This week has been incredibly taxing, and I was been looking forward to taking the Sacrament. I've been reading the scriptures a LOT more than usual. I heard that if you read five chapters of the scriptures a
day, you can finish the entire standard works in a year. I have less than a year left, so I'm trying to read 10 chapters today; I am currently in the book of Joshua. After studying the five books of Moses (or in other words, one of the best studies of the Plan of Salvation, the Atonement, and the Priesthood), I really appreciate the
Sacrament a lot more. I thought it was interesting that in Moses' time cripples could not be the high priest, not because they were unworthy, but because that office was representative of Christ, and He, the
ultimate high priest was perfect. I reflected on that as I watched a young crippled deacon in a wheel chair pass the Sacrament yesterday. I thought of how because of the Atonement, that young man would be able
to someday have a perfect body that will let him walk just like everybody else. I thought of how he could not have been able to officiate in certain Levitical Priesthood ordinances, but he is now able to take the place of Christ in offering access to the Atonement to everybody in the congregation. I thought of Christ's love for us
and how He served us, just as this deacon served us the best he could. These past few months have been very trying physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. However, in the past few months, I have gained a much more intimate relationship with my Father in Heaven as I have prayed to him and sought his will. I have gained a greater love for my elder brother Jesus Christ as I have testified of Him and relied on His Atonement every day. As I have strived to strengthen my relationships with my companions, I have turned to the ultimate companion (until I meet my eternal companion) that is the Holy Ghost. My testimony had strengthened, my knowledge has increased, my self worth has grown, my love for others has broadened, and my abilities to do hard things have shot through the roof. These past few months have been a refiner's fire, and looking back on it, I have been refined. I know I'm not out of it yet, but now I can say with Caleb, "Give me this mountain." (Joshua 14:12)
Several of you have asked me about my new area, and since I neglected to do so last week, I'll take some time to do that now. This area moves a little slower than some, which means we have to work EXTRA hard in order to hit twenty lessons. In my last area, we would hit
that no problem, but now, we struggled to hit fourteen this past week-which was a significant improvement over the weeks before! It's a fairly affluent area, so many people don't feel the need to listen to us. That being said, this area is starting to take off. We have a Baptism scheduled this Saturday for a boy named Braden, and he could not be more excited. We've got some other people we're looking at to be baptized in the upcoming months, but it's going to take a lot of work, faith, fasting, and prayer to get to that point.
Hope y'all have a great week!