That may sound sort of redundant But I Have learnt alot about my faith, about me and about the Lord this week. I truly have, and if it was just rainbows and daisies I would not have been able to do so. I am so greatful for the many difficulties I have experienced and the many challenges and trials I experience daily here.
The Work is much harder here then it has been the rest of my mission. It has been relatively easy to find and to teach in my other areas, but here is such a struggle.
I am greatful for that, And I am learning alot about depending on the Lord's Timing.
As you have heard the area has seen miracles I have seen miracles here, bu I have also seen heart wrenching reality.
I'm not talking bad about this area, because I absolutely love the people here and love everything about it, As I have been here, it has been hard because there is a shroud of darkness all around this land, and it pains me to see it. On busses sometimes you see parents mistreating their children, or druggies riding the bus and seeing the destruction the substances have caused in their lives, but I think the thing that pains me the most is seeing the Lack of Belief here, Alot of the people I talk to on a daily basis, Believe that there is NO God. They believe that this is the End. And it pains me to see people in that state, the religious beliefs have gone so far out in left field that young children have no belief at all and he way their morals are, are really hard to see.
Children wit no understanding of who God is, defiling his name and cursing it, and grown people being able to not know God or even have any desire to know if he is there. It is just like in the Book of mormon, This people have become so wicked that for them to believe they need a sign.
It is just so hard to see, But It is not going to stop us, As we see there are people who do believe in God, they are few and in between but there are people with a belief and those that do want to believe but just don't know how to go about finding out if he is there because noone has taught them that.
It is challenging and I am just so greatful to have this gospel i my life To KNOW that GOD is there, he is my father, he LOVES me and he LOVES you, he wants what is best for us and knows what is best for us. We are all children, he is the parent and he sees the dangers that lay in front of us, he knows the pains and the difficulties that we are needed to go through to become strengthened and he also knows the things which are Bad for us. As we follow the subtle promptings of the Holy Ghost which we recieve after being baptised and recieve the gift of it by the laying on of hands, He helps us know what is good and what is bad. If we go through trials and seek the holy ghost he will strengthen us and teach us many great and powerful things pertaining to the kingdom of God, likewise if their is danger and we listen to it's promptings we will also be protected by the Holy Ghost from any dangers whether temporally or Spiritual dangers.
I know that it is MY DUTY and my Priviledge to be able to share with this nation the things I KNOW to be true, and the blessings that have come to me because of my belief and by righteously exercising the things we are commanded to do.
"We recieve no witness until after the trial of your faith"
Now on to my studies.
This week I have been instructed largely both by my district Leader and from on High on the subject of SACRIFICE and I have been studying alot in Doctrine and Covenants and thinkig alot of the SACRIFICES the saints Gave in the beginning of the church, and Sacrifice is so important. There is a quote I have always said, I got it from somewhere and I am sure I am saying it wrong but it is, " Anything that is worth anything to you, is worth Fighting for"
And that is where sacrifice comes in. As a missionary Sacrifice is everywhere in your life. First you sacrifice increase in education or getting on with a job and everything to Serve a mission, then when you are out if you let him God will show unto you the things you need to sacrifice to become better. Sacrifice brings forth the Blessings of heaven, and as we sacrifice we show our LOVE for God and Jesus Christ, we show our true desires and strive to reach them.
Through Sacrifice the holy spirit is Constantly with you and the more you surrender to God the More he can lift you up to fulfill his purposes and reach your full potential. I am so greatful to be able to sacrifice to become a more consecrated missionary, to purify both mind, heart and body and to see the result of the hand of God in your life.
In district meeting we talked alot about what are we willing to SACRIFICE? And I want you all to ponder upon that question, what are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish the purposes of God?
We then were asked to prayerfully consider 5 items in which we want to sacrifice to become better, and the instruction given by a friend was about a 40 day fast. So what you do is you pray Earnestly/ fast to know what behaviours are bad thatyou do then the next day you kneel down and you commit to GOD that you will not do any of those things, then you constantly reevaluate and if you fall short you recommit and continue through.
I have learnt alot about the importance of monitoring progress, as illustrated in Chapter 8 of PMG it is a quote by someone but it says "when performance is measured it increases, but when performance is measured and recorded the amount of growth increases." which just shows how important it is to EVALUATE.
I know that that is someting I struggle with, It is hard for me to Evaluate myself and xet goals, but I guess it is better to overcome that now than it is to procrastinate to what is changing.
In the article it tells us as we do, do this fast though IT WILL BE HARD, it will be challenging but that God is with us every step of the way.
Sacrifice Purges us from the worldly things and makes us i the world but not of it. It purifies us, teaches us OBEDIENCE and REAPS BLESSINGS.
GOD WILL REFINE YOU THROUGH YOUR TRIALS AND YOUR AFFLICTIONS AND THEN us just like the Prophet Joseph Smith are promised. " Thine Afflictions shall be but a small moment, and if thou wilt endure them well thou wilt be exalted on high"
We must bear with patience our afflictions, and I think that is the hardest part, Bearing them with patience.
As I was watching the Doctrine and Covenants Dvds there is a short video maybe 20 minutes about Zion's Army and it talks about it in the end of it how God needed these men to go through these things to prepare them to help lead his church as apostles.
Always Remember Job, he loses everything and he thanks the Lord and bows himself down to him and says " The Lord has given these things, now the Lord has taken away" what great faith was exerted by Job Brothers and sisters. We too must be like Job, and declare that it is to be the Lord's way not ours.
Along with that I focused alot on The Book of Mormon and recieved alot of focus on members. And where I am it is hard the distance to members is quite far, but I have seen success in the past from working with members and it may not come from etting referrals but as you do all you can to strengthen the members the Lord puts those who are prepared in your Path.
I was reading i Doctrine and Covenants section: today and I was hit hard by something I feel I should share.
it's verses 10 and 11 and I think this applies to all people. "
10 Behold thou hast a gift, blessed art thou because of thy gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift;. Remember it is Sacred and cometh from above.
11 And if thou wilt inquire , thou shalt know the mysteries whic are grea and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea convince them of the error of their ways."
It talks solely on our Spiritual and temporal gifts bestowed on each of us they are all different but all necessary to help others, I love that alot.
This week has been alot of finding,
One of our investigators asked Elder Parry to baptise him though which is great his date is set for 3 weeks from now, and Elder Parry hasn't had a chance to baptise yet, so he was asked to. I was asked to participate as well, so that is exciting, Other than that we found some people, had many fall through appointments, strengthened people declared the word to all people we met and hopefully got them thinking of God, because as stated at the beginning the dark ominous cloud is over here and makes it hard for those that have a belief to say it and makes it hard for those to even have a belief, but the light is shining through and We are off to work.
Oh yeah almost forgot, Moves call came in. Elder Parry and I are staying together in LeavenMouth.
Love you all
Live Long and Prosper
Elder Reece Out.
PS. I would attach photos but my camera died.
- Elder James Reece