Monday, April 20, 2015

Week #35 - The Nature of Trials

Hello Family!  

I have learned so much this week -  about myself and about much that I need to change. There is a lot....but that's okay :) I'm taking it one thing at a time.  

Funny Story: 

I have been named Ward Pianist! For those who know me well...know that I hate playing in front of people. So much! My first Sunday in the ward, the chorister comes up to ask if either of us Sisters played the piano. My companion said no and as I hesitated, she says, "Aha! I know you can! Will you please help me?" I melted. I couldn't say no. So, now I'm ward pianist. This last Sunday, we were getting ready to sing the Sacrament hymn. Looking at the hymnbook, in Spanish,  I started playing the intro of a song I did not know and was so confused as to why it sounded TERRIBLE. I finished the intro and looked to the chorister only to see her mildly panic-filled eyes.  She kindly put her hands up for me to just stop, so I stopped playing, ashamed, and she continued to lead acapela. I looked back to the music and realized that I was playing an in a key that had an F Sharp.... but the music was in a key with B and E flat.  Problem solved; I played the rest of the hymn in the correct key. The ward members haven't let me live it down yet ;)

This actually leads to what I've learned.  I had a very tender experience this past week. This area has really been struggling and I assumed that it was because of something we were doing/or were not doing individually or as a companionship. Were we being obedient enough or faithful enough? etc. We asked the Elders to give us a priesthood blessing and I truly received amazing counsel from the Lord. One thing that the Elder mentioned was that I needed to learn the nature of trials. I needed to understand that Heavenly Father was so proud of my work and so happy with my diligence, hard work, and desires. It helped me to looked at everything much differently.  

I've been trying really hard to keep my thoughts focused on the work and to make sure that I only care what the Lord thinks of me, no importa si the other investigators, members, or missionaries get offended or admire me because I stand up for the rules, serve with all my heart, or try to help others, etc. If the Lord is happy with me, then I know that I'm happy. If I am doing well and succeeding, I'm happy because I am becoming better and not because I am better than someone else. I then realized the lesson learned because I was called to be a ward pianist. I was achieving this!  

When I play the piano, I tend to play repeatedly the same songs that I have memorized. I don't think about the music or even the piano; rather, my mind goes elsewhere and I think of something totally different. I look like I'm playing so beautifully and focused...but really, my mind is not on my purpose. It was the same way with the Work. However, as I was forced to play the piano every single Sunday, and to sight-read hymns as the ACCOMPANIAST.....I needed to focus. I am relearning how to play the piano just as I am relearning how to BE a daughter of God. I have to focus and tune out distracting thoughts of "How do I look? What do they think?" I instead have to focus upon and listen to the conductor. As I listen to the conductor and keep my eyes on the music, it flows and becomes beautiful.

It is the same way with our lives. If we focus on the Master and tune out the world, everything will flow. We will learn the music of life and we will start to dance! We succeed! We FLY!  Yes, we will slip up. Yes, we will be ashamed. The true test for us is whether or not we get back up to the piano and try again. I tried again this week and I screwed up a song so badly that I only played the right hand. BUT, I didn't stop playing. I didn't give up! Instead I prayed the entire time for the Master's help through the Atonement. At the conclusion of the song, I realized I had played a song which I didn't know and had played it so beautifully during the parts where I had focused.

I have such a strong testimony of this. I know it is life-changing and everlasting. Don't give up. Don't lose focus. Keep fighting! The Conductor always has your back :) 

Hna Lake

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