So today I pulled a white hair out of my eyebrows. I think I'm getting old. Hopefully I don't go the way of Steve Martin or anything, but I'm okay whatever happens. I haven't been very good ever at counting weeks but I think I'm in the sixties somewhere. Super weird and super crazy. Missionary life feels like the only life I've ever known, and I'm pretty sure that my first name really is "Elder"--anything else sounds like some some sort of echo from the sequel to Inception. I dunno, but I do know that I love being a missionary! I love representing the Lord and getting hours every day to read the scriptures and try and do everything by the Spirit. I was super inspired this week as Elder Baker and I listened to the conversion story of one Bill Carpenter (it's on youtube I'm sure). The Lord works in mysterious ways, but His ways are always way smarter than mine and He does things so much more effectively! I don't have much time but I wanted to share with you some of the thoughts from a recent personal study and my email to President.
Recently I have been studying Desire and its affects. I have been searching how to cultivate it and how to help instill it in others. The Spirit is the greatest tool here, but I was impressed by a different part of my studies. I asked myself the question "How can I become a spiritual giant?" I perused the scriptures and settled on studying one of my favorite spiritual giants: Nephi. So I did a case study on Nephi determining what it was he did that solicited his transformation into a spiritual giant.
First I recalled something that Elder Hernandez showed me in 1 Nephi. Nephi's greatest change comes between 1 Nephi 2:16 and 1 Nephi 4:31. In 2:16 he describes himself as "being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature" and in 4:31 as "being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord". Nephi's perception of himself completely changes and did so in just a few weeks or months.
I read this passage and found the greatest indicators in chapter 2 verses 16-18. Nephi's actions can be summarized as follows:
-He wanted to know the "mysteries of God" for himself 1Ne2:16 (he had great desires to know/to receive the blessings of the Fathers Abr1:2)
-He asked the Lord for wisdom/knowledge/greater ability to do 1Ne2:16 (cried unto the Lord in mighty prayer) JSH1:13
-His heart was softened by the Spirit 1Ne2:16 (made whole through faith/ receive a true remission of our sins Enos1:8)
-He sought to share it with his brethren 1Ne2:17
Following this process Nephi was commended by the Lord for his diligence and he received many mighty promises that guided the rest of his life. After this process he was great and had begun to become a man of God. Following this we hear of his resolution and confidence in God (1Ne3:7) and can see his fortitude in his mantra "Let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord". I love Nephi and this week I will continue to seek the spirit so that I can better begin my process to become a spiritual giant.
I love you guys so much! Thank you for your prayers! They are felt and they are very much needed! You are always in mine! I know that the Lord is watching over you and that He is mindful of all you stand in need of! Pray! He is listening. And try to make it a good prayer because that will do you a lot more good! ^^
Onward and Upward