Monday, June 22, 2015

Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Fate

We've seen a lot of change in many great people this past week. A man we've been teaching from Nigeria has been progressing rather quickly. He's an amazing, hard working man! The phrase that has stuck out to me that he says is, "We don't work to die, we work to live!" Do what you love! He had expressed to us problems he's had with the Word of Wisdom. We taught him how to overcome addiction and he's been applying it very well! The other day we saw him in the street and we asked him how he's been doing with those things he needs to overcome before baptism. He said, "Ha! I don't do that anymore! I stopped doing that." It was one of those moments when you see the light of Christ growing within someone. If everything goes well he will be baptized on the 4th of July. My last weekend on my mission.

We've been teaching another woman who is native here from Pontevedra. She is very Catholic but open to listen to us. She's been progressing so much lately! We were explaining to her how to receive an answer from God and how she can know that this message is true. After, with a shocked look on her face, she said, "Well if it's that easy why doesn't everyone do it!?" .... That's what I've been saying lady! She also expressed how she loves how "deep we talk" she says that pretty soon if we keep talking we might discover the true church. She's a fun lady.

Another lady said to us the other day, "Wow. If I wasn't such a die-hard Catholic I'd join your church! You guys are so good looking!" Yeah, we find those people every once in a while.. More so now that Elder Gustafson is my companion! He's a lady killer, don't tell him I said that! haha

Anyway, the work is going great, the best it's been so far in my time here. I'm not sure who said this and I don't entirely agree with it but here it is, "The Lord loves all of His children... But he loves his missionaries more!" I have felt the love of my Savior frequently on my mission.

Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Fate.

My senior year of High school I remember becoming a fan of a new band from L.A. I took this phrase from one of their songs and let it shape my life from that point on. The mission put it to the test but life does as well. Daily we are challenged with decisions that determine our fate or destiny. We make decisions determined by 2 different states of being, Fear or Faith. If there is anything I've learned regarding these 2 words is that they can not coexist. Fear and Faith can not coexist. So how do we overcome it? The scriptures teach us how.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

If we truly love God perfectly and those that surround us, making decisions will always be accompanied by Faith and Fear will never prevail. Can we really do anything perfectly though? Is there anyone but our Savior who perfected anything? Can we perfectly love everyone? The truth is no, we can't, but we can try. That is what's good enough in the sight of our Heavenly Father. The effort and constant progression. It's the desire to do good!

Peter, John and the other Apostles had this figured out. They feared not what man could do but what God can do. After the death and resurrection of Christ, with a few more life changing experiences, they became fearless disciples. Although arrested and threatened they were always protected by the Lord's hand. On one occasion, after being thrown into prison but released by an Angel, they were found again in the temple preaching unto the people. They were brought "without violence" before the council once again. The high priest conversed with them saying, "Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us."

Here are the words of these Apostles´ fearlessness, found in the next verse, "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."

And here are the acts of their fearlessness, "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."
(Acts 5:28-29, 41-42)

Always Let Your Faith Decide Your Fate.

Before closing this letter, I'd like to share the lyrics of a song that has had a great impact on me. It is called, "Come See the Light." It was written to describe the events found in 3 Nephi 11.

Come See The Light

"Behold the sign, the light of hope, at last the king is born.
As the prophets told, the star is come and the angels sing for joy.
Yet the dark of doubt confounds the day, how quickly blindness clouds the way.
Then the mountains fell, the cities burned, raging thunder rent the sky.
What a mournful wail filled up the air and the mist turned day to night.
But the Father said, "Behold my son, I am well pleased, now hear ye him."
The shadows flee, his quiet voice, come see the light of hope descend.

Be free of doubt, arise, come touch his wounds and fall at his feet.
The lost reclaimed.
Come see the light.

Though slain he lives, the lamb of God, go touch the prints and know.
Kneel at his feet and worship him, for your soul he drank the cup.
Hosanna with one accord, blessed the name the Most High God.
The shadows flee, his quiet voice, come see the light of hope descend.

Be free of doubt, arise, come touch his wounds and fall at his feet.
The lost reclaimed.
Come see the light.

He is Alpha and Omega.
He is the light and life of the world.
Build on his rock and break the gates of hell and enter with him.

The shadows flee, his quiet voice, come see the light of hope descend.
Be free of doubt, arise, come touch his wounds and fall at his feet.
The lost reclaimed.
Come see the light."

Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: "I know that my Redeemer lives!"

Elder Giforos

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