Well, I can hardly believe so much time has passed since my last post. I am so sorry to delay all of Elliott's news! Here is the beginning of my attempt to bring this blog current. Enjoy his stories, experiences and insights....
August 19, 2013
So, Family, Friends, and Fellows.
I'm somewhere between my 8th and 9th transfer, and well, it's glorious.
Real fast, we get transfer calls on Saturday night, and we transfer Wednesday morning. That being said, I'll be in Pyeongtaek. At least for 6 weeks. Maybe (and hopefully) a little bit longer. Some slight changes in our housemates: Elder Lion is moving out (and while we're at it... my trainer/district leader, Elder Anderson, is leaving too, but he's in a different area). And, Elder Atkin will be training. PS... I'll also be doing some district leadering. I'd say I'm a bit nervous, but really, I'm not. I really realize it'll be a matter of striving to seek revelation and making sure I'm going completely by the Spirit. So, high five for growing opportunities, yeah?
We met with Sean yesterday. He is so good. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but he's an answer to so many prayers for so many different reasons. He's got a strong desire to find out if the Book of Mormon is true. He really is giving the message of the Restoration a fair shot, and well, it's magical. Really, it's magical. He understands and remembers and applies so much. He's really thoughtful and really wants to answer the questions we ask honestly. He's super sincere too. All in all, he's been a bright point of the missionary experience.
I've been enjoying focusing in on one or two scriptures during my personal study. The one that made the biggest impression sort of happened this morning. So fresh off the press:
Helaman 5:12. Here's the backstory. Helaman is teaching his sons some valuable lessons about the gospel and remaining firm in the faith. His sons, Nephi and Lehi, are about to enter the ministry and preach to the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters. What he tell them... to remember, rember that it is upon the rock of our redeemer that we must build our foundation. And that if we do that, all the powers of darkness in the world (meaning all the really stupid bad stuff that happens) will have NO power to make bring us down - that is, no power to make us unhappy, miserable, or depressed.
Think about that promise for a little bit. The counsel is to have hope in Jesus Christ, in Eternal Life, and then to live so that we can get it. The call to build upon the rock of our redeemer is the call to step out of darkness and into light. It's the call to stand in Holy Places. Missionary work is hard. Life is hard. It's all work. There are so many forces that can drag us into despair, but if we just trust and hope in Christ and Eternal Life, these forces that can destroy our happiness will have no power over us. Why? Because the happiness and joy that comes from living with our loved ones forever, and the happiness that comes from progressing eternally, is greater than any heartache or sorrow we will ever face. The promise of Eternal Life is the promise of better tomorrows, but the promise of a wonderful today, no matter how bad the yesterdays may have been. And this hope that comes from Eternal Life "maketh an anchor to the souls of men" (Ether 12:4). We can't be moved if we trust in God and really strive to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Then came the application. When I first came to country, I had this idea of what the "perfect" missionary was and what I wanted to be. Talked to everybody. Always said the right thing. Baptized a lot of people. And never had a bad day. But, I've realized that this idea of a "perfect" missionary was something I couldn't ever be - at least not with where I was at the time. And over time, my idea has changed. Like I said last week, it doesn't matter how many people I baptize or teach, but what counts is how much effort I put into helping people feel the light of the gospel in their lives.
My desire in this life is to be a beacon of light to people. I want other people to feel like they have hope to start building upon the rock of their redeemer whenever they associate with me. I really just want people to feel happier having met me, and to give a glimpse of what it's like to feel the light of God no matter how dark they may think their life has become. And this can only happen by consecrating myself to the Lord, both as a missionary and as a son of God. And that comes by being a disciple of Jesus Christ, to develop His attributes and to act accordingly.
I love you. So much.
Until next week!