Monday, August 11, 2014

Aligning our will

This work is nearly impossible to serve in if we do not serve with our heart. That is something I have realised this past week. This past week, past transfer, was a struggle for me. And yesterday I had a bit of a freakout and my companion helped me realise that I'm not measuring success to how the Lord would have us to. The Lord has set the standard and all we have to do is do OUR best and have faith that we are doing enough for Him. We cannot set the standard for ourselves and others above that which the Lord has already established. Alma gives us a good example of this in Alma 29 when he says "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" but then he says in verse 3 "but behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." and verse six "Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called? Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth? For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have"
The Lord knows what we need and what others need and we should not set the standard of achievement or "success" above that. I love that in verse 4 Alma says that God granteth unto men according to their desire. Desires are connected to our hearts. Where are hearts are there will our desires. So if we desire something other than to align our will with the Lord we are not being true disciples of Him. And the way we align our desires (our hearts) with God is by the way we think. All good thoughts come from God. So when we are thinking negatively we are not, in essence, aligning ourselves with Him but are putting distance between us. We turn our face from Him so that we can be harrowed up by our own negativity. This is hell. Hell is a state of mind. So is happiness. What we think is what we are. So this week, like every other week, is to turn my thoughts to the light of the Lord. Im grateful for a companion who is so good at being a person of light. I can really learn from her example. That is the best part about this gospel, and being a missionary who shares the gospel. Every person who truly wants to learn radiates with the light of Christ. They cannot help it, it is a natural consequence of becoming like the Savior. I see Joanne and the change in her, I see the change in the members, I see the change in all those who sincerely desire to align their will to His. To become one with God and one with the Saviour. 

This past week I had a really cool experience. We felt prompted to just call all the people on our phone that we did not know. We called this one man,Kristian and introduced ourselves. Before we even finished extending the invitation to meet with us he accepted and we had a return appointment for the next evening. Well everything was just falling apart. We couldnt find a member to come with us at the time of the appointment and he couldnt do later because he was going out with friends but lo and behold finally a member said she could come.  Well the next afternoon we got a call from him saying he had to work later than he thought and he would have to cancel. We were sooo bummed but we excepted it. I just felt so strongly that we had to see him so I knew satan had part in making him have to work. Well we drove up to a different appointment at 7 in Engadine which is about a 15 minute drive from where he is. Right at 7 Kristian texted us saying that he got home sooner than he thought and asked if we could still come at 7:30 (which is the time we asked to switch it to but he couldnt due to friends but now he had already cancelled with his friends so he was free to see us). We said we would come but we may be late. We called Adrianne who we had an appointment with and she said she thought our appointment was later and she wouldnt be home. We rescheduled with her for the next time instead. We called the member we originally wanted to come because she is a mother of 3 and has more life experience than the ysa we were going to bring had he not cancelled. At 7:30 we went. So everything was going for us to see him. He was awesome! He is from Scotland and has the coolest accent he was in the british military for 10 years but then moved here.This brings up a funny part of the story ha. So he is a cop now and all day Sister Vos kept saying she wanted to ask a cop but his favourite part of his job is but she was to chicken and now she finally got to ask a cop. It was just a funny tender mercy of this whole miracle! Well anyways Kristianis athiest from all the bad he saw done in the name of religion but he knew there had to be good too so that is why he asked us over. We began talking and his two main questions were "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people" and "why do we call God merciful with all this bad happening?" You could see how much he wanted to know the answers. We got a return appointment for yesterday that we could see him. We were so excited... and then he dropped us. I was devastated because we were so excited! However we didnt lose hope. We wrote a 4 page letter to him about the Plan of Salvation and dropped it in his letter box instead. If that doesnt answer his questions and touch his heart we dont know what else will. The spirit helped us to write that letter, mom I will send a copy home. Even if we never get to teach him again, because he has agency to accept no, I know that we went there for a purpose and we fulfilled that purpose in inviting. It was such a testimony to me that there are people out there who need their questions answered and we are the only ones with the answers! We may not know everything but we know what God wants us to. We can ALL do better at exercising our faith enough to share it! To say the least I am praying a lot that Kristian will take those words into his heart, we wanna teach him haha. 
Well that was probably the biggest miracle and saddest thing this week. I am staying here in Sutherland another transfer and Im still with Sister Vos. This is officially the longest I have been in one area, and will get to be in one area haha. I hope I can get my heart more in the work again. My faith was slack for a while about this area and in my companionship but I know that as I practice on changing my thoughts that the Lord will help. Im so grateful for the time that I have been given to learn and improve. Im especially grateful for the people He has placed in my path to help me to do that. 
Well sorry this email is so honking big! Sometimes I like to vent and stand on my soap box haha.
Well I love you all! Hope you have a good week!

Ofa Atu!
Sister Ashley Boiteux

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