Good week here in Bayview. Pretty busy week relatively speaking. Rosa is being baptized on Saturday and then confirmed on Sunday. Amy accepted a baptismal date for June 5th. We had a ton of investigators at church this Sunday, seven! Most on my mission so far, we were very blessed... Highlight: We were teaching the Word of Wisdom to Rosa (Church health code) and when we talked about coffee she got up out of her seat, went and grabbed all her coffee and threw it in the trash and then threw her trash outside. It was funny, when we talked about not be able to use drugs, her anti-Mormon husband stashed a ton of Pot in the freezer, so she put on cleaning gloves grabbed it and wanted to throw it in the trash, but we told her she probably shouldn't do that. The husband isn't too kind to her. She is so awesome... She is a miracle. She is definitely the most amazing thing that has happened on my mission so far. I really don't have too much to discuss this week. We had some really great lessons with some really great people. I basically told Andreas and his whole household to repent... Like: "Every one of you need to repent and change your ways or else you will not live with God because right now you are OF the world not IN the world." ... Never done that before, my companion looked at me like I was crazy but he agreed... the Spirit was definitely there and they were all pretty humbled, including myself. Hmmm, Timothy came to church... He was doing his Islamic rituals during church... That was interesting. He basically said, "No matter what path I take, one thing is for sure, I will always love Mormons." He was like, "I cannot believe anyone talking bad about your church or to you brothers (Elders)." I was like, "We can't either! But people don't like to hear the truth because then they have to change, so they just persecute us instead!" It's ok, whenever we get rejected I know we are getting wife points :-)
I read a conference talk this week that was entitled "I am a Child of God" and there were a few things that stuck out to me --
In real life, we face actual, not imagined, hardships. There is pain--physical, emotional, and spiritual. There are heartbreaks when circumstances are very different from what we had anticipated. There is injustice when we do not seem to deserve our situation. There are disappointments when someone we trusted failed us. There are health and financial setbacks that can be disorienting. There may be times of question when a matter of doctrine or history is beyond our current understanding.
When difficult things occur in our lives, what is our immediate response? Is it confusion or doubt or spiritual withdrawal? Is it a blow to our faith? Do we blame God or others for our circumstances? Or is our first response to remember who we are--that we are children of a loving God? Is that coupled with an absolute trust that He allows some earthly suffering because He knows it will bless us, like a refiner’s fire, to become like Him and to gain our eternal inheritance?
In teaching the principle that mortal life can be agonizing but our hardships have eternal purpose--even if we do not understand it at the time--Elder Holland said, “You can have what you want, or you can have something better.”
We live in a world that can cause us to forget who we really are. The more distractions that surround us, the easier it is to treat casually, then ignore, and then forget our connection with God. The Saints in Liberia have little materially, and yet they seem to have everything spiritually.
I love this talk. This is the first principle we teach everybody we meet. It's the most important because it's who we all are, we know that because we are a child of God we have divinity/royalty inside of us and we have a father in heaven watching over us, who cares and loves us, weeps when we weep and rejoices when we rejoice. He is there every step of the way. He takes us as we are and can mold us into who we ought to become. Life gets in the way of remembering that simple teaching and once we forget that teaching, that is when we stray away and do things we shouldn't be doing. I have felt God's love and know that everyone can because he loves all of us regardless of our imperfections and mistakes we make. Going golfing right now, talk to y'all later!