it before you can see its fruits. That is my trial. Find the promises of the Lord, work as hard as I can, and then trust that I will, as Joseph Smith said, "Stand back, and see the Salvation of God."
I've given my whole self to the work these last couple of weeks, and so has my fantastic companion Élder Pérez. I can't even begin to list the miracles we've seen, the hand of the Lord in our own lives, the joy of teaching, the power of revelation, and the joy of the conversion of others to what we know is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I find such joy in the work! My frustrations with myself and others have lessened. There are many fantastic examples who I praise and with whom I am good friends…
Ghandi spoke an eternal truth when he said that you must "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I have seen in my own life, previous to my mission, that a person who is not willing to make changes in their own lives cannot help other people change. Nobody is perfect, but we can all strive to be better.
Rant complete. (JuleeAnn, you told me to write the good and the bad ;) ) :)
In other news, both México and the US are out of the Mundial. I heard it was a sad loss, but we fought a good fight. The German and Argentinian selections are both supposedly fantastic so, should you have a little time, you should watch the game. It should be fantastic. :)
I really appreciated the quotes that Mom and Dad sent me, and felt they should be reproduced here...so here they are :)
“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.
I AM A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past in redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, small planning smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly taking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by Faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience. I am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven.
My road is nbarrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch I nthe face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, anmd paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And when He returned for His Own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
MY BANNER WILL BE CLEAR.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it si the power of GOD unto Salvation to everyone that believeth…” Romans 1:16
(Henry B. Eyring)
It is natural for mortal children to become like their parents. It is equally natural for us to become like God, our Father, for we have divinity within us, having been born in the spirit as his offspring.
To be like him must include the premise that we will perfect our own lives and become strong by living in his way.
The purpose of the testing on earth is to see whether we really have the mettle of which Gods are made. If we did not bring it with us into mortality, then through suffering and testing here, we are given the opportunity of developing it now so that we may take it with us when we depart this life.
To these, I can only say...Amén.
Something else that has been weighing on my mind is topic of the guidance of the Holy Ghost through personal revelation. I have a deep and abiding testimony of personal revelation. Whenever we have troubles, we must first go to God and see what He says. Although at times we may not understand it, God will bless us as we follow His will and trust in His promises. Whenever you think that nobody can understand your difficulties, go to God. He will comfort you, guide you, and direct you. God is faithful.
From what I hear, all is well at home, for that I am grateful :)
I leave you, again, with my testimony. God lives. Jesus is the Christ. This work will go forward and fill the whole earth and there is nothing nor anybody who can stop it. It is the work of God. I know this is the Church of God on the earth. There are many good paths, but only one that is ordained of God to bring the whole human family to Him. It is not an easy path, but it will make us stronger. I know that God will direct us. I know we can return to Him if we put ourselves in His hands. It's not easy, but it's worth it. I know that Thomas Spencer Monson is a prophet of God. I know the scriptures are the word of God. I know my path and I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. My banner will be clear.
All my love,