Monday, May 8, 2017

More Holiness Give Me...

Family and friends,
     Some awesome things definitely happened this week but again we had a bunch of things take up all our time. I'm definitely learning a lot of patience right now. In the moment it doesn't seem bad but then looking back on the day or the week it's easy to be discouraged or feel like you didn't accomplish much. No worries though, we're working hard and trusting that the Lord will make everything work out in the end. I'll share a little more about that at the end.
     This week we had our last lesson with Alex. That was definitely a sad day. She's officially back in Washington and the missionaries in Washington are teaching her now. She was such an inspiration to me. Her and lots of her friends that she made in the YSA were freshman and all live in the freshman dorms so we made plenty of good memories there. Lots of good laughs, tasty dinners and spirit filled lessons. This last lesson we went over the baptismal interview questions and the importance of always remaining faithful to our testimonies and to the Savior. I've been thinking a lot about the story of Lehonti in Alma 47. Even though they were described in the scriptures as "fixed in their minds with a determined resolution," they fell because they compromised and came a little off of mount Antipus. That led to Lehonti being poisoned by degrees until he died, leaving his followers and soon to be the entire Lamanite nation under the control of wicked Amalickiah. Moral of the story is we cannot compromise on spiritual matters. Sin will always be sin. Obedience to God's commandments will always bring promised blessings and protection.
     We had an investigator this week tell us he's not sure if he wants to meet anymore. He said last week he talked with some friends that don't have high opinions of the LDS church and since then he says that he is no longer sure how he feels about everything we've taught. When we asked him if he has been reading he said no, we asked when he stopped and he said it was the day his friends talked to him. Hopefully by the end of our quick lesson he was able to see that if he wants to keep feeling good about everything we've taught them he needs to keep exercising faith. We can't compromise on the small things. The important things ARE the small things.
     Another sad thing is that even more people are moving out. Church was lacking some of my favorite people. One that will definitely be missed is Meg. It's crazy to think it's almost been 4 months since I first got here and she had only been baptized for 24 days. Goodbyes are definitely not my favorite things. So on Thursday us and our ward mission leader and elder's quorum president went and helped her get all packed up. We had a final lesson with her where we shared the Mormon Message "Good things to come" by Elder Holland. Tears were shed all around. Then she left that night on her way down to Utah.
     The last exciting announcement is that Milo is on date for baptism now! All the interviews are taken care of so he'll be getting baptized on the 27th of May! He is so excited and ready for this to finally happen after waiting the whole year so far. He is another person that has inspired me so much being here in the YSA.
     Back to the beginning. This principle applies to repentance, personal weaknesses and the short comings of those who might let you down as well. Don't make a big deal out of it. Too often we take ourselves too seriously but we don't take the Savior and His gospel seriously enough. Coming to trust him requires a mighty change of heart. Sin is turning away from God, repentance is re-turning back to God. It takes humility to recognize  what happens has happened and you just need to keep moving forward. Elder Ison and I were watching a church history video is last week and this quote from Emma Smith really hit me hard. "No amount of sorrow can make things right. Only the Lord's love can, if we let Him." We let the Lord take an active part in our lives by actively seeking Him. We can't purify, sanctify or justify ourselves. Only the atoning blood of the Lamb can. The trick is we need to use the gift of agency and repentance to allow Him to cleanse us and make all our wrongs right. I love the Hymn "More Holiness Give Me." The key word there is GIVE. All good gifts come in, through and because of Christ.

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