I have so many things I want to share today. So many mixed thoughts. As I prayed about what to share with you all today, these are the things that came to mind. They don't have much to do in common but I hope something, at least one thing, stands out to you.
How much are we willing to give?? How much do you love those around you?
Coming on a mission I didn't realize this was a life long commitment. When you are called on a mission you are called to serve in a certain area for 18-24 months, you become a representative of Jesus Christ, and when it's over you don't go back home and forget all about it. While you are on a mission you are an instrument in the Lords hands. You bring people closer to Him. You become friends and family. When you go home....relationships should not change! Missionaries have a responsibility to be an example to their converts, less actives, members, etc. FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. We can't and SHOULD NOT go home and become someone we have taught these people not to be. This is an eternal mission. We are a Shepherd forever. RM's I'm taking to you! Here is a story I read this week.
"When I was a very small boy, my father found a lamb all alone out in the desert. The herd of sheep to which its mother belonged had moved on, and somehow the lamb got separated from its mother, and the shepherd must not have known that it was lost. Because it could not survive alone in the desert, my father picked it up and brought it home. To have left the lamb there would have meant certain death, either by falling prey to the coyotes or by starvation because it was so young that it still needed milk. Some sheepmen call these lambs “bummers.” My father gave the lamb to me and I became its shepherd.
For several weeks I warmed cow’s milk in a baby’s bottle and fed the lamb. We became fast friends. I called him Nigh--why I don’t remember. It began to grow. My lamb and I would play on the lawn. Sometimes we would lie together on the grass and I would lay my head on its soft, woolly side and look up at the blue sky and the white billowing clouds. I did not lock my lamb up during the day. It would not run away. It soon learned to eat grass. I could call my lamb from anywhere in the yard by just imitating as best I could the bleating sound of a sheep: Baa. Baa.
One night there came a terrible storm. I forgot to put my lamb in the barn that night as I should have done. I went to bed. My little friend was frightened in the storm, and I could hear it bleating. I knew that I should help my pet, but I wanted to stay safe, warm, and dry in my bed. I didn’t get up as I should have done. The next morning I went out to find my lamb dead. A dog had also heard its bleating cry and killed it. My heart was broken. I had not been a good shepherd or steward of that which my father had entrusted to me. My father said, “Son, couldn’t I trust you to take care of just one lamb?” My father’s remark hurt me more than losing my woolly friend. I resolved that day, as a little boy, that I would try never again to neglect my stewardship as a shepherd if I were ever placed in that position again. …
After more than sixty years, I can still hear in my mind the bleating, frightened cry of the lamb of my boyhood that I did not shepherd as I should have. I can also remember the loving rebuke of my father: “Son, couldn’t I trust you to take care of just one lamb?” If we are not good shepherds, I wonder how we will feel in the eternities." (Of Lambs and Shepherds by President James E. Faust)
Can Heavenly Father trust us with His children....forever?
The next thought.....how far are we willing to go to help HIS children? I was reminded of the 4 pioneer rescuers that carried the pioneers across the Sweetwater River. I've always looked up to these 4 young men that put their life on the line to help others. I've seen "rescuers" in my own life.
"So many miles, and such a shallow stream, but wet and
Wide with sticky mud. And this time there was snow and ice.
Not ice enough to cross on, like the miracle at Nauvoo.
Another miracle was needed here; and perhaps a sacrifice.
With wagons, clothing, food, and fire for loved ones yet unknown,
Men and boys from Zion climbed their mountains through the frost
To find the stranded pioneers, exhausted on the prairie and
Dying in November’s snows, with the Sweetwater still to cross.
Their clothes were rent; their strength was spent; they’d eaten belts and shoes.
Hundreds there were winter-bound with no hope that they might rally;
It would take a bridge of living flesh, willingly laid down,
To save the souls at Devil’s Gate and bring them to the Valley.
Then the Valley boys, some beardless, brave, saw no other way.
The young men knew what they must do--saw what was required,
And carried, ferried, the weak and sick across the freezing water,
Crossed and recrossing, crossed again. Crossed, though chilled and tired.
And as the young men waded, bearing on their strong, warm backs
Their loads of tired flesh, of fathers, mothers, children, wives,
Ignored the pain, the chills like nails in freezing hands and feet,
They crossed for love--and Jesus’ sake--and offered life for lives.
And while from Devil’s Gate all crossed to the shelter of the Cove,
Like lambs born in too-early spring, the young men shivered and they froze,
Bearing scores of pilgrim strangers, the least of all the pioneers,
Who had pushed their carts and their poor hearts till both broke in winter’s snows.
That cold and lonely river was once the crossroads of the world,
Where works of faith met gifts of grace at the continent’s divide.
God there poured out his mercy on both the saviors and the saved,
And those who crossed and washed in that sweet Water never died."
(Sweetwater Crossing (November 4, 1856) By Stephen E. Robinson)
We may not have to cross an ice cold river to help those around us BUT are we, are you, am I, even willing to do the small things?
This week has been filled with miracles. We were able to watch 2 daughters of our Heavenly Father enter into convents with Him. We were able to teach H, a child of record, for the past few months. Here family is amazing. Her mom is a recent convert and their family is progressing in the gospel!
B got baptized! What an amazing baptism! There were so many missionaries that attended. President and Sister Marston attended and the Stake Presidency. I won't lie, I was so nervous to give The Restoration presentation. It went great though. She is preparing to go to the temple the second week in July! She is so solid in this gospel!
I'm thankful for this gospel! I'm thankful for the Plan of Salvation, that not only can I live with my family for eternity but with all the people that have became family! I'm thankful that there is no such things as goodbyes on this earth, only "see you laters". One day we will all see each other again. I'm thankful for a living prophet on this earth that receives direct revelation for God, for us, and if we follow his council we will be blessed. This Church is true!
Other thoughts from the week:
D&C 136:17 "Go thy way and do as I have told you, and fear not thine enemies; for they shall not have power to stop my work."
1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
The Lord will not allow us to be tempted beyond our capacity to resist.