Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 17, 2016

I didn't study anything new this week, so I don't have very much to say. So I'll briefly touch on something I know a lot of people, including myself, struggle with. That is comparing ourselves to others. 

It's a very natural thing to compare ourselves with others, that's how we operate and determine what is better is through comparison. But it shouldn't be that way when it comes to ourselves. There will always be someone better than you at something, but you'll always be better than them at something too. We tend to either look at someone's strengths and realize that we don't have that particular strength which puts us down and feeling worthless, or we look at their weaknesses and compare them to our strengths which makes us prideful jerks. Either way it's bad. In a sprinting race there's only one direction we should look and that's straight ahead, never look to your sides to see how you are doing, it makes you slower. The same applies, we should always be looking up towards Heavenly Father and not to our sides comparing how far along or how strong we are. It'll only hold us back. J. Devn Cornish said in general conference, "If we must compare, then compare to your old self and see how far you've come." 

One reason we have been given weaknesses so that we could learn to rely on him, he also gives us certain strengths so that we could help him as his stewards. In order to realize our strengths we have to open up and allow Heavenly Father to show them to us. If we are closed off, we aren't going to see what we're good at or what we need help with. We must realize that we will have some strengths but not get prideful, and some weaknesses but not beat ourselves up.
2 Nephi 3:13
13 And out of weakness he shall be made strong...

Ether 12:27
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Be compassionate on yourself, you are the way you are for a reason. Someone is always looking up to you in some way, even if you think you're full of weakness, there's strengths naturally woven into everyone. The Lord can also make our weaknesses become strong.

Alma 26:12
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

We all have weaknesses, we all have strengths. Stop comparing your weakness to others' strengths or your strengths to others' weaknesses. Look toward Heavenly Father and try to be like him, not like the other dude who has been blessed with a particular strength that you don't have. Not even she/he is as good as good as Heavenly Father, so why try to be like them when what we are trying to achieve is becoming like him?


Sorry, being the seasoned missionary I am, my emails are getting much shorter because I don't have time and my days are getting repetitious. So I don't want to bore anyone with the same ol' stories. I'll make it short and simple.

My bike bearings fell into a million pieces, so I'm curious how tomorrow will turn out.

We got rides all day and Im borrowing a bike. The cost to repair it is pretty gross so the other elders in the ward and my companion are all helping me pay for it, they didn't even think twice about it. They're awesome and such a blessing!

I totally taught myself to sew and sewed myself a button on my pants today! All by myself.

I taught myself how to sew a hole together in my pants. We also ran into someone who started talking deep doctrine he found in the Bible which lined up well with what we believe. He also said there should be three heavens. Finally someone sees that. He was a free mason and ranked pretty high. Turns out he was a former investigator who we tried calling yesterday. He wants to meet with us again, it's going to be a fun ride of deep doctrine.

We went to help someone move at 7:00 this morning and got back home at 1:30. We changed back into missionary attire and got a call from Lisette (our investigator who is progressing well) asking if we could come help move. So we changed back and biked on over to help until 7:30. Then we biked elsewhere. I'm aching. 

Well I'm finally at the point where I can comfortably teach an adult class on the spot with no time to prepare. Never thought I'd get there, but I did it. Other than that not too much different from your average Sunday. I'm also done with my 12 week training. I'm a real missionary now. 

Transfer calls were today, and I am staying another transfer with Elder May here in Roswell, yay!

October 11, 2016

We get lots of crap for believing we can become like God one day. People say that we are diminishing God and thinking too highly of ourselves. But when you think about it, it makes sense...

Firstly, we all should know that God is our Heavenly Father. I saw a quote in the Mormon Message, "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" (I recommend you watch it, it's a good one) that says, "of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to deity, He has asked us to address him as Father." Like any father who loves his children, he wants us to progress. I know of no loving father who doesn't want his children to progress to become like them. 
Psalms 82:6
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

People get offended because it says in the Bible pretty much that he is supreme and no one can be at his level. It's true, we don't say we will be at his level, he's supreme. His plan is one of progression. Just like Him, we will always be progressing, but he will always be ahead. It's like a race, eventually the guy in 8th place will be where 1st place was, but 1st place will be even further by the time that happens, making him still ahead. Heavenly Father is in that first place position and we are all working to go further...that is unless we "drop out." But what I'm trying to say is even though we will become Gods someday if we continue to follow in his footsteps, we will always look up to him.
Deuteronomy 10:17 (in the Bible of which those whom get offended believe in) it says:

17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.

It says he's the God of Gods, clearly implying that there's more Gods and Lords. It also makes it clear that even though there are more, He will still be above all. 

And 1st Corinthians 8:5
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

There's a reason we are on this earth. It makes no sense that God would send us down to Earth just to come back up exactly how we were before but with bodies, he's God, it would be easy for him to just put us in bodies. And he didn't send us down solely to worship him, be nice and come back like a lot of people believe. We were already with him, we already worshipped him. That makes no sense. He loves us and he wants us to progress, we came here to not only get a body, but to get tested, experience right from wrong, prove that even with agency we will make the right choices and follow him, and learn; all so we can become greater and more like Him. I could share a couple scriptures but it gets lengthy and a tad deep. But trust me they're out there.

I apologize, I didn't use too much Book of Mormon because I was studying to show people that the Bible supports the Book of Mormon in that aspect. Plus I'll find myself getting too deep if I were to start sharing those scriptures too. But it's super cool and I'm quite grateful for the knowledge we can have through revelation given to us through the prophets and the additional support from the other books to clarify this plan that Heavenly Father has in store for us.  

Not much. The wifi at the church went out so we had to bounce around places with wifi and send emails there. That's it.

We went on exchange again and I led. I was with someone younger in the mission than me. I'm old! It was pretty cool because the elder I was with gave a blessing to someone we did service for. I gave the same person a blessing a few weeks ago. The elder that was with me said something specific that I said in my blessing to him too, some parts word for word. So that was pretty cool.

Today was pretty good, we visited a less active member who we've never seen and she had just gotten back from the gym. We were able to sit down and really get to know her. Then we gave a short lesson pertaining to her needs and showed her a video. She wrote the video down, felt the spirit and said she needs to start coming to church and whatnot again if she's to make it through her trials. It was exactly what she needed to hear, it was quite a bold lesson too. We are going to continue meeting with her and doing service. We met with another less active later who was older and he said something cool. When they opened up the Indian territories for missionaries, they said they've heard those stories before as they've been passed down from generation to generation (for those who don't know the history of the Book of Mormon, Natives are Lamanites whom Jesus visited). They even said there were stories about a white man coming down with white hair that had been passed down. It's also written on caves in ancient American territories of the brown folk worshipping a white man coming from heaven, which should make no sense, if they made someone up to worship he would've been brown. So that's some cool evidence about the Book of Mormon. We also had another good lesson. It was a pretty good day.

Today kinda sucked. But it got better after I went home for dinner and slept the whole time. 

It was pretty slow. Remember I said Georgia drivers are awful? Nothing changes in the Fall. In the past two days we were really close to being hit three times and saw two people get rear ended on separate occasions. And man, a mission gets you tired, I fell asleep all over the place today, I fell asleep while praying for almost an hour. We also got a cat to trust us and come in our apartment! But we had to kick it out :/ Mission rules.

Fetch are you kidding me? This is the second hurricane to miss us. One swerved to the west, this one swerved to the right today. I swear I'm storm repellant. It's quite irritating. On a good note we went tracting and someone came up to us and said they wanted to meet. He was drunk and spoke mostly Spanish so we'll have to give him to other elders, but it was cool. We also had someone let us in right away and had a good lesson with them. That means a successful day of tracting.

We had a super bomb lesson and dinner with someone named Lisette at a recent convert's home. Man it was great. She's getting awesome fellowship and actually reads the Book of Mormon everyday! I actually think she will get baptized. This is the furthest I've gone with anyone. 

Well the Zone Leaders got a call from the assistants pretty much telling me to be ready for this next transfer in a week. They said it is going to be a test. So we will see if it's still going to follow through. And p day got messed up so that's why I didn't email on Monday.

October 3, 2016

So this week I've been studying a little more on faith, because I lack it. So I will shed a little insight as to what I learned.

Through faith, all things can be done. In a sense the more faith we have, the more trust we are putting into Heavenly Father's hands. That gives him more to work with because we're giving more of our will to him. 
1 Nephi 7:12 describes what I'm trying to get at:

12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

When Jesus walked on water, Peter followed him, but then sunk. Jesus said he had such little faith. Faith can bring miracles! But we have to have lots of it and have it for the right reasons.

Ether 12:16 says:

16 Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith...

Again, miracles are always brought by faith. There can't be anything done without faith first. You won't get a huge Witness of anything if we don't have faith first. The bigger the miracle, the more faith is required. Take the brother of Jared for example. He's the guy who asked the Lord to light up the stones for the barges. Well, first he had to show great faith for the stones to be lit up. He said he knew the Lord would do it, that's more faith than I have for sure. Then if you read in Ether 3, it says that the Lord lit the stones up, then after it says he lit them up the brother of Jared saw the finger. So his faith level is already up there at 90 points, but then we he sees these stones starting to light up, his faith gradually goes to a good 98 points where the veil gets thin and he saw the finger of the Lord. At this point he's at 100 faith points. Then faith turns into knowledge, the veil is removed and he sees the Lord.
Ether 12:19-20

19...he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.
20 Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.

Only when the brother of Jared had faith to the point of absolute knowledge did he see mighty miracles. Not the kind of knowledge that we saw when we are bearing our testimonies in testimony meeting, but actual 100% knowledge based on faith, never doubting anything. 
Ether 12:6-7 it says:

6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

It says in Ether 12:12

12 For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.

Testsing+Faith=Miracles & Witness

Alma 32:26 tells us faith is not perfect knowledge:

26 Now, as I said concerning faith--that it was not a perfect knowledge--even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

Faith is not a perfect knowledge. You don't need to know everything to have faith. Perfect faith can't come from knowledge, but perfect knowledge can come through perfect faith. I'm going to repeat that so that no one skimming over misses that... 

Perfect faith can't come through knowledge, but perfect knowledge can come from perfect faith.

I get it, a lot of us don't like to hear "oh just have faith and stop asking." That's not what's going on, ask questions, but then study, not on google! That's wrong. But if we study we can find the answers, the gospel has a lot more to it then most of us realize.

We woke up to teach seminary today about the plan of salvation. It made me wonder if that's how I used to be just a year ago. Dang I'm so mature now. And humble. Other than that we did service, ate dinner had a FHE which I was put on the spot to teach and did my regular p day thing.

Just a boring ol' day. Don't want to make any of y'all fall asleep on me so I kept it short.

As we biked we had some kids chase us yelling, "missionaries! Missionaries!" It was cute. We stopped and talked with them and walked them home from the bus stop. They said missionaries used to come by their house a lot. It's nice to know people remember us and seeds are in fact planted. And now we're going to start teaching their mom again. We also got two new referrals last night who seem pretty legit. We met one today and he was literally the chilliest guy I've ever met in my entire life. I have much faith in him. His name is Ky, he aspires high and is a family guy.  Spitting straight fire. He's a yung thug, but he's the most respectful yung thug I've ever met. I also had a gift of tongues. I had a conversation with someone in Spanish, I sounded white but I got enough to have her want another visit (from Spanish missionaries).

Same ol' Bible Belt missionary thing today. But today was the first day it wasn't hot. 

Another beautiful day in the South. Someone brought us a ton of food so that's fantastic! We also helped an awesome lady in the ward and she has enormous amounts of faith. And if y'all read my thing in the beginning, through faith all things can happen. And I swear, this lady is known for having so much faith that when she says things they happen. She prays for you, whatever she prays for it happens, even if it's a stretch. She'd be an apostle if she were male and a member for more than a year I swear. Anyways, she promised us four missionaries something, that when we got off our missions, we won't struggle (outside of the normal life struggles and if we keep living the commandments and whatnot). It was like an apostolic blessing! Dang it was intense, had to be there. She also said that my countenance has changed a ton since I first got here (not my personality, don't worry guys). And a side note, it's surprising how many investigators have told us that they were going to brush us away or felt uneasy about us approaching them and wanted us to leave, but then felt something tells them to talk us and trust us. We just had someone else tell us that today. Same ol' miracles you know.

Well Satan is real. The power went out at the church for the span of general conference. The odds of that are ridiculously low. So all us missionaries went to the leasing office and turned on byutv right in the lobby and watched the morning session. It was kind of a pain because of people walking in and out but mostly because they were playing music in the next room. I miss music SO BADLY!!! In between sessions we knocked some doors up. Then we went to another church building for the next session. Conference is awesome when you actually pay attention. I only fell asleep twice! There's great stuff to learn. Poor President Monson wasn't looking too good in the priesthood session. He talked for a few minutes on the word of wisdom. He doesn't have much time left and he chose to talk on that with the time he had, so that shows some significance. It was kind of lame, the priesthood session back home usually fills up at least half the not even a third of the chapel was full. 

I only fell asleep during one session today! I fell asleep sitting up again while typing notes on my iPad. I fell asleep hard enough for Elder May to write "you're asleep" in my notes and another elder to switch my name tag. I woke up like nothing happened and went back to typing and saw that and that I didn't have my name tag and got confused. Conference was super good as usual, but hopefully y'all saw it already so I'll just move on. Honestly not a whole lot happened today, we had conference, dinner, a lesson, then tried to see some people.