"Go forward in life with A TWINKLE in your eyes and A SMILE on your face, but WITH GREAT PURPOSE in heart." -Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want"‏

It has been so awesome this week being able to see changes actually beginning to happen in the lives of our loves here in Departamental. Heavenly Father really has been listening to our prayers- SO COOL! It was a week filled with a ton of really awesome lessons and studies that I wanted share with you guys and I have no idea which one to bring up; they were all just so great. So bare with me if all of my thoughts seemed a little scattered. But I promise that they will be sweet! Just like sprinkles on a cupcake (excuse the cheese, I’m a missionary).
At the beginning of the week we were praying a lot to know what we needed to teach Alison in order to help her regain her testimony- it’s almost harder teaching the inactive members because there is a wider range of gospel principles that we need to help them understand. We shared some scriptures from Alma 26 with her. It talks about gratitude and how there is never an end to the thanks that we can give to the Lord for our blessings. This is absolutely TRUE. Something that I absolutely love that Hermana Leavitt mentioned was that even at the end of some of the worst days, in our case-after all of our citas fall through or after everyone seems to not care about what we have to share with them, we can still smile and be grateful for the beautiful sunsets that God gives us or for the awesome trees and Andes mountains, ect. Moral of the story, there is ALWAYS something to be happy about. God always gives us a cherry to top off our day. He gives us ways to be happy, even through the crappiest experiences that life brings us. We just have to recognize those blessings because there are at least 100 all around us at all times. There are 100 around you right now, count them!

One always finds that which he searches for- Search for HAPPINESS J
During our lesson with Alison, I felt so strongly that this was just the message that she needed to hear. I remember my favorite part was when she smiled at a comment that we said. It’s really the little things and in that moment, I realized that a little light bulb went off in her head.

This lesson about gratitude that we all learned about at the beginning of the week, seemed to be a theme of something that everyone needed to be reminded of here in Departamental. As you guys know, we have a crazy number of inactive members that we are working with. Many of these people have decided to stop coming to church because they have been offended by someone or something that was said to them in church. It is so sad to me that these people are choosing to lose out on blessings because they are unwilling to forgive and forget. I guess this is something that a lot of people actually have a hard time with- Humility is a hard thing. Having grudges on people and focusing on the negative things about them makes it harder to forgive, and that is something that Hermana Leavitt and I have been trying to help people understand. Time (something that everyone thinks will solve their offences) doesn’t make things better or make hurt feelings disappear. If we aren’t willing to forgive and find peace then we are just going to fall deeper and deeper into our hurt. Even over something dumb like being offended by a bad look that someone gave. So for these people that we have been meeting in bulk, we just have been reminding them to focus on the good! Focus on the blessings. And as we strengthen our Christlike attributes, we will be happier.

Something else that I loved learning about this week was about the knowledge that we have the opportunity to obtain here on Earth. In the Pearl of Great price, I was reading about the creation of the world. And after all was created, God rested. But this is what I loved: In Moses 3:2 it says, “And on the seventh day I, God, ended my work, and all things which I had made; and I arested on the bseventh day from all my work, and all things which I had made were finished, and I, God, saw that they were good;” (http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/3?lang=eng). So it says that God rested after all was finished good. What a great example that he gives us here. I feel that so many times in life, we procrastinate or we take a break because we are tired, etc. And maybe this is okay in a physical sense… maybe, but in a spiritual sense we know that there is no time for procrastination or breaks. From the scriptures we can learn that after this life, we are going to leave behind everything here on earth, except for our personality and knowledge. So it’s really important that we strive to progress and be better every day, because the way that we are here on Earth is how we are going to be in the life to come. I learned this in Alma 34:34, “Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” So we can’t just procrastinate and say “I’ll strengthen my faith in the next life, ect.” We need to build up our spiritual stamina right now, here on earth, so that when we live with God again we can understand Him and become like Him. The Lord promises us time and time again that if we seek knowledge, he will give it to us. This life is short and that we need to learn as much as we can here on Earth so that we can be prepared for the next life- our life with Heavenly Father. It’s kind of like a work out- starting out the whole work out process, we get tired easily and it’s really hard. But as we exercise every day, we build up stamina, and eventually the hard things become easier and we can work towards higher goals.
                So I hope that one of the things that I learned can help you guys over there at home. Hermana and I have been having a lot of funny moments together. We decided to start writing them down on a quote wall. Laughing really hard is good. Even if we get weird looks from people in the street. There aint nothing wrong with being happy! Love you guys!!
picture 1: this is what my breakfast looked like this week. White diet=death. So glad to be back on normal food now.

picture 2: More bland food. 

Picture 3: the view from outside our window...fog attack

Picture 4: Chilean fancy icecream

picture 5: Guard dog: He takes his job seriously.

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