Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Things about Things
First things first: Allison Crumpton you go girl!!! I know I may not have played a very big part in your conversion or getting to know the church, but being a missionary now and looking back on your journey in the gospel, I feel very blessed to know you and to have watched your progress over the past few years. You really are an example to me in your faith and testimony. And I congratulate you tremendously for your decision to serve a mission! It's the best thing you'll ever do. Way to be.
Jennifer, if laughter is the best medicine, then your letters are my hospital. Don't worry about them being random or unspiritual or anything, because they honestly make me laugh and smile and feel so happy for your family. I love that you share with me stories about Ethan and Elise because I feel like I can watch them grow up and be part of their life in a way. The same goes for you Heather, and your little girl that looks SO MUCH LIKE YOU. Seriously, you sent me a picture the other week and I was astonished. But I repeat, I LOVE hearing about your kids and families. Nothing makes me happier.
Mom and Dad, I'm SUPER jelous that you went to see Jersery Boys (but less jealous, since I've already seen it). Isn't it fantastic? I really miss theater and music and everything arts. The other week we had a ward talent show and we as the four missionaries of Lagunillas prepared a skit. In the end, I opted for playing a piano number instead of being in the skit, but it was so fun to be able to relive a little bit of the theater life, as I helped act out and direct the skit during our two short rehearsals. It was also so great to be able to perform on the piano again. It made me miss so much the sheer joy that music brings me, and I'm going to try from now on to find ways to have music be more of a part of my mission life (within reason, of course). It's also fun to be helping out with the chorus that one of the sister missionaries has prepared for a conference we have tomorrow. I got to listen to a song and figure out the piano part by ear and make musical suggestions. Neat! Missionaries of the Mill. Basically I'm happy for all of those reasons.
I'm also happy because I realized a lot of things last week (you all know how I like realizing things, especially in the Spanish way of saying it, which is so much more true to life - realize in spanish is give yourself acount of something, like check in with your self, analize yourself, etc.). So this week, I gave myself an account of a lot of things. Specifically Elder Perez studied a lot about commitments (I don't remember how to spell that, the word in Spanish is compromise). We gave ourselves an account that in our work, we've had a great lack of powerful commitments and invitations. Up until this point in the mission, I always thought about the needs of my investigadores, and what lesson, or what doctrine would solve their problems. I've realized that doctrine alone is nothing, just like faith without works is dead in itself. We can teach, teach, teach, and teach some more, but if the people we teach don't DO anything with it, it's just empty words, and doesn't really have any value. That's why the invitations we make as missionaries are so important, because if we don't invite people to do something with what they've learned, if we don't help them se how it applies to their life, and how the Doctrine of Christ leads us to repentance, it's very probable that they won't do anything, and they will never progress. So this week we have been a lot more bold and direct in our invitations. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, we will not be apologetic when it comes to what the Lord has asked of his children. No one can find true peace and happiness in this life unless they repent of their sins. And repentance is a process, a process that leads to a live that is in greater harmony with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In harmony with Christ actually, because His life is literally a map for us to salvation.
Sorry my thoughts are a little disjointed, but I'm very excited about how my understanding (both mind and heart) of the Doctrine of Christ is growing. How I am realizing our dependence on Christ and His Atonement. Without God, we are nothing, but through God, all things are possible, according to our faith and righteousness. This week, Alma 5 impacted me, and I'm currently taking a metaphorical look in the mirror and asking myself those questions that Alma asked so long ago, that help us measure our conversion to Christ. I invite everyone to take a look at their lives, and ask themselves what God expects of them. After that, identify specific things you can do to change, and become more like Christ.
I testify that He lives, that He is our savior, that He died for us because He loves us, more than we are capable of understanding. I also testify that His way is the only way. The world can make us happy for a little while, but we're not here to be like the world, because God has offered us so much more. I know that I am a representative of Jesus Christ, and of His church, and I'm so grateful and humbled by it. I love you all very muchly and love hearing from you every week. God bless you in all that you do!
Until next time,