Monday, August 10, 2015

Week #4--August 10, 2015

Well goodness gracious I feel overwhelmed with gratitude! I am so grateful for all of your beautiful encouraging words that I received today! I am so blessed to have wonderful supportive friends and family. I want you all to know that I love you all incredibly. Almost as much as I love this gospel. But like.... I think you guys will have to enjoy the silver medal on that one. Because at this rate, the standings aren't changing. ;)
I found out that I come home 23 months from today, July 10 2017. This first month FLEW by. And I hear it just keeps going faster which kind of scares me. But luckily I have plenty of time to continue to do this.
This work is beautiful, can I just say that? I get to spend 16 hours a day talking to people I've never met, people who are struggling, people who are so unique, people who are in such terrible ruts and I get to be a tool in the Lords hands and assist them in coming to Christ. All day. Every day. I can't express to you the unspeakable joy that comes. If anything, I think I love these random people I've hardly said a word to too much. Just yesterday, a security guard got mad at us for biking in a no bike gated community, (We didn't know, I promise. We obey all the laws and rules we know about) Elder Russell and I started talking to him and what was originally a warning to leave the premises turned into a 90 minute discussion about his struggles and how Christ can help him, and he agreed to meet with the missionaries in his area.
Saturday, we went to see a less active who we called but she gave us the wrong apartment number. (We think it was on purpose) So we knock on this guy in a wheelchair's door and he invites us in. 2 hours of talking about the restoration.
I am so blessed to be here! To be a part of this work! To be immersed in the spirit! And Elder Russell is probably the biggest blessing I could have asked for. He knows so much about the gospel. Like, so much. He tells me all these beautiful things, and we discuss all these advanced doctrines and EVERYTHING denotes to the fact that there is a God, that Jesus is our Savior and that Joseph Smith restored Christ's one true full gospel. It's incredible.
This last Sunday, while we were teaching Gospel Principle's, (A simpler class for Recent Converts) a sister talked about her experience with the book of mormon that stood out to me. She said she was never very big on the book of mormon because there were always a million things stopping her from reading it. She kept asking for, and expecting, the blessings that come from reading it fervently and consistently but wouldn't get them. She realized then that she was asking for the wrong thing. And this is the key part:
Rather than asking for the blessings of reading, SHE ASKED FOR THE HUNGER.
She wanted so badly to want to read the scriptures, and so that's what her goal became. And she read it everywhere. She replaced music in the car with the Book of Mormon audio book, free time she cut out TV time and kept reading because she wanted to SO badly. Keep in mind, this woman is going to school part time, and has a big family that she is the mother of. So she already has a ton on her plate. But she ended up reading the whole thing in 24 days. Yep. 24 days. Because she hungered for the words of Christ.
It reminds me of when I was in the 7th grade and would pray (This a sad but true story) to wake up one day buff. Like, ripped. And many times, we all ask for shortcuts. But in all actuality, we should be praying and asking for that hunger. I should have been praying for the hunger to exercise, just like this awesome Sister.
I encourage all of you to pray and seek that same hunger in all worthy aspects of your life. OUR GOD IS NOT A GOD OF SHORTCUTS. He never has been. He never will be. Because we cannot receive eternal and celestial glory through shortcuts. It will be through hard work and obtaining the hunger and desire to do good. And unlike hunger for food (Which comes quite naturally for fat guys like me) our hunger for spiritual blessing will not come naturally. We hunger for the blessings but not the process required for attaining them. That is where we seek worldly and earthly things to satisfy that hunger. And for a moment we appeared satisfied.
But once you've experienced a fine rib-eye stake, a McDouble just doesn't taste that good! Sure it takes more effort to grill up some quality cut meats, and a lot more effort than sitting in the drive through and it may seem from the outside that the reward of nourishment is basically the same
BUT IT IS NOT THE SAME. We cannot expect that spiritual nourishment from worldly things. Period. End of story.
Well, off my soapbox. I hope that strange, greasy metaphor made some sort of sense.
I love this work, brothers and sisters. How many times can I say it? A lot. Because it's true. As true as the church. Which means 100%. Because the church is 100% true. 

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