19 April 2010

Sound Advice!

How is it all going? Wow, what news! Thanks for letting me know about the baptisms of Sean’s parents. That is so cool. I was hoping that that would happen sometime. And all the moves in the family; everything is going to be completely different when I am back huh?

Well, things here are going good. Transfers came and went peacefully. Nothing really happened. A couple of things changed but everything in our district is almost exactly the same. There was only one elder who left because he finished his mission and so he was replaced, that´s all. As for that everything is going fairly well. Monteros and Simoca are still there and still moving along at their own pace. We are looking for new people and having success here and there; trying to get the members involved in order to get more fellowshipping and references. It is the key no matter how big or small the area you are in. Even in a place like Gilroy you could have so much more success if the members would just do a little bit of missionary work. All it takes is a few minutes and a couple questions and a listening ear to be able to share the gospel and, who knows, perhaps change the course of someone´s life. I hope that all of you are willing and actively engaged in doing the Lord´s work. If not, there is improvement to be done.

One of the quotes that mom sent me about how if we are judging people, we don´t have the time to love them is so true. That hit deep after some things that have happened this past week. In the area Elder Castro and I are in there are quite a few issues between members and leaders and all sorts of stuff between the members. Sometimes, I don’t know why, but we let other people´s issues become our issues when they really shouldn’t get that far. I am not talking on a level of helping other people out and resolve those issues but rather on the level of allowing the reason for their problem to give us the same problem. I hope I am getting this off clearly. I’ll try to explain. I was doing some pondering after church on Monday and realized something. There is a family who is super good with the missionaries in the branch, they have their own son on a mission, they are all ex missionaries... you get the picture. Well anyway, for some reason, some misunderstanding, some offense, something personal with the current branch president, none of them have callings in the branch. It doesn't make sense, but that is that. Now this is where the lesson comes in. I started letting that bother me on a personal level because of the friendship I have formed with that family and before I realized it, I started to have a somewhat standoffish disposition with the branch president. We are all imperfect, but instead of looking for the good, it became so easy to find his character flaws. And it began to have an effect, not necessarily a bad one, but nonetheless it had an effect on the things in the branch. It never became a topic of conversation, nor something that either of us commented, but nonetheless, it was there. Now I realize that it was exactly what President Hinckley (I think it was Hinckley spoke of when he related the story of the wedge left between the tree branches that eventually weakened the tree to the point of splitting it into pieces. Those are the things that we have to self reflect on and get out of our lives before they even start to have an effect, before others even notice that they are there. Perhaps a small rock in our shoe doesn't cause a need to amputate at the knee, but the nagging blisters and calluses will eventually cause discomfort and lead to a growing pain if we do nothing to remove the root of the problem. And when that day comes that we have let things go too far and it I necessary to amputate, what are we going to say to ourselves? "I wish I had taken just one moment to stop, examine the problem and take out the small pebble."

It is so much easier to take care of things earlier than to wait and wait. Take care of the stuff in your lives on your own with the help of the Lord before you have to get another one of his servants involved. Because once we let things go too far, the doctors keep charging and there are lasting scars. The best form of repentance is a solemn, personal private repentance between us and the Lord. And why do I say that? Because if we can carry out such a repentance, we are being humble and submissive to the will of the Lord and we understand his gospel. "Greater the joy of he who repenteth of his own accord, than that of him who is admonished by the servant of the Lord."

That was the lesson I learned and had to teach myself through prayer and meditation this week. Though it may have come late and I would have avoided many problems if I had stopped the problem at the source, I have learned a life lesson and for that I am grateful. I love you all. I hope you keep on progressing in the gospel, I hope to be with someone someday who´s testimony makes me want to grow mine own, someone whose spirituality exceeds mine own, someone who love´s the Lord as much as I do, someone who is worthy of entering the temple, someone who has learned this same lesson and applied it not only to those difficulties with other people, but to every sin or transgression in their life and can stand before a representative of the Lord and witness for their worthiness to enter the Lord´s temple. And I strive to be that same person, so that when someone else says that same thing, I know that I am not expressing impossible wishes. I always hope for someone far better than I am to bring me up and I constantly strive to be that same person who excels in spirituality and love of the Lord. Take care. Till next week love you all chau.

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