So I have a woppin´ 10 minutes-ish today. Woohoo! Happy late Thanksgiving everyone!! I hadn´t realized the day had arrived until a random Elder wished me a happy Dia de Gracias. It was quite the surprise. I cannot get over how quickly time goes here. It is indeed the Lord´s time, and just like Him, His time marches on. It´s a happy thing when we use His time for His purposes though. A VERY happy time, actually. I love it!
I spoke in church yesterday. Oh wow! Yesterday was a rain-a-thon here in Burzaco. I broke my booties! They are now sole-less. Ha! Get it? Of course you do. You wish you didn´t though. But anyhoo, we didn´t have light in Church, but the rain let up enough that one could here the speakers at least. Really, we had a fabulous meeting. The Spirit was so strong. That tends to happen when people make sacrifices in order to keep their commitments. Coming to church yesterday was not easy for any of the few who came, but we all knew that coming was the right thing to do, so we did it, and BAM! Blessings and understanding and joy poured down on the Saints much more abundantly than the waters. Oh I loved it!
I´ve decided to work harder. Ever harder. I tell you what, the more you exhaust yourself in laboring for others, the greater your measure of happiness and zeal for the labor specifically, and life generally. Most especially, I know that for as weak as an individual may be in and of hiself, the strength within that person who recognizes his weakness and relies on the strenth of the Lord is immeasurable. I myself am plain ol´ blah when I try to rely on my own strength. Bueno, I can accomplish some minor, unimportant things of myself, but I know - I know - that when I humble myself and seek the empowering blessing of the Atonement in any and every phase of what I do, I can be the means of accomplishing miracles. I love what Ammon says in Alma 26:12 :
¨Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.¨
This week I´ve thought a lot about what a tremendous blessing it is to be a member of this Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are so many questions people have that can be answered by obedience to the laws of the Gospel. There is such great knowledge and understanding promised to a person who just obeys. Everyday, people ask me questions that I´ve learned the answers to by reading the scriptures and through prayer. However, one of the things I´ve learned (especially from Elder Bednar´s visit last week) is that I can not and should not attempt to answer all their questions. Answers that are fought for and struggled after are better remembered and applied and appreciated than those that are just given. The true teacher is the Spirit and only He can impress a heart and mind with lasting, meaningful truths.
And I know that He does. I know that God the Father lives and loves us. His work and His glory is to bring about our - yours and mine and every other person´s - immortality and eternal life. His Son, Jesus Christ, is the means by which we attain both. Only by His redeeming Atonement (His great sacrifice) can we ¨live after the manner of happiness¨ (2 Nephi 5:27, Mosiah 2:41). That Atonement is accesible to us now in these days because of the restoration of Christ´s power and authority to the Prophet Joseph Smith. There is a Prophet today! There is a man called and endued with power to act in the Lord´s name, interpret His word, lead the Church, and teach the world what things we need to know for our lives. It´s amazing. It´s the key to happiness in this life and success here and in the life to come. Anyone and everyone can and should know this truth, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God´s church, the one true and living church of the one true and living God. Pray to know. Listen to the Spirit.
I love you all and pray for you every day. Keep on smiling and working!