Dear family and friends and occasional readers of these emails, thank you for your continued prayers and support.
It's rainy and cold in Chile, winter has practically arrived. Luckily, the soakage has been minimal to this point. I'm content. With a pesky little cold, but content. Like Paul of old, I glory in the adversity in the mission, because when I am weak, He is strong, and in trials is developed patience.
Plus, we missionaries these days don't know the least of what the ancient disciples went through. The Book of Mormon says that Ammon suffered all manner of affliction. I think in 20 months I've barely suffered hunger and fatigue. So truly, there is only room to be grateful.
I've learned something important in these last few days, that has to do with our will. I remember, Mom, how you always told me that after this life, everyone ends up where they want to be. And well I don't think I really understood that very much until a few months ago reading about Grace and how we will be judged for our works AND the desires of our heart. "Heaven will not be heavenly for those who have not chosen to be heavenly." It is not enough to do celestial things, we must also BE celestial. It is not enough to keep all the commandmente, if they are not written in our heart.
While I consider that my mission has changed me immensely thus far, I realized that I could have let it do more for me, if I had or more consistently had let go of my will and given it up completely to the Lord.
I wish I could explain in such limited time and in a convincing way what's in my head, but my choppy thoughts will have to do.
It's not enough to just get up on time in the mission. If I don't want to do it, I'm not a disciple of Christ. It's not enough to leave the house every day to work and perhaps do it quite effectively. If I don't want to do it, I might help other, but I do not help myself, for I am not a disciple of Christ. The measure of my character is in the thoughts of my mind and the desires of my heart.
I was struck recently by the powerful desires of Alma to preach the gospel as with the trumpet of an angel. He wanted nothing more that to spent his life in service of his God and teach His children. (Alma 29).
I did a self-inspection. How often do I truly desire, more than anything, to preach the Gospel. Many times in the mission, going to lunch because I'm hungry sounds more exciting than tracting that one street. Or many times sleeping on the bus because I'm tired sounds more inticing then opening my mouth and announcing the word to the person next to me. Many times heading home just a few minutes early because it's raining sounds better than visiting that one less active family that needs help.
Now...I'm not saying that in any of these situations, I always choose the former option. Honestly, I usually do the second. But you see, if it's not in my heart, if it's not what I want, then the Lord can't use me as His servant.
Our purpose on Earth is to repent so that we may be cleansed of our sins and transformed throught the grace of Christ so that we may be made presentable before Him in the last day, AND so that we become the kind of people that WANT to be there.
I have a testimony that Chirt's way is the only way. Any other way leads to frustration and resentment. Ezra Taft Benson once said, "Be warned that some of the greatest battles you will face will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul." And so it is with every child of God. We must all make the conscious decision to just let go. To surrender it all. To give up our desires, wants, wishes, and start to live as God wants us to live. The only way to find ourselves is to lose ourselves.
I know Christ lives, I know He is our Savior and that He loves us so much. He wants us to be like Him so we can be happy like Him.
This week I invite all to join me in letting go. Let's let go of our vain ambitions, and put our lives in the best hands.
P.S. The day is in fact Thursday, the 10th of October haha. Sorry about that.
P.P.S. The food was frivolous, but the shoes were necesary for winter, as I no longer had any without tremendous holes in them.