Monday, April 18, 2011

I Keep Looking Up........week 101

A Broken Heart

Hey family,
I blinked and another week went by...every week is faster and faster. Ï guess it must be one of the blessings of working with all of our heart, might, mind and strength. I sometimes sit back a wonder where all of the time has all goes by so fast.

The work is great right now! The Jinotepe Zone is about to do something incredible this month. Elder Ward and I have had a lot of success with several investigators. Right now we have been teaching a few families, one of which is ready for baptism this week. Antonio and Socorro and their daughter Maria Mercedes are just wonderful people. They are a fun family to teach. We were able to talk with the ward council on Sunday and they are really excited to help us. They already gave them home teachers and visiting teachers. Claudia was baptized this Saturday too. She has changed so much! She has received a ton of help from the ward members too. It is amazing when the members help out in this great work. Not only do they feel a spiritual boost, but they also give us more references when we help their friends get baptized.

The spirit continues to teach me how I can be a better leader. I feel like everyone is looking up to me. My whole mission I have had other Elders to look up to but now that I am in my last transfer the only thing I keep doing is looking up as well. I find strength in a greater power. I am so thankful that the Lord gave us a perfect example and that our Father in Heaven answers our prayers.

I am happy to hear about baby Clayton. I have been praying for him and Joy this whole week. I hope that she feels comforted by this. I have been comforted countless times by a humble prayer. I also have been praying for the rest of the family. I hope that all goes well for everyone.

I have been having a fun time with the work. I think I have finally hit my rythmn as a missionary. About time huh? I am having a great time getting to know my companion too. I feel like I have been able to learn something from each of my companions. Little by little, each one of my companions has helped me identify a weakness that I have and I am honed by their example. I want to be better. I am thankful for the companions that the Lord has given me. I have never felt happier than when I love the people around me...a very hard lesson to learn in the mission. If we are to love God with all of our heart, might, mind and strength we must love those around us. Although at times it is hard when they aren´t the same, when they might not have the same standards or when their culture and background are as different as can be, the greatest lesson that one can learn is that taught by the smallest person whom we thought knew nothing. It has happened time and time again for me. I guess I have never been happier to be wrong.

The Lord always knows what I need. He has my future blessings prepared but I must discover them through discipline and diligence. Maybe in a search for deity, we sometimes go to higher ground but at times our vision becomes blurred by pride. We see our growth and judge ourselves as greater than anyone else. Perhaps a Rameumptom of sorts would be a correct description. When ones comes down from a lofty, prideful viewpoint he discovers that there is much more detail and joy experienced by the very things he looked down on. One may for example sea the beautiful seashore from a distance but as he nears the crashing waves and sees the crabs and sealife, his experience becomes all the more enjoyable. So is it with personal relationships be it family, friends, etc. Many times our coming down is voluntary but more times than not the Lord must help break us down a little. He breaks our heart and shows us the way. I was particulary touched by an end note this week in Jesus Christ.

Discussing the literal cause of the death of Jesus Christ, James E. Talmage gives his personal opinion that Jesus Christ died of a ruptured (broken) heart. He cited several rare occasions in which such a thing has happen from intense emotional stress on the individual. His conclusion of how Jesus Christ literally died of a broken heart made it all the more clear to me why he allows us to go through heart-breaking experiences so that we too may become like him.

As stated in the Scripture Guide,

“To have a broken heart is to be humble, contrite, repentant, and meek—that is, receptive to the will of God.”

When we have a broken heart, our old self with its imperfections and weakness dies away and we are able to rise up as a new person. I am thankful for the heart-breaking experiences that the Lord has given me. I am thankful for all the times when I have been wrong, when I was taught to come down from my lofty pride and see the true way of the Lord. In many ways I have left things of the past behind...

I love the work of the Lord. I love seeing the humble, true follower who enters the waters of baptism and shows his broken heart and contrite spirit. I am learning from those I baptize.

Until next week family, may the Lord change your heart and expand your vision to see what he has ready for all of you.

Elder Russell