Monday, September 15, 2014

Our potential is Celestial and that our Legacy will be Eternal

Everything is going well. My appetite, in a week, went from barely being able to eat half a lunch to constantly wanting more food. I have no idea haha but for example I just ate a huuuge lunch because we had our monthly check today and now I'm hungry again like 2 hours later. (huge = one fully loaded plate of delicious food and 4 plates of cake & ice cream, oh plus an apple). 
The Wilkinsons had 85 for lunch today! All the new missionaries, trainers, and a few more. So grateful for their love and leadership of these great servants of God! 
The Spanish is coming along. I'm super slow at conjugating (putting verbs into tenses, basically) but that's alright. There are three things I want to share today. First off, church was amazing. Second, I want to talk about J and Third, I want to talk about the fact that times of our life will be difficult but we need to keep our heads up. Oh also, that picture with Andres our ward mission leader is because he forget an umbrella (almost typed paragua) and so we had to share one, and both ended up getting pretty soaked that day. It's been raining a lot this past week haha. I don't mind it.

Church yesterday. Holy cow. I've always been faithful in going to church, but I knew going out into the field that it was one of the weaker points in my testimony. No more. The spirit I felt at church yesterday was so. dang. strong. I don't know why, in honesty, but my heart was opened and I was just absolutely on top of the world. I guess part of it is that our ward is becoming so energized right now. 2 weeks ago we had an attendance of 107 and with the help of the 1st assistant of our stake (acting bishop at the moment) it was 145 yesterday. 40 more people that were able to feel that wonderful spirit. We also had 7 investigators at church, which is the most that my companion's ever had (He's had 6 tons of times, but never more. He spent 7.5 months of his mission in the office, where you get very little proselyting time). Churches are so full of the spirit, truly endowed places of power. But, we do have to let those feelings in. We can't just walk in unprepared spiritually and expect to feel it. It is when we open our own hearts that those feelings with rush in.

Second is actually also about church, but the man's name is J. I sent a picture of him and I at church together. He *was* inactive, and we have been visiting him a lot for a few weeks. We felt a wonderful spirit with them the Saturday before last (10 days ago or something) about not getting distracted by all the good things in life. The thing, he's a cool guy with a lot of cool talents. But he gets distracted by all his guitar and violin playing and toys in general that he doesn't let himself feel the spirit. Well, we really helped him feel the spirit about the fact that he needs to refocus on the more important things in life. And guess what? He didn't come to church the next day.

I was devastated. We all felt such a strong spirit that past night, I could not believe that he didn't come to church. We went and met with him that night and he was dodgy about anything gospel, just talking about his hobbies basically. We basically gave up on him, figuring that he just wasn't going to come back to church. Then, on Saturday I believe, we saw him as we passed by his house. He came over and greeted us and said that we should pass by later that night. We regretfully agreed, disappointed that our proselyting time would be dampened by this unfruitful venture.

I, in honesty, can't remember if we ended up having a lesson with him that night. I think he ended up getting busy with something else. But yesterday, he showed up to church. He showed up to church!!!!!

And the best part was that he didn't drag himself to church. There was a light about him yesterday. He avidly approached me and basically demanded we take a photo together, because he so wanted to document the spirit that he felt at church yesterday!!!

It was both wonderful to see him returning to what he knew to be true and humbling to see that I don't know diddly squat about what other people are going to do, so I just need to be relying on the spirits guidance to make decisions.

Lastly, there are times of our life that will be more difficult than others. We need to keep our heads up and carry through.

I never believed this before the mission. The thing about life before the mission was that it was only difficult when I made it difficult, in honesty. I'm born into a good family with loving parents and we've always had the necessities of life. If I was going through a tough time in life, all I needed was to improve myself and it would become sweet again.

That's not true with a mission. I'm not saying I don't love my mission, because I absolutely do, but it's difficult. It's so hard. To walk all day, every day, to see people reject the truth, to eat foreign foods and live in a foreign place, is difficult. There's no way around it. The thing is, no matter how much I 'step up my game' it will still be difficult. But that's good. Difficult is good. There's not really a point in living a life without difficulty. Some have difficulties forced upon them, and some have to seek out the difficulties, but the fact of the matter is that no great being comes out of a difficulty free life. There was a quote on our mission president's wall when we went over there to eat today. It said something like "When you strive to follow the rules instead of being hindered by them, then you will find happiness."

Okay, I can't even remember what the last part of the quote was, but it's application to difficulties is perfect. When we strive to overcome difficulties, rather than solely surviving through them, then we will find Happiness. Or peace. Or satisfaction. Or greatness. Or humility. Or love. In general, we will find growth.

Every one of us desires to grow. Let us charge at our difficulties, head on. Whether they be choking depression, or poverty, or physical ailment, let us march right up to those difficulties and show them just how much potential we have. Let us show them that we are Children of a Loving God who will never leave us to be abandoned. Let us show them that our potential is Celestial and that our legacy will be Eternal. Let us show them that we are willing to put our shoulder to the wheel.

I love you all so much. I love you! A lot!!! A TON!!! Bye bye for another week!

-Elder Henry

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