This week has been interesting. Super fun and rewarding, and full of amazing miracle moments, but not without it's weird plot twists. Some persecution, some plans falling through, etc. Character builder moments. I've learned a lot this week about hope, and what that means for us as missionaries. In Preach My Gospel, we read that, "hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you...It is believing and expecting that something will occur." Powerful stuff. And just like faith, hope is a principle of action. We can't just passively hope that we will be able to find someone to baptize, that we will be able to fulfill our purpose as missionaries and help God's children to come home to Him, if we aren't willing to do anything about it. That's just mocking God at that point. We need to be willing to work. Something that President Burt always tells us is that we need to be worthy and willing. Those two components are key, and it's a very common theme in the gospel; change yourself first, and then go out and help others experience that same joy of repentance. First believe, then do. They're inseparable. Faith without works is dead, people. And works without faith are just as lifeless.
And so we need to have hope and faith in all that we do. No matter how crazy things get, just put a smile on and trust in God. Doubt not, fear not, for He is with us. I remember the time in the book of Alma, where Helaman, Gid and Teomner - three amazing warriors in the Book of Mormon - were trying to reclaim their city of Manti, but to no avail. Everything they tried was failing, and they were embarrassed at their lack of success. They didn't understand why they weren't succeeding, and began to be discouraged. As missionaries, we're trying to "reclaim Manti" if you will. We are trying to help everyone to come unto Christ and to help build up God's kingdom. So what happens when we don't see any crazy success? Do we just forget everything and collapse to the earth? For these three warriors, they decided to turn to God. In their own words, they said, "we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that He would strengthen us...and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in Him" (Alma 58:10-11).
I know that if we turn to God, if we truly want peace and assurance, and we're willing to be patient and to suffer a little bit, and to do some hard work, that He will give us peace. He will help us in every aspect of our lives, if only we let Him.
I had the opportunity to go on a mini mission this weekend with Benson Woo, some guy from the White Rock Ward in BC. He's preparing to head out in August to go and serve in the California Irvine mission. It was awesome to have him with us the whole weekend. He was exposed to missionary weirdness, and to miracles. He even found us a potential investigator we're going to meet up with on Wednesday! It was so fun to be around him and to get to help him to prepare. The mission is where it's at! Seriously. No matter how crazy it gets, no matter how hard you think it is, just take a step back and realize who's in charge. The Almighty God. The Eternal Father. He is well aware of what you're going through. So ask Him for help, for guidance.
Our investigators are amazing. Seriously. I am so grateful to be able to teach so many wonderful people on my mission. It boosts my faith, my testimony, and helps me realize why I am here.
This is His work. He is in charge, so don't give up, don't get scared now. You're locked and loaded on the rollercoaster of discipleship, and it ain't getting any slower. Let it begin!!!
I hope you all have an amazing week!
Candid shot of me calling my favorite district leader, Elder Hudson!
Best mini-missionary of all time!
Elder Marchand and I taking Benson to get "released" from his mini-mission.
They call him "Miracle March-eazy"...well...I do, at least.
He's a mission legend, and he's my companion! Boo-ya!