I'm sorry I have not written in a long time. The past month has been pretty hectic to say the least. I don't present that as an excuse for not writing, it is just a good way to describe the past month. From tearing down a house to having lunch with a general authority, it really had it all.
I got sick in multiple fun and different ways in the past few weeks. I got a nasty cold twice, which knocked a good week and a half of work away, and I also was bit by some random animal and got five rabies shots. In addition, I also got athletes foot, which was not the most enjoyable experience I might add. Even though it sounds like a lot, I was blessed enough to catch all of my illness early so none of them became too intense. I really received many blessings in the way of being healed.
Another fun experience that I had in the past few weeks was the ability to be a part of what is called a "cottage meeting". A cottage meeting is where leaders from a nearby ward or branch hold a meeting for members or interested parties in a more remote area without access to a church. This one was especially fun because we drove into the middle of nowhere in the jungle to host the meeting. The waray waray that was spoken became very deep there, and they said words that I had never heard before. It felt like I was a part of some secret meeting in a movie, but it was really about helping members in the area. The spirit was exceedingly strong as they talked about opening up a way for the members to partake of the sacrament. It seems that my visits to the more remote part of the jungle are not over but are simply beginning.
One of the common themes over the past few weeks have been trusting in the Lord more than you trust in yourself. Sometimes it can become very easy to trust our own judgment rather than the Lords, but in doing so we sacrifice opportunities to serve Him and others. We also sacrifice opportunities to grow. Alma 37:37 states to "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good." From the scriptures we learn that the Lord's purpose is to "Bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"(Moses 1:39) and the only way to do that is to help us grow.
When I first arrived in my area, I had a prompting to go proselyting around an elementary school. We had already been to that area and talked to everyone there, and so I quickly put off the prompting and proceeded to go somewhere else. Week after week would go by and I would continue to feel the pressing prompting to visit that area. One day, I decided to finally listen to that prompting. At first, it seemed hopeless, and all the houses were closed and there was no one to talk to. However, before turning around, I noticed a small broken pathway leading into the mountains. Following the path, we were led to a small community that was built in a clearing. Following a strong prompting to talk to an old man, I was eventually introduced to a family who readily accepted our message. All members of the family, some skeptical at first, each received answers to their prayers that our message was true. They have all, including the father, accepted baptism, and are striving to keep the commandments of God.
Even with amazing experiences like the one described, it can become easy to doubt promptings or not to follow them out of fear. It is important to remember, however, that the Lord trusts us as we put our trust in Him. The Lord knows all of us very personally, and only gives promptings He knows we can complete. Your reaction to a prompting shows the amount of trust you have in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you trust that the Father would give you a prompting to help another? Do you trust that He will help you grow as you follow Him? The closer we draw to Jesus Christ, the more we will understand the infinite love that He has for us and others. The more we understand that His love can overpower our fear, the more we can readily accept our calls to serve. I know that as we submit to the will of the Father, as did Jesus Christ, our ability to experience joy will grow because he is the only source of true and lasting happiness. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.