Tuesday, February 9, 2016

WEEK 32 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward-

#1: Elder Thomas & I found a Chick-Fil-A. You know we jumped on that occasion.
#2: Super fun dodgeball tournament today with both the San Rafael
North Zone & the San Rafael South Zone.

Family and Friends,

Long time no talk, huh? Geese, it feels like just a couple hours ago I
was writing up last weeks email and sending that one off. I can't
believe how fast this week went by. In thinking about how quickly my
mission has unfolded, all I can do is ask Heavenly Father in
desperation for it to slow down. I feel that the past seven months
have been filled with more than my fair share of personal growth. I
feel that I've learned a lot. I feel that I've been stretched and
pulled to my very widths end. But more importantly, I am feeling more
and more love for the opportunities I'm given as a missionary. I love
my life right now. I don't think I ever want to go home.

This week wasn't really a special one. I'll be brutally honest in
saying that this was probably the least productive week I've ever had
in terms of missionary work. With all truthfulness of heart - we
didn't get much done. My companion is having some very severe problems
that have needed to be attended to - which has caused some holdup in
the amount of work that is getting done around here. Despite the rough
week we faced (and with not much to write about), I was able to
receive some personal revelation for myself in which I feel the need
to share with each of you. My thoughts are pertaining much to the
scripture stories found in the Book of Alma. Pertaining mostly to
chapters 11-14. I hope to draw a parallel that may be
applicable to your own personal life as it was VERY applicable to mine
as I've tried to exercise this.

In the story, we read about Alma & Amulek preaching to the numberless
concourses of people in the city of Ammonihah. We read of Alma &
Amulek's apostolic sermons to the people, calling them unto repentance
and giving them something. Something more than what they already
"presumed to have". They unfolded the wonderful works and marvelous
mysteries of God. They pronounced unto them the destruction and
spiritual death in which was about to be caused - due to their
wickedness. They told of the unmatched power that came from the
heavens above. Now, In these efforts of preaching the Gospel of Jesus
Christ unto these people, they come about many problems, but I wish to
talk about and share some insight on rather the majority of the people
of this city - and what they all seemed to be united together in under
their similar causes. Most of these similarities come from their own
personal frailties. They had many mental doubts. They had many
internal conflicts. Even the most successful, wealthy, prosperous, and
powerful people of them all had these same sorts of problems. They had
many negative thoughts towards what was being taught to them. They
didn't fully believe in what was being said. They had some reserved
feelings for what they had heard and they didn't necessarily feel the
need to FULLY exercise their faith.

Later in the story, we know that those whom eventually followed what
Alma and Amulek taught - were blessed. But what I wish to show is that
at first - they were overwhelmed with these thoughts of doubt. They
didn't know if they should believe. They had (again) reserved
feelings. But with faithfulness in heart, they chose to be different.
They chose to not "live" in those negative thoughts. They handled
their negative thoughts in these exact moments with positive action.
These positive actions were devoting themselves to repentance and
fully committing to The Lord. From these positive actions, we later
know that they who abided by the principles given by Alma and Amulek,
lived well and prospered much in the land. Now, those who didn't heed
to the words of these two men, were promised that spiritual death be
upon them.

In no way shape or form am I trying to promise spiritual death upon
any of you if you don't repent. In no way am I trying to show that
those who don't believe in these words are to be damned. But what I'm
rather trying to get you to see is that sometimes in life we need to
better handle our thoughts. We need to erase these feelings of
confusion and frustration. We need to rid ourselves of feelings of
hatred, envy, pridefulness, lust, temptation, anger, and jealousy.
Much like the select people of Ammonihah, we must overwhelm ourselves
in these exact moments with positive action. And these positive
actions come with the upmost confidence in your Heavenly Father that
he can handle your situation. That He can handle your circumstances.
Trust in Him, that when you partake in His ways - you will be better
than you are now in the moment. Trust that submerging yourself fully
into the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bless you immensely.

Our lives are made up of moments. Moments here. Moments there. I'd
invite you to make the most of these moments given to you from your
Heavenly Father. I'd invite you to partake in His ways, and become the
person you're destined to be. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a vehicle
to take us to new heights and destinations that we could never reach
ourselves. Take this life and become " a blessed and prosperous
people" much like those we read about in this scripture story. Take
what you've been given. Trust in your Heavenly Father. Act in
accordance with his teachings. Act in a way that would be pleasing
unto him.

I promise you blessings as you do so. I promise blessings to all those
that partake from the "well of living water". Jesus Christ is that
well. He is endless. His Gospel is perfect.

I love you all. I'll see you in no time. Be safe. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

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