To my friends and family,
This week was kind of an ordinary week in some aspects, but extraordinary in others. I kind of feel that way about life; it is kind of what we make of it. If we have an ordinary job or life, we can make it extraordinary by not only doing fun things, but by doing things that help us grow.
So the culture for this week. Cherry. Blossoms. Man.
Every spring for like 2 weeks or so they come out and they are unbelievably beautiful. Like I can't even describe it, so I’ll just send a picture.
Anyway so as you can probably guess, the topic this week is on prayer again. We have someone that we teach who sometimes gets annoyed when we talk about prayer a ton. He’s like, yea I get it, kneel down and say things and you get things. Yea, I got it. In the most basic application, yes that is what prayer is. But only doing that does not really get us anything. The kind of prayer that I am talking about is the long prayer. The sincere prayer. The prayer that usually is accompanied by tears. The conversation with a loving Heavenly Father.
Sometimes people talk to me on the street and say that they envy me because I get to put aside my worldly cares for 2 years and just serve. While this is true and it is a wonderful blessing, this does not mean that I am free from worries or pain. As a missionary, I feel the pain of not being able to help people. I feel the pain of not being able to speak to my family or help my family and friends. While it is physically exhausting of course, the most difficult part of missionary work is the spiritual baggage.
I do not say these things to complain or to be arrogant. I say these things because many people say that a missionary cannot understand spiritual pain or emotional stress. We can. The formula for overcoming that pain is, has been, and always will be the same. When life gives you more than you can stand, kneel. A prophet in the Book of Mormon gave this testimony to those who prayed with sincerity
1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.
2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
I leave with you my witness of the power of prayer. It works for everyone. Do not believe that you are the only one that experiences spiritual and emotional pain. None of us are unique in that respect. However, remember that each of us are special. Each of us has a loving Heavenly Father who will console us in our afflictions and who desires to have us feast on his love.
I love you all and pray for you all often,