“Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” -1 Peter 3:15
This scripture has not only been on my mind the past few weeks, but it has been like a meteor shower to my brain. In every situation possible, it has come up. Do you think I’m going to need to be ready to actually explain myself soon? You better believe it. I’ve spent a couple personal studies on this scripture, and my down time at the sites studying and pondering this instruction. There are quite a few things I’ve learned on my mission that I can answer back, but no one can ask if they don’t see it in me in the first place. It’s literally a command from the Lord to always be converted, and act in such a way that everyone can see that. “Let [my] confidence wax strong in the presence of God,” (D&C 121:45) and then I will always be able to explain the positive emotion that hopefully is evident in me.
Well, we got some pretty devistating news yesterday. Our part-member investigator family, the Kemps, had a doctor’s appointment for Will yesterday. Tracey called us to cancel our appointment we had for last night because he had just been diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer. It was a total shock to their family, and especially to us. I know everything will work out in the end, but it’s just a really scary time right now. I don’t know what I would do, or what they would do, without the knowledge of the Plan of Happiness. Sometimes I wish I could hand out samples of my eternal perspective on a mormon.org card. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that–something called faith that is required for that.
More to happier topics…General Conference?! Man, it gets better every year. I’m going to second President Monson when he said it was the most spiritually uplifting conference he’s been to. I wouldn’t doubt that though, because it should get better every time. The more doctrine we study, the more questions we ask, the more answers we get, and then the more love that Heavenly Father showers down upon us. Personally, my favorite talk was Elder Edward Dube’s talk, and how we can appreciate what happens in the past, but never live in it. Quoting Luke 9:62, he pointed out that, “No man, putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” How bold is that? Well, I obviously won’t ever be looking back with a longing glare that anything I ever leave behind me. No more Lot’s wife for me! Even though I’ve had incredible experiences, and I will miss a lot of it, I have so much work ahead to do. Way too much to even think about looking back to the past. I have just as much, if not more, responsibility in just a couple of weeks!
Anyway, Brittany was with us during both sessions on Sunday, the morning session at the Bishop’s house, then the second one at the Anderson’s. She’s been having a bad week, and mentioned in the car that she felt really cloudy from not taking the sacrament in almost three weeks. (She had to finish out her last week at work before she took Sundays off for good.) I was so impressed at how quickly she diagnosed her soul with that. She then immediately asked for a Priesthood blessing when we got to the Anderson’s with the Elders. I noticed a change in her right after–just like a weight was lifted off her shoulders. Obviously blessings don’t take place of the sacrament each week, but because she had so much faith, Heavenly Father wanted every opportunity to give her to show her that He cared. He definitely took that moment, and let Sister Gillespie and I be a part of it.
I’ll end with a snipet from President (Coach) Francis from his reply to my e-mail: “You are in the last 30 seconds of the game. You have almost reached your goal. The lifetime and eternal life rewards are in place, but you need to finish off strong for your own personal satisfaction and the blessings of those you are serving…you are full court pressing now. It’s time to double team the man or woman with the ball with spiritual suffocation.”
Now, do you see why he’s my mission president?