Monday, April 26, 2010

Ships Never Sent Out Never Come In

Monday, April 26, 2010
Hey everyone,
Things here have been good this past week, nothing too extraordinary, or should I say different from every other week, but none the less things were good. Wed had a lot of lessons with Lucinda, who is progressing little by little. We went up to the temple with her this past Saturday and she had a great time watching the Joseph Smith: A Prophet of the Restoration movie. A little story behind that was how it all turned out. To get up to the temple we had to borrow our district leaders car and as we almost arrived she called and said that she wouldn't be able to make it. Typical. Anyways we convinced her to come to the later showing at 7:30 but we didn't have enough time to go back to our area and get back up to the temple. As we were thinking of what we could do, Sister Blackburn came out of the mission home and we got talking haha. This is where it gets funny. She told us that she would give us permission to stay in the area by the mission home but we had to go swimming (she was saying it sarcastically because President is the one who has to give the OK). Then, of course, me being me, I had to ask her if she had a preference, pool or ocean. She told me "Ocean and while you are at it, get a surf board." WOO HOO! Haha Then President came out and Sister Blackburn filled him in and he said "I don't see the problem in that." Haha I love them. To make the story short we went to eat and we went back to watch the movie. I guess I missed my only opportunity to go swimming in the ocean. Oh well. BUT the story doesn't stop there. As we were waiting and waiting for Lucinda we started thinking that she wasn't going to come. BUT then we saw her car! WOO HOO! And, of course, she pulled a 81 year old moment, and turned. So we had to chase after her haha. Man those couple hours were eventful. As I said she really enjoyed the movie and I know that it helped her learn more of about the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that because while the movie was playing the spirit was soooo strong. I know she'll be ready to get baptized on the 9th of May.

So as I have been told before by countless return missionaries, every missionary will find a family and/or person that they will fall in love with. I think I can say that I have found the family. Tracy, Dalton, and Alisha are my family. I absolutely love them and I know that the Lord put them in our path because they are sooo prepared. Everything we teach them and commit them to do, they accept and do. It's crazy. This past weekend they were not able to make it to church because they decided to go on a camping trip as a family. They said that it had been a long time since they have gone and it was now the time to do it. I'm glad that they are taking the time to become a closer family. It's really refreshing. Other than that nothing else really happened. OH wait one more thing happened that was awesome. The ASL Elders have been teaching a kid named Johnny, who is in our area, but they cant talk to the parents because they speak Spanish. On Saturday we decided to go visit with her and get to know her. Apparently, she had talked to other missionaries before but nothing turned from it. We then started talking about how our Heavenly Father has blessed us with our families. But then she asked a question "Who is Joseph Smith?" It was awesome. We then started going through the entire restoration lesson with her and the spirit was once again sooo strong, you could almost cut it with a knife. She sat there-silent. I told her that we all know that the spirit is here and that we must act upon it and not deny it, just a Joseph Smith and the Savior did when they were going through their difficult times and persecutions. We then commit ed her to be baptized on the 23rd of May. She accepted. AWESOMENESS! Gotta to love the spirit.

Anyways onto my spiritual thought that I had the other day when we passed by a local church. They had a billboard that changes every week and this week it said "Ships Never Sent Out Never Come In." That got me thinking of the scripture Matthew 11:30, it says "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Relating that to the quote from the local church, I thought of the necessity of trust. I would like to change the quote a little to make this a little clearer. "Trust Never Sent Out Never Comes In" At the end of the Savior's life, just before he entered Gethsemane, he reminded his apostles of one great truth-trust. When the apostles were sent out to teach the people they were given neither purse nor scrip. Then Jesus asked them: "When I sent up without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing." In other words, they lacked nothing. Jesus gave us a solution to when we are burdened with sin and the difficulties of life. He said "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in hear: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." In this scripture we can take 4 things from it: (1) Come unto me, or in other words trust me, (2) Take my yoke upon you, it's easy, (3) Learn of me, (4) and find rest. Trust, as far as I've seen, is the major problem that everyone has. Sin shows a lack of trust. When we sin, we are shooting for something short of our potential because we don't trust that we can make it. Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, was one of the worst sinners in the land. But then when he came face to face with an angel where he repented and the Lord forgave him. He, then, devoted himself to the Lord's work, which required a lifetime of sacrifice and service. Surely that would be more burden wouldn't it? No. Alma said that despite all the trials that he went through, as a prophet, were much less than the burdens of sin that he had carried alone. President Howard W. Hunter said, "Why face life's burdens alone, Christ asks, or why face them with temporal support that will quickly falter. To the havey laden it is Christ's yoke, it is the power and peace of standing side by side with a God that will provide the support, balance, and strength to meet our challengs and endure our tasks here in the hardpan field of mortality." When I think of all the struggles that I'm going through, as a missionary, and I think that it is unfair or I start complaining, one question goes through my head: Am I better than He? Jesus Christ went below us all and if that isn't enough tangible evidence think of Job. This prophet went through terrible trials, he lost everything. But he still answered and said, "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee." How amazing is that? I know that when we dedicate our lives to the Lord, his burden and yoke is light. I have felt it. I have experienced it. Missionary work is not a walk in the park, their are trials, we are still human, but when we Come Unto Christ I know that everything will be well. I ditto Alma's testimony and say "I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me." We MUST trust in the Lord to receive relief. We cannot wait for it to, simply, come. We must work. We must have faith in the only Begotten of the Father, who through him we can receive relief.

I love you and miss you all. I wish nothing but the best for you. Hope to hear from all of you soon. Take care.

Elder Leavell

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