Letter dated May 25, 2015
Here we are, Monday once again! This week's been a good one but also a tough one. :) We are working a LOT with less actives right now and we're finding some small successes there. They really are amazing. They just need to be reminded of the goodness of the gospel! However, on the side of investigators, we really are struggling. Lots of fallen appointments, walking, and copies of The Book of Mormon just WAITING to be given out! But ya know what? The Lord knows why.
The other day I found a SERIOUS treasure in the Book of Mormon that never before had meant so much to me as it does now. The book of Ether tells us the story of the brother of Jared and his people who were commanded by God to build these funny little boats to cross the sea to reach the promised land. WElll, in this ancient time, I'm sure it seemed completely illogical to make boats like this, and throw yourself into the big scary sea, but they did it.
Ether 6:4, reads: "And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and hers, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them-- and it came to pass that when they had done all these things, they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." I love that. THey had done ALL the preparations and things they possibly could and then all they had to do was "set forth into the sea" and "commend themselves unto the Lord their God."
Ether 6:5-7 reads: "And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a fuvious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind. And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind. And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters." They trusted the Lord, didn't they? They gave it all up to Him, didn't they? So why wasn't it easy? Sure, they were protected through it all, but the Lord could have just calmed the waters. Why didn't He?
Ether 6:8 reads, "And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind." IT NEVER STOPPED! The road to the promised land NEVER was easy. Ever.
Ether 6:9-10: "And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord. And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water." So what did this suffering people do? They praised the Lord with ALL their energy. They counted their blessings and thanked Him. They had food, light, and air. They were being protected and that's all that mattered to them.
Ether 6:11-12: "And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water. And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them." And so what happened? THEY MADE IT. And they were joyful. They recognized that it was ALL thanks to the Lord and His amazing tender mercies.
Each of us have these really hard and super scary seas to cross sometimes! The Lord wouldn't have it any other way. The brother of Jared and His people wouldn't have learned anything had the Lord just picked them up and placed them in the promised land. And we wouldn't, either. But that doesn't mean that the Lord has forgotten about us or that the super wild journey has to be miserable. We have WAY more reason to thank the Lord and sing His praises than we realized. Even during the storms, we can be happy as can be! Because we know that one day we'll make it. And it will be sweet.
This week has been tough. But we are counting our blessings and there are like a million! We are comending ourselves unto the Lord our God... JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL! I know with my whole hart he's got it because this is His work. I'm just grateful, SOOO grateful to be along for the ride. Thanks for your many prayers, I feel them everyday. Love you guys!!!