25 January 2016
Cool moment of the week … would be going to the “primera palada” or groundbreaking of the new chapel we are going to have here in Valencia. It was really cool to attend this meeting and hear the members (all of whom were converts) testify of the truthfulness of this Gospel, how it has completely changed their lives, and how much the Church has grown here in Valencia. It’s always amazing to see how the Lord’s hand is pushing forward His work. Also, there was a time capsule and a couple missionaries and I threw in our name tags. It will be cool to come back and see the new chapel after it is finished.
I saw the Lord’s hand … with Elder Moulton over these last 10 weeks. Loved my time with him. Sad it could be coming to an end next week. He is always positive and always on task. Anyone who is serving or has served knows how much of a blessing it is to have a hardworking companion.
This week in my studies … I learned about the relationship between faith and trials. We all know that trials come. All trials are different. There are several varieties of trials whether they be physical, mental, or emotional. Something that has an effect on us today might not have an effect on us tomorrow, but something that has been effecting us since last year could have an effect on us through next year. All trials and challenges come in levels of severity. Just because we aren’t effected by something doesn’t mean someone we hold very near and dear can’t be effected by it.
A story I like is found in chapter 17 of 3rd Nephi and it illustrates this point. Great strength can be found in the words from verses 7 and 9. In verse 7 Christ asks that they bring the “sick and afflicted” so that He might “heal them.” To this, their response in 9, “ALL the multitude … did go forth.” We all face challenges. And then then the phrase: “that were afflicted in ANY manner.” All of us can identify, can’t we? Whether it is x or y or d, everyone has trials and challenges. The only thing that is the same about the trials and challenges that we face is the method we use to overcome them. The sure fire way of beating our challenges, is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This faith is what will save us when we are beaten down lower than we have ever felt was possible. When the weight is too heavy, nothing else can ease the burden other than this faith, a trust in God. We need to always remember that through struggles is how we grow, and that there is still much in life to be hopeful about and grateful for.
I really liked what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said on this subject, “Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters–mental or emotional or physical or otherwise–do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are ‘like a broken vessel,’ as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.” I like the last sentence, maybe the most, this life is hard enough as it is. We don’t need to make it harder in ourselves or others. We need to be “of one mind” and have “compassion one of another” and to “love as brethren” to help overcome these struggles so often placed before all of us.
Faith is principle of action and power. It is more than merely a belief. Through faith all is possible, even faith “as to a grain of mustard seed” still has the power to move mountains – physically and metaphorically. Faith brings hope. Hope that we can make it through whatever lies ahead, that we and our loved ones will, no matter the circumstance, be restored to a perfect state in the next life. If we have this faith we live knowing that this isn’t the end, that there is something more, that happiness is just ahead. That because of Jesus Christ we too will be resurrected. In this resurrection we know that that which “is sown in corruption” will indeed be “raised in incorruption” and whatever “is sown in weakness” one day will surely be “raised in power.” And that is good news.
I hope that anyone going through a hard time will seek out the help they need, from God and from whatever outside source (doctors, therapists, parents, friends, etc.). To you who feel alone in your trials I would offer the words found in John 14:18, 27 when Christ says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” You’re not alone. You never were, and you never will be. Hold onto the faith you have, and if you have lost it, find it and never let it go. I also hope that we will be more aware to the people in our spheres of life to be able to discern their needs and help them in any way we can. We need to actively seek them out and help them. Remember that just saying, “Let me know if I can help,” really is no help at all.
My writing time is running out, but I hope that from this you take away this simple message: lift up your head with a faith in Christ, press forward, and you will make it through. Seek to lift others and you will receive the help you need in your life. This I promise, as a representative of Jesus Christ, and one who has used this in my life, in His name. Amen.
** If you find yourself asking “why is this happening to me” go read Hebrews 12:6-11 (the whole chapter is good). **
This week’s shout outs … go out to Elder Moulton because it is probably my last week with him. See the video.
The Elder of the week … goes out to Elder Tyler Vickery. Last week in the mission. Coming out of St. George, he will be returning soon. Ladies hit him up @tylavick on insta. Lots of love for my boy. Tragic death. #elfaroforever
Graffiti of the week …