Wednesday, May 30, 2012
May 15, 2012
Our awesome district. Definitely my favorite district of my entire mission.
My second (and last) son.
I especially have come to appreciate President Uchtdorf's words as well in "Your Potential, Your Privilege":
"During my career as an airline pilot, I had the opportunity to be a check and training captain. Part of this job was to train and test experienced pilots to ensure that they had the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and efficiently operate those magnificent big jets.
I found that there were pilots who, even after many years of flying professionally, never lost the thrill of climbing into the atmosphere, having “slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.” They loved the sound of rushing air, the growling of the powerful engines, the feeling of being “one with the wind and one with the dark sky and the stars ahead.” Their enthusiasm was contagious.
There were also a few who seemed to be merely going through the motions. They had mastered the systems and the handling of the jets, but somewhere along the way they had lost the joy of flying “where never lark, or even eagle flew.” They had lost their sense of awe at a glowing sunrise, at the beauties of God’s creations as they crossed oceans and continents. If they met the official requirements, I certified them, but at the same time I felt sorry for them.
You may want to ask yourself if you are merely going through the motions as a priesthood bearer—doing what is expected but not experiencing the joy that should be yours. Holding the priesthood gives us abundant opportunities to feel the joy that Ammon expressed: “Have we not great reason to rejoice? … We have been instruments in [the Lord’s] hands of doing this great and marvelous work. Therefore, let us glory … in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice.”
Brethren, our religion is a joyful one! We are most blessed to bear the priesthood of God! In the book of Psalms we read, “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." We can experience this greater joy if we but look for it.
Too often we fail to experience the bliss that comes from daily, practical priesthood service. At times assignments can feel like burdens. Brethren, let us not pass through life immersed in the three Ws: wearied, worrying, and whining. We live beneath our privileges when we allow worldly anchors to keep us away from the abundant joy that comes from faithful and dedicated priesthood service, especially within the walls of our own homes. We live beneath our privileges when we fail to partake of the feast of happiness, peace, and joy that God grants so bountifully to faithful priesthood servants.
Young men, if coming to church early to help prepare the sacrament feels more like a hardship than a blessing, then I invite you to think about what this sacred ordinance might mean to a ward member who perhaps has had a challenging week. Brethren, if your home teaching efforts don’t seem to be effective to you, I invite you to see with the eye of faith what a visit from a servant of the Lord will do for a family that has many unseen problems. When you grasp the divine potential of your priesthood service, the Spirit of God will fill your hearts and minds; it will shine in your eyes and faces.
As bearers of the priesthood, let us never become hardened to the wonder and awe of what the Lord has entrusted to us."
Our district at the Newport Beach temple this morning with Pablo, who will be leaving in July for his own mission to Fresno.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
April 10, 2012 - Evelyn's baptism, with her mom and her uncle (who baptized his wife and daughter a few weeks ago).
Wednesday of last week was absolutely insane. Our entire day consisted of driving from one appointment to the next, teaching lessons, and eating (we were given no less than three meals that day.....). We were exhausted by the time we stumbled into our apartment at 9:30pm.
We have been blessed with great new investigators. We started teaching a woman who invited the elders over to tamales on Christmas and who has been going to the English classes at our church building since December. She said she reads our Church's pamphlets ("The Restoration","The Plan of Salvation") in English to practice. We also set a baptismal date with a man who has been an investigator for 35 years. (Just so you know, that wasn't a typo). He has finally decided to get baptized!
So, we were given a tender mercy of the Lord this last week. As you know, we have been battling to try to get one of our investigators to come to church here in Mission Viejo instead of in San Clemente, and she really hasn't been progressing much. On Friday, after unsuccessfully trying to convince her son to come to Mission Viejo, at 8:45pm we were walking down the street in his neighborhood trying to figure out what to do to help them. We were a little frustrated because we felt like we had been running into the same brick wall over and over. Then all of a sudden, a lady who was driving by in a black car pulled over and yelled, "Hey! I have something to tell you two!" We looked at each other and my first thought was "Great. She's going to tell us that there is no soliciting in this neighborhood."
To our complete surprise, she looked at us and said, "I don't have time to talk right now, but I love you guys. I wish my sons had turned out more like you. Every time I see you it just reminds me that there are still good people in the world." And she drove off, leaving two stunned missionaries in her wake. I don't know why she decided to pull over, but I'm sure it had to do with the Spirit. God takes care of missionaries, especially in our scattered and short moments of frustration.