Monday, February 22, 2016

Simeon Teaches "You Are Special"

My friend Paul ... doesn't he look like Jimmie Neutron?
This week we did not get to do a whole lot as we had planned but, we got stuff done which made it all the better! We had exchanges this week with our district leader from St. Lucia. It turns out he knew a few missionaries I knew who served in his country a while back which was sweet. Unfortunately, he was sick so he was ordered by the mission nurse to go home and rest. So with time on my hands I decided to read the Book of Mormon. It was surprising to me to see that was the direction I was prompted to go because before my mission I would read for 20 minutes then go shoot some hoops or something. I ended up reading until 8 pm that night from about 4 pm in the afternoon.  What a really wonderful change for me to see! 

This week as we went about teaching members I walked around with a little story book entitled "You Are Special."  It is a nice story of a wooden boy who thought because of what everyone else said he was not special and that made him sad. It reminds me of the world today because if you don't do what everyone else is doing then you don't fit it or you don't make it. In this story the wooden boy comes to realize his maker cares about him because he made him.  If he thought about that instead of what people may say or think then it will not matter or offend him because he knows someone loves him.  That is the same today in the world we live in because people and the adversary will fill our minds with bad thoughts or words and the thing that will bug us the most is believing we don't fit in! But who says we have to! God, just like the woodcarver, knows us and made us and sent his son to us for us to know we are special.  He wants us to know we are needed because we truly are and when we think everyone else makes fun of us because of who we are, there is One who looks up to you and admires you for doing just that! So we must be who God made us to be and don't worry about fitting in. Worry more about helping him and you will come to see how truly Special we are to him indeed. 

In my studies this week I came across a familiar passage in the Book of Mormon which made me remember we can do all things with the Lord.  In 2 Nephi 4:28-35:

28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God.

And so my family and friends, I ask shall we not? Oh yes, we shall!!! 

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