I have only one week left = insanity. There are many emotions involved.
This past week we've been diligent in the work but we didn't teach many lessons. I was sad, because it really didn't reflect how much we worked.
I have loved my mission a lot. I have loved what I've learned and taught and the people that I've met.
There is no work that is greater than God's. This is his work.
I know that I talk about this a lot. I know that everybody does, but You really need to be reading the scriptures. It is a sin to not read the word of God daily. It is a commandment. Contained in the Book of Mormon and all other scriptures is God's message for us. If you knew that you got an email from President Thomas S. Monson you'd probably read it as soon as physically possible. Why is reading the scriptures any different? YOU need to be doing it DAILY. Don't make excuses to not read them. That's just dumb.
This was a good week! I got a surprise text telling me that a person that I taught last year wanted to talk to me and it had his number, so I called him. It was AMAZING to catch up on old times. I only taught him for 2 months but he still remembered me and thought that I must be headed home soon. He offered that if I'm visiting my mission I can stay in his home. He's also getting baptized sometime this fall! It was so incredible to hear and to realize the affect that I made on his life as a missionary. I really needed a boost like that.
It's been raining here in Idaho a ton! It's green here for the first time in a century! (I totally made that statistic up.) I feel like it's preparing me to go home. There are a lot of people who know Missouri in one of the wards that I'm in right now too. It's weird.
I got my "trunky papers" today. It's your flight itinerary for when you're going home. It's insane. I'll be in Kansas City at 1:14 PMon the 23rd.
I got my trunky papers, but I am in no way trunky.
I've been reading the Book of Mormon a LOT I want to finish it again before I go home, so I have to read 20+ pages a day. Today I read a lot, but in that reading I read Alma 27:27 talking about the Anti-Nephi-Lehites.
"And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end."
If we are not known to be what this scripture says, how are we representing God's restored church? We need to be honest and good. Don't lie. It's really annoying. As a missionary, I've become well associated with it. Just say the truth.
I can't believe that I'll be home in like 22 days. In fact I won't believe that... done. I've still got a year.
We've had a pretty good week! We got lots of work done! I love it when I'm lost in God's work all of my problems seem to be washed away for a little while. I love the feeling that I get as I'm testifying. Even if those who we talk decide not to believe in the truth that we share, as I share my testimony it is reaffirmed to me. All of us tend to forget things, but as we do what the Book of Mormon invites us to do, remember Him, we'll be happy.
Something that's been on my mind is the Sabbath day. Keeping it is really important. It's our observance of the small things that makes the difference in our lives.
Now, I'm a missionary (no way!) and even though we pretty much treat every day like it's Sunday with how we dress and stuff, I decided that i need to observe the Sabbath more. So, on Sundays I don't listen to music, but General Conference talks instead. It's been awesome!
Random awesome scripture!
2 Nephi 29:8-9
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
I had a birthday party on Saturday. It was wonderfully catered by my parents through mail. It only involved me and my companion, but it was great. We had a tiny pinata, we made a cake, we took stupid pictures, it was wonderful.
This past week I've been sick a lot (including on my birthday) which hasn't been fun, but we just have to keep trucking along!
In my studies this week I found a scripture that I love SO MUCH.
2 Nephi 9:41
"O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name."
The path is straight and right in front of us if we will just take it! Jesus Christ is waiting at the gate for you with love in his eyes and a hug waiting. That will be one of the most joyous and glorious moments for me. I can't wait to see may Savior, see his eyes and receive his hug that's just for me.
Do what you know that you must do to stay on the path that leads to those glorious gates.
This week's been intense. Seriously, everything that hasn't happened in the previous 2 weeks happened this past week.
First: OUR APARTMENT FLOODED. I was woken up at 12:44 Thursday to my companion yelling. We ran upstairs and found that the hose that connected the toilet to the wall broke and water was spraying everywhere.
Starting that morning until now, we've been in a ghetto hotel. We've each got queen sized beds, but it's really thrown our mojo off. There's no room for studies, so we've had to do it on our beds. It's hard to keep it effective. We are also out of clothes and are in a finding a washing machine emergency. I'm currently wearing my old toe socks that I wore with my toe shoes, because I have no other socks.
Second: I got to talk to my family yesterday! It was enjoyable. :) (Oceanology, no Oceanography, I TOOK A CLASS) We talked about classes and a whole bunch of other random stuff.
I happened to skype in the home of the Buck family. Brother Buck graduated from Skyview with my mother. He showed me their yearbooks and here's a picture that I found of my mom in one of the yearbooks! :D
My message today is for those of you who might be struggling through deep waters of trials, sickness, depression, or stress. To console the Prophet Joseph Smith and other the Lord said:
Doctrine and Covenants 50:41-42
41 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;
42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.
Fear not. He is there. If you lean on him he will be your support and you will not be lost.
This past week's been hard as well. I started to get sick 4 days ago and now I'm SUPER sick. I'm hurting a lot. Met with the doctor this morning and he attributed my stomach discomfort with stress amplified irritable bowel syndrome. It hurts a lot, so any prayers would help.
I've been sick a lot on my mission. It's awful because this is when I want to be working the hardest.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
As we push through our trials, God rewards us. Pain, suffering, stress, challenges, are all things that will end after this life.
Even with trials and challenges. Even though we will have them always, it does not mean that God's hand is not in our lives. Think about the original 12 apostles that Christ chose. They were beaten, rejected, and killed,. Think about Abinidi. He stated the truth and was burned for it. Think of the early saints who left footprints of blood on an untamed prairie as they searched for a place where they could worship their God freely and without persecution.
This week's been intense. Everything happened. Everything.
Elder Andersen in gone. He got emergency transferred to Blackfoot. I miss him, but I've got an awesome new companion: Elder Mendoza. He's from Florida, his dad's from Spain, and his mom's from Italy. He's just a really great guy and an incredible missionary. Here we are emailing! :D
At the same time as the emergency transfer (which happens when some missionaries in the mission don't get along or get in trouble) and all of the confusion (including moving into another apartment), we've had some success. God always balances out the bad with good in the large scheme of things.
We've been talking with a wonderful 14 year old girl that we'll call Amy (though that's not her real name.) She's awesome! Since we met her she's been really great, committed, and sensitive to the spirit. She's noticed that she feels really good when she prays and reads the Book of Mormon.
From what I've noticed, answers come to all who truly ask and seek.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
2 Nephi 4:35
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
These and many other scriptures indicate that if we will ask we WILL receive.
This basic doctrine stated by Jesus Christ and his prophets- ancient and modern- is what many in this world so greatly lack. Many have lost hope in God's ACTUAL POWER to change our lives. He can change us, he has changed me and will continue to do so, and he will change and help you if you will simply seek it with a heart open completely to his direction.
seek his direction
be humble and teachable like a child (see Matthew 18:2-3)
follow his direction
I know that if we will follow Christ, search him out, and follow him we will find peace and happiness in this life and the next.