How are ya?
Isn't it funny to see how God answer your prayers? It's like you're down one minute then suddenly a light turns on out of nowhere, and catches you off-guard until you are filled with so much joy and so much relief you just want to laugh out loud! Sorry, I guess I'm feeling giddy. :)
But why not? I mean it's P day! The day of rest. Day of Prep. P day again, and what have we here: me and my new companion, Elder Meloni writing letters in the afternoon of a fine spring day in Woodstock, GA. Tis a good time. Allow me to introduce my companion, Elder Meloni is from Southern California - Riverside to be exact. He is currently 18, birthday in the month of September, and is almost a white copy of me. We are both very lean, skinny, outgoing, and excited to serve! This guy is such a good missionary, and is ten times more prepared than I was when I came out to the south, he knows so much about the gospel. So I hope I'm able to teach him or instruct him the best way I can. We teach together really really great though! We got someone on date to be baptized in April! It's nice to have a companion who doesn't let the whole ageism thing come into play. We're only a four months apart so we kinda both know that we gotta help each other out in our situation. He received his Associates degree in Communications so I've felt like I've learned tons more from him in the past 5 days than I have in the past five weeks! But it's been a great first 5 days! He loves the south and has a green fire!
A green fire that I wonder how missionaries and even people seem to lose... this is a topic that was mentioned last week during a training at our Zone Meeting; at what point do we lose our innocence or sense of motivation to do that which is right? When do we become reliant on others, or are we naturally born with self-reliance and if so when do we then truly become reliant on God? Why do we lose our innocence and why is it so hard at times to get it back?
Well I know some of these questions just got pretty deep, but the training was probably one of the best I've experienced thus far on the mish. It was given by a missionary who inspired me so much during the first 6 weeks of serving in Shallowford, Elder Smith "My Passionate Firefly" our Zone Leader.
It is silly and really dumb but in the mission there are missionaries who just aren't out for the right reason, there are missionaries who follow more rules than others, and there are missionaries who judge and look down on others. I am guilty to a degree. But it is something that has frustrated a lot of us to an extent, and in life a lot of the time we've put up these invisible walls, we pick sides and come to a point where we don't seem to get along well as a group or even as a zone. I didn't really notice cause I've only been here again for 6 weeks, but at the same time I did.
The saying, "there was so much tension in the room you could cut the air with a butter knife" was totally apropos. But what really opened my eyes and enlightened my understanding was that Elder Smith related a lot of his training to Forgiveness.
In a lot of aspects life is a team effort whether it be working as a zone in a mission field, a group in business, players on a sports team, musicians in a band, a squad in the army, or even with your spouse or family. And just like the aphorism goes, there really is no "I" in Team. We are all in the same boat when you think about it broadly, we are all God's children and we all got to figure out how to get out of spiritual death.
What happens though at times is that TEAM takes out A and T and gets twisted and turns into Me, or us, or in some perspective, U. Does that make sense?
I share this with you, but Imagine this, you're playing the final game for a State Championship, and this is something that you've now worked for for a very long time and you've put so much effort and practice and time into it, basically all your sweat and tears. You're team was winning and really doing great, but now you're in trouble and you're at the last quarter and you can see your team is struggling. There has been a lack of communication, maybe there has been the stress of winning and maybe the ultimate goal was veiled, or maybe it's just the pressure of it all that has gotten to you and the other teammates and there is only contention on the field.
Well, its the final countdown (or whatever, y'all know I didn't play sports) and now guess what, you've lost. Your team lost. You have been defeated. And you didn't just lose a game, but you lost your team.
How many times in this life do we seem to lose those we hold most dear to us because of a few misconceptions? How many a time do we lose sight of those we love because of pride or getting caught in our own ego? And why do we succumb to be deceived by the practices of the adversary?
A brother, a friend, a sister, a mother, a son, a daughter, a father, a companion, a wife, a neighbor, or a really really good fellow. Why do we put up barriers against these and how do we take them down?
There is definitely an opposition in all things I think. There is definitely also a balance to all things, but this balance wasn't made to show us only the side of defeat. There is a purpose to every experience, and there is purpose to life. I've come to see that this purpose is far deeper than meets the regular eye, and in these past few days I've really come to see more, no not all, but just more.
We Are Human. We are not perfect, and we do make mistakes. We fall down, we hurt others, we cry because of it. But really the first step to fixing all of that is exercising faith unto forgiveness. Remember, remember those tears that were already shed, those drops of blood already paid and those pains already felt.
Our Savior Jesus Christ knows how we feel, he knows our defeat, we only need to act, put our trust in Him, take His hand and follow. By doing that, then can we begin to forgive ourselves and others. Then can we truly say "I'm Sorry", and we can truly receive a remission of sin. A renewing feeling.
Oh how great a feeling to feel, the purity of joy. God answers prayers, and He does it in his own fickle way. He's great :) I love it!
Well I know that was a really really long message, and I know that there was a ton in it. But I love you all, and I hope you have a fantastic final week of February!