What a week it has been! Enjoyed it! Conference was good as always, it seemed a bit weird, also we didn't see Richard G. Scott speak.. Did I miss it or did something a happen? odd not to have an Apostle speak. Good conference though! Sad that people want to oppose just to oppose.. Darn Satan! Well, on a lighter note, Earlier in the week it was a new transfer as you saw, so we had a bunch of missionaries studying and working with us for a bit on Thursday morning. From Penrith and Hebersham zones. The Mt. Druitt Elders we live with are in the other zone.. weird, hey? So some of their missionaries got dropped off then their real companions came back to pick them up after their District Leader Training, I used to attend. I got to see Elder Nathan and since he is training I got to meet his trainee or "Son!" It was fun to see the posterity and to see the Line of Tsai continue! I have a weird missionary family tree... I was born to foster parents thus being part of the line of Duke/Wickham, then coming to my promised land to my ASNM trainer or father Elder Tsai! ha. Weird missionary humor most of you probably find weird and peculiar.. but it makes us laugh, so I hope you et some sort of joy from it. ha We did a lot of driving this week as well so I took a picture of Elder Moore and I in the car, I have a lot more free time in the car since I am not driving this month, ha. DO not worry I am still making sure I fulfil all my co-driver responsibilities! We have a good record in the mission right now for avoiding accidents. We hope to continue that in the Penrith Zone! So I was also able to take a picture of a funny truck we pulled up next to. ha. Top Gun! This one is for you 2 Mayson and Peter! I was feeling bad the other night about my miracle entry and felt it was a bit lack-luster and too made up on the spot. So I asked if I could re do it and do something better. I submitted the following:
1. I had the fortunate experience of Visa-waiting as many missionaries do. Sometimes it is frustrating, disappointing, or even depressing. Luckily, for me, I was able to LOVE my experience and all the people I was blessed to meet in the Missouri St. Louis Mission. The first thing that changed my mission was a small Mormon message played to entertain us while we came back from lunch at a Zone conference. I was filled with peace and happiness as Elder Joseph B. Wirthlins life motto became my own: "Come What May & Love It!" It means a change of attitude. An attitude of Faith and Humility. Two things I believe every new missionary must learn in order to have a successful mission. Letting "Come What May & Lov[ing] it" is accepting the Lords will and being faithful no matter what happens. Knowing that, as the finding faith in Christ DVD tells us, good things will come to us whatever outcomes come, IF we are faithful. An example: Accepting and loving the companion your are given, the area the Lord places you in. Knowing that no effort is wasted in finding (as Preach My Gospel tells us), even when the contact was rude, abusive, and full of anti-Mormon harassment. Instead of calling President and complaining about your new companion before you even work with them or in your new area, or losing faith in people because of the rude contact... Remember: "Come What May & Love It!"
2. Once you are accepting the Lords will and humble enough to move forward, the lord will continue to shape you. Through an inspired Process of Purification. For me it was the "40 Day Fast." It starts with a day long fast all leading up to you allowing the Lord to make a list of all the things you do that hold you back and poke at your spirit. Then for the next 40 days you "Fast" from these things and start doing better things. I was hesitant at first a did a watered down version first and saw watered down blessing. Once I finally put away or sent home all the distractions (football cards, pictures of home, flat brimmed hats, mirror tint sunglasses (all the small things or small rules we break)) I was finally able to be lead by the spirit and CLEARLY understand and follow nearly every prompting that came my way! I was truly able to be "an instrument in the hands of the Lord." It takes sacrifice and spiritually minded discipline. We truly give it all to the Lord and stop holding our small acts of disobedience or our favourite sins. For those little things are what cause, to some extent, the spirit to cease to strive with us. Making this work, this spiritual work, even the Lords work, Impossible.
3. All of this Change lead me to have effective and revelatory studies and days, but even more importantly... A testimony that Jesus IS the Christ. That Joseph Smith IS a Prophet of God, and of course that the Book of Mormon is a true, God inspired Record. I testify that the That all of that is true. I have felt the Spirit guiding me by the hand, I have felt the forgiving power of the Atonement, I know that the Lord cares for and Loves us more than we can imagine!
4. Now this would be a great ending point wouldn't it? But that is the Thing. It's not all sunshine and rainbows once we get a faithful attitude, a sharper behaviour, & a testimony. Life moves "Onward Ever Onward," as we sing so often, and so do Satans temptations! That s Why these changes within us HAVE TO be Lasting! The mission is supposed to have changed our lives forever, not just for two years or 12 weeks! ("The First Great Commandment" Elder Holland, Oct. 2012 General Conference) We must keep going, enduring to the end. Despite our good works thus far, you may find yourself at rock bottom. A transfer has occurred and perhaps you don't have the best or most Booming area or the most supportive companion. Maybe you haven't gotten mail in over a year.
So do we just give in and let our "Rolling Waters" stagnate and become impure?
Do we forget Our Purpose?
What happened to "Come What May & Love It"?
What happened to those 40 days of purification and clear promptings?
What happened to that testimony of Jesus Christ?
Again, what happened to our sense of purpose?
Elders & Sisters Please! Always Keep our Purpose in your heart! Do all you can to stay faithful and true! (Hymn no. 248) When satan tempts remember "You are doing a great work & cannot come down!" (We are doing a great work & cannot come down" President Uchtdorf April 2009 General Conference) If you are ever at your spiritual "Rock Bottom" Maybe even your own personal Gethsemane or Golgotha... Don't quit. Turn to God! He uses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible! (Elder Nelson) What helped me was Hymn no. 100, "Nearer, My God' to Thee." Seeing the example of Jacob, sleeping on rocks far from home...yet in his dreams he'd be nearer to God. So he ACTED as an agent unto himself (Elder Bednar). In the seldom sung 4th verse it shows us how we can turn to God in our trials. "Out of my stoney griefs Bethel (The house of God) I'll raise!" Because Jacob had a Faithful attitude, was purified enough to be lead by the Holy Ghost, & had a testimony of The Lord, he was able to make a complete turn around! From the stoney griefs of rock bottom to raising the house of the Lord and Building the Kingdom of God. ... So by our woes we grow Nearer to God. By turning to God we are filled with Eternal perspective and realize our grand potential! "Sun, moon, and stars forgot Upward [we] fly, guiding our tribe up the Holy mountain into the presence of the Lord!
My dear friends, Elders & Sisters... Please! Let your Missions CHANGE you! I ask...
Will You let "Come What May & Love It?"
Will you purify yourself through the "40 Day Fast?"
Will you receive a testimony of Jesus Christ?
Will you come nearer to God?
Will you be changed because of your missions?
I promise you (PMG Ch. 11) that if you do these things you will NEVER lose sight of your purpose. You will endure many things (Article of Faith no. 13). Your promptings will be Clear. And you will Quickly develop those Christ-like attributes that will allow your confidence to wax (or grow) strong in the presence of God, and the Holy Ghost shall shall be thy constant companion. I so testify in the sacred name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you ALL.
"Come What May & Love It!"
-Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
"Out of my stoney griefs Bethel I'll raise!"
-Hymn no. 100"
that is my miracle entry.
I Love you All SO Much! I hope you can feel it. I feel your love and prayers. Thank you!