weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell here's da shcoop.
So, this last week was pretty cool. We have been working with this one dude in the branch that's been super less active, and we are helping him make his way back to church. We taught him about the importance of prayer and not giving up when he makes mistakes. and then as we visited him on thursday, we said, We'll see you sunday. and he said he won't be able to because of work. As soon as he said that i just said what i instantly felt like saying, and told him if he would pray every morning and night, that God would help him make it to church on sunday.
We were at church on sunday. He was also there! and as well, there was this less active girl that the sisters in our district found, that came to the womens session of conference and then to church, and the whole branch just took her in! she loved it and they loved her it was super great! I just absolutely love seeing people come back to church, and the light and hope of the gospel kicking on in peoples eyes. And also the pure joy that comes from the gospel.
Funny enough today in personal study i was thinking about why the gospel makes us happy and i thought about the tree of life:
So to paint a picture, for the potential peeps reading this that don't know, tree of life is a well known vision found in the beginning of the book of mormon. (1 Nephi Ch 8 so you can go read it) anyway, in the vision that this prophet has, he goes along in a dark place, till he sees this tree that's just magnificent and radiant. he goes to the tree, and eats the fruit from it and it's the greatest thing he's ever tasted in his life. then he looks around and sees a ton of people, and he sees this rod of iron, (basically a handrail) that leads all the way to this magnificent and radiant tree (the tree of life). and he sees that people are holding on the the iron rod, making their way towards the tree,and as they do, there comes this "mist of darkness" basically it's super foggy and they can't see anything. but he talks about how those that kept holding onto the rod and didn't let go no matter what were able to then, make their way to the tree and eat the best tasting fruit of all time.
So i thought about one comparison of the vision, which is how for us, living the gospel is alot like holding onto the iron rod. we follow it, even though we don't see where we are going, but we hold onto it because everyone has told us what lies at the end, and how great it's going to be, till we get there, and we get to have the greatest happiness that god in his infinite knowledge knows that we can have. as i thought about this, a couple of thoughts came to mind:
#1 Did holding onto the rod make those people happy? It could have. it was something firn and sure, when they couldn't see everything else, it gave them direction. But for many where would the true happiness have been? it would probobly have been in the knowledge and hope that, by following that rod, they would get to have the greatest fruit of all time.
For us is living the gospel what truly makes us happy? it can, it gives us something sure, direction and safety, but the true happiness in the gospel is the knowledge that by following it, we will be able to live with god, and live in a state of never ending happiness and joy.
#2 thought number two, was faith. Imagine you're one of the people walking along, and a friend says dude! i'm gonna go get the best fruit ever let's go man! and he runs over and grabs onto this handrail that heads straight into the fog. He said it with such cofidence that you decided that maybe you would try it. so you go. and you make your way along. can't see anything, but you have that hope that there's something there at the end. you go and you go, and then you hear you fried a little bit ahead of you say, oh wow i see something, and as you continue along on the rod, pretty soon you see a glow ahead of you. that builds you hope and confidence that there is truly something there! you keep going and then the glow gets stronger and stronger. till finally you make your way out and there you see the tree. is there any doubt?
for us, at first with the gospel, it can be a little sure what the end result is. We possibly just don't see whats at the end. This is where faith comes in. it allows us to keep walking through the fog, and keep going. till we see a glow. Ask any person who's (honestly) lived the gospel of Jesus Christ, they'll tell you that after how long they've been there, their faith, (hope) has just grown stronger and stronger because of things that they've seen in their life. (the glow gets brighter and brighter.) This for me has been the greatest blessing so far of my mission.
Well love yall! gotta run.