Monday, August 24, 2015

Agency is important..July 27,2015

What a great opportunity to be a missionary!  I have really been able to see the results of obedience, diligence, and good old blessings!!  My companion, Elder Jorgensen and I this week really kicked it into to gear, reviewed houses, did exchanges, and worked very decently in our area!  We have been obedient with exactness in all we can and have felt the blessings!  It is a little frustrating because I haven't felt like our area has been progressing.  As I was reading in my personal study I was able to think about 2 situations presented to Nephi in chapters 16 and later in 18.  In 1 Nephi 3 and 8 they were being strictly obedient to all that the Lord had commanded them to do yet in verses 18 through 23, they have some troubles when Nephi's bow and arrows break.  As I was thinking about it, God was definitely punishing them because they weren't keeping the commandments but as I continued to read into chapter 18 I realized that later on, they were blessed.  But when Laman and Lemuel tied Nephi up in the boat and God sent the whirlwinds and terrible storm it was truly a punishment.  Later in the week I was able to have an exchange with Hno. Pablo Hernandez who is a returned missionary (while my comp was with some missionaries) and we had a super wonderful talk about agency (which I think has become one of my favorite gospel topics!!).  I was able to truly see in the scriptures that difficult times simply come to test us but more as ways to see what type of person we really are.  My dad always said that there are 3 types of people or members of the church. There are those who are really the less actives (go to church every once in a while, sometimes read scriptures, sometimes pray, or do it when they need it). There are those who I would call active (read, pray, because they were taught to do it, go to church but if they miss an extra meeting they feel fine). And then there are those who are COMMITTED. They are the type of person who would go to all the meetings they have to, they have a dedicated scripture study and feel inspired while reading, have meaningful prayers to bless the lives of others, and will one day face the Throne of God with Confidence (a talk by Elder Klebingat). I realize that missionaries are the exact same and the interesting thing is that you can tell them apart very easily. Our agency is important because that is what will determine our trials or our punishments.  God will obviously test us while we are doing our best to grow more.  He will push us until we can't think we can go on and if we prevail, put all our faith in Him and just ask "what else will thou have me do?!"  (1 Nephi16:23) He will bless us immensely and sometimes our blessings will come in the form of more trials because God knows what our potential is... It is to become like Him. (Romans 8:17) I love you all and hope you know I am doing super awesome!!  I hope you all have the best week ever!!
Love, Elder Slack

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