|Elder Todd, Elder Manarii, Nate and Elder Hopoi were invited to a young man's 9th Birthday party.|
This week was actually incredible. The prayers that you all have been offering have really assisted in the work up here. I'll tell you how.
This week we met with a man named Darcy, and his son Hayden. We had received a call a week before from Darcy. He asked us if we would be willing to help him move some things out of his shop at work. We agreed and came "To The Rescue" just like President Monson says. We helped him out. As we were working, he described his family life to us. He's in the middle of a messy divorce and his son Hayden stays with him due to some really negative behavior coming from his wife. Hayden is around 12 years old. At the end of the service, Darcy asked us what he could do for us. He said he wanted to give back. Elder Hopoi and I spoke to him and told him that the only thing that he could do for us was to take the discussions. We testified to him that they would help his family situation and better his life. He said he'd think about it, and then we parted ways. A few days later, we received a text from Darcy telling us that he'd considered meeting with us and that he wanted to meet. We were ecstatic! So we drove out to his house and brought our Elders Quorum President, Brother Lockhart, with us. We taught Darcy and Hayden the first discussion. As we were teaching the end of the lesson, I invited Darcy and Hayden to be baptized. Darcy looked at Hayden and they both nodded and agreed to be baptized. They are now on Date to be baptized on May 14th.
To the family and also to any of the friends that had been praying for us to find those prepared to teach: Thank you thank you thank you! You may not sometimes realize just how important your prayers are to this work. Elder Hopoi and I are doing everything that we could possibly do to honor the prayers that you offer to Heavenly Father. Thank you for continuing to help us, and join your faith with ours to bring more people to the knowledge of the gospel. The principles of prayer are real, and the blessings of God are real.
Now to talk about conference just briefly. Like I said earlier, I approached conference really wanting some revelation on how I could bump my discipleship to the next level and get over some of the things I struggle with in my character. So I sat in conference taking specific notes on anything and everything I could find that would help me. But then good old Elder Holland got up. His talk seriously blew me away. As I've reflected on what he said, I think I've found the answer I wasn't expecting! As I've tried to progress and find out what I can do to get rid of the problems that I have, I am finding more and more that they are never going to go away. Even things that I feel are solvable. If it is a lesson I am meant to learn, the Lord will keep allowing that trial to come into my life. What Elder Holland said made total sense to me. Trials are a part of the test, and they're going to consistently be with me during my life. Some of them I just need to get used to. The key is just to continue moving forward. We WILL stumble. We WILL fall. But He will always be there to pick us up. I feel like that is the big conundrum of the gospel. We have to accept that we are going to fall short sometimes, but we also dedicate our lives to trying to perfect ourselves. While that sometimes seems like a recipe for discouragement, it really isn't. And Jesus Christ is the reason why we don't have to be discouraged. I honestly believe that if we are doing the best we can to navigate the storms of life and we make a mistake, the Lord is not disappointed with us. He is looking at us with love and supporting knowing full well that it was part of the plan all along for us to fall short once in awhile.
I'm so grateful for a loving Savior. I'm so grateful that He allowed me to come to conference so that He could humble my perfectionist mentality. I'm grateful that He was the one that shouldered the burden of being perfect in every way, because I certainly could have never even come close. He is what this gospel is all about. Forget about everything else but him. As Joseph Smith said, every doctrine in the church is just an appendage to the doctrine of the Life, Death, Resurrection, and most importantly, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is truly what this gospel is all about. Everything else - the church, it's organizations, classes, groups, etc. - are all just tools to help us grow in our testimony of and conversion to the doctrine of Christ.
I bear my testimony of Him. I love Him with all my heart.
Thanks to the family and friends that love me and support me.
I sent Nate a video of Cierra's performance in Secret Garden. She sang the song "Hold On."
This was his response:
Okay.... I seriously just cried all the way through Hold On.... Here I am in the family History Center sitting next to Elder Manarii crying my eyes out.... Cierra did AMAZING, Mom. It's so amazing to see how her voice has come along. That was seriously amazing.
Like, you might think that what I said was "I just got a little emotional" but like.... What I actually said was "I was weeping in the Family History Center in front of grown men."
I think I'm in HER shadow now.