Monday, February 20, 2012

The Refiner's Fire

That's where I'd say I am right now. It was another rough week, we didn't see a whole lot of success. I'm sure trying hard to work and do everything that I know I need to, but it sure isn't easy right now. The Lord is definitely testing us right now to see how we'll respond. We had 3 people that were absolutely sure to come to church, and 2 of them didn't answer their door when we passed, and a member was supposed to pick up the 3rd one because she lives 30 minutes away in a car (if you go really fast), but he didn't, even after we made sure he was going to. As far as that is concerned, it wasn't a great week. Thankfully, on Sunday, I reminded myself why I love the hymns so much. We were waiting for the mission leader to pick us up from the chapel to go eat with him (and his family), so I just sat down and played some of my favorite hymns. I was a little frustrated after the week, and it was a much needed relief from what I was feeling. I'm so grateful that I've been blessed with a love of music. I feel like I've already lost a lot of skill, not having practiced in 8 months, but I love it even more than I did before. The hymns really do bring the spirit into our lives, and it was a nice reminder as I sat down and played through some of my favorites.

I finally made it through Isaiah in 2 Nephi, and will finish 2 Nephi this week. Those last chapters are some of my favorites. I also started compiling 40 pages worth of scriptures that I wrote down when I read all of the standard works and am now putting them into subjects. It's something I've meant to do for a while, and am glad that I'm doing it for real now. I also started the Old Testament again. I didn't think I would really want to get back into that and read it all again, but I felt like I should after I finished Doctrine and Covenants last week. I'm learning a lot more, but I feel that there's a lot more to come. I have to get through the Law of Moses first, though. Leviticus is a tough read when you're looking for spiritual guidance. Anyway, that's been nice, and I'm sure I'll find some more good stuff in there (it is scripture, after all).

As far as the pills go, I started just doing 4 of the Nutrasleep, and it's worked ok. Really what it means is that I sleep deeper, but not any longer. That just makes it a little harder to wake up. I've had a couple almost good night's sleeps, so maybe it's just going to take a little time for my body to get used to it. I've started to feel a little sick this week, but not too much. Just normal missionary stomach problems. Thankfully, it's nothing compared to what I had my first month here.

I'm glad you had a good time in DC. I thought you had been there before, though. Anyway, I think that would be really fun to go see all of that history. Since coming here, I've just missed going to school. I never realized really how much I love learning, and not just about music. Everything I can learn is just really interesting, and I'm excited to be able to come back to school. Reading has also become a lot more interesting again. I have a lot that I want to come home and read. That was a long tangent to respond to your trip, but that's ok. Also, good work Jodi for getting accepted to BYU. I'll probably see you there, but in Fall 2013 or later. I didn't get letters from anyone this week except you, but I'll respond to whatever I get that I can. That's funny that Alan used lyrics in his talk. It's something I've thought about a lot, and there are some good ones, but I don't know that I'd ever do that. I'd be thinking it and maybe tell some people after, but never during. That's so great that he went on his mission, though. It's so great that there are so many of my age group and below that are serving. To be honest, I wasn't sure about a lot of them, but here we are, with almost everyone out. It makes me happy to know that they were able to figure things out and turn themselves over to the Lord.

Well I hope everything continues to go well at home. Soon you'll have Brigham to deal with again. I think he leaves a month from yesterday. I wonder how much things will change with him back home. I read a really good talk by Elder Christofferson in the January Liahona called "Recognizing God's Hand in our Daily Blessings" talking about the phrase "give us this day our daily bread" that Jesus used while praying. It was really good, and a great reminder that I don't need to be a perfect missionary now. I just have to take things one day at a time. Seeing how the Lord did the same with the Israelites and their manna was a good reminder as well. It was a really good talk, though, and you should read it sometime.

I know that Heavenly Father is our Father. He understands us and our needs. His hand is stretched out to us in every moment. All it takes to receive His help is to reach out to Him. Mormon teaches the same in Ether 12:41 "buscad a Dios" (look for God) and we will find Him. I know that as long as we have faith in Him and are willing to exercise that faith, He can bring to pass miracles in our lives. Even when times are hard, He has not forgotten us. He will always extend his tender mercies to all those who ask in faith. I know that He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ to suffer and die and resurrect for us. This supreme act of love makes it possible for all of us to overcome our faults and weaknesses and overcome the natural man within us. His Atonement makes it possible for our family to be together forever. I know that Christ overcame all things so that we never have to ask "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?" He is always there for us. His love for us knows no bounds, nor does His willingness to help us. He is our Savior and Redeemer. I think my favorite name for Him is the Master. He is in control, and will not let us fall if we do all that we can to follow Him. I know that through Christ, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, leaving behind all of our earthly cares and sorrows, living with a fulness of joy and love. This is our unique message to the world, and can only be brought to pass through this, the only true, restored church of Jesus Christ. I know that the have the sacred priesthood in order to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all of the children of men. We have been entrusted with the keys to manage the kingdom of God on the earth. I know that Christ directs this church and the work done therein. I know that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that President Monson and the quorum of the 12 are men inspired of God to deliver to us His will.

Elder Joseph Facer


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