Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 63 - October 31, 2016

Hello, everyone! 
Well, we had a great week to wrap up this transfer.  Elder Lake and I will be staying another transfer together.  We are very excited!  We had an incredible transfer.  We taught 180 lessons and had two baptisms, we were so blessed!  We met all of our transfer goals but were a baptism shy. 
Last night Michelle was baptized.  We had a great turn-out and it was simply amazing.  Such a spiritual experience for everyone.  She is going to be a great member.  

Jack was confirmed this Sunday and we took him out to two teaching appointments and he absolutely killed it.  My jaw dropped listening to him bear his testimony and teach some points in the lessons.  He has come so far!

This week on Tuesday I got to go on an exchange here with an Elder.  We had a great time! I felt bad because on Monday my iPad crashed in the evening and I lost a good chunk of my stuff (luckily two weeks earlier I moved some stuff to my USB).  That was super sad, so the next morning I had to take my iPad to get fixed which took longer then expected.  I was super bummed though for a little bit but got over it pretty quick!  Then that night, this deer jumped out of nowhere and we almost slammed into it!  

Wednesday morning after our exchange, I woke up feeling horrible, I was pretty sick.  Then Elder Lake got sick.  So we are still a little sick but we continued to work, we refused to sit around! 
I had a good birthday on Friday, besides feeling horrible, we had a member take us out to Chick-fill-a for lunch, and then a family named the Fletchers who were in my last ward (the best family out there), drove up from Maryland and took us out to dinner at Texas Road House.  Pretty sure the steak they bought me was thicker than me!  Had a few families throughout the week invite us over and sing me Happy Bday and made me cakes--all that good stuff.  Lovely people :)

Well, we had this crazy lesson with these Filipinos we tracted into.  They are Catholic and we left them with a pamphlet and came back the next day and started teaching the wife and it was super great and then towards the end of the lesson, the husband comes in and we finish the lesson and the guy just goes NUTS on us, so hard hearted, trying to bash - the best was this... we would ask him a question about either the Godhead, baptism for infants (which is a heresy), or where their authority came from, and every single time they would say, "It's a mystery, it's not meant to be known" 
I was so baffled.... I'm just so grateful for all of the knowledge and understanding that we have in the Church of Jesus Christ.  It's comforting to know we don't believe in blind faith but that we are always seeking for answers to questions we have. 
I finished the Book of Mormon on Thursday and have restarted it. 
As I started reading, I noticed a passage I had not seen the previous times I had read in 1 Nephi 3:5.  Basically, Nephi and his older brothers were commanded to go back to Jerusalem after they left to retrieve the brass plates (ancient records) and the brothers are ticked about it.  Anyways in that verse Lehi (Nephi's father) speaking to Nephi says:  "And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord." 
Something that I have learned is that the Lord will ALWAYS ask us to do hard things.  It may never be easy, but it will always be worth it.  Henry B Eyring (an apostle) said:  "If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill" -- the best view is at the top, and in order to get there it is a long, hard, strenuous hike that we must be willing to make to achieve the blessing or "the view."  The greatest law of heaven (well, one of) is obedience and our obedience will always be tested through our sacrifices.  Are we willing to give up something we "love" or maybe even "lust" to the God we love (or should love) more? 
To close, I loved at the end of chapter 7, as Nephi and his brothers had to make another trip back to Jerusalem to get some people to bring back with them and they are all in the wilderness, and Nephi's older brothers are so mad at Nephi they tie him up to a tree and leave him to die, but of course the Lord gives him strength to burst the bands - what I noticed this time I read through is in verse 21 where after all of this, he stands before his brothers again and it says:  "And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done..." idk about you but if I got tied up and left to die in the wilderness by my own family, I would be ticked.  Nephi didn't do anything wrong.  Nephi was just obeying orders and was actually the person that helped his entire family, yet his own brothers reviled against him when he didn't do anything wrong, and in the midst of all of this he just on the spot forgives them and continues the journey.  I definitely learned from this that no matter the circumstances if you are right or wrong, you need forgive, forget and move on.
One of my favorite line of scriptures is, "and it came to pass" - yes every hard time, difficulty, trial whatever will COME, but it will all PASS.  It just matters what you do in that period between COME and PASS that makes the big difference. 
To finish, this morning in my studies I was reading from "Teachings of the Presidents - Gordon B. Hinckley," Chapter 12 for the last 10 minutes and there a few things he said that stuck out to me -
“Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This is a season to be strong.  It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission.  It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow.  It is a time to be found keeping the commandments.  It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain.  It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships.  In other words, to become more Christlike.”
We cannot be ordinary people.  We must rise above the crowd.  We must stand a little taller. We must be a little better, a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more courteous, a little more thoughtful, a little more outreaching to others.

To end, President Hinckley tells a story about how the small decisions in our lives have a huge impact on us.

"Many years ago I worked for a railroad. … That was in the days when nearly everyone rode passenger trains.  One morning I received a call from my counterpart in Newark, New Jersey.  He said, 'Train number such-and-such has arrived, but it has no baggage car. Somewhere, 300 passengers have lost their baggage, and they are mad.'

"I went immediately to work to find out where it may have gone.  I found it had been properly loaded and properly trained in Oakland, California.  It had been moved to our railroad in Salt Lake City [and had eventually arrived in] St. Louis.  There it was to be handled by another railroad which would take it to Newark, New Jersey.  But some thoughtless switchman in the St. Louis yards moved a small piece of steel just three inches [7.5 centimeters], a switch point, then pulled the lever to uncouple the car.  We discovered that a baggage car that belonged in Newark, New Jersey, was in fact in New Orleans, Louisiana--1,500 miles [2,400 kilometers] from its destination.  Just the three-inch movement of the switch in the St. Louis yard by a careless employee had started it on the wrong track, and the distance from its true destination increased dramatically.  That is the way it is with our lives.  Instead of following a steady course, we are pulled by some mistaken idea in another direction.  The movement away from our original destination may be ever so small, but, if continued, that very small movement becomes a great gap and we find ourselves far from where we intended to go. … It is the little things upon which life turns that make the big difference in our lives.

"I approached a large farm gate one day.  I lifted the latch and opened the gate.  The movement at the hinges was so slight as to be scarcely discernible.  But the other end of the gate cut a great arc sixteen feet in radius.   Looking at the movement of the hinges alone, one would never dream of the magnified action that came as a result of that tiny movement.
So it is with the decisions in our lives.  Some small thought, some small word, some small action can lead to tremendous consequences."

Love you all, thank you for your love and support and bday wishes. 
Be good be great!

Elder Wilde 

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