This might be my favorite scripture right now. I'll get straight to the point. We all have a lot of weapons - temptation, shortcomings, vices etc. - things that impede us from reaching our divine potential. Essentially, we concede to these things, accepting (knowingly or not) a life of mediocrity compared to what we could be. My weapons are my thoughts. My frickin, wild running thoughts. As I've mentioned before, I walk in silence a lot. Thus, I often think about the Gang, my family, BYU, the life I want to live, etc. It's easy, but it serves no purpose. Whatever your weapons might be, search them out. Let's bury them together.
I've been trying really hard to control my thoughts, thinking only in the missionary work here in Limache. 2 days this week, we worked so hard that I hardly thought about anything else. The other 5 were to some degree or another, mediocre.
Another thing I tend to do a lot is compare myself to other people. In the mission, I tend to hear about another missionary's success and baptisms, and bust myself up over not being on the same level. This is a weapon. However, in the mission and in life, we often compare ourselves to other good, sometimes great people, and concede a habit or justify a vice that they do, thinking "hey, this highly respected person doesn't do this, and he's doing great. I don't need to do that either." Essentially, we take the example of someone else settling for less than greatness, and justify our own concessions. What seems to be a plague in la Mision Argentina Salta is missionaries settling for good numbers, accepting that greatness cannot be achieved, and often times even counseling other younger missionaries that it is impossible to supersede such "standards of excellence." This debilitating cycle destroys faith, which makes failure inevitable.
I believe to overcome the harsh effects our weapons can have on others and others on ourselves in terms of reaching our potential, is to disregard almost completely the achievements and let downs of others. Obviously there are exceptions, but I've found that if we have faith in ourselves and focus on our own personal improvement, anything is possible.
I haven't even begun to touch on the beautiful writing that Alma uses to summarize the interactions between brothers. If you know me, you know the word 'brother' carries enormous weight and value in my life. I have more than 4 brothers. When I read verse 18, I immediately think of the Gang. It's not like we're actually a gang and have shed the blood of anyone else (literally, that is - we've wreaked plenty of havoc and left our mark in other ways) or ever needed to literally give our lives up for one another. However, the sentiment of selflessness is there. Rather than take from a brother, I will give.
Speaking of work, here's a day in the life of Elder Blake (No down time, Matt):
7-7:30 - get after it with some pushups/pullups
7:30-8:30 - shower and eat some eggs (I'm getting jacked)
8:30-9:30 - Personal study (BoM)
9:30-1 - Get after it in the streets. Teach lessons.
1-2 - Giant lunch with/made by a member
2-3 - Comp study
3-4 - Spanish study
4-9:30 - More getting after it. Only now, we're fighting the siesta. Everyone is fricken asleep until 7
9:30-11 Plan, journal, hit the sack
S/O to the Magpiong family - stinks to hear about Jane's situation. You're in my prayers.
Logistics Mom -
Email>Handwritten Letter>DearElder - I PRINT MY EMAILS. Please write all you can. Dear Elders take a fricken thousand years to arrive for some reason. I'd love to see the handwriting of my favorite people though.
I have good sunscreen but I'd love a few sticks of our go-to face sunscreen
Love the letters - Dad send me all the talks you can. Super happy for Noah and the babysitting. Noah - SAVE YOUR MONEY! The things you'll buy right now will end up becoming trash pretty soon. Save it!
|Kinda embarrassed I forgot to mention we baptized this bro named Emmanuel (16). Bosshog (has a mini mullet too)|
|Evolution of a Dope Sunset|