Monday, December 31, 2012

Mosiah 2:17

It was sure good to see everyone on Tuesday.  I don't know if I'm weird or just adapt well, but it wasn't strange to me to talk to all of you.  A lot of other missionaries said how strange it was and how awkward they were, but I didn't feel like that.  I felt mostly normal.  Either way, it was great to see everyone and get the latest news.

This week was mostly slow.  E. Christensen and I (district leader) did exchanges one day and had a really good day.  Unfortunately, that was the only good day we had.  My companion is struggling to do just about anything right.  I'm trying to teach him, but he's not very focused and is always talking about the MTC or home.  I'm not quite sure what I can do to help him get into the real missionary world, but it needs to happen soon, or he'll end up with a lot of bad habits that won't be easy to break.  The good news is that we had a cool experience on Sunday.  The ward brought together a bunch of food and presents for a family that's very much in need.  A few months ago, they built a room for a sister to get her out of a bad family situation, but never finished, so she's been living very destitutely.  We took her all the groceries and toys for her 6 year old daughter as well as some building materials as a promise to come back and finish her room.  The Spirit was so strong in that little "house".  I knew that we were on the Lord's errand, helping two of His daughters.  It reminded me of the time that we got secret santa'd.  Even though they may not have been the gifts I was hoping for (aside from the laptop, that was perfect), I do remember that I felt very loved by whoever brought us everything.  It was a very special experience on Sunday, and I'm very grateful we got to take part in it.  

I've tried so many times to teach "get out of the way" to missionaries here, but nobody seems to get it.  Everyone always thinks it's good enough to teach "with" the Spirit or that feeling the Spirit as you teach is good enough, but it isn't.  The Spirit has to do everything.  We have to teach "by" the Spirit, or like a talk from April conference said "after the manner of the workings of the Spirit".  We're just tools in His hands, and nothing more.  It has to be done like it says in D&C 50:13-22 or it isn't the Lord's way.  I'm glad the missionaries there understand that.

Well that's too bad that we're selling the Joker.  Tell him I'll miss him dearly.  If there're plans to get another car anytime in the future when Dad starts making money, I want in on the decision.  If not, I guess I'll have to start saving.  

Here's the ward letter:

Windsor 7th Ward:
Here we are at the beginning of another new  year.  I've pondered about what I should write you this month, and I've got nothing.  What follows will be pure inspiration.
Often, people make new year's resolutions these days.  I'm all for that.  I'll be doing it tonight as well.  What do you suppose will happen with those in a week?  A month?  In June?  By next new year?  If we follow most of our past years' traditions, we'll have forgotten about them before long, and no changes will be made in our lives.  This gospel is about progression, not stagnancy.  Conversion, not commodity.  I think that's the key word: conversion.  When we make these resolutions, it's because we want to convert ourselves into something better.  Granted, this requires doing small or large things that lead to this conversion, but that's the ultimate goal.
Let's approach resolution-making from a gospel standpoint.  What does conversion require?  First, we need a testimony, a knowledge that what we're doing is correct and beneficial to our eternal souls.  We must then rely on the Lord to give us the ability to fulfill our desires.  We do all within our power, making plans, setting goals, and then put it in His hands, knowing His grace is sufficient for us all (2 Ne. 25:23).  As we consistently seek the Lord's help and strive to live according to the knowledge we've been given, we become more Christlike.  I would invite you to review Elder Bednar's talk from the October conference, and apply those principles to your resolutions.  Let us go on in so great a cause!  The Lord is on our side anytime we want to do what's right, and seeking to improve ourselves is certainly something right.  I testify that the Lord's grace can make us more than we even know we can be.  He loves every one of His children, all of you included.
I wish you all the best in your resolve to become more Christlike by setting worthy goals,
Elder Facer

I know that this is the Lord's work.  I know that He guides us and directs us as we participate in it.  I know that following Christ's example makes us more like Him and more happy.  I testify that serving others is one of the very best ways to do this.  I know that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is very real, and that Heavenly Father can speak to us all personally because He knows us perfectly.  I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real.  He did suffer for us.  He did die for us.  He did resurrect so that we may all achieve the greatest blessings of eternity: "all that the Father hath".  I know that we are never alone when we are in the Lord's work.  I know that D&C 84:88 is absolutely true.  I know that the Lord loves all of His children, even those who have died without the gospel.  I know that temple work is one of the greatest examples of selfless service, and brings us great joy.  I know that families can be united eternally through Heavenly Father's plan and the Atonement of Christ.


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