I don't really know what to and what not to say this week. It's been tough. I don't think I have ever been so drained mentally, physically, and emotionally in my life. Before a mission you know you are going to have tough times, but until you get on a mission and experience it you have no idea. There is emotions you feel on a mission that you can't feel anywhere else. The refiners fire is real! I'm not going to get into all the crap that is going on, because 1.I don't want to and 2. You don't want to hear it. But I will tell you what has been on my mind and what I am learning.
1. As Elder Neilsen in the zone put it, "A mission is a package deal. For a mission to change us, it has to be hard". I have never been more aware of my flaws and my weaknesses. But, as we learn our weaknesses we are able to change them through the help of our Savior. As Elder Biggs said " God has changed me so much, I don't even recognize myself anymore." I am so thankful for trials, for hard times, and for the opportunity to grow and change.
2. God gives us famines to humble us. This week I have been reading the Book of Mormon, like crazy, trying to finish it before transfers. I was reading this week in Helaman 11 where the Lord puts Nephi and is followers into a famine. Nephi says in verse 4, "O Lord, do not suffer that this people shall be destroyed by the sword; but O Lord, rather let there be a famine in the land, to stir them up in remembrance of the Lord their God, and perhaps they will repent and turn unto thee." We see a cycle that happens. 1.We are righteous & Prosperous. -> 2. We become prideful and wicked. -> 3. There is destruction and suffering. -> 4. We become humble and repent.
Sure enough this famine happens and the people suffer. "For the earth was smitten that it was dry, and did not yield forth grain in the season of grain; and the whole earth was smitten, even among the Lamanites as well as among the Nephites, so that they were smitten that they did perish by thousands in the more wicked parts of the land."(Helaman 11:6)
Then the people start becoming humbled. "And it came to pass that the people saw that they were about to perish by famine, and they began to remember the Lord their God; and they began to remember the words of Nephi."
President Ezra Taft Benson taught about what we can do to avoid getting caught up in the pride cycle:“God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble. Alma said, ‘Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.’ (Alma 32:16.) “Let us choose to be humble. “We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity [hatred] toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are. … “We can choose to humble ourselves by receiving counsel and chastisement. …“We can choose to humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us. …“We can choose to humble ourselves by rendering selfless service. …“We can choose to humble ourselves by going on missions and preaching the word that can humble others. …“We can choose to humble ourselves by getting to the temple more frequently. “We can choose to humble ourselves by confessing and forsaking our sins and being born of God. …“We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives. …
“Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can” (“Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 6–7).
Why do I bring this up? Why do I like it so much? First off, we are in a drought, a famine of water. Just a thought, maybe God is giving us this drought to humble us, to turn our hearts towards Him, and to put our trust and faith in Him. Maybe He is trying to get us to attend the temple more, maybe is trying to get us to humble ourselves and forgive others, maybe He wants us to be thankful for what we have. Second, when we loose something we are learn to be more thankful for it. I've learned to absolutely love missionary work the past few weeks as I haven't been able to do much of it. It's been hard, it's brought me to my knees multiple times in tears, and I have never wanted to go out and share the gospel more than now.
3. God has perfect timing. God puts people in our lives when we need them, when we need their personality. I am in the best zone for this time in my life. I have two zone leaders that have became best friends, that text me scriptures, that know when things are hard, and encourage me. They are awesome and an answer to my prayers. I have an amazing mission president that is just the one I need. I have the best mission leader that is just the one I need. God is good! He not only prompts others to answer our prayers but he prompts us as well. Last night I was prompted to go visit a family. This family is less active and kind of struggling. When we got to their home they were outside crying. I asked what was wrong and they said that they had lost their cat. We were able to talk with them and bring a smile to their face. It was the greatest feeling. They asked how church was and asked us if they could come next week. They thanked us over and over for coming. It was awesome.
I am so thankful for this life, this time on earth we have to grow, to learn, to prepare to meet our loving Heavenly Father and live with Him again. I am thankful for this gospel and the opportunity to share it. I am thankful for prayer and know it is real and that it works, that God answers them and he wants to hear from us. This church is true, it's the Restored Gospel, the same church that Jesus Christ set up when He was here on the earth.
Front row:Sister Rawlins, Sister Grosland, Elder Nielsen, Elder Dresden, Sister Heil, and Me.
Back Row: Elder Mosley, Elder Biggs, Elder Zaugg, Elder Dunn, Elder Jensen, Elder Beazer
It Rained this week!!! Yah! Miracles.