What a wonderful miracle filled week.
I think for a lot of my mission I have been seeking the true joy and happiness the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. At the beginning of my mission, (just in case you couldn’t tell I’m still not perfect..) I was trying to find it while still searching in the world. While still being Natural, which we all know never works. My pride was heavy and my humility very far away. I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week, and I realized the humility cycle that the Lord puts me on. I know there is such a thing as the Pride cycle but I like to call it the humility cycle because then it makes me feel that I’m getting closer to Heavenly Father instead of further away from him.
I learned a lot about humility this week, but I think in a different way then I normally would. I was thinking about all the ways that I wanted to be different when I come home. I want to be a strong steward for the Lord for the rest of my life. I want/need to be a righteous daughter of God, to be worthy of the future family that I will have one day. I want to help my family, all of us, to return to the Celestial Kingdom, never being the one holding us back but propelling us forward. I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and I want to live as He lived and overcome the Natural Man. I don’t want to be of the world, in the world, but not run over by the world.
But sometimes I find that I’m still short-sighted. I fall into the trap of desiring to be here, and having things of the world, more than the Saviour. But I have to remember that with the Saviour is true joy, happiness and everlasting life. I think I really do have good intentions and as we know God looks on the heart, not our outward appearance. And I know that I can repent again and again and be forgiven as long as the Master still says there is time left.
I watched a Mormon Message this week about the story of Todd Sylvester. I have really been thinking about this a lot. He was born in 1968 to a family, with good intentions, but no belief in God. He grew up a worldly man, with great skill in basketball which recruited him with scholarships to play at great and high places. Until it all came crashing down 4 years later, and he wanted to end his life. He was in the cafeteria at school and he heard 2 girls talking about fasting and prayer and he asked them about it and decided to try it. He begged God to show himself, and he went without drugs, and alcohol for the first time in his life. But he said nothing happened, but he didn’t want to end his life anymore. A few weeks later a long lost friend, called and said he wanted to meet up with him. They got together and this friend told Todd, that God had spoken and He needed Todd on His side today. Todd realized that this was God speaking to him. And so for a year and a half he desperately tried to overcome his addictions. He attended Church and got invited to a ward picnic. And as he sat, they wanted to bless the Hot Dogs which Todd thought very strange. But he decided to anyway. And that’s when the miracle happened. As he sat there listening to that pray over the food, there is where his answer came. He said 2 years later, 733 days later, God had spoken to him and gave him what he desired. He was surrounded by darkness and he was only RELEASED when he HUMBLED himself to pray over the hot dogs. He found the hope of God’s light.
This story impacted me. Humility is a pursuit I’m always trying to attain. I dreamed a while ago about being at home and it felt strange to me. I was doing things I’d used to do, and they were seeming to take precedence over all the things I’d learned as a missionary. The spirit left and I woke up with my heart racing. (Talk about change of life, waking up because the spirit left) I thought about it, and realized that I need to make sure that I was always humble enough to put God first in my life, above all else. And it’s not to say that things at home are bad, I just needed to make sure that they don’t get in the way of my humble seeking of the Lord.
In 2 Nephi 9:28-29
28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
Elder Marion D. Hanks said
“It is not enough, is it, to know the scriptures about prayer or the motions of prayer or the words of prayer. The man who will not humble himself, really humble himself, before the Lord, ‘receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.’ Wrote Paul, ‘for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ (1 Cor 2:14) The truths of eternal life, a prophet has written ‘are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him and purify themselves before him; to whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves.” (D&C 76:116-117)
Heavenly Father knew this battle I would face in life and he has and will continue to help me overcome and humble myself before him. But what he has done, is given me the opportunity to choose to be humble. I certainly have had opportunities that have humbled me, but it always is better when we choose to be humble. Heavenly Father gave me the opportunity to choose to serve a mission. I felt prompted that I could go if I chose to, and I did choose too. And it has completely changed me. I have become such a different person and things that hadn’t usually stuck out to me as important, are so important now.
Someone I love very much wrote this to me last week. “ I know that you are giving all that you have to the Lord – keeping moving forward and sprinting past the finish line. Your mission will propel you toward experiences that you otherwise would not have known or perhaps cared about. You are armed with all that you need to be a great light in this world and true disciple of Christ. This is just the beginning to an extraordinary eternity for you.”
This really made me think about what a blessing it has been for me to learn about humility and learn to really put God first in my life. It has been such a wonderful learning experience, that hasn’t been easy, but it has been so worth it.
I hope that makes sense. I just know that God is aware of me, that His plan is perfect and that I can do nothing but turn to him and become like him.
In my experience as teaching as Jesus taught we met a beautiful family this week. One who is the brother of a member in the ward. We met their family and it was amazing. They truly are so prepared for the Gospel. We sat down with them and began chatting about the Gospel and their lives at what stage they are at. She told us though that her son’s baptism is a high priority on their list. This is just wonderful. She said herself that she is done partying and she is ready to change. We were able to testify of the Book of Mormon and the Savior and the change that comes through the Gospel and it’s like they were just eating out of our hands. I love when people are so anxious and willing to have the Gospel in their life. They just know they need it and it fills the hole they didn’t know was there.
My feelings of the Savior are very difficult to describe in a few short words, but I’ll do my best.
Jesus Christ, is my advocate with the Father. He is my exemplar, brother, and friend, one who I’m desperately trying to know more, to love more and be just like him.
I know that my Savior lives. I know he loves me and all of us. I know that without him I would be nothing, but with him I can do all things. I know that his Atonement is real, that it envelopes everything and can help us overcome any problem, addiction, mistake, and sin.
I love this Gospel. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I’m so grateful to serve him and bear his name.