Monday, March 8, 2010

Reasons to Rejoice........week 43

Well it is really exciting to hear that Sean is getting his call. I will guess next week where he is going after a long week of meditation. Cough, cough. Guatemala, Retauleo.

This week was a great one for meditation. On Wednesday we had a meeting with president Fraatz and Elder Martino from the Area Presidency. I felt so many spiritual promptings it was like a spiritual thanksgiving. I really loved how they talked about Alma and his struggles in the book of Mormon. He was very depressed when he was about to turn away from the wicked city. But then an angel appeared unto him and told him that he had a reason to rejoice, that he had never ceased to keep the commandments and that he would blessed for his service. He returned and found Amulek and they had much success in their labors. As they cited these versus the spirit hit me in a powerful way and I felt as if the Lord spake to me in that moment. I knew that He was happy with what I had been doing that I shouldn´t be sad but rather rejoice.

Elder Martino talked about how the hardest times in our mission teach us more about ourselves and so they are blessings for us. I pondered over that and I think it applies to not only hard companions but to hard areas too. I thought about all that I had been experiencing in the last few months and how I had changed. I knew it was true. I had changed more and learned more about my weaknesses in this area than in any other. I thanked the Lord for teaching me so much about myself. I realized that I had come closer to Him in this time. As I walked in a pitch black, dirt path for 3 miles with another missionary we talked about how in this time we had both been able to receive spiritual experiences and strengthened testimonies. In that moment of darkness I felt like I finally understood what was happening. The Lord´s wisdom came to light in the darkness.

Several times this week we had strong testimony building experiences. Many people are stubborn and hard hearted here and it gives me even more chances to bear fervent testimony and I am so grateful for that experience. When someone said that I was wrong and that I had mistaken a spiritual witness of God as a self invented pleasure, I looked them in the eye and testified with all my soul.

I know that God lives! I know that the Book of Mormon is true! It is so simple but so true. There is so much reason to rejoice these days. We can never turn back. We have to move forward.

Elder Grant Russell