Konbanwa! I am so glad that it is P-day! I love these days! I just got back from the temple where I saw the brand new movie. It's awesome, go see it!
So over the past week I have been able to see my brother twice!! It was truly an amazing experience. there is an interesting juxtaposition created when you put a fully developed, finished missionary in the same room with a beginner, both of whom want nothing but to hear the other talk. One can reminisce on the past mission and the other can imagine the future. One can know and one can leap in faith. One can advise and the other can guess. One can comfort and the other can be comforted. While my brother's mission will be very different from mine, he has a vivid image of what it was like for him and knows what kind of experiences I will have. He knows how I will feel at certain times in my mission and, because he knows me well, can guess at my reactions fairly accurately. While it isn't perfect, he can feel empathy for me, and he can run to me. I am so grateful for that and for all of those who are close to me who have lived their lives in such a way that they can do the same. My parents, for instance, know me so well and know how to comfort me. Families are such an incredible blessing because they are with us the whole way, through the joy and the pain, the easy and the difficult. They have always been there, but there is one other who also has always been there, and that is the Christ. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Friend, and our Brother. He has always been there and He will always be there.
In Elder Jeffrey R. Hollands talk, "None Were With Him" he said that "because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so." He is always with us and, because He preformed the atonement, He is the one who can perfectly empathize with us and can perfectly succor us. Without Him we would be lost, alone and afraid. With Him we have direction, we are not alone, and we are not afraid. All these things are manifest to us by the Spirit, who testifies of Christ. What an amazing thing! I can't imagine my life without the gift of the Spirit. Unfortunately we can't just have this gift. After baptism the gift is given, but we have to RECEIVE it. The blessing says "Receive the Holy Ghost." This implies that there is something required from us in order to receive it.
So over the past four or five days since meeting with my brother I have been thinking a lot about this, and then a good friend of mine, who has been struggling with reading the scriptures, praying, and attending church, wrote to me and asked me for advice. It occurred to me that the only reason we struggle with these three things is because we kind of forget to "receive the Holy Ghost". We kind of forget that by doing these simple daily actions we can receive guidance. I know that. As a missionary one of the things we teach investigators is that they can receive relevant revelation for themselves, from Christ, through the Holy Ghost, if they do those three things!
So here's my Challenge to everyone this week: approach these three incredible blessings with renewed vigor, with a fresh perspective, and with faith that through them you will receive divine guidance and comfort. I want to hear about it! Get my email or dear Elder address from my beloved Moot** and tell me all about it! In this way we can strengthen each other.
I know that we are loved! Every single one of us is loved to an infinite extent and Christ is always there, pleading with us to turn away from the world and turn to Him.
I love you all!
'Beloved Moot', which Sterling mentions, is his nickname for me, his mom:-/
Sterling's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
To send a note to him at the MTC through dearelder.com you need to know the following:
--Departure date (JUL28)
--Mission code (TOKS-JAP)
--Unit # (45)