Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week 71

Dear Mom,
First of all, thank you for telling me about Chloe. I can't lie to you and say that I didn't cry the minute I saw the pictures. It honestly makes me both sad and mad that I can't be there right now with the rest of you guys, but I know in my heart that it's the right thing for me to do, to be here serving the Lord. I hope the packages that you guys are sending me aren't getting "hopelessly lost in the mail", as the rest of the missionaries say about theirs. My companion and I have been finding and downloading a lot of Church Videos, in order to help the flow of the branch more. I even explained to President Riggins that we're not focusing nearly as much as we ought to be on finding and baptizing as we are on re-structuring the branch, and rescuing less active members. A set of the videos that we found to be useful both for us and for others in the future is the 12 Steps to Change. Obviously, the primary function of this list of videos is to help people recover from addictions, but another look at it helped the two of us see that it's just the Repentance Process, only extremely more... Potent. Obviously, something that I've been doing a lot of overlooking lately is how often we (even though we're missionaries) need to repent. Despite the fact that at this time, we're representatives of Jesus Christ, we're still humans. We still make mistakes, and I personally have found that this time that we have as the representatives of His Church makes it surprisingly easier to ask for His forgiveness.
Something that's peeved me since the beginning of my mission is probably something that has peeved a lot of other missionaries, I would think. What I'm talking about is how life doesn't slow down or stop while we're out here in the mission field. In the back of my head, I tended to think that not too much was going to happen while I was gone, and that I would end up coming back home after 2 years to find everything pretty much the same. After I heard about all of the changes that have happened (both good and bad), it threw me for quite the loop. However, it helped me learn that changes will occur in your life (regardless of your say-so), and you will have little to no control over them. That's just life. To say that I haven't thought before that some of these changes aren't fair would make me a liar. However, it also makes me soon realize that I am questioning my own free agency, and I am also questioning the will of God. Even though some of these changes appear to be irrational and unnecessary, there's no reason to believe that God has abandoned us because of them. Think about it. Though Jesus Christ was "perfect", he too questioned the will of His father, by asking, "My god, why hast thou forsaken me?" Being a missionary gives us time to carefully analyze what we teach, in addition to how we teach it. President Riggins showed me the comparison between Matthew 5, and the Book of Mormon equivalent in 3 Nephi. As he speaks to the Jews (as well as the other followers and listeners), he invites them to "be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father, which is in Heaven, is perfect." Yet, in 3 Nephi, he invites those here in the Americas in the same manner... But in this passage, He includes HIMSELF. The reason I learned why Jesus doesn't include himself before is because He was HUMAN. Though He be the Son of God, and came to atone and die for all our sins, He still CONDESCENDED, and both lived and died as a HUMAN. WE'RE NOT PERFECT. I beat myself up to this day for the fact that I'm not perfect. But, I learned that if I'm not going to be happy until I'm "perfect", then that's quite the lifelong goal. Things happen in our lives, many things. But if we open up our eyes to just how much God loves us, and how much Jesus Christ loves us, then the Atonement and Everlasting Gospel can carry us through even the most difficult of trials. I love you guys so much, and though it's been hard, thank you for all of the love and support that I've been able to receive through your guys' prayers. Until next week, just remember: JESUS LOVES YOU!
Con Sinceridad y Amor,

Elder Conner Duane "Poderoso" Parke

No comments:

Post a Comment