Monthly Archives: March 2016

Leaping ahead

It’s Leap Day, and it’s also the birthday of one of the elders in my district. People like to tease him and say he’s finally turning six years old. But it’s thanks to his birthday that we’re getting chicken cordon-bleu tonight.

I am pleased to announce that I am now an honorary Spanish-speaking missionary. A couple of weeks ago we knocked on a door where the answerer told us he only spoke Spanish.
“Somos missioneros de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Días.”
After seeming somewhat taken aback, he explained to us in rapid Spanish that he was not interested, and that he had a church. Oh, well. That was the first time I’d done that, since my companions have usually beat me to it. It’s good to have contacting resources from the Spanish elders.
After a month of pretty much zero investigators, the Lord led us to a man named Rick. As soon as he saw us, he stepped outside and said, “Watchtower?”
Nope. Even better.
We had a pretty good conversation with him, left him with a Book of Mormon, and invited him to baptism. He couldn’t give us an answer, but he promised to read and pray. I’m half-excited, half-nervous for our next lesson with him; you never know what’s going to happen during that brief time after your first meeting. We did our best to inoculate him against misinformation, though, and he already knows that Google is not a replacement for your brain.
Let me repeat that: Google is not a replacement for your brain. Neither are click bait articles, and neither are political pundits, or anything like unto those things. I think I’ve said all this before, but it boggles my mind how people immediately take for facts the opinions and falsehoods of people who happen to have a voice in the online community. Search the Scriptures, search your mind and heart, and pray for guidance. The gospel is simpler than you think. I think I’ve said all that before
I have a confession to make: There is a hymn that has always been difficult for me to listen to. It’s I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go. As you may guess by the lyrics, the song contains a promise to become the sort of person that God wants us to be.
The reason why this song has always ground my gears somewhat is that I have always misinterpreted it to mean I must surrender my agency and my direction in life to become something I wouldn’t want to be. But you see, the problem is that we humans always think we know what we want.
The Lord is someone in whom you can (and should) put your utmost trust. He already knows who we want to be. He knows and sees and comprehends everything. Submitting our will to the Lord’s does not mean becoming a puppet, or giving up everything we love and know about ourselves. It means opening ourselves up to the possibilities that He foresees. And if you think that the person He would have you become is not the best you, or the most complete, fully-leveled, entirely optimized you, I would venture to say that you don’t know how wonderful and all-encompassing the gospel is yet.
I can testify to it—I was very angry and a bit volatile in the months before my mission. I may have had a testimony—an intellectual one if nothing else—but the Spirit was not there in abundance when I bore it. I was reluctant to help anyone unless my schedule allowed for it, and turned my attention to my own problems rather than to those of others whom I could help. Little by little, I have felt that ebb away. I am not perfect, but I know I am better than I was.
Food for thought, I guess. Have a good week.