Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Hey Everyone,
   This week went really well. We have another woman on date to be baptized now. I'm extremely excited about her. We also just had a very productive week. It makes it all worth it when you get to see the fruits of your labors.
   This morning a man from one of the wards we cover took us on a hike. The Superstition Mountains are beautiful from a distance but their even better when you're on them. We went on a hike called First Water. It was pretty sweet. We found a bunch of Native American pottery on the ground next to some ruins. It was awesome.
   Some of the best parts about the Superstitions are the stories behind them. One I heard today was about the Peralta family. Back in the mid 1800's they migrated from Mexico to Arizona to pursue the gold rush. As they were crossing the Superstition Mountains the found gold ore just lying on top of the soil. So obviously, they began to harvest it. Pretty lucky strike right? Well, while they were mining their way to fortune the natives began to raid them. They came every few days until they eventually killed all except for one of the Peraltas. This last Peralta escaped and ran to little town called Tortilla Flats. There he met a Dutchman who agreed to go back to harvest the gold with him. They went and were never heard from again. The word is that they hid all the gold in the mountains somewhere. All who go after it seem to come back with physical, financial, or mental problems as a result.
   It was a cool story but as I think about it, it all goes back to my thoughts regarding greed. Especially during the Christmas season. "Happiness isn't having what you want. It's wanting what you have." Greed is easy, it's contagious, and it's extremely destructive. Happiness will not come from wanting more. True satisfaction comes from doing everything you can with what you already have.
   It's interesting that the people I meet here that are the least happy seem to have all they need. They simply haven't gone out of their way to help someone else have the same. I have never been more happy then I have been serving here in Arizona. Every moment is busy and even the hard moments become purposeful as I continue to serve. Selflessness expels greed and ushers in a sense of peace and satisfaction that can be found in no other way.
   I remember growing up that every Christmas season my parents would get us all in the car one night and we would head out and deliver gifts to families in need. I still remember the thrill came from leaving a gift at the door step and then running for cover. I never knew the families but I knew that we were helping them have a Christmas. It meant that we wouldn't have as many gifts but I wouldn't have traded it for the world.
   This Christmas season I would simply invite you to search for ways to serve others. Happiness most easily comes when you aren't striving to keep yourself happy. It comes when you see the happiness in someone else that you helped provide. I guess, simply put, I'm inviting you to be a little happier this Christmas season. And still, it's completely up to you.

         Sincerely,  Elder Earl

1 comment:

  1. Who is this Elder? This letter reads beautifully. It is a joy to see. I'm so grateful for this wonderful young man that is my Grandson. Merry Christmas Elder Earl!