Goodness it seems that time just continues to fly by, does it not? I seriously don't know where the time has gone, this week seemed so short! But alas, many a change have occurred in the short window of time in which we did not speak. For you see there comes a time in the everyday life that things must differ, for otherwise so shall they be monotonous and that just would not do. So every sixth week there are dramatic transitions come to pass. This past week it was that we must bid adieu to some of our best friends and carefully prepared to greet what we would hope to be some new found friends in the group arriving. We have yet to see how this will conclude...but see we shall.
However, on to more interesting subjects. Do you recall when, in a city not so far away, and a time not that long ago, I embarked on the ever so wonderful adventure of learning a new language? One that did require the usage of ones hands and not of ones vocal chords? A preparatory stage, that must have been, for now, you see have we the opportunity to learn in even more and advanced manner this language. Why? You may ask? Because of a wonderful young woman by the name of Iza. This young lass is a woman of high class. She is quite possibly, more knowledgeable than me. Yesterday she had done her homework and came prepared for church. When the lesson was going far too slowly for her, in Sunday school, raise her hand she did to share the rest of the story herself.
Sister Thurgood, had a really cool experience too. (Sorry my brain won't keep up with the Shakespeare thing any longer) She translated for Iza and her sister Weronika, and their friend Marita, for all three hours of church. When we got home to fix dinner, she nearly collapsed on the couch in exhaustion. As we talked about her experience of signing for the girls she said, the greatest blessing has been that I did not feel tired the whole time, not until all the meetings were over. What a tender mercy. At one point during testimony meeting she started crying while signing due to the emotion of the Holy Ghost. When the girls noticed they asked why she was crying. She explained and they were satisfied. Then in the next testimony the spirit filled the room with such intense force, that no one could deny it. The girls started crying, confused at the feelings they were having, they asked for clarification. To which they replied, "It's such a strange feeling, but a good one!"
Another moment this week. I have become more and more convinced over the course of my mission, that we are sent to whichever mission we are sent to for the people that we meet, members, investigators, and inactives alike. One of these people that I was sent here, because I needed them in my life is Celine. We talk to Celine quite often, even though she's half way around the country from us, and every time that we talk to her, I feel so uplifted, loved, and comforted. If nothing else on my mission were to have happened other than this friendship that has been forged with Celine, my mission would be classified as a success. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be in this amazing country, and meet these amazing people.
|My amazing friend! Celine.|
I was reading in 2nd Nephi 8 today. And I read about the command to "Put on Strength", and I thought, how on Earth does one accomplish such a thing? To PUT on strength, stated in such a manner sounds as if one would put on a piece of clothing, not an emotional attribute. Then I got thinking about it. Reading in the scriptures, it gives us strength or power, against the adversary. When we have "obtained" the word (Doctrine and Covenants 11:21) we have a power that only understanding and knowledge of the gospel can bring.
Another way that we can "put on strength" is to attend church. How often is it a challenge to look forward to church? How many times do we wonder who will be speaking or teaching that day and if it will be interesting? Here's the thing. Any talk can be "interesting" if we are listening with the right intentions. It is, as I said last week, up to us. We decide if we really want to be spiritually fed and strengthened every week. I would suggest that we all choose to learn, and be teachable.
Prayer. How can praying help us to "put on strength"? What is our first defense against the temptations that so readily beset us in our daily ventures? Prayer. Praying is the one of the greatest gifts that God has given us, the gift to communicate with our divine maker and that ultimate father. Do we pray sincerely, really yearning to gain the relationship that is to be had? Or do we tend to go through the motions. I have seen countless times that prayer, when properly used, can and will defeat any personal trial that we may be struggling with.
Iza came into a teach a little bit ago and was nearly in tears at the frustrations she was facing. She was struggling majorly with some personal issues and when we asked her about it, everything spilled out. Then, just as we were going to reassure her and try to console the poor girl she managed to plaster a smile on her face and sign, "But it's okay, because I have God on my side. And he understands." She "put on strength" through faith and prayer.
The last point that I will mention on this subject is that of temple attendance. And boy do I feel strongly about this one. I have gone almost a year without having access to the temple. Back home the nearest temple is 15 minutes away, another is just 20 minutes. I miss the temple, and I wish that I still had ANY access, let alone EASY access to a temple. In the temple is the closest that we can come to God, with select exceptions, while in this mortal existence. Do we take the temple for granted? No where on Earth have I, personally, gained more peace, guidance, knowledge, love, and acceptance than in the temple. How do we "put on strength" in the temple? In the temple we are so close to the veil. We are literally set apart from the world and the tumultuous noise and chaotic lives that we lead. In the temple we are endowed with strength and we can, when in the right mind set, learn more about who we each are as children of that divine creator, Heavenly Father. When we truly understand that we are His children, then the strength received will outdo all of the trials we face. We will still have trails, and will still flounder now and then, for that is the way we learn. But we have the chance to go at it with the end in mind, and the reward in sight.
I know that we can all "put on strength". We will be given strength from on high to do everything that He would have us accomplish in this life and learning experience. I love you all! I miss you all! I pray for you all!
Happy Mothers Day! (Can't wait to Skype with you!)