This week...has been exhausting! We finally got everything moved in yesterday, and man I am tired! pretty sure my backs like toast, but hey, it's whatevs. We still managed to hit Standards again this week though, which felt good! The Lord is preserving us day to day!
This week, we've seen a couple miracles that were awesome!
So all week we've been praying for a media referral from Salt Lake. last possible day, on Sunday, and last possible time to receive it, and what do you know? We receive a media referral :) turns out this person had been praying specifically about the Mormon church for 8 months, and decided she wants to start investigating! :) It was just soooo sick, especially since we had been praying ALL week to receive a media referral! Man the good lord knows us eh?:)
This week has been such a blessing to see people progressing towards baptism! There is no greater joy on this earth...than being able to take part in people's decision to change for the better...it just brings me so much happiness, knowing they are taking the steps necessary to grow closer to Christ, and let Him into their lives. Like what greater happiness is there?? :) The greatest joy in this life comes from Christ, and through Christ...He is the Bringer of Joy, the Prince of Peace..every good thing comes through His guidance and Grace. It was such a blessing on Sunday to be able to stand up and declare my witness of Christ...that He lives! Because He does.
He is not here, for He is risen. And because of Him, we have the ability to be free. Free from ourselves, free from our past, from the heartaches of this world. Christ is the center of what we preach, because it is only through Him that this is all possible. How could we not center everything on Him??
This week I've felt to share a couple thoughts. The first is on bringing the lost sheep back to the fold.
President Eyring gives a beautiful example of the way Christ brought the lost and the needy under His wing.
There was an Elder's Quorum President who reactivated 40 less active men...and helped them progress towards the Melchizedek Priesthood. When President Eyring went up to ask him how he did it, this was his response.
He said softly, “I know every inactive guy in this town. Most of them have pickup trucks. I have a truck too. I wash my pickup where they wash theirs. In time, they become my friends.
“Then I wait until something goes wrong in their lives. It always does. They tell me about it. I listen and I don’t find fault. Then, when they say, ‘There is something wrong in my life. There just has to be something better than this,’ I tell them what is missing and where they can find it. Sometimes they believe me, and when they do, I take them with me.”
I love this story because it illustrates in great detail the "How" of bringing those who are lost home. The Lost often have way too much of "This is what's wrong and this is how you should fix it" with little to no Christlike love exhibited towards them. The way to bring those Lost ones home, isn't to tell them what's wrong. Most often they do know...they just don't want to believe it. Rather, our focus should be friendship and love..find reasons to interact with them in comfortable environments. Don't find fault, just listen, and love unconditionally. Wait...be patient with them. Christ is walking with them EVERY SINGLE DAY. Trust that He has a plan for that person, and that He is working more unseen miracles than you can possibly imagine. When you establish a relationship with them...they will open up. When they understand that you aren't just there to drag them back to church, but to listen, to love, and most of all...to be their friend, they will be honest with you. They will understand that your motive isn't to bring them back to church...your motive is to be there for them. It becomes personal, rather than a sense of duty.
The Spirit will guide you in knowing what to say, and when. As you work arm in arm with Christ, and His Holy Spirit, He will guide you to know how to best help His Children return to the fold. You will be able to bring them home. And as Alma recounts, "How great shall be your joy."
The other thought for this week comes from C.S. Lewis on the concept of consecration. There are two laws that have particular significance to the soul seeking to truly become a disciple of Christ. One is the Law of Sacrifice. Sacrificing doing the things you want, for the things God wants. Being Obedient. Doing what the Lord asks. This is important.
However, for the man or woman truly seeking to become like Christ, the Law of Sacrifice will not suffice. The Law of Consecration is what it takes. Consecration isn't just consecrating your time, your talents, your energy, and your money to further the cause of Christ. Rather, consecration truly entails consecrating YOU. Your desires, your wants, your wishes, your dreams. This is something that usually applies to missionaries and a few other callings, and something that I have come to learn. True spiritual power is granted unto the man, who gives up not only his evil desires, but ALL his desires, and replaces it with one desire...the desire to do what the Lord's will is. This is best illustrated with a quote from C.S. Lewis, paraphrasing the words of Christ.
"Give me ALL.
I don't want your time, your money, your talents, your energy.
I WANT YOU.
I am not come to frustrate or torment the natural man,
But to kill it."
C.S. Lewis "Mere Christianity"
The Lord isn't asking us to halfheartedly give up our favorite sins. To give up the lesser ones that aren't as bad, or to only give up a few every so often. The Lord isn't looking to change our behavior.
His mission, is to change our hearts. How does that change become permanent? How does one truly "want the things He wants"?
A man must give up all...for the cause and mission of something and Someone much greater than he.
When we come to understand that principle...that the Lord is here, in our lives, to remove ALL appearance and hint of evil, to quench EVERY evil desire and thought, surrendering to His will becomes the ONLY intelligent thing to do. Anything less will not cut it.
In the words of Elder Neil A. Maxwell
"Consecration is the ONLY surrender that is also a victory."
I have seen such profound, spiritual outpourings, from applying this concept in daily life. It has made the mission sacred...because it's not my mission...but His mission.
I know these things to be true.
Much love this week! :)
STAY FLY AND BAPTIZEEaster egg painting. A beautiful hobby.
10 year old medicine...just a small dose of the plethora of things we found cleaning out the apartment.
yep...that's Nate Peterson...found him in a MASSIVE box of ensigns we have..dating back to 1984...yep...that's like 32 years worth...
more Easter egg fun