Concentration: the game you play with clapping, saying words... I don't quite remember how it goes. Also, the action or power of focusing ones mental efforts.
I realized that these letters sometimes seem more like weekly sermons than mission updates (#sorrynotsorry)
A collection of scattered thoughts: the name of my old blog. My way of working. Hopefully I'll piece them all together by the end of this.
I went on an intercambio with Hermana Plant. She's incredible. It was a great experience for both of us. Intercambios are not always about the numbers, always about diligence. I realized that we are similar in strange, comforting ways. One of them being the difficulty to (and therefore greater desires to) consecrate our thoughts.
I've been a good person, kept the commandments 'from my youth.' I didn't have much to change to be worthy of missionary service. But one thing that I struggled with was 'thoughts.' I had grown so accustomed to letting my mind play scenes from movies. In the MTC and in training I balked at the idea of letting it go. "I wasn't hurting anyone! They can't tell me what to THINK." But I learned that yes, 1) it was hurting someone- me, and my effectiveness as a missionary and ability to listen to the spirit. 2) and yes, they could, and always have. Mosiah 4:30, "and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God..." D&C 121:45 There came a point in my training- I still remember it clearly- when I realized I couldn't be the missionary I wanted to be and still entertain the mental distractions of my stories or favorite movies. So I prayed in my heart, asking the Lord to help me clear them from my mind and focus on the work, asking only for the promise that in some future day - when I need them again- they would return to me.
Yes. You can sin with a thought. You can be disobedient with the click of a button. (Mosiah 4:29, And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.) We're in the game of perfecting ourselves and we haven't made it yet!
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7)
"You cannot have one foot at home and one foot in the mission field, that is a certain formula for frustration" "You young missionaries came out here to change the world, to change lives. But there is a cost. It costs everything you have on the altar of sacrifice: fears, etc. Our all really isn't a lot to ask when you compare it to His all, all that Christ gave for us."
Other things: nearing the end of a long winter transfer (insert Narnia reference), we bought a back brace (my poor broken companion), and are seeing little miracles as we stay diligent in the streets (which is even harder in the cold).
Sorry to be a little scattered. I don't know where the time goes but I get such great joy hearing news from all around our little world as it fills my inbox that I seem to push my own email until last.
Know that I love you all.
I offended the new Hufflepuff Élder,