Hey there beautiful people. Today was a wonderful day! We went to Apalonia, where PAUL taught. Now i can say that I have walked where that great apostle walked.. made me think of one of my favorite talks by president monson, ponder the path at thy feet, in which he talks about a woman who visited Jerusalem and awed at the fact that she was walking on the very places the savior may have touched and walked himself… and President Monson talks about how it is far more important to not walk where he walked, but HOW he walked. I thought of this as i was up on this mountain of Apalonia… thinking wowza this is where PAUL was. An incredibly powerful teacher, one of the greatest missionaries of ALL TIME…. And I was incredibly humbled to be there and to realize that this time as a missionary, that I have already passed and the 2 weeks that I still have… this is the time to walk LIKE Paul walked, a man of God who worked miracles in the name of our Lord and Savior. I want to do that.
Many wonderful things happened this week, but I just thought that I would share one cool experience, or two from this week…
“Developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influence of godliness is not an easy matter. it takes time and frequently involves a struggle. It will not happen by chance, but is accomplished only through deliberate effort and by calling upon God and keeping His commandments.” -Howard w. Hunter
Henry B. Eyring
The burdens His faithful servants must carry in life are made lighter by His Atonement. The burden of sin can be taken away, but the trials of mortal life for good people can still be heavy burdens.
You have seen such tests in the lives of good people you love. You have felt a desire to help them. There is a reason for your feeling of compassion for them.
You are a covenant member of the Church of Jesus Christ. A great change began in your heart when you came into the Church. You made a covenant, and you received a promise that began changing your very nature.
Alma described, in his words at the Waters of Mormon, what you promised at your baptism and what it will mean to you and everyone around you—especially in your families. He was speaking to those who were about to make the covenants you have made, and they also received the promise that the Lord made to you:
“Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.”2
That is why you have a feeling to want to help a person struggling to move forward under a load of grief and difficulty. You promised that you would help the Lord make their burdens light and be comforted. You were given the power to help lighten those loads when you received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
When He was about to be crucified, the Savior described the way He helps lighten loads and gives strength to carry them. He knew that His disciples would grieve. He knew that they would fear for their future. He knew they would feel uncertain of their capacity to move forward.
So He gave them the promise that He makes to us and to all His true disciples:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”3
Then He promised:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said 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.”4
In just the past few weeks, I have seen that promise of sending the Holy Ghost fulfilled in the lives of children of God who were pleading in prayer that their burdens would be lightened. The miracle of the loads being lightened came in a way the Lord promised. He and Heavenly Father sent the Holy Ghost as the Comforter to His disciples to help.
This week.. a lot happened. We have been doing lots of group contacting, working out in lots of fshats, villages, teaching a ton of new people and sorting. As well as we had a big combined zone conference, in which I gave my “dying” testimony…. which was a bit absurd to me considering the fact that I still got a while… also at combined zone conference I was able to participate in a training about not being afraid to ask people to be baptized in the first lesson. It was awesome to be a part of that, because honestly I am so excited to ask people to be baptized, so it was fun to share that fire with the other missionaries and to do a role play in front of the majority of the mission about it with my cute little trainee… I think she was a little nervous, but she did so well! She always does. 🙂 But everyone at conference was treating me like I was dying the next day and I was like, everyone stop I still have weeks left! Anyhoo, all in all it was a great conference. And a piece of the training that we received was from Presidents wife, in which she shared a story that I would like to share with you!
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained, that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun ·up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out feeling that his whole day has been spent in vain. Since the man was showing signs of discouragement the adversary decide to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
“Why kill yourself over this?” he thought. I will just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be enough.” And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
“Lord” he said, I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”
“MY friend, when I asked you to serve Me – you accepted.
I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength – which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me – with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”
“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands a callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know, that it’s still God who moves the mountains.
P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens!
When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. – When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. – When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. – When the people just don’t understand you, just – P.U.S.H.
Miracles up the wazoo! Sorry don’t have much time to email today, we had a pretty neat experience today… we decided to go to Berat, which is the city of a thousand windows that is absolutely picturesque and beautiful and we decided to go there with our district today, and as we were walking up the cobblestone streets to go to the top, we heard a voice of a British woman calling down to us asking if we were the Mormon sisters and brothers…. yes… why yes we are! And she invited us all in for a 2 hour chat basically about how much she loves the Mormons and their life story. She lives here, as of 3 weeks, with her Albanian husband with their four kids… and man is theirs quite the story, obviously there is not adequate time to tell this tale now, but she and her husband started as very well off lawyers in London…. decided they weren’t truly happy thought they were well off financially, and decided to make a 4 year trip around just giving back to the people and giving thanks to God…. They are the most faith filled people and God loving and fearing people that I have ever met on my mission and I know the Elders in that city are very excited to be working with them now. They said about 4 years ago they were thinking about being baptized and they were really good friends with a Mormon bishop in England and they said they needed to do their trip around, but that they are finishing the last couple months of their “mission” and that they want to help the church grow. They were amazing and when I get home remind me to tell you this story. because it has some beautiful pieces full of guitar songs… interesting prayers…. humanitarian work… bill gates… barak obama…. and Thomas S. Monson. They said that they had been praying these past couple days that the Mormons would be brought to them, because they know they are good people full of ethics and vision and goodness….. well they ordered, and God delivered us to their front door!
“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, til the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” -Joseph Smith
Hello there America.
This week. I don’t really know where to begin. Because I feel like whenever I get on to write all you people, the only word that comes to my mind is : MIRACLES.