Prepare yourselves (or if you just like to look at the photos, you’ll probably be scrolling for a while…) it’s a fairly long one!
With one of our new investigators we planned to teach the Restoration but felt strongly to focus on God’s love and that she’s a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. There’s a talk by M. Russell Ballard from 1988 that just illustrates God’s love for us. There’s a story in it that illustrates how God helps us.
“God expresses his love for us by providing the guidance we need to progress and reach our potential. Perhaps a simple story will illustrate this point. Recently, a young man purchased a used computer but could not get it to work properly. Soon he became discouraged. His temper grew short and he threatened the inanimate object with painful destruction unless its performance improved. A wise father intervened and took his son to a local vendor, where they obtained an instruction manual. After all, who would know more about a complex computer than the person or company that created it? Who would know most about its capacity and potential? Who would better know the safeguards required to avoid damaging or ruining this fine instrument? Soon the boy enjoyed the full potential of his computer by working within the guidelines given in the instruction book provided by its creator.
Likewise in our lives, he who knows most about us, our potential, and our eternal possibilities has given us divine counsel and commandments in his instruction manuals–the holy scriptures. When we understand and follow these instructions, our lives have purpose and meaning. We learn that our Maker loves us and desires our happiness. In an incomparable manifestation of this divine love for us, he sent his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.” M. Russell Ballard.
How beautiful is this? We have a loving Heavenly Father who knows us perfectly, he has provided the means and guidance to live in order to return to him. We just need to learn to trust him. Which reminds me of another talk I was reading by D. Todd Christofferson about aligning our will with the Godhead. “At times I tremble to consider what may be required, but I know that it is only in this perfect union that a fulness of joy can be found.” D. Todd Christofferson
To unite our will with that of the Godhead is a tremendous sacrifice on our part, to completely abandon the desires of the flesh and curiosities of the human mind. But in doing so we are gaining a direction and influence more profound and rewarding than can ever be imagined. It requires complete trust and unwavering faith. It requires a life time of practice, humility, and diligence. It starts with prayer and asking “what lack I yet?” Matthew 19:20. I’m just in awe that an apostle says he trembles at the thought of what’s required to be united with the will of those who love us most.
In 2 Corinthians 3:1-2 it talks about how the church is judged on our actions and the student manual for the New Testament really helped me out this week in getting more out of my bible study! It contained these two quotes:
“In the ultimate sense, the gospel is not written on tablets of stone or in books of scripture, but in the bodies of faithful and obedient persons; the saints are, thus, living epistles of the truth, the books of whose lives are open for all to read” Bruce R. McConkie
“The only things that can ever embarrass this work are acts of disobedience to its doctrine and standards by those of its membership. That places upon each of us a tremendous responsibility. This work will be judged by what the world sees of our behavior. God give us the will to walk with faith, the discipline to do what is right at all times and in all circumstances, the resolution to make of our lives a declaration of this cause before all who see us” Gordon B. Hinckley
We do have a great responsibility and it’s hard when you’re trying to teach someone a principle and if they have members friends who don’t do/keep it, it’s hard to expect them to likewise. We, as missionaries, probably have it harder. After all it’s pretty obvious who we are thanks to the tag, but it helps us to always be aware of who we represent so we can continue to do it after the mission.
I was also reading about trials (hence the title) in the doctrine and covenants and 2 Corinthians 4:17, which says “For our light affliction , which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”. It’s hard to see the wood through the trees in the midst of trials, but if we really try I know we can develop the perspective that the eternal blessings will far out weigh the pain of mortality.
“All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. … If we obtain the glory that Abraham obtained, we must do so by the same means that he did. If we are ever prepared to enjoy the society of Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or of their faithful children, and of the faithful Prophets and Apostles, we must pass through the same experience, and gain the knowledge, intelligence, and endowments that will prepare us to enter into the celestial kingdom of our Father and God. … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation” Brigham Young. Everything we experience in this life builds us, prepares us and makes us stronger for the eternities and the later experiences of mortality. Keep the faith.
Saturday was Anziano Young’s 19th birthday so they came round with our ward mission leader (to fix our washing machine, by the way we have to get a new one and have been going old school and washing our clothes in the bath for the past 3 weeks…) and we surprised him with an Oreo birthday cake! Then we went out with their investigator and friend for pizza!!! Was so so yummmmmy, I’ll never get tired of the pizza here!
We made about a billion cookies for our potentials in the hopes of them loving us a little more and becoming actual investigators… didn’t work, but oh well! We keep trying! But it’s okay because a new ice cream shop opened up in Ortigia so we got free gelato!
Yesterday we had pranzo with some of my favourite members and they always just have me cracking up! We had the BEST food as usual, including pasta tricolore and it was sooooo good!
Life’s pretty goooood, it’s transfer call day and I’m freaking out. But today it’s another Italian festa (they have a day off work to celebrate the day of the workers… seems logical) and so we’re having a BBQ with some friends of the Elder’s investigators.
Hope you all have a fab week, can’t believe it’s May: HAPPY MAY DAY! Love you! Sorella Tacchi x