There have been a few thoughts on my mind, that I've been pondering. How have I used the atonement in my life? How do I want to use it on my mission? How do I tap into that power and trust in God? But most importantly, how do I find happiness?
It hit me really hard what you guys have been trying to teach me. I've always tried to be strong enough on my own and as good as I can, so I don't have to repent. Well, so much for that. That equals miserable and never good enough syndrome. Finally, I realized that repentance doesn't mean you are a bad person, or that you failed. It means that we love our Father in Heaven and we want to let him help us. He gave his Son, Jesus Christ so that we could be HAPPY! Not so that we would have to feel bad all the time when we didn't do it perfectly. Ah, am I making sense? It's so easy to judge yourself in that of the world, but hello, every time we repent, we are just refocusing on God and thanking him for sending his Son.
Every night in my prayers, I account to The Lord what I did that day, and ask him to make my efforts better than I could have on my own. It's helped me feel calm about the work here. And I've become obsessed with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I watch the bible videos about him every day now, and just love what he said. Ah, it's all about peace, love and hope! It's so easy to get caught up In everything else.
He truly is the center of our message, our advocate to the Father, and someone who has felt what I feel. It's okay to have weaknesses, and we won't conquer them everyday. I wish, but we just need to get back up and use the atonement to comfort us, and let it say to our souls, "It's okay!"
And you know what, Heavenly Father answers prayers. In little ways, in big ways, in some way and some time. We just have to have faith that he will. It's so easy to say, well, if he answers me, than I will have faith that He is there for me. Nope, you have to believe that He will first! Trust that your prayers will be answers. Give your heart to it. And it is after that, that your prayers will be answered. Just like in Ether 12:6, "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." HAVE FAITH. HAVE FAITH AND HAVE FAITH. What have you got to lose, nothing! You know why, because I promise you, all of you, that God is there and he cares. He cares how you feel, and he wants to help you. He's just waiting for you to ask, and open your eyes to see the answer.
So, family, I have a challenge for all of you this week. Start tonight. Each write done one question that you have. One prayer you NEED answered. Every day, read the scriptures like you do, and pray specifically to get an answer to that prayer. Individually and with the family. Make it a big goal. Now, find a time when you can all go and do baptisms together. Make a deal with The Lord, that is you work hard this week that will receive an answer this week, and feel of His love in His house. I promise you guys will see an answer to each one of your questions. Okay, it's going to take work, but BELIEVE! Don't let anything get you down or doubt. He knows you personally, He loves you more than we can comprehend and the best part of it all, is He is smiling down on you CHEERING you on. Giving you a big bear hug. He's already blessed us with the knowledge of the gospel, we just got to use it!
And I want to hear how it goes. I can read about it every night. Let me know what you think.
Also, a cool experience this week, we helped a nonmember girl make all of this Hawaiian food for an end of the year party. She grew up in Honolulu, and is very spiritual and active in her church, but this lady in my ward is determined that she will accept the gospel. She has been working on her for 7 years, and she has called President Andersen twice to keep me in huge area because we have the Hawaiian connection ha ha. She never lets us in, or anything though. This was big headway, I made Musubi with her and fried rice. We talked about Hawaii and I was able to talk about my mission and how it works. Then, afterwords, we got to say thank you and she invited us in her house and just talked to us. She told us about how you have to faith that the Bible is the word of God, and I was just pleading for the Spirit to help me bear testimony of the Book of Mormon. She was shuffling around cleaning things at the same time.. I didn't know how to work it in or what, and next thing I know I was relating that at the end of the day, I just have to have faith that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. She stopped cleaning and stood and looked me straight in the face. I kept on going about how I knew it was true, and the experiences I have had with it. Then, it was time for us to run to out next appointment. When, I said we had to go, it cut the air, she looked startled, caught up in the Spirit in the air. SHE FELT IT TOO! I know she did. I didn't realize it was there so strongly, until I said we had to go. I walked out of there, so humbled and grateful for the Spirit! It works wonders!
Gosh, long email huh? I had a lot to tell you all this week. I will reply to all the fun stuff you sent me this week too, next!!
James and Alicia saving the day