Monday, July 27, 2015

Ups and Downs for Simeon

Me and my boy Kendall
Well, I am back! Well, that sounded super good in my head so I just decided to write it down.  This week has been a very interesting one and, of course, there is always a few stories to go along with it.  We started this week going super hard at everything thing we did and we made it up to Thursday before everything seemed to just stop working, including dropped appointments, not finding people to teach and many more disappointments.  So Elder Nelson, one of my companions, said, “I knew I should have eaten my apple before my oatmeal. I knew it.”  Poor guy thought it was his fault.’

On Friday, at the request of our Mission President we did four back-to-back-to-back-to-back 20-minute trainings to our new missionaries and their companions.  It was a blast and while doing that I shared with them this spiritual prompting I had received a long time ago that is "true love cannot be faked."  It you love the people you teach whether they are members or someone learning the gospel, they will know the Lord loves them. After this meeting on Friday we continued to do all the Lord requires of us.  We were able to see many miracles.  One came on Sunday and the other actually came on Wednesday.  On Sunday I was in standing in church and this member walks in through the door.  I noticed her accent as we spoke so I asked, “hey, where are you from?” and she told me Antigua.  “Yes, another Caribbean person.  I am not alone” and, indeed, I was not as we were joined by two more.  I called my companions over - who for the entire time we have been together just bashed my beautiful game of cricket to the ground.  I was smiling with joy – well, lets be honest … it was pride because these wonderful friends of mine from the Caribbean all loved cricket, too.

This was also the day I saved Elder Snedaker from eating a super hot pepper (well, for him anyway) because he wanted to prove he was tough.  So glad I ate that pepper for him or else things could have gotten crazy.  

The sisters went to extremes looking for investigators!
Now let me tell you what happened on Wednesday.  I was interviewing this young man for baptism and the funny story is this is the second time I am doing so.  I’m filling out the baptismal sheet and things were silent.  Then he said, "You know what I like about you?  You are always happy, no matter what."  Well, this took me completely off guard, so I shared my testimony of the restored gospel with him and explained to him this is why I am always happy.   For me this was an answer to my prayers as I have been praying really hard to get to know my Savior better.  I feel, in a sense, that was to tell me, “as you serve others and live the gospel, the happiness and joy you experience helps you know how I feel about you and this is how you will get to know me better!”  Yes, indeed, what a way to answer my prayers but that is the Lord for you.    It reminds me of the scripture in Alma 26:27-30 which tells us where we can turn every time things get tough or hard:

27  Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold the Lord comforted us, and said”  Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear it with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success.

28  And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to hours, relaying upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

29  And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

30  And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

And so the Lord reaches out to us just as much as we reach out to others because he knows and cares about us as well.  Just as we labor with our might to bring others unto him he will labor with his might to bring us closer to him.

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