Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad

Dear family and friends,

I love you! I love the family and missed you all this week. 

We had an absolutely crazy week. Last Monday we had a zone p-day followed by our zone meeting on Tuesday (Elder Bullock's first). The p-day was fun: playing games, eating lunch, and relaxing. Elder Bullock was nervous about the first Zone Meeting, and he reminded me of myself during my first zone meeting about 5 months ago. I've grown up a lot since then. He did great though; We shared a message about completing our missionary purpose with verdadera intencion--doing the right thing for the right reason and not counting the cost. Something I've been working on and practicing a lot in my own life lately.

Wednesday I did divisions with Elder Phillips. He is a new missionary from St. George. Great guy. We had a lot of fun working together. The biggest thing that happened this week was the activity in Pampas on Saturday. This is what was stressing me out because since Elder Gonzales was transferred, he left me to pretty much plan and do everything alone, from transportation to lunch and the actual show. It turned out great though. Stake leaders, ward leaders, and 2 zones of missionaries went. We did a lttle talent show (our zone did a skit) and then passed out food. We also contacted about half of the population of Pampas. It was super cool. It was nice to do service during this holiday season. 

I won't lie it's been hard this week to stay focused and not count the cost. It's helped that I've been busy. The activity in Pampas was a blessing because I didn't have time to think about home that day (except on the bus ride). Also, I've been able to overcome it because I just decided not dwell on the past and to put my faith in the future. Like Elder Holland said, "It takes exactly as long to repent [and change your attitude] as it takes you to say, “I’ll change”—and mean it." I choose to keep my "eye single to the glory of God" and to keep moving forward "with faith, hope, charity, and love" because life is too short to be bitter. I'm far from perfect, way far. I decided to change my attitude.  However, the irony about life is that sometimes as soon as we decide to repent and move on, we get tested and we have to repent again and keep on moving on. (Like when I had a great week until I got Chloe's wedding invitation on the 18th). 

I read Jeffery R Holland's talk entitled "Remember Lots Wife" that mom gave me and President gave me. Everyone should read it (or Mom re-read it.) That talk helped me a lot. He starts out by explainin the story of Lot's wife that we all know then proceeds to say the following:

"Apparently what was wrong with Lot’s wife was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back. It would appear that even before they were past the city limits, she was already missing what Sodom and Gomorrah had offered her. As Elder Maxwell once said, such people know they should have their primary residence in Zion, but they still hope to keep a summer cottage in Babylon.

"It is possible that Lot’s wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind. We certainly know that Laman and Lemuel were resentful when Lehi and his family were commanded to leave Jerusalem. So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin.

"So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that FAITH IS ALWAYS POINTED TOWARD THE FUTURE. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."

I choose to have my faith in the future: a new day, a new month, a new year. I know that the Lord does have something better. I choose not to look back "longingly" but to put my trust in God. I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. I'll end with a scripture that I love that Elder Holland cites, 

"This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." [Philippians 3:13–14]

Love you! Have a great week. Talk to you on Saturday!

Elder Walker
Zone Meeting on Tuesday
Divisions with Elder Phillips
Chloe, sorry I can't make it to the wedding. Something came up called being a rep. de Jesucristo. I sent my wedding gift though. Hope you like it.
Missionaries at the Pampas Actividad
Bus ride to Pampas

People of Pampas enjoying the party.