My goal for this last week was to deepen my conversion... you can never deepen it too much right? Well, because of it I feel that I have had a lot of great trials, lessons and experiences to help me with that goal. I have been chastised, yelled at, blessed, strengthened, received deeper knowledge, humbled and so forth. These things seem to be how it is every week in a life of a missionary, but I've just noticed it more this week.
I was able to go on exchanges in the Bandeleier ward, which was awesome to be back, but they are on bikes. Not only that but to get out to that area it is basically all up hill. Well, being myself and all confident (or maybe "prideful" haha) I thought it wouldn't be that hard because I'm pretty fit right now so I can do it. Well, I was SO wrong! That huge hill creamed me. I felt like a sissy but I had a great time to ponder and be taught by the Lord. He showed me physically how life is ALWAYS going to be; that it isn't like this just on the mission but for the rest of your life. Also, it is SUPER cold here now ...like if it rained it would totally snow; so we are freezing all of the time and that day it was super windy. So, not only am I biking up a giant never-ending hill, but all of a sudden these large waves of strong/cold wind would hit and that slows you down even more. So I had a choice... do I give up and give in because its really hard and can justify why I can't do it and quit? I'm sure I had enough excuses why I couldn't really keep going and keep giving it my all. Well, once I decided I would be a sissy and give up my strength and mentality grew... I just kept pedaling and pushing forward with faith and hope that I could do it. Well, then all of a sudden I was at the top of the hill. I got a 1 min break because of a light then went on to conquer another hill. But that's how our life is; we don't always have it easy. We may spend most of our lives climbing up a hill on a bike, then only have a minute break at the top until we are having to go up another one, but because of that I'm stronger. I was humbled in that fact of how hard biking is... especially in the wind. If we know how to use the gears on the bike properly it will help us get up that hill but does that just mean we stop pedaling? No. All it is there for is another tool to help us finish our task. So it is with our lives; as we are on our spiritual bike climb, don't forget that you can "shift gears" and if it is too hard to peddle you can you can change that gear ... we need to use them. Our gears are our modern prophets, scriptures, wisdom from friends and family and leaders, support from others, power of prayer, church, covenants to give us strength, and, of course, our Savior's atonement. We can switch to any one of the spiritual "gears" whenever we need its help to get up that hill and keep our pace. We need to have faith and WORKS. I'm reading in Miracle of Forgiveness and a statement in it really hit me. It says, "The Lord will not translate ones good hopes, and desires and intentions into works. Each of us must do that for himself." Don't get off the bike, don't justify why you can't finish or that you have probably made if far enough and want to ride back down. No. You finish even if you go at the slowest pace it doesn't matter if you are using those gears to help. All that matters is that you finish. The Lord can't tell you to get off the bike and He will bike up the hill for you. No, you still have to pedal but He will for sure coach, help and encourage you the whole way.
At the end, after I biked up all of the hills, I was able to bike down it all!! I was looking at the left and picturing myself struggling up this very hill and how thankful I was that I didn't give up because the ride down was amazing and I felt accomplished, and I learned great lessons. So it is with our lives; you will someday get to enjoy the ride down and feel that satisfaction. There are always great blessings for us, and most are worth the struggles. I testify that this is true! Trust in Him .
Your Friend and brother in the cause,
Only one pic this week!
On exchanges with Elder Jewett.
I figured I should get the typical missionary pic with the helmet
and bike at least once on my mission.