Monday, February 8, 2016

Another Day Another Struggle

Hahahaha man this week has just been full of hilarious things :)  Such a good week, and one of my favorites thus far on the mission!

Well to start off, we've been blessed to find 4 new investigators this week, which has been sick!  Man though it's been crazy.  

We felt impressed to drop by a potential on our way to a dinner appointment.  As we got out of the car we stopped and talked to this lady....who just burst out in tears....we were like "uhhhhhhhhh........so I just said..."God loves you"....which was apparently the wrong (and right) thing to say cuz she just cried even harder....it was a weird experience...anyway she was just super grateful we had stopped her to talk cuz she had been thinking about ending her life...it was just a crazy experience!  And such a testimony builder for me that The Lord really is in this work with us, and He knows His children.  It's just been awesome :)  Needless to say, we're teaching her now, which has been super sweet!  

Another Miracle this week came in listening to the spirit to drop by a Former Investigator!  We had dropped by her house several times with no luck, but we decided to drop by again.  She didn't answer, and as we turned around to leave we ran into a man named Cecil!  We talked with him for a bit and then he said, "You know I've been looking for a church to go to that feels right, can I meet you guys downtown in an hour and you can teach me what your church believes?"  

You should've seen our faces...jaws on the floor...we're like..."umm, yes...yes we can do that"...showed up downtown, taught him the Restoration and invited him to church!  We're hoping to commit him to a baptismal date this week!  

The last big miracle was a tender moment for me....a real testament that I'm here in Canada for a reason...

One of our Returning Members, previously Less-Active, has been Active now for over 2 years...he's had his slip-ups on his road to recovery from drug addiction, but he is SO awesome!  However, he has a unique circumstance with a serious and life changing injury a couple years ago that requires him to use some medication that he feels makes him unworthy to get to the temple....Bishop has cleared him and urged him over and over again to go, but he just doesn't feel worthy...

With the recent death of his dad, he's really been struggling...and when we went over to meet with him he asked us what our opinion was on whether or not he should go receive his endowment or not.  The Spirit strongly impressed upon me to share a bit of my story with him, and testified that the Lord had allowed him to remain on this earth and given him the means to control his medical condition so that he could prepare to receive the blessings of the temple.  This big, ripped, tough guy's eyed filled with tears and he stood up and just gave me a hug and cried...expressing that he had been praying for so long to find an answer and he was about to just give up...

It was such a fulfillment for me of my calling as a missionary and servant of the Lord...we are called to minister unto those that stand in need of comfort...this man had been searching deeply for an answer, just searching and wanting to do what's right...we just happened to want to share a message with him... but the Lord knew what we really needed to share.  After 2 years of feeling inadequate and unworthy, this man is now making preparations to receive his endowment at the end of this month.  It was such a tender moment for me to be able to witness the Lord working through us to bring healing and peace to one of His children.  

Ahh I just love the mission!  I seriously love it so much!  What a complete blessing to go out and serve God's children...to just love them..show compassion and kindness to these people...

I've talked about this before but this week has really been another testament to me of this gospel truth.  

"When we go about serving others, the more substance there is to our souls.  

It becomes so much easier to find ourselves, 

because there's so much more of us to find."  -Elder Christofferson

I can so testify that this is true.  I've found that those things that used to make me ache and hurt have faded and lessened...I've found that as I've just forgotten about myself...really realized that...my mission isn't about me...it's not about what I get out of it, it's not about the lessons I learn or the way I grow...it's about others...this lesson has consequently helped me so much...I've found that healing that I, for myself, was seeking...it came in looking outward...that's the secret really..there's another quote that I love..

"There's an interesting dichotomy between healing the body and healing the soul.  

When we heal the body, it requires turning inward.  

But when you heal the soul...turning inward doesn't work.

The triage of the soul is found in turning outward to other people."

This healing, the soul... it only comes in turning outwards...

To those of you who are seeking that healing...to those who feel the deep and aching pain of trials and troubles...to those who are seeking that peace that lasts throughout eternity..

I encourage you to start today..to look outside of your own atmosphere of consciousness.  Look out into the world...and find another soul in need...find another child of God who needs your influence...who needs the light that you have.  I can testify without a doubt in my mind, from personal experience...that this healing is real.  This healing does come.  

Looking outward puts ourselves in a position that softens our hearts, allows us to have charity.  In these Christlike conditions, it gives Christ access to that part of us that hurts and aches...it allows Him to enter our hearts..and consequently heal us...we can and WILL be made whole.  I am a literal witness to that healing power.  

Christ lives!  He has promised us that "He will not forsake" us.  He has given us the way to receive this healing power.  He gives it openly.  We need not earn it, for we cannot.  "Know ye not, that ye are bought with a price?"  This price has already been paid.  To those who may feel that a punishment is necessary before we can obtain that healing, or forgiveness, 
This. Is. Not. So.  Christ does not demand that we punish ourselves.  Christ has already paid that price, take care not to make Him pay it twice.  He has paid that penalty, felt our sorrow and anguish, both for sin and for the troubles and heartache living in a sinful world naturally brings.  We need not feel that we are alone, or that we must exile ourselves in order to receive healing or forgiveness.  

This healing comes through looking outward, turning to others to serve them in appropriate ways.  "The Church is not a mausoleum for saints, but a hospital for sinners," a metaphorical medical tent for the wounded and downtrodden.  It is not Christ's will that we suffer endlessly without relief.  He has provided us the means and the way to obtain relief, to find peace.  We can find that peace.  Relief comes through Christlike service, rendered openly and willingly to the needy, to the poor in spirit, to those that mourn.  This service need not be grand or extensive in nature.  A simple phone call, a hello to a stranger can be an answer to the prayers of those weary souls in need.  

I know these things to be true!  

I love you all :)  Thank you as always for your prayers and continued support.  I couldn't do it without you :)  

With Love,

--
Elder Bybee
Toronto Canada
Ofa Atu
when you gotta move and your apartment is just stacked..



Postin' up
 

Elder Fillmore postin' up in a masonic lodge ;)




more touring of the local Masonic lodge



just a little teaser of how warm it is up here;)


 on that weekly planning grind...with a much needed mtn dew


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