Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Why does it seem like we are doing it alone?" - August 5, 2013

Every single week, I sit here and think about what to write...and every single week something comes...but this week, I don't think anything is really coming yet. It was super good to see all the pictures that dad sent of you and the family. I feel like the family is growing the Gospel just as much as I am. We are really experiencing the Gospel functioning in its most prosperous environment: The Family. Heavenly Father wants us so badly to be blessed as eternal families as we individually and together strive to come to him. This last week in Heavenly Father's mercy he once again pulled me from coming out of a spiritual slump, as he has already so many times before. He just loves me too much to let that happen. I was thinking about this a lot lately and just the idea of miracles and faith. I found myself being a little discouraged this last week after having been out of our area for a few days, sitting in sacrament meeting just wondering why the miracles weren't there - why the cup wasn't brimming over. Heavenly Father loves us perfectly. He wants us to all accept his path to happiness and be cleansed and claimed by the Savior. He worries about no other work than this, His work and Glory. So the question is "Why does it seem like we are doing it alone?" I think from this came two variations of this question: 

"Am I trying to do it alone?" - I realized with the upcoming changes in the mission there is a likelihood that I will have to step it up a notch to do what the Lord was asking of me, - I was stressed and really quite fearful of the future. But I realized in an evening prayer with my Father in Heaven this thought: "You take on you the work meant for two." Not looking at this on  the companionship level, I realized that I was really not relying on my Savior as I should be. Once I realized that I had a Savior that loved me and wanted to help me, things became a lot more peaceful. The truth is this: "There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [or sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children" (President Lorenzo Snow, PMG 12). 

"Why are the miracles not coming?" - We know that miracles can only occur when we display faith and that faith is tried, but I think in all aspects of life we ask this question theorizing that if God really loved us, we'd not need wait this long for his hands to be manifest in our lives. This week there was an experience that taught me something about this. Yesterday we were able to meet with Sister Albina after a lesson with a less active family and talk about how she was doing. She broke into tears as she began to describe her life situation. She has never had a family of her own, constantly is having trouble with different work places falling through, and housing arrangements not working out. She is one of the most faithful members of the church I know. Other members would light-heartedly say "have some more faith," "Do this," or "Do that." Her biggest fear was just that she felt she wasn't displaying enough faith and because of that lack of meriting miracles, she was being punished. Coming from a missionary of Jesus Christ that walks the streets and sees the hardships in his own way, please help everyone including yourself know that just because miracles don't seem to be coming, it doesn't mean that God is withholding blessings because of our imperfections. Having faith in God is a deliberate confidence in the character of God. So hold on, because if we do all we can (of course we'll have to seek ways to improve), we know our loving Father in Heaven is just that: Loving. In a council lead by Elder Per Malm of the seventy, he said in response to a comment much like I just stated about the love of the Father: "That is freedom." When we know the character of God, we can have faith in him! 

I realize that most of my letters are more of  a spiritual account of the lessons I'm learning and I don't talk much about our investigators and things like that...I'll do better next week on that. I really am so grateful for the Gospel and its infinite capacity to fit every facet of our lives. This is because it is true, pure, and simple. I know that the Lord blesses us with opportunities to learn and grow, applying the Gospel in our daily lives. That's really what this life is about: Apply all that we we learn becoming not only rich in doctrine, but disciples in doing. I love you all so much and really am so grateful for all that you do as my mom to give me an example of love, service, and consecration to the Lord. 

Till next week!
Elder Claypool

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