Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 6, 2014

Hey Everyone,
   This week was a pretty good week. We had a good amount of lessons and things just seemed to run smoothly. My street cred at the apartment complex continues to grow so I would say life's pretty solid. I still love being in Arizona and serving the people here. However, it hit 100 degrees multiple times this week and I know that it will just get worse. It's a good thing that we have a car.
   Transfers are this next week and I will be staying with Elder Clarke. In fact, absolutely nothing changed for us. I'm actually pretty surprised that they had us keep the YSA ward. I thought for sure we were going to be taken out of it.
   My weird experiences here in Mesa are either happening a lot less, or I'm just getting used to them and therefore ceasing to acknowledge them as weird. It's probably a combination of the two. Being in the Groves ward is pretty normal. People have tons of money, and no one walks around drunk. They all are out working until the evening and then at that point they stay inside with their families. It is rare to see someone outside which makes it difficult to be a missionary in this area. However, the members here are incredible at finding us things to do. I'm grateful for them.
   Lately I've been thinking a lot about how crazy it is that I'm on a mission. It's weird to think that for the first eighteen years of my life, going on a mission was just something that I would most likely do someday. Now that I've been out over seven months it's a pretty insane thing to think about. What's even crazier is how much I've grown in that short span of time.
   I remember when I was filling out my mission papers it still felt like this was just something that would happen someday, not in just a few months. I didn't really think about how much time I was actually devoting to The Lord. I didn't know what to expect either. For me this was just another step of my life and it would begin and end just like everything else. Little did I know that this would be the hardest thing that I've ever done. Yet because of how hard it is, I somehow love it more and more everyday.
   I remember the night before I entered the missionary training center. I was laying in bed. It was probably a little after midnight. I couldn't sleep. I remember thinking about how long two years actually is. I remember asking myself how I could possibly do this. I remember not finding an answer. I remember forgetting the thought and entering the MTC the next day, with all worries pushed to the back of my head.
   Now that I'm seven months out into the field, that question comes to my mind. How could I have possibly gone through the last seven months? How can I possibly continue to serve for seventeen more? The only answer I can come to is that we were created to do hard things.
   I believe I've written home about this before but this week and the thoughts that came with it gave me an important reminder that only through Christ can we do those hard things. Only when we humble ourselves enough to acknowledge our weaknesses and let Christ fill the gaps can we progress further in this mortal probation.
  2 Corinthians 12:9 and 10 says,  "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
   Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
   We were created to be tried. We were created with weaknesses, with infirmities. We all have been and will continue to be persecuted for whatever reason and we will always, at one point or another, be distressed. But if we are humble and let Christ lift the burden, it will never be more then we can endure.
   For when we are weak, then are we strong.

   Elder Earl

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