I've been thinking about trials and triumphs this week, inspired by Sister Bringhurst, my dope cuz serving in Boston. I don't really have any big trials this week, which isn't exactly a good thing (we'll get to that).
1. Ald. got baptized!
2. Ant. reappeared out of nowhere again!
3. The future is looking bright! (5 people with solid dates for the coming weeks)
Over the course of the week, I made a conscious effort to do all in my power to influence others to make good decisions. The trials I faced always had to do with fighting selfish, negative thoughts. I thought and studied about consecrating myself to the Lord, and follow this council from our Savior in Luke 9:
It's tough to lose myself in the service of others, and not think about what I want to do, or what I'm gonna do in 16 months (wow! time flies), how my fam and friends are etc. I worked hard, but I think there's more left in the tank.
Thus, Mom, I'd like to study and develop diligence this week. You guys should diligently do the little things this week, and I'll push myself to always think of others.
You all fill me with inspiration and reassurance. I receive too many emails this week to possibly respond to, and many of you let me know how I've impacted you. According to you, I think I'm doing alright. Apart from the good old USA support, I had a tender moment with V, one of my 1st converts from November, and I think the number 1 reason I came here to Limache (no 'n' dad). We've suffered everything under the sun from depression to struggling sons to dying parents. She has yelled at me, told me she's giving up, and told me I was to blame. At the end of the day, there has been forgiveness and unconditional love.
Well, her dad died after a long fight Thursday night and in church on Sunday, she was obviously still grieving. She shook my hand and just looked me in the eyes. She said, "Thank you. You are a fighter. You never gave up."
It was one of those little moments that you just sit back and feel God telling you that you're doing alright. It's those little moments that really make this experience so worthwhile.
Well, onto the biggers.
Ald. had the best baptismal service - she walked around the hood all week hand-delivering invites to members. We had such a strong Spirit there as we witnessed a repentant sinner be made clean. She is a great example, and is opening hearts in her family. When she came up out of the water, I had the biggest smile on my face.
Finally, after passing by everyday to no avail, I was ever so pleasantly surprised to see Ant. walk out of his door Saturday. It filled my soul with joy, for I had thought perhaps I might never see him again, let alone that he might lose his chance to receive the restored gospel and give up his addiction to wine. Well, that's all that stands in the way now - el vino. Pray for him please. He is dominated by his addiction, and needs liberation.
I'd like to respond to some things people have written - forgive me for what I don't get to.
Almost everyone that writes me talks about the growth - and especially the trials - that they experience, particularly in their 1st years of school. My advice, that is certainly directed at myself as well:
1. Trust in God - pray
2. Don't take yourself so seriously
3. Pray for the trials. --- A big conclusion I've reached is summed up well in a quote from my mother: 'There is no growth in comfortable and no comfortable in growth." Trials and problems create the opportunity for growth. This week, I'm gonna give thanks for my trials, and pray for more, according to the will of the Lord. The best personal growth is born from the strongest opposition.
Alright, that's all from me. I love you all - never give up, never back down. The Church is true.