Monday, November 18, 2013

November 19, 2013

Hey Everybody,
   This week went lots better. We had transfers but Elder Meline and I get to stay together for another six weeks (which is sweet) unless he gets his visa. I feel like I'm in a two year long game of hide n' seek. Literally. Multiple times this week Elder Meline and I have caught people hiding from us. It's pretty pathetic. Last night while we were walking home we watched as a guy saw us and then jumped behind a tree. He then noticed that his chihuahua wasn't hiding so he came out awkwardly but as soon as we looked away he jumped behind a bush and then dragged his dog into hiding with him. It was about as subtle as a gun but it was fun to watch so we pretended not to notice him. I don't know what people are worried about. Maybe we'll baptize them too hard? Maybe they don't want to live with their family forever? Actually, now that I think about it, someone has told us that eternal life with her family sounds a little worse then that's probably it.
   We got in a high speed chase this last week. That was fun. This guy realized that we were biking behind him so he started pedaling progressively faster and attempting to nonchalantly look behind him to make sure we weren't there anymore. We were there. We probably shouldn't have but we caught up to him and taught him as we rode around town. I don't know where he was going because we pretty much rode around aimlessly and crossed our path a few times. I think he thought we were going to get tired eventually or something, but we didn't. Finally he took a Book of Mormon and our phone number but he hasn't called back.
   On a better note we had a lesson with the first person I taught on my mission. We left with a date set for him to be baptized and confirmed on my birthday. That was definitely the highlight of my week. Seeing him follow in Christ's footsteps really is amazing. I won't go in to detail but he's had a tough life which has lead him to do a good amount of things which weren't exactly Christlike. Seeing the way the Gospel has helped him change has made me extremely appreciative for the Atonement and has really built my testimony of it as well.
   As I did my personal study this week everything seemed to fit in with the needs of this man. But the more I helped him solve his needs and build his own testimony he built mine. While I was studying I learned ultimately one thing: There is no point to life without Christ. As humans we naturally have false assumptions due to pride and unreasonable hopes. One of which is that we can avoid trials. We can't. Nor should we expect to. No matter what we do, how good we are, how secure we feel, we will be tried. "Obedience to God is not insurance against pain and sadness." Trials are for our benefit. God gives them to us so that we can learn and ultimately become more like Christ. Christ suffered and he was perfect. Who are we to expect that our imperfect selves won't be tried? Camille Frank Olsen said, "Christ came to wipe away our tears, not to insure that we would never weep." Yet going back to what I said before, trials are pointless without Christ. The Atonement is not insurance that we will comfortably ease through trials. It is comfort that we can be tried and forgiven as we turn to Christ, no matter how low the trial brings us.
   Which leads you to another false assumption that we can trust in our own efforts. John 16:33 says, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.". We can't overcome the world. God knows this. If we could there would have been no need for the Atonement. There would have been no need for Christ's sacrifice for us. Christ overcame the world so we wouldn't have to. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." We can never rely on our own strengths. We can never walk the path alone. Flying solo doesn't cut it. We need Christ. Luckily he has promised us that we are never alone.
   So again, there is no point to life without Christ. We can't do it. We shouldn't try. Christ overcame the world for us. Don't walk alone and pretend like He didn't. You're better then that. Now live that way.

   Elder Earl

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