October 13, 2014
Not much to report this week – all of our lessons fell through this week. You always have those weeks where everything seems to go wrong, get canceled, or not go as expected. They are the weeks where you just pick up and move on without thinking too much about it.
I’m grateful to be able to study the talks from General Conference. I always have so much to learn from the talks and the scriptures they reference. I am still hooked on Elder Klebingat’s talk, especially this excerpt, which has been a real source of strength and comfort for me this past week:
“Remember that you are here to be proved and tested, ‘to see if [you] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [your] God shall command [you]” (Abraham 3:25) – and may I just add ‘under all circumstances.’ Millions of your brothers and sisters have been or are being thus tested, so why would you be exempt? Some trials come through your own disobedience or negligence. Other trials come because of the negligence of others or simply because this is a fallen world. When these trials come, the adversary’s minions begin broadcasting that you did something wrong, that this is a punishment, a sign that Heavenly Father does not love you. Ignore that! Instead, try to force a smile, gaze heavenward, and say, ‘I understand, Lord. I know what this is. A time to prove myself, isn’t it?’ then partner with Him to endure well to the end. Spiritual confidence increases when you accept that ‘often trials and tribulations are allowed to come into [your life] because of what [you] are doing right.”
I love that. I love how simply he reminds us of our potential – “I understand, Lord. I know what this is. A time to prove myself, isn’t it?” We are all asked to individually step up to the plate, to prove ourselves not to the world, but to the Lord. We’re asked to work our hardest, to be the person God asks us to be every day. This has become clearer and clearer as I kneel and pray and try to be a little better than I was yesterday.
One thing that was really cool about this week was going with one of our young women, Michelle, to the recruiter’s office. She’s looking to enlist in the Marine Corps, and I was so thankful we were able to go with her to get information. I loved the look in her eye when we walked in of determination and self-respect, but I loved seeing her stand a little taller as she walked out of the office, paperwork and information in hand.
The hardest part of serving in this part of California is seeing how hard young people have to fight to get out of their situations – poverty, poor education, etc. They fight and fight and fight, and you can see it in their eyes as they work hard and study hard. Michelle wants to join the Marines so she can provide a better life for her family than she has right now, so that she can get an education that will last and be a tool for success. The striking reason she wants to join, however, is so that she can be an example to her younger siblings. These kids fight and fight, and they do it for family. I learned a lot that afternoon, walking into the recruiters office with Michelle, and talking with the staff sergeant as she took an ASVAP test. We’re here to fight, and fight for what is good and right, not just here, but before the Lord.
Sorry for such a short email. Better next week!Love,