Worn out in the service of the Lord
As I sat down my mind totally went blank. A lot happened this past week, but...it feels like so long ago that those things happened ... Things are picking up here. No crazy stories this week--I am sure Mom is happy to hear that. But I am busy, busy, busy.
Sounds like it has been pretty emotional back home. I continue to pray for you all. I love you and pray the best for you.
I went on a few exchanges this week so I have not spent all of my time in my area. I went all over the city of Winnipeg. I enjoy feeding off of other's excitement and testimonies! Mine was definitely strengthened as I participated in Elder Perkin's District Meeting on Wed (my trainee is a District Leader! Nothing to do with me, he is just amazing) which focused on using the Book of Mormon as the Keystone of our religion. I thought really deeply about my experiences. My mind frequently tries to get me to doubt and as I experience those feelings I am filled with confusion and fear, which are evidences that those feelings are NOT from God because He is not the author of confusion. Instead, my heart filled with warmth and assurance as I contemplated my spiritual experiences which have shaped my testimony. For me, those experiences are only part of my testimony. Another part of my testimony are the evidences of living the gospel vs. not living it. WOW there is a difference. Going on one of the exchanges, in particular, really reminded me of how blessed I am and have always been. Now, I used to dislike the word "blessed" because I thought it was so vague and something of a cover-up-word for people while sharing testimonies. However, like I believe I have expressed before, I have come to a complete knowledge that a blessing can simply be the absence of something evil, or bad. Isn't that a blessing? Isn't decent health a blessing? Isn't being able to go on a morning jog a blessing? Isn't a clean home in a safe neighborhood a blessing? I can't emphasize enough of how lucky I have always been and that I was BLESSED in my upbringing.
I know you hear me harping on "being thankful" all the time, but....oh well. I suppose I especially direct my thoughts to any who read this that think they are so-called "unfortunate" or think that God has given them a "tough hand", because there were times where I thought I had it "tough". If nothing else, just writing this helps reaffirm to me that I am blessed. (If you want MORE specifics I will be happy to give them to you, but not until after the mission....there are LOTS...you may want to start writing all things things down to follow up with me, ha) I remember Pres. Monson's talk "The Attitude of Gratitude" and strive to develop that mentality. It is healthy, upbeat and encouraging. It brings us closer to God. I am still a work in progress. I KNOW that the Commandments we have today are from God and truly free us. I will now step down from this soapbox I put myself on...
Can you not tell that I am passionate about this? I will be the best Home Teacher this church has ever seen. Give me those LAs....Lately I am becoming more bold with those I am in contact with. I have been bold on my mission before---really bold--but I feel that I am now doing it with the most pure intentions...never to belittle them, but to share my testimony. ----Pause----I feel great right now. I think I am going to start printing these emails off and putting them into my journal. What an entry right? Mom, you were right in your part of the email when you put: "I think that as you spend more and more time getting to know people at work, talking with people at their front doors, with your neighbors, etc., in life, you begin to realize how unhappy some people are or how difficult some people’s lives are. Some unhappiness or challenges in life are brought on by poor choices and some just are just difficult circumstances out of their control." To that list I would add that many good people are just confused too, or do not where to search. I know that principle is true more than anything. Truly the gospel brings happiness. I know it does. Christ can eliminate guilt, sin and can succor us but only if we let Him. Also as part of His Atonement He can lift, inspire and help us to reach higher, but only if we let Him. We must always be humble.
You asked about Zone Conference a couple weeks ago. It was received really well. We built a tower out of Mega Bloks. Fun eh? Elder Skinner and I showed 2 volunteers and the audience a picture of a complicated structure we made, but only showed it to them all for about 20 seconds. Then we took it away and had the volunteers try to build the structure. They couldn't. Then we gave them written instructions that had them think, but led them to build it correctly. They had an idea of what they wanted at first, but needed instructions to get them to the final product. Such it is with missionaries. Missionaries come out with a basic idea of who they want to be and what they want to achieve. When they get into the field that is suddenly lost in the frenzy of everything going on. So much to do! But, with Preach My Gospel as the Lord's instruction manual for missionary work we can be the type of missionary the Lord wants us to be. Make sense? It was received pretty well and many missionaries are studying more intensely in PMG, myself included. I am going through and writing summaries of all the scriptures given in the blue scripture study boxes. I am receiving personal revelation as I do it and am feeling uplifted. I know the gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is true and so is the Bible (as long as it is translated correctly).
You mention a few chiasms in the Book of Mormon. I will have to look at those. Alma 36 has a huge chiasm about his experience that is similar to Paul's in the Bible--a total change, and his soul being "harrowed up". I learned what that was and I love the words used!
Weather? The other day is was +18C and I about died. I was roasting. Today looks to be a scorcher too. I laughed when you said 60F was cold. Perfect, is what it is. No snow...for now.
This week is full of "Transfer Planning", where President Paulson, Elder Skinner and I will study and search the best places to put missionaries. I pray for the Holy Ghost to enlighten our minds. This is a 3 day event, by the way...no small undertaking.
I love you all, always seek to have living testimonies.
It rides better than the Cruze but is not as fun to drive. Yup, I said it. We got it THAT DAY. Speaking of cars, I had to give up my Minnesota Driver's license and got my Manitoba one. Sad day.