Our area is booming and our Sacrament meeting yesterday was just chocked full of less active's and none members! It brought me to tears to think of how Sister Roy and I have been working so hard and to see those you have spent so much time thinking and praying about finally partaking of the blessings of worship and separating themselves from their worldly stresses "that so easily beset them".
I felt tears of joy come to my eyes as we sang a hymn. I can't remember which one it was but the words spoke so tenderly to my heart.
I want to thank the Lord for this blessed opportunity to serve him with every ounce of my being and even though there are times when my heart may ache, He is always there to hold me in his warm arms and tell me that everything is going to be ok and reminds me of the many Joys I have felt and will feel from bringing others to him so that they may partake of the Love I have been able to feel in my life.
Presidents Letter I wanted to share with you
Dear Elders and Sisters,
During interviews and in private conversations we have had with you, some of you have expressed that the stress you feel makes it harder for you to enjoy the work or to feel good about what you are doing. Some of the hardest working and most obedient missionaries feel this way. This is heartbreaking for us. We want you to be busy, to be pushing as hard as you can to get as much done as possible and to be exhausted when you get home, but we do not want you to feel pressured or to be stressed out. Missionary work is hard, but it should be joyful.
It seems to us that the stress is not caused by the work, but by us and the way we see ourselves. We all desperately want the Lord to be pleased with our offerings. Moreover, none of us want to wait until judgment day to find out whether or not God was pleased with our efforts. So, we look for ways to learn whether we are “good missionaries.” If we are concerned that we are not “good” or at least, not “good enough,” then we feel stress. This feeling is compounded by the reality that we can always do better. All of us can think of a number of important ways in which we can improve, and as our imperfections nag at us, we feel stress that perhaps we are not living up to God’s expectations of us, or at least to the expectations we have of ourselves.
To relieve this stress, we look for ways to determine that we are, in fact, acceptable missionaries. Unfortunately, we sometimes evaluate whether our service is acceptable to the Lord by using worldly measures of success. It is really hard to avoid doing this, and some of the best people who have ever lived have fallen into this trap. Consider the case of Moroni, who was feeling considerable anxiety about his calling to finalize the Plates of Mormon. In this fascinating dialogue between Moroni and the Savior, we can feel Moroni’s anguish as well as the source of some of his concerns:
“And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them. Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words. (Ether 12: 23-25).
In this passage, Moroni was trying to do two things to determine whether his work would be acceptable to the Lord. First, he was measuring what others (the Gentiles) would think, and he seemed to be determining his own success by what these people thought of him. He seemed to be asking, “If the Gentiles do not appreciate my words, then how can my work be acceptable to the Lord? After all, I am writing to the Gentiles.” Second, Moroni was comparing himself to another servant of God – the brother of Jared. Moroni seemed to be concerned (dare we say stressed out) because someone else was more talented than he was at doing his assignment. Moroni seemed to be asking, “If the Brother of Jared’s writing is so much better than mine, then how can my efforts be acceptable?”
Interestingly, the Lord did not engage in Moroni’s invitation to base His approval on what others thought or on how Moroni compared to others. Rather, He answered what Moroni should have been asking – whether the Lord was happy with Moroni’s work. The Lord responded:
“And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness. And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted…” (Ether 12: 26-29).
In essence, the Lord was saying that He required Moroni’s heart. God was going to magnify Moroni if he approached the work with humility and meekness. Moroni needed to be reminded that he was not really doing his own work, but that it was the Lord’s work and that the Lord was going to do the heavy lifting. So, it did not really matter whether the Gentiles mocked or whether the Brother Jared was naturally more gifted; God was pleased with Moroni as long as Moroni acknowledged his own weaknesses and relied on Christ’s grace, which will always be sufficient for the meek.
The same is true for us. As we avoid comparing ourselves to others, becoming preoccupied with what others think of us, or using any other worldly measure of success, we will free ourselves from much of the stress that can accompany this work. Once we truly internalize that Christ’s grace is sufficient for the meek, then we can become as comforted and as confident as Moroni ultimately became. When that happens, we will not be stressed out by the work, for we will know that we are the Lord’s and He is more than capable of doing His work even with – especially with – his young, humble missionaries serving as His collective mouthpiece.
These are from Sister Roy's Camera :)
Sister Roy :)
What I had to drive in on Sat! but it was very pretty :)
We are about to head over to Concord near Belmont Temple we are going to see some museum and hopefully Luisa May Alcott's home (Little Woman author). I will take lots of pictures! :)
Love you all so much and I will send some cold weather over your way to cool you off ;) haha! ^^
Love you a Million Pictures ^^