Hello all! I hope everyone had a fantastic week and that everything is going well up there North J. This week was one full of miracles! Something that I have learned a lot on my mission is that as we try our best to do the Lord´s will and work hard despite the circumstances we may be in, we will always be blessed with miracles, however small or big they might be!
Yesterday, Elder Lyon and I got to a point that we just really didn´t know what else to do. We had planned the night before as always, but for some reason we just felt that we could work differently, and see better results. As we were thinking about that, a phrase that my basketball coach always told my team in high school came to mind. It is “If we want different results, we need to do something different.” Sometimes, we always just do the same thing expecting a different result, but as we try new things trying to have even more success, we will always be very blessed! I used this example in a lesson yesterday because it is the best example to get people´s attention – If you want to be able to play soccer like Messi, you have to practice like him, but if you want to play better than him, you have to practice differently and harder than him. It is the same in the Gospel, and in life. We can just go through the motions, being like everyone else, reading the scriptures once every month, praying once a week, going to the temple once a year, and chances are we would probably just stay stagnant, without much progression. So the thing most important in this is our consistency in always trying to be better, and always doing a little more, and it may even require change and doing things differently!
Elder Lyon and I started doing things a little differently, and we felt that we were guided far more than normal by the spirit, and we were able to meet some great new people. We decided to work in some different parts of our area, and we focused on just listening to the promptings of the spirit instead of focusing on our plans. We were lead to a particular house and here in Argentina there aren’t really ever door bells, so you have to clap your hands to get someone to come to the door. So we clapped our hands and the guy that was sitting there in his little humble house told us to come in. So we went in and began to talk to him. He told us of all the deaths he has had in his family, all the terrible things that he has gone through, how he was in the war of the Islas Malvinas, and how now his wife is sick with cancer. His question was “Why?” And that is a question that I have gotten a lot as a missionary, ¨why do all these things happen to me, why does God punish me?¨ There are many people who do not have a sufficient eternal perspective to be able to comprehend why we have trials, and that this life really is a test. I began to testify to him that God loves him, and knows him perfectly, and knows what he needs to be able to progress in this life, and that Heavenly Father gives the hardest trials to the strongest people. But then I explained to him the same principle, that if he wants something different in his life that he needs to do something different, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what can make all the difference we need! “Remember, He gave his life so that you can change your life.” We will be returning to their house this week and they have a really big family so we are excited to be able to help them!
Last night, we were walking to go to an appointment and we were near our area limit, and I see someone out of the corner of my eye with a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation. I was thinking, "well, I don’t remember talking to him, so we need to go talk to him." It turns out, that not 5 minutes before, he went up to the sister missionaries needing some help with some things that were going on in his family, and then we just happened to be right there, talk about being in the right place at the right time! He and his family are going through a really rough time because his nephew is dying and is only 10 years, and his family is completely destroyed because they have no knowledge of the plan of salvation. We were able to talk to him a little more and we scheduled an appointment with the family this week. I can´t imagine how anyone would be able to overcome such a tough trial without the knowledge of Heavenly Father´s perfect plan, that enables us to live eternally with our families! How blessed are we to be able to have this knowledge!
I was reading a talk, well my companion was listening to it and I was eavesdropping, and I cannot remember who it is by, but just listening to it a little bit I heard something that I really loved. “We cannot let ourselves lose sight of our eternal identity.” And I was thinking about this a lot this past week! We cannot let anything keep us from remembering and always thinking about our eternal identity! That is one of the biggest things that the adversary will attack! The fact that we have a huge potential to one day live eternally with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and alongside our families! We have to strive every day to keep that in sight, being consistent in our faith and love in Jesus Christ, always trying to be better, and always obeying the commandments! As we do so, we will have a hope and faith that will be an anchor for us in all that we do, and all the struggles and hardships that will come, like it says in Ether 12:4.
Never forget how merciful and loving the Lord is, and how much he wants us to comprehend His mercy, even though it is hard at times! I have met many people who struggle understanding this doctrine, that no matter who we were, what we have done, the Savior will always have his arms of mercy extended towards us in our quest to change and become better!
Alma 33:16 -
“For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son.”
I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us, and that He is the most merciful person that has ever existed, more than we can imagine. We must work to be able to understand His mercies, and accept all that He has given us! This is His true church, and priesthood keys have been restored so that we may receive the necessary ordinances that enable us to live eternally!
I love you all! Have a great week!!