Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

Hey Everyone,
   Well it's time to say bye to my beloved Baywood Ward. I've spent almost 5 months here and I guess it's time for me to leave. My new area should be fun though. I get a car! My area is fairly big. I now cover 2 young single adult wards. I cover Mountain View and Mesa 2nd. My new companion will be Elder Spencer. He is a zone leader. It will be kind of weird. I feel like President Jenkins has been running all of his tests on me. I was the first missionary in the mission ever to be trained by a visa waiter, then he made me senior comp over part of a broken zone as a test, and now he's trying out having the zone leaders split up to see if it can benefit us as their companions. I'm a guinea pig.
   I'm happy that I was successful here though. I definitely left the place better than I found it. Instead of one person set for baptism we now have eight. The ward has gotten much better at member missionary work as well. They come with us to pretty much every lesson and the drastic increase in the numbers is a result of their efforts. I'm happy for them. The ward will do well. Elder Cupp will be staying here to make sure the work continues.
   This week definitely had its ups and downs. It was a very good week but it had some sad parts as well. Good news first. We set another baptismal date. A woman I've been working with for a while will now be baptized on March 15th. Hopefully her family will follow. On Saturday a woman I taught from my last area was baptized. It was nice to hear that.
   That family of seven is progressing better than ever. They will be done smoking on the 14th and they no longer drink coffee. It's pretty awesome. We took them to a church open house on Saturday and the dad, who had been holding the family back for a while, flat our said, "I've been looking for 15 years and I think I've found my new home". It was great to hear him say that. The 16 year old girl is even already talking about a mission! They will be baptized on March 8th. I'll have to find a way to make it back for that.
   We took our 91 year old investigator to watch Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration on Thursday. She loved it. She will be baptized on February 22nd and she is stoked for it. I don't think I've ever seen a woman as energetic as she is and she's 91! It's insane! She looks as though she could outlive me at this point.
   On top of all the great things that happened this week, I found out some bad news. I found a member I've become very close to here on my mission crying in the church foyer yesterday. I went over to make sure she was ok and she told me that she has just recently found out she has breast cancer. This amazing woman is the mother to an 8 year old son and an 11 year old daughter. Her husband is incredible as well and they have been some of the most hospitable people I have ever met. It was definitely sad to hear about her condition.
   It begs the extremely common question of "why do bad things happen to good people?". The answer is short and simple. Good people are forged from bad things. Good people don't just happen. Therefore bad things are required to make good people even better people. But a thought really hit me hard this week. Well, a few thoughts did. The first one I had while reading about Adam and Eve.
   I was reading In Moses. I read about the Garden of Eden. I read about how Lucifer beguiled Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I read about how Adam followed suit after Eve in order to obey all of Gods commandments. I read about how they were cast out of the garden because of it and it wasn't until then that I found something that applied. In Moses 5:11, Adam and Eve are looking back on their choices and the outcomes thereof. The scripture says, "And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient."
   I love how Eve admits that if it wasn't for the trials they went through, they never would have had what they have now. I think that applies to all of us as well. God gives us trials because He loves us. He wants us to learn and grow so that we can come back to Him one day. If not for those trials we would not learn and grow. I know in my life I have looked ahead and worried because what I wanted to happen was no longer possible. The fact of the matter is that if you are obedient and patient in your trials, The Lord will give you what will help you be as happy and satisfied as you possibly can be at that time in your life. His will should not be contradictory to ours. We need to realize that and align ours to His to find true happiness.
   The second thought that I had pertained to the way that woman has been living. She has spent every waking moment with her family. They have one of the most unified families I have ever met. It made me think of another scripture. Matthew 6:20 and 21 say, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
   What matters most lasts the longest. Obviously, in her case, she has chosen to let her family last for eternity. That is a choice we all make on a daily basis. If your friends are who you spend all your time with, your friends will last longer. If the T.V. is what takes precedence over a good portion of your life, the T.V. will last the longest. If you choose the river over going to church, the river will last longer than church will for you. Desires dictate thoughts, thoughts dictate actions, and actions dictate your eternal outcome. If you want your family to last forever, act now. If you want God to be part of your life, act now. If you want to become the person that you were created to become, act now. The same works for the T.V., if you want that to be there the longest, it's just a click away. It's completely up to you.

   Sincerely, Elder Earl

No comments:

Post a Comment