So this week has been crazy!!!!!!
So to begin like all of my letters, I will start off with what I studied this week. My primary focus was to study Humility. So I took humility and looked at all the different things that humility makes up, and then went through the topical guide and did full studies on each one. The topics I studied were Humility,poor in spirit, meekness, humble, teachable, submissiveness and subject. It was pretty interesting some of the things I found out and what the differences are. For example meekness is loving and gentle, being loving towards others is kind of what meekness means and humility means to be humble( to know that you can't do anything without the Lord's help) Submissiveness was the most intriguing to me. It made a lot of parallels with the Savior in being submissive and the time where he was the most submissive was in the Garden of Gethsemne where he was taking upon himself all the sins of the world. As he was kneeling down and bleeding from every pore he asked if the cup could be taken away but in the end he says, Not my will but thine be done. And that shows just how much we are to submit to the Lord's will.I have been instructed to endure at this time and I know it is difficult but to change my past habits and make those necessary changes the Lord needs to put us in that furnace and under immense heat and pressure just like Gold needs to be, we need to be refined. One of my favourite stories is the story of the Currant bush and it helps me each and every day to endure this because one day I will look back and say, " Thank you Mr. Gardenor for loving me enough to cut me down". It is difficult right now but as I endure I know things will get better. Being teachable as well ties into being humble, Teachable means to all to be taught. I have sometimes wondered why some people when they express to us that they want to know the answer but pray and can't find the answer, I wonder why that is and it's that reason. It's because we don't allow ourselves to be teachable, and being teachable is more then allowing yourself to be taught by the holy ghost , but it also is making those changes to make our lives better.
Humility meekness and a contrite spirit is what is necessary to recieve that enlightenment we all seek for from the Holy Ghost. The Holy ghost is light it is only present when wholesome thoughts are in your head, and one thing I have heard or read in the past few weeks is that our head is like a stage and the spotlight is always on but the stage can only be set on one star at a time and if we don't fill our mind with wholesome activities such as memorized hymns or memorized scriptures then it can easily be taken over by bad thoughts. One thing I have realized is this quote. If I am not thinking of uplifting myself or thinking of how people intend things or that they are children of God then the things that people say can offend me but if I am focused on hymns, the savior and scriptures I am working on memorizing then I am protected and you can be too.
This week we were priviledged to be able to have an ALL- IRELAND zone conference and during the All Ireland I met a lot of people. The messages that were shared were very powerful and the thing one of the Stake presidents said really hit me alot. What are your desires? He said on his mission his desire was for his companion to be the best missionary in the mission and he would always serve him. I completely agree with that, as our focus is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end. But as that focus is there if we are focused on ourselves becoming goodnothing will come of it, My new focus is to focus more on serving my companion and helping him become great eventhough he goes home next Monday. I recieve Moves Call next monday morning so I will let you know what the details are. I love this work so much and know how great it feels to make changes, they are difficult but as we follow the Lord's will for us we are blessed and shaped,refined and changed to become what he NEEDS us to become.
Now onto the week. This week has been full of interesting things. As you all know last Monday we didn't do too much, I went to the Easons to go shopping and get myself more organized, which was fun to do and was able to split with my other group. We do alot of things as a District to grow but it is hard because our district leader is an hour away and can't join us however we still build unity between the two teams in FINGLAS.
On Tuesday, I had my call with Elder Peery, and this time I talked to him one on one on Skype he gave me alot of instruction and commitments to help me grow and to change my behaviour that I got from my childhood. I am so greatful for him and the instruction he gives me. He understands me so it is nice to talk with him. So this past week I was instructed that even when I don't necessarily agree that I should submit myself to my trainer so that there is no contention and because I am being corrected so much it is for my benefit. It has been alot of help
On Wednesday, I began to apply Elder Peery's advice to me and work to accept all correction lovingly and I definately saw an increase in the Work, the Love and the Compassion and the Desire that we both had in this work. I do feel sometimes like everything is against me but I am starting to realize that everyone here is here to help me become what the Lord wants me to become and I am starting to let down my walls that I have built up over the years and am just beginning to let that happen. I have always had self defenses against allowing people in and trusting them but I am learning and have learnt in the past two years from all of you that I am loved. I love you all so much and wouldn't be here without you.
On Thursday it was raining but we still went to the community garden it was alot of fun and we were able to learn about peas, and how to do compost. The weather was ucky but we get beautiful rainbows all the time. Thursday we were able to enjoy our first Weekly planning session where we didn't fight with each other it was a breath of fresh air. It ran so much better and the Lord definately lead it out this time.
On Friday was our all Ireland Zone Conference, we learnt about lots of things and had a training on qualifying appointments and have a new focus on Family History work. We have been allotted 1 hour each Wednesday to learn and do Familysearch.org. I can see great things coming when we focus on the family as our focus. Everyone has a family and everyone loves their family.
On Saturday, I was on exchange with our district leader up in Dundalk and it was so cool, We were able to feel the spirit in our teaching and the night before we made lesson plans but as we got into the lessons the spirit directed us a different way and we were able to yield to it's promptings and were able to help alot of people it was amazing, I felt the spirit stronger then ever and the last lesson we had was so spirit lead that at the end as we were closing with a prayer I was so overwhelmed by the spirit that I was shaky when I went to stand back up. I felt so exhausted spiritually at the end of the day and it was the greatest feeling in the world.
On Sunday we showed up at church and the branch president came up to both of us and said, can the both of you give 20 minute talks, our people that were assigned won't be able to make it. I am so greatful for being asked to give a talk, I have NEVER given a talk without any notes and as I was told that I would be the first speaker I pondered quickly as to what would be best to share and I talked for 15 + minutes and enduring and trials and recieving chastening and how chastening shows us that the Lord loves us. It apparently went well, according to everyone there and what was even cooler is what me and my companion talked about tied into all the lessons and the last speaker tied in to both of ours as well. I could definately and plainly see just how much of a role the spirit played in that.
Today is my Birthday, I am 21 years of age and I can't believe it, for today our district leaders were given permission to be with us to celebrate since it is my birthday,elder Martin's birthday and my trainer's last P-Day so to build unity in our District we are all going to Jimmy Chungs to celebrate. I am so greatful that for my birthday I could spend it with friends and go out to eat.
The mission is amazing full of many ups and downs and difficulties for sure but always remember that " When YOU are working on following Christ, Satan is working on Stopping you, But through Christ all things are possible" and we recieve true joy, true love, true desire and true HAPPINESS, which can only be found in living the gospel to it's fullest and being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I love you all
- Elder James Reece