I leave for Washington at 3 am, so they are giving us our hour to email today. I am completely stoked out of my mind to get to Everett--it will likely remain a dream in my mind until I actualyl get there!!
It´s been a crazy past few days. Hermana Pouliot left last night, so know our trio is back to a duo of Hermana Hicks and I. It´s so surreal, I can´t even believe it!
Elder Bednar came on Saturday and gave a devotional. It was incredible! I sat front row right in front of him. 5 feet away. It was SO cool to be so close to an apostle of the Lord. It was a Q&A session, which was way cool. But you are going to be very disappointed when I tell you I don´t specifically remember a word that came out of his mouth. However, I DO remember how I FELT and I know what I need to do and change to be the best I can be as a representative of the Lord. I left with a pounding headache--the good kind where your mind gets blasted with more revelation than you can handle at a time. I am truly grateful for living prophets and apostles on the earth today. SO cool.
During my personal study, I found something that I thought interesting. It´s a story I am sure we are all too familiar with, but the thing I LOVE about the scriptures is the fact that they are infinitely deep and we can ALWAYS learn new things. It´s the story of Nephi going to retrieve the brass plates.
I´ll kind of go through and annotate what my thoughts and insights were as I read.
The command of the Lord: 1 Nephi 3:4
4 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness.
Attempt #1- 1 Nephi 3:11 Luck of the draw
11 And we cast lots—who of us should go in unto the house of Laban. And it came to pass that the lot fell upon Laman; and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, and he talked with him as he sat in his house.
Outcome: FAIL 1 Nephi 3:13
13 And behold, it came to pass that Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.
Attempt #2- 1 Nephi 3:22-24 Bribery/trade
22 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things.
23 And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.
24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.
Outcome: FAIL 1 Nephi 3:25-26
25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lustafter it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.
26 And it came to pass that we did flee before the servants of Laban, and we were obliged to leave behind our property, and it fell into the hands of Laban.
Attempt #3- 1 Nephi 4:6 Faithfully follow the direction of the Spirit
6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
Outcome: SUCCESS 1 Nephi 4:17
17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
So what lesson can we learn from this, besides that fact that we should just choose the right method the first time? Kidding. That is much easier said than done. The first two attempts they used methods that would be easy and rational--however, they came up empty-handed on this very important task.
As a missionary, I cannot fulfill my purposes alone. I cannot play rock, paper, scissors or throw dice to decide where I need to go find people. I can´t try to bribe someone to come unto Christ. I must follow the Spirit and do as the Lord directs me to find people and to help them to come unto Christ. I will not be able to fulfill my purposes any other way.
Even outside of being a missionary, I need to always apply this principle in my life. I won´t accomplish important things by chance or by swindling or bribing my way through. I must rely on the Lord to give me direction, even when it doesn´t seem rational in my head. With his help, I can do anything.
And so can you! This is the challenge I leave this week:
Let the Spirit guide you. The Lord will always help you accomplish tasks this way. Don´t assume you can do it alone.
As a representative of Jesus Christ, I testify boldly that He loves and is aware of each of you. He wants to help us, but we must allow Him to. It requires faith. It can be scary or unsettling, but faith in Jesus Christ will ALWAYS replace fear. I love my Savior and couldn´t be more happy and grateful to be on His errand.
I love you all so much! Your prayers, love, and support are always felt and appreciated!