Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exercising Faith

My first week in Pueyrredon! The people are wonderful here.  Yesterday I attended church with the ward and the members are so strong, there are about 80 members total and lots of families kids youth and smiles!!! Pueyrredon is a big city in the middle of Bahia Blanca and I live in an apt now, without a washer and I may or may not have a shower.. ha Gotta love the mission. Anyways my companion is awesome and has taught me so much in only a week. She also loves to sing and we sing hymns to almost everyone we see! 

This week we exercised a lot of FAITH! Faith in our investigators, menos activos (less actives), patience, idoma (language), etc. During our personal studies, I read about the "broken bow principle." It's a story in the Book of Mormon and a prophet named Nephi, and his family left all of their belongings to fulfill the Lords' needs. They were without food and water and all of their bows had been broken, which hurt helping to find food for there family. 

1 Nephi 16:18

18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.

With the little faith Nephi had, he built another bow out of sticks and went to his dad and asked if he would pray for help from the Lord to know where to find food. 

1 Nephi 16:23 

23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

With the faith Nephi had, he and his father were guided and directed by the Lord to find food for their family. 

1 Nephi 16;29

29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.

As missionaries we have to exercise faith EVERYDAY and EVERY MOMENT though out the day! Without it we would be a lost cause. 

On Saturday, I had my own little experience with faith. Before I came to the mission I wanted so badly to become a part of the Argentine culture and I was struggling with the fact that it was harder than I thought it would be. It becomes a difficult task when you look and act and sound completely different than everyone else around you. Blond hair, blue eyes, tall, etc. People are always making comments and I was getting a little frustrated with it. I took it to heart. and was in pain from it. At that moment I needed just a little faith and my companion said, "look", and as I looked up I saw a tree, not just an ordinary tree, it had a black trunk, and there were spring flowers on it that were pink and white. It was so beautiful and it stuck out like a sore thumb form the rest of everything else surrounding it. You could even see it form afar. It caught my attention. My companion then said, "see its okay, you may not look like everyone else around here but this is what you look like." 
I then realized that we are all God's children and he created us all different in our own unique ways.  Heavenly Father really is there for us all the time. It's ok to be the ugly duckling hahah we may stick out from the rest but we stick out because we have the GOSPEL. That is why we look different and act different and we shine in the crowd of many. We are happy and we have the best gift anyone could have. We have eternal life. While the rest are hidden and it's our goal to spread the flower peddles to the other branches in the forest. 

Through out the day, me and my companion like to read a scripture a day to "recharge our batteries". The other day the scripture was Moroni 7:33.

Moroni 7:33

33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

We need to have faith in all things. As missionaries faith can become a roller coaster. Faith that our investigators will go to church, faith that I can learn the language, faith that my legs will make it to the house at night, faith that my investigators will read and try and the list goes on and on. But as we have faith in the Lord, He will bring forth miracles. We had another experience with an investigator who knows this gospel is true and believed in the Book of Mormon and loved God and needed to be reminded of faith to take a step forward in baptism and the importance of it. 

As an example of faith I like to relate it to exercising, The first time you workout it hurts, it's not fun and you wonder why so many  people enjoy it. You might feel like nothing is changing and you can't see results, but after a while as you continue to exercise a muscle it gets stronger and your endurance improves. It takes patience and a lot of hard work. Everybody is different and has different challenges to overcome. but you will start to see the results by exercising it daily. You also have a personal trainer who is the Savior in your life. Think of eating a piece of cake. When you look at a piece of cake that looks awful what is your first opinion?? ewww Well how will you know by looks alone? You have to try it right? Wouldn't you be sad if everyone else tried it and said it was so good but then when you went to get a piece of it, it was all gone??ahhhhh

Life is hard and it's not easy. When life is hard and we get discouraged our faith decreases and it's hard to bring it back all of th time. But I know from my own experience that if we just ask God to strengthen our faith it will be magnified. If we have faith in God he will have faith in us and bring us many, many blessings. I love this gospel and what it does for me in this life and in the life to come. I'm so happy and not only that I get to be the Ugly duckling and share my beautiful feathers with others!!!  

Homework: Read Alma 32

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